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Correction Collars for an Older Puppy

As your puppy matures and your lessons begin, you may want to switch from a nylon collar or harness to a conditioning or training collar, which discourages lunging, pulling, and overall reactivity, and to a sturdier leash. Use positive reinforcement to encourage your puppy’s focus.

As your puppy ages, you may notice that she’s an angel on the conditioning collar but out of control when you remove it. If so, step up the training lessons or sign your puppy up for a training class so you can learn positive ways to motivate your puppy’s cooperation.

Some puppies are so eager to explore that they routinely put themselves in danger’s way or unconsciously threaten the safety of family members or friends with their undying enthusiasm. At that point, you may want to consider using a correction collar to target behaviors that are becoming dangerous or threatening to your puppy.

Self-correcting collar

This collar is big and bulky, with prongs that poke into the puppy’s neck if she pulls hard on her leash. The stainless-steel version, called a prong collar, looks nothing short of torturous. Fortunately, though, this collar has been replicated in plastic, a version called a good-dog collar, which is visibly more appealing and far less intense for your puppy.

It’s humane for hard-to-manage dogs — especially if you fall into the I-can’t-stop-choking-my-puppy category. A self-correcting collar works wonders for puppies older than 6 months who are insensitive to pain or too powerful to be persuaded with simpler devices. A slight tug alerts even the rowdiest of puppies to slow down.

Check chain or Martingale collar

These collars slide over your puppy’s head and rest high on the neck just behind her ears. The check chain has a section of chain that should be centered between your puppy’s ears. The Martingale is a cloth collar that is especially useful with long-necked dog breeds because it has a wide midsection that distributes the tug correction.

The effectiveness with these collars is in the timing! By staying positive with your directions, you give your puppy option one: to listen to you. She’ll test her other option: ignore your direction and race towards the other distraction. At that moment, give a tug correction. After you issue the correction, you reissue your direction and focus your dog with positive rewards.

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