Monday, March 22, 2010

Prong & Pinch Collars

The standard prong collar has blunt prongs designed to pinch the dog.  When giving a dog a correction using this collar, the interlocking metal links constrict, causing the prongs to pinch the dog's skin.  This collar is designed to suppress unwanted behavior by immediately causing discomfort to the dog.  To properly use this collar it must be fitted high up on the dog's neck, which most people don't realize.

I used to think this product was magical and used it on my dogs.  I soon learned that these collars are not a nice way to train your dog.  Positive reinforcement training does not use prong/pinch collars.  Using these collars is training your dog with punishment.

If you have a dog that does not walk well on leash and you need help, please do NOT get a prong collar.  Try an Easy-walk harness or head collar instead.

Using a prong/pinch collar on an aggressive dog can actually increase the aggressive problem.  These collars can easily be painful to the dog when misused.  Owners who misuse these collars can also cause  a collapsed windpipe and damage to the dog's neck.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Breed of the Month--German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer

Color:  Liver, liver and white spotted, liver and white ticked, liver roan, may have markings of tan.
Height:  Males:  23-26 inches/  Females:  21-25 inches
Weight:  Males:  55-70 lbs/ Females:  45-60 lbs
Life Span:  12-15 years

Breed Health Concerns:  epilepsy, hip dysplasia, bloat, von Willebrand disease, and eye problems.

Coat:  Short, dense undercoat, with a short, dense, rough, hard outer coat.  
Country of Origin:  Germany

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information. 

Germans used many types of bird dogs for hunting as far back as the 1700s.  By combining several types of tracking and pointing dogs, a new breed of versatile gun dogs began emerging by the 1800s.  The German Shorthaired Pointer is believed to be a combination of English pointers and the German Bird Dog.  Additions to the bloodline over time helped make the breed into a dog that would excel at water work, tracking, and retrieving.  

The German Shorthaired Pointer is very excited and enthusiastic about most anything.  Whether its hunting, going for a walk, or just hanging out with his family, the GSP is happy to follow.  The GSP is great with children, but has an intensely high energy level.

The more exercise the German Shorthaired Pointer can get, the better.  The GSP needs to run.  To help drain this breed's energy, many owners join some sort of activity such as:  agility, obedience, hunting, or flyball.  

The GSP's coat requires very little care to keep it looking nice.  This breed loves water and the many swimming escapades will require frequent bathing.  Take special care to keep the GSP's ears clean and free from infection.

The German Shorthaired Pointer is very people oriented and eager to please, making the breed fairly easy to train.  Combine this breed's training with high value rewards like running, and use brief but positive training sessions to keep his attention and get the best results possible.