Her Doberman Was Dragging Her Down The Street! Here’s What We Did To Help Her…

Her Doberman was dragging her down the street. “Sammie” wasn’t a bad dog… she just had an unfocused mind. Her owner hadn’t learned the right technique yet, and wasn’t using the right tool: In this case, the prong collar.



You need two things to have success with a dog like this:

  • The right technique
  • The right tool (training collar)

The total transformation took less than twenty minutes to teach both the, “Place” command and the “Loose Leash” exercise.  (I spent twenty minutes beforehand talking about the proper use of the collar).  I go into more detail about how to use both this technique and the right types of training collars in my book.


Does Your Dog Do This When You Go To Put On His Training Collar?

When a dog owner calls and tells me that their dog cowers when they go to put on the leash or dog training collar– I immediately know that there is a an imbalance in the dog-owner relationship.

Perhaps the dog already had a negative association with the training collar or leash when the new owner adopted him. Regardless, we usually find that the new owner is not helping the matter by engaging in behaviors that don’t make it better!

For example: Coddling the dog by saying, “Poor baby,” and then touching the dog (praise) is reinforcing the unwanted behavior (cowring).

Instead, the new owner should adopt either a neutral stance when the dog exhibits the behavior, or even better– associate the training collar with something fun.  I.E. Put the dog training collar on right before you feed dinner. Or before you take them out to play.

Pretty soon your dog will be running to the collar and leash just like our dogs, do.


Training A Toy Breed

Liz wrote to me about training a toy breed.  She wanted to know if my approach to dog training works on small dogs, too.  In my book, I don’t spend too much time differentiating between toy breeds vs. small breeds because the fundamentals are the same: You just use smaller sized training tools.

Is Training A Toy Breed The Same As Training Any Other Breed?

Liz wrote, “I have a 9 week old “Toy” Schnoodle. He is active, biting, chewing (I know it’s normal due to teething) very aggressive. I just want to know if the collar option works with “Toy” breeds. As I was reading your book, I didn’t see anything for “Toy” breeds. He is about 2 1/2 pounds right now. I have been doing several other things you suggested and so far so good.”

I replied: Yes, absolutely!! Over 20 years ago when I was starting out, that was one of my criterias. I needed a training approach that worked on all breeds, as I knew I would be starting a dog training company and getting clients with dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Toy breed dogs have become extraordinarily popular in recent years. Even my wife is planning to adopt a Yorkie.

Training A Toy Breed Is Just As Easy
As Training A Bigger Dog Breed Because
Their Bodies Are Easier To Put Into Position

The neat thing about dogs is that, big or small: Their brains all work the same way. With my techniques, you administer the leash correction the same way. Typically for the toy breeds, I’ll just use a chain slip collar (commonly called a ‘choke chain’). When you put it on, you should be facing the dog and slide it over the head so that the collar looks like a “P” not a “q”. Buy a collar that fits your dog, so that it’s small enough that when you tug on the leash, there is only 1″ of excess. This is the biggest mistake people make with the slip collar. (And buying a fabric slip collar instead of a chain one: The fabric one’s stretch and typically don’t give a good correction).

Some internet vendors sell a “micro” prong collar, but wait on getting one of those unless you find you can’t get a motivational correction with the slip collar.

A $7 an Hour Dog Trainer Told Her That
Training A Toy Breed With A Slip Collar
Is Dangerous.  It’s Not.

Liz replied, “Thanks for your response. I went to the pet store and tried to find a slip collar. It just so happened that their trainer was there and I asked her which one I should get. She said she wouldn’t suggest that type of correction on a TOY breed because their Traykia (not sure if spelling is correct)is small and easy to crush. What are your thoughts on that. I didn’t get the slip collar because I was scared at that point that I might hurt him.”

If You’re Concerned About Training A Toy Breed
With A Slip Collar, Then Use
A Micro-Prong Collar Instead

I replied: It’s nonsense.

Did you ask her why they sell those collars, then? Does she really think the big box stores would expose themselves to hundreds of thousands of lawsuits if they were selling collars for the past 30 years that damaged a dog’s trachea?

Do you really think I would recommend a collar that would hurt your dog?

Use common sense. Don’t choke your dog with the collar. Tug and release. The people who have problems are the one’s who allow their dog to pull, pull, pull … day after day. Are you going to do that? No, you’re not. Because you’re smart and you’ve read my material and you know how to administer a correction properly (loose-tug-loose).

