Trip To The Vet

We used a prong collar on our Beagle that we had when I was growing up (I know, boo, hiss) but she was really aggressive- yeah seriously, I saw her go after Dobermans and Rottweilers- so we would use the prong collar on walks to keep her under heel and keep her from going after big dogs. This was before things like gentle leader, and we had never seen a harness before.

That being said- why would your vet just come out and say use this instead if you hadn't expressed concern about your B's behavior? That makes no sense, and really is weird- I'd look for a new vet, too.

@Robin_n_Jack:

We used a prong collar on our Beagle that we had when I was growing up (I know, boo, hiss) but she was really aggressive- yeah seriously, I saw her go after Dobermans and Rottweilers- so we would use the prong collar on walks to keep her under heel and keep her from going after big dogs. This was before things like gentle leader, and we had never seen a harness before.

That being said- why would your vet just come out and say use this instead if you hadn't expressed concern about your B's behavior? That makes no sense, and really is weird- I'd look for a new vet, too.

This is why I love this forum so much! The visit did not sit well with me either! I found it strange myself. He even asked me if I had any issues with Trixie, and all I said was, she is a Basenji and full of energy and I laughed! I am going to look for a new vet but am having problems finding one! I have found that in general things are a lot different here in Florida. We have only lived here in Florida 8 years, we are from the Chicago area originally. I have not been impressed with any of the vets I have had so far!

@lvoss:

IMO there are much better alternatives to a prong collar for all sized dogs. I would not recommend using a prong collar and if pulling is an issue there are several threads with recommendations of how to work on this.

I would also not be comfortable with a vet that recommended a prong collar for my dog, but that is again my opinion.

Ditto to this. I don't want to say 'never' …but it is SERIOUSLY unlikely I would ever put a prong collar on a basenji. There are a few appropriate uses and situations for prong collars, IMO. But, never on a dog that has any sensitivity to harsh corrections (which most Bs do). And if a dog already has leash reactivity or aggression, a prong collar will often make it worse. As in the dog thinks: I see a dog, I want to pull towards it, something presses into my neck as soon as I try to approach that dog, that makes me more upset...it must be that dog's fault.

I don't recommend regular body harnesses to walk dog who pull though. They just allow the dog to pull better. I prefer either the Sensible/Sensation Harness or the Premier Easy Walk Harness; where the leash attaches at the chest instead of the back. You can google either of those products to learn more.

See but this is the thing in a nut shell. I don't have issues with Trixie pulling or any issues as of yet with her halter! This was brought up totally by my vet who commented on the halter I had on her. I will look into the above mentioned Harness!

@ELERICKSON40:

See but this is the thing in a nut shell. I don't have issues with Trixie pulling or any issues as of yet with her halter! This was brought up totally by my vet who commented on the halter I had on her. I will look into the above mentioned Harness!

Well, if she doesn't pull, there is no need to change from what is already working for you. It is easier to continue to reinforcer her for not pulling, than it is to retrain a dog not to pull.

Definitely sounds like a strange thing for your vet to suggest 😕

@Quercus:

Well, if she doesn't pull, there is no need to change from what is already working for you. It is easier to continue to reinforcer her for not pulling, than it is to retrain a dog not to pull.

Definitely sounds like a strange thing for your vet to suggest 😕

I agree! Sometimes when people say things, it takes a little while for things to compute in my brain! (Guess I'm Getting Old LOL) But I thought it was strange as well!

Andrea,

I've been meaning to ask you about that harness.
I got the Sensation Harness for Zip and our first couple of walks with it were a dream. I was like wow. I stopped it using it though b/c it was giving her little bald spots/callouses on her shoulders. I even called Soft Touch and they helped me to make sure I had it adjusted right: belly and back strap snug, chest strap loose. Zip also got little bald spots on her shoulders from her heavy coat, so I'm thinking it might be problem particular to her. Thoughts? Have you had this problem?

@mauigirl:

Andrea,

I've been meaning to ask you about that harness.
I got the Sensation Harness for Zip and our first couple of walks with it were a dream. I was like wow. I stopped it using it though b/c it was giving her little bald spots/callouses on her shoulders. I even called Soft Touch and they helped me to make sure I had it adjusted right: belly and back strap snug, chest strap loose. Zip also got little bald spots on her shoulders from her heavy coat, so I'm thinking it might be problem particular to her. Thoughts? Have you had this problem?

Hmm…no, I haven't had that problem, but I don't use the harness every day. You might try making it a little looser where it is rubbing? Are the spots on the top of her shoulders, or on the sides?

And I always hook the ring on the harness to the regular collar with the leash snap, so that even if the dog slipped out of the harness they would still be attached at the collar...that also gives the harness a little more stability so it doesn't slide all over the place on the chest. Did you try that already?

Andrea- I looked up the Sensible/Sensation Harness and read the feature/benefits on their site, but i'm still kinda confused about it.. How does it help for dogs that pull? Can they easily slip out of it? How does it attach to their regular collar? Mine pull, not too bad, but if i cold get something like that too help i would, because i dont like when they pull and put a lot of stress on their neck.. thanks for any help about them!!

@DiegosMom:

Andrea- I looked up the Sensible/Sensation Harness and read the feature/benefits on their site, but i'm still kinda confused about it.. How does it help for dogs that pull? Can they easily slip out of it? How does it attach to their regular collar? Mine pull, not too bad, but if i cold get something like that too help i would, because i dont like when they pull and put a lot of stress on their neck.. thanks for any help about them!!

