The leash and collar you use to train your dog will be two of the most important elements of your training success.
The leash I recommend my clients use is generally a three/eighths to half-inch, six-foot leather leash. I like working with leather because leather is easier on your hands, it’s easier on your dog, and it enables you to give a sharper and more motivational correction.
Generally, I recommend using one of the thinner width leashes, because once you begin the healing exercises, the leash becomes much easier to manipulate between your fingers than one of the wider varieties.
The training collar I generally use is called the pinch collar ( or sometimes referred to as the “prong” collar.) When most people first see the pinch collar, they think it is some kind of cruel, medieval torture device. In reality, the pinch collar is actually safer than probably any other training collar on the market.
The pinch collar consists of several small prongs which are linked together. It is important to recognize that these prongs are definitely NOT spikes… and they in no way dig into your dog’s skin or otherwise hurt him. Instead, the pinch collar is designed to replicate the way the mother dog corrects her puppies.
Secondly, it also works to simulate the way the alpha dog corrects the subordinate dogs in the pack–which is by giving the subordinate dog a small nip on the neck, and sometimes on the ear, muzzle, or flank– but usually it is on the neck… which is why we use the pinch collar. Of course, you can use your own mouth to administer the correction, but you’ll probably end up getting hair in your teeth!
The pinch collar is a safer collar for many reasons.
First, when you give your dog a correction with the pinch collar, you will find that it is much easier to give your dog a motivational correction without having to resort to physical strength. Remember, one motivational correction is better than 100 nagging corrections which don’t do any good. In the end, your dog will end up being frustrated when you find yourself giving nagging corrections when you could be communicating much more effectively and efficiently. In essence, the pinch collar is like power steering.
Secondly, the pinch collar works like a camera lens in that the correction is administered all the way around the dog’s neck, rather than focusing the correction all at one point–like the choke and slip collars do. What we’ve found from various studies, is that the choke and slip collars can actually do damage to your dog’s trachea, as well as irritate the skin and hair around the neck.
All because the correction focuses on one specific part of the dog’s neck. Also, the pinch collar, if used correctly, just gives the dog a minor pinching sensation.