My recommendation is that you stop listening to so-called “dog experts” who make $7 an hour working at pet stores. If you wanted to learn how to cook a great meal, you’d get advice from a great chef, not some schmoe working at McDonalds, right?

Of course, you can always order a mini-prong collar from one of the online pet supply vendors, which is a martingale-style collar that distributes the correction around the dog’s neck, instead of focusing it at one point. It’s not normally necessary for training a toy breed, because unlike a big Rottweiler, you don’t need more than flick of your wrist to administer a correction.

You will find critics no matter what type of collar you use when training a toy breed.

When to Start the Pinch Collar

Keith writes: We have a 3 month-old Labrador Retriever (Shadow) that is naturally a bundle of energy. We have really learned a lot from your book/tapes. We have started using a prong collar on a limited basis and she responds pretty well except when we try to walk her.

I have listened to your tape and read the section of your book on training to walk on a loose leash but shadow doesn’t understand her part of the plan. Instead of walking she just sits or lays on the ground. I tried to give her a correction but she doesn’t seem to respond. I have also tried to use treats to reward her when she does walk next to me correctly. Is she too young to be using the prong collar? Do you have any suggestions for encouraging her to walk with the leash instead of sitting? Thank you for your assistance, Keith

Dear Keith: I recommend not using the pinch collar for formal training exercises (including walks) until you see his adult teeth begin to come in& which is usually between 4 to 5 months of age.

This usually corresponds with the first stage of social maturity. Otherwise, just use it if you’re having trouble with mouthing for now. Teaching her to walk on a loose leash is something that takes about 10 minutes. It’s no big deal. But don’t be in a rush to put her in college when she first must go through kindergarten. At this age, your dog doesn’t need to be taken on long walks. A romp in the back yard and chasing a few toys until she demonstrates that she’s tired or has lost interest should be enough.

Dog Training Collars and Leashes

What dog training collar to use in training your dog is perhaps the most controversial subject in the dog training world. There is a variety to choose from. There are flat collars, and there are choke collars made from leather, nylon, or chain. Finally, there is the pinch collar, also known as the prong or spiked collar. At first glance, it might seem that the most humane collar to use is the flat collar or one of the light choke collars.

These look the least threatening and appear to be the most comfortable. However, if you really wanted to hurt a dog (not on purpose of course!), the thinner the choke collar, the more damage to his throat and neck you could inflict. Also, with a choke collar the dog has an instinctive reflex at his disposal to deal with the sensation of something tightening a grip around his neck. He may misinterpret the correction on the choke collar as a stranglehold and unnecessarily become rebellious or afraid. So things are not always what they seem.

For example, what kind of knife would a patient want his surgeon to operate with, a dull jackknife or a razor-sharp scalpel? Obviously the latter, even though its edge can send a shiver through us. While many handlers start every dog on a flat collar, it is only the first step on the training ladder. The next rung up is a choke collar and finally then to work up to the pinch collar. Remember, we’re not using the collar as an instrument of punishment; its function is to shock an inappropriate instinct and then arouse or stimulate an appropriate instinct. When the dog learns to be positively motivated by a light tug on a flat collar and then a stronger tug on the choke collar, he can be introduced to a light jerk on the pinch collar.

Training a dog with a pinch collar is consistent with the way a surgeon uses his scalpel. The doctor wants to cut out the tumor or damaged tissue and by doing so he arouses the patient’s healing powers. While the pinch collar may seem to be a menacing implement, when used properly it is very “clean” and therapeutic.

Finally, when a dog is shocked by the pinch collar in the correct manner he is aroused by the novelty of the sensation. It is a feeling he has never felt before, nor is there an instinct evolved to deal with it. It is a brand-new moment and the handler is free to train the dog how to deal with it.

3 Types Of Leashes

For proper dog training with leashes (as opposed to e-collar training) you will need three kinds of leashes.

  • One is six foot long and is for training your dog in close during his obedience work. Many prefer a light (but high quality) leather leash for its comfort and also because it won’t get twisted. Nevertheless, the features of the leash are irrelevant to the dog and his ability to learn.
  • Also, you will need a variety of long leashes for when you work the dog at a distance. You may like to use a fifty-foot nylon leash as it isn’t going to rot when exposed to harsh elements.
  • Finally, a tab leash is, as it suggests, a short length of rope or leather just long enough to dangle over the collar and be easy to grab. The dog can run freely with this leash without being able to trip himself.