It helps because, since the leash attaches at the chest, it doesn't give the dog much leverage to pull forward. When they pull they kind of turned around back towards you.

It is a little hard to explain in words how the leash attaches to both the harness and the collar…I should try to get a pic. But the ring for attaching the leash on the harness sits right in the middle of the chest; so you put your leash clip on that then pull the ring from the regular collar down a little, and harness ring up a little 'till they meet, and snap the leash clip thru both rings.

Yes, some dogs can wriggle out of the harness by itself. That is why I don't like to take any chances and have them hooked up to the regular collar too.

Thanks for explaining that Andrea, i think i get the picture now.. I think I might try those, i really dont like the collar pulling on the neck when they try to chase a squirrel or rabbit! I thought I noticed a slight difference between the two you mention earlier in this thread, one had a loop on the chest strap kinda like a martingale collar, and the other was just a regular ring.. do you prefer one brand over the other??

Gosh a prong collar how medieval their illegal over here thank god.

I used to have Akitas, and we had prong collars for them, but we didn't use them that much. On a larger dog I can see it, but not on something like a Basenji. That's crazy that the vet would just waltz in with a prong collar and go "hey, you should use this." I could see if you had some big Northern Breed dog and it was jumping at him, but you don't.

@DiegosMom:

Thanks for explaining that Andrea, i think i get the picture now.. I think I might try those, i really dont like the collar pulling on the neck when they try to chase a squirrel or rabbit! I thought I noticed a slight difference between the two you mention earlier in this thread, one had a loop on the chest strap kinda like a martingale collar, and the other was just a regular ring.. do you prefer one brand over the other??

I slightly prefer the Sensible harness, but perhaps because I have had more experience with it. The premier has the martingale like loop. I have clients who have the premiers and are very happy with them….so I think it is kind of a personal preference kind of thing. The sensibles have to be ordered online...but there are pet supplies stores in a lot of areas that carry the premier.

I have a prong collar (the prongs had dull tips) for EL D but used it ONLY DURING obedience class and practise in home.
The instructor was adament that these collars never be used for general wear and made sure we all took them off our dogs before we left class (she also insisted never use the prong collar with any other collar). She used these collars only for training purposes and not to prevent pulling - for that she brought bitter apple spray (any time a dog began pulling too much the dog would get a little sprayed). Even though EL D is pretty headstrong, I never really had to tighten on that collar.

@wizard:

I have a prong collar (the prongs had dull tips) for EL D but used it ONLY DURING obedience class and practise in home.
The instructor was adament that these collars never be used for general wear and made sure we all took them off our dogs before we left class (she also insisted never use the prong collar with any other collar). She used these collars only for training purposes and not to prevent pulling - for that she brought bitter apple spray (any time a dog began pulling too much the dog would get a little sprayed). Even though EL D is pretty headstrong, I never really had to tighten on that collar.

Please be careful with these techniques, particularly with Basenjis. Bitter apple is not intended to be used in that manner, and could very well hurt a dog's eyes.

What training exercises is the prong collar used for, if not pulling? IMO, the ONLY use for it is for certain dogs that are excessively pulling.

Dallas was so good at not pulling…until he got a bit older & more confident & now, especially if he sees people, he practically tries to pull my arm out of the socket! He's small but boy does he have some strength! I was told by my trainer to continue using the standard collar & 6" leash but if he starts to pull stop dead in my tracks until he loosens the lead up, give a treat, continue walking. Well, hah, I don't know if this trainer has ever tried this on a basenji but it just doesn't work! It's like he knows he is behaving if the lead is loose but he just doesn't care because he wants to get where he wants to get to at his own pace! Haha. I have gone back & forth in harnesses but I actually like the way the one Andrea mentioned [the premier] looks so perhaps I will give that a go.

I can tell you one thing though, Dallas could weigh 3 times as much as he does now & literally rip my arm out of the socket but I still wouldn't use a prong collar…

@Quercus:

What training exercises is the prong collar used for, if not pulling? IMO, the ONLY use for it is for certain dogs that are excessively pulling.

With the Akitas I had, the idea with prong collar was to use a little pressure to indicate you wanted them to do something- like how some people use clickers. You don't really pull hard on it, just a little pressure. But still, I've only used them with large dogs with thick coats. I'd NEVER use them on small dogs like Basenjis.

I find it interesting that in Sweden these collars are illegal yet in the US according to my vet you can get them anywhere. (By the way I have yet to see one in any petsmart or grocery store as he commented. I appreciate all the feedback sooooo much. Again, I just found the entire conversation strange and I would NEVER use any type of device like that on our little girl. Like I said I can almost understand it for a big dog but even than it just looked horrible to me. But I am a big softie and Trixie is quite spoiled! Hard to Believe Huh!!

@ELERICKSON40:

I find it interesting that in Sweden these collars are illegal yet in the US according to my vet you can get them anywhere. (By the way I have yet to see one in any petsmart or grocery store as he commented. I appreciate all the feedback sooooo much. Again, I just found the entire conversation strange and I would NEVER use any type of device like that on our little girl. Like I said I can almost understand it for a big dog but even than it just looked horrible to me. But I am a big softie and Trixie is quite spoiled! Hard to Believe Huh!!

A spoiled basenji…NEVER! :rolleyes:

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