Bark Collar or Electronic Bark Collar

What Industry Insider’s Know About
Electronic Bark Collars
By Adam G. Katz

Here’s the deal:   You’ve got a dog that just keeps barking when you leave him in his kennel run or in the back yard.  You’ve already exercised him and you know that he’s not barking at anything in specific.  Let’s face it:  Some times dogs just bark because it’s fun.  And then it becomes a habit.  And then your neighbors start complaining.   Even if you correct the dog when you’re home, your dog is smart enough to learn that he doesn’t get corrected for barking when you leave for work.  And that’s where the bark collar comes in.

Dogtra’s No-Bark Collar (The “Yapper Stopper” delivers a safe, instant message that barking is off-limits. Controlling your dog’s barking has never been safer or easier. This No-Bark Collar is also safe to use around other animals because the stimulus can be activated only by the bark of the dog wearing the collar.

These things really work! I’ve used them for the last 10 years, and I honestly don’t know what kennel owners did without them.  (Hint: Lots of sound insullation!)

Dogtra’s “Yapper Stopper” — Features 7 Selectable Levels!
Fits all dogs.

Adam’s Guide To Buying A Remote Electronic Training Collar

Adam’s Guide To Buying A Remote Electronic Training Collar
(Also referred to as an E-collar)

Below you’ll find the remote electronic training collars that I recommend. It is important that a remote electronic training collar (an “e-collar” for short) have at least the following features:

  • Multiple levels of stimulation (more than three).  You must have the flexibility to adapt the motivation of the stimulation/correction to MATCH your dog’s temperament.  Three levels of stimulation is usually not enough.  Often times, dog owner will find that with the cheaper e-collars that are sold at pet stores, the medium stimulation is too light, but the high stimulation is too motivational.

  • A range that is practical for what you’re training.  Generally speaking, the more range, the better– as most e-collars seldom reach the range that they claim, anyway.  When I recommend an electronic remote collar to personal friends, I usually suggest that they purchase one that has a one mile range, if money is not an issue.  If not, then get one of the others I recommend below and you should still probably be alright in most instances.  And if you’re just planning on using the e-collar for behavior modification issues around the house or for specific aggression issues… then the range on the electronic remote collar is really a non-issue.

  • The transmitter should be small enough to carry in your pocket.

  • The manufacturer should prove itself to be in business for the long run.  This is evident by excellent product support and a willingness to stand behind it’s product.

  • The remote electronic training collar should have intelligent engineering.  Some e-collars demonstrate a noticeable lag time from when you press the button to when the dog feels the stimulation… and so your timing (and the dog’s association) will suffer.  And this means that your training results will suffer, too.  The e-collars that I recommend below do not have this “stimulation lag.” Early in my dog training career, I thought I could save some money by using the cheap e-collars made in China and Korea.  I have three words to sum up my experience: JUNK, JUNK, JUNK!  Let me tell you one thing about e-collar training:  When you press the button, your dog MUST receive the stimulation.  E-collars that are poorly engineered will pick up other transmissions and accidentally shock your dog.  Or they will not work when you need them to.  But you will not run into such problems if you purchase a quality product from a top e-collar manufacturer.  (I recommend Dogtra, Innotek or Tri-Tronics.)

If used correctly and intelligently, these collars are safe and will not harm you or your dog.  Like any training tool, emphasis is placed on their correct and intelligent use.  Remember… even a nylon leash can be harmful if you attach it to the wrong end of the dog.





— Adam Katz, Author of “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!

(Please note: Model numbers change frequently.  Check with your preferred vendor to find the same or similar collars):

I’m currently using the Sit Means Sit e-collar by Sportdog.  You can buy the same e-collar that I’m using from your local Sit Means Sit franchisee.

The e-collars below are also excellent.  I’ve used them and continue to recommend them, although the model numbers have changed since originally publishing this page:


Dogtra 2000NC– This collar has a one mile range and both the collar and transmitter are waterproof.

  • Easy to use
  • Waterproof transmitter and collar
  • Adjust the level desired at the hand-held transmitter starting from a “zero” level graduating up to the necessary level in a linear progression (no steps or increments)
    using patented ” rheostat dial”.
  • Both “Nick” & “Constant” stimulation
  • Rechargeable Ni-MH batteries
  • 1 mile range
  • No external antenna on the collar
  • Available in a two dog model
  • U.S. Patents

This is a very powerful e-collar.  “Constant” Stimulation gives you plenty of stopping power and the “Nick” is mild but motivating.

The dial on the transmitter allows you to change the strength of the collar even as you are working the dog.

Dogtra 2000NC


Dogtra 1100NC– This collar has a 1/2 mile range and just the collar is waterproof.

  • WATERPROOF HOUSING – The dog’s collar is waterproof, the transmitter is water – resistant.
  • NON-CLUMSY FEEL – Ergonomic transmitter weigh 4.2 oz. – 3.1″ x 1.6″ x 1.0″
  • NON-EXPOSED ANTENNA – The dog’s collar weight 4.9 oz. – 2.75″ x 1.75″ x 1.4″
  • EFFECTIVE RANGE – Very efficient 1/2 mile penetration power
  • GLOVE-USE BUTTONS – A no-look feel during inclement weather
  • CONVENIENT LANYARD – Assists in keeping hands free for other activities
  • POSITIVE-ACTION” TURN-ON/OFF SWITCH – No chance for the dog’s collar to accidentally turn off while in the field
  • ONE CHARGER SYSTEM – Charges both the trainer’s transmitter and the dog’s collar – lasts up to one week plus with everyday use between recharge

The 1100NC – designed to “Go where dogs go” – superior results are achieved in two very important ways.

  • The necessary kind of electrical stimulation designed for rapidly moving, rambunctious dogs
  • A means to adjust the level of stimulation from a “zero” setting graduating upward to the necessary level and then downward in a linear progression using our patented “rheostat dial” design. (Priced to please while providing our new e-linear Training System.)

This collar offers features of the 1200 but at a price savings for those trainers whose needs are filled with a water resistant transmitter (vs. a water-proof transmitter).

“It took me awhile to figure out the difference between the 1100NC and the 1200NC that Dogtra offers.  For a price difference of fifty bucks, the only main difference is that the transmitter (the part you hold in your hand) is water resistant vs. water-proof).  Unless you’re into water sports, it’s not worth the extra fifty bucks, in my opinion so we’re just carrying this model for now.
— Adam.

Dogtra 1100NC


Dogtra 175NCP– This collar is designed specifically for ANY size dog
(including small breeds).

175NCP (Low to mid-range power unit)
The 175NCP is an entry-level companion dog trainer for small, medium or large breeds. This compact trainer has a 400-yard range, nick and constant stimulation modes along with Dogtra’s patented non-stimulating pager function. Features a durable waterproof receiver, water-resistant transmitter and rechargeable Ni-MH batteries.

Dogtra 175NCP

Below is the new Dogtra e-collar I’m currently using for my personal dog. (This was written back in 2008. Still a great e-collar, though…
and I’ve never had a problem with the batteries losing their memory)
It works quite well for the type of training environment I’m working in.
(Relative close-in distances and park settings.)

Dogtra 200NCP

The new 200NCP Gold bridges the gap between our popular pet trainers and our Pro line. It incorporates many of the features as our Pro-series at a more affordable price.

Features include water-resistant transmitter/waterproof receiver, half-mile range nick/constant stimulation and our patented non-stimulating pager mode along with Dogtra’s industry-leading durability. Rechargeable Ni-MH Batteries.

Dogtra 200NCP Gold

Dogtra 202NCP Gold (2-Dog Unit)


Recently, I have also been playing around with the Sit Means Sit Remote Electronic collar, by Sportdog… which I like a lot, too.

The Pinch Collar: Using One Ring or Two

A reader asks: Have you ever done any research on the origin of the prong collar and it’s original use?

Also, I’ve heard it used in different ways, for example, leash getting hooked to one ring or both rings of the pinch collar? Which information are you privy to and what technique do you use? I’m always open to learning true information.

Thanks for your time,

Dear Jag:

I do not know the history of the pinch collar. It’s a good question. If I learn anything about it, I’ll write about it here, in my e-zine.

As far as using one ring (the D-ring) or two (the D-ring and the Safety ring) generally, I just hook the leash to the D-ring. This is how the pinch collar is designed to be used.

You can, however, hook the leash to both rings. This will damper the correction. You can use the pinch collar in this manner if you have a very sensitive dog or if you’re training an exercises where–for some reason–the dog is self-correcting, accidentally.

For example, when teaching the dog “control” in protection work, we try to communicate to the dog that he should only lunge if the attack command is given, first. If the dog lunges before the attack command is given, then he is corrected. However, in such a scenario, we want to error on the side of under-correcting the dog, rather than have him think that he should NEVER lunge by accidentally over-correcting.

Make sense?