New Berner owner here: prong collars and E-collars

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog Training Forum' started by Sienna, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Sienna

    Sienna New Member

    Hello, we have a sweet beautiful 4 month old Berner puppy. This is our first dog ever and she is very sweet. My question: our trainer says the next step in training is going to be a prong collar and E-collar to train and introduce negative consequences to undesirable behavior. I have met other Berner owners and golden owner who've gone this route. Is this the only way for training? Is this necessary especially for a large breed? I'm on the fence. Obviously I want a well mannered dog that can live peaceably in our home and be polite in the community. But wondering if we don't go this route how to teach negative consequences and reinforce "no".
     
  2. summersnowbr

    summersnowbr Active Member

    I am a retired breeder of Great Pyrenees and I never used a prong collar. I always used positive reinforcement. Putting a lot of excitement in my voice for doing things right with a loving touch of the hand around their ears. They did very well. I've used this technique with Sierra our Bernese and she does extremely well with this. Berners love the positive reinforcement. They get their feelings hurt easy. Sierra has passed her good citizen test and is now working on being a Therapy dog. Personally, I would never use a trainer that trains the way yours does but that is my personal thought.
     
    Amy H likes this.
  3. Sienna

    Sienna New Member

    Thank you very much for your response. A friend who has a Berner used this trainer and her Berner is very sweet. And another woman I met went the prong/e collar method and said with such a large breed it's the owner responsibility to train like that. But I'm hesitant about using this method because my pup is very sweet and eager to learn, and I'm feeling that method may be too harsh. I'm going to probably look into more positive method trainers.
     
  4. summersnowbr

    summersnowbr Active Member

  5. Sienna

    Sienna New Member

    Summersnowbr, thank you for the link. I really enjoyed reading it. Our baby is very sweet and I think she has the potential to fully understand English. Our trainer had indicated that as she got older and progressed in her training she'd need a prong collar and E-collar to reinforce "no" and that currently "no" has no meaning to her and it's not enough for me to say no because she gets no negative consequences for doing the undesirable behavior.

    An example of the behaviors I am wanting her to stop (also hopefully these are just puppy actions that will fade): nipping at clothes and holding on with teeth, attempting to steal shoes (house shoes)as I take them off to take her outside, biting at our skin, wanting to bite the cat, and despite all her appropriate chew toys may want to nibble at the couch....Because I'm wanting to train her myself and not have to resort to my trainers suggestions I'm now trying to train "no" means stop doing what your doing. If you have any suggestions on the above behavior and how to reinforce "no" means stop doing what your doing I'd really appreciate it. This is our first dog and we love her so much.
     
  6. summersnowbr

    summersnowbr Active Member

    When we first brought Sierra home we bought her this rubber blue ball without thinking that my husbands crocs where the exact same color. Sierra would steal his crocs to chew on. I was watching the TV program "Lucky Ones" and there the trainer was working on a dog that nip and would chew on shoes. Now he said and you must watch the puppy at all times doing this, "to tie the tennis show to the puppies collar and let them run around with the shoe about 5-10 minutes, supervised of course. After 5-10 minutes the pup decides that shoes are not so fun. We did that to Sierra, hocked the croc to her collar and she ran around like "oh my god what have they done to me!":( She never touched his crocs again!;) But remember you must completely supervise this!!!
     
    Amy H likes this.
  7. Sienna

    Sienna New Member

    Thank you! How do you find Berners compared to Pyrs?
     
  8. summersnowbr

    summersnowbr Active Member

    They are completely opposite of the Berners. Pyrenees were easier to train but if they decided they knew best they would set and watch you do the obedience trails. They are a guard dog with a bark that can rattle the house. They make the Berners bark sound so soft! They imprint on what you want them to. So if they are with their owners they will imprint on you and guard you with their life. They are nocturnal which means they sleep during the day and are awake at night. They are gentle if they feel there is no danger. We used to take ours to the kids baseball games and the kids watching the game would lay on top of my dogs. Use them as pillows. They are reserve with strangers. They are not a breed for those that are not consistent with training and commands. I loved them but as you get to my age a smaller dog is much easier. My boys weighed in at 140 lbs the girls in at 120. They are a lot taller then the Berners.
     
    Sienna likes this.
  9. Sienna

    Sienna New Member

    I always wanted a pyr but had never owned a dog before. This is my first Berner and first dog. Someone had said the Berners are not as "alpha" or "dominant" in their temperament. I remember reading a story online about a pyr who saved her family from a bear (and survived). That was so inspirational their bravery and loyalty. Wondering what a Berner would have done, lol.
     
  10. summersnowbr

    summersnowbr Active Member

    I think Sierra would hide behind us and expect us to save her with our lives!:rolleyes: Actually, I'm really not sure what she would do.
     
  11. summersnowbr

    summersnowbr Active Member

  12. Amy H

    Amy H New Member

    My boy was born 11-1-2016 so he's close in age to your baby. When I catch him in a "bad behavior" I make a loud noise "nuh ugh" or "nah" and he stops and looks at me. He's been easy peasy to train. He heels perfectly on a loose leash. He knows now when I put his harness on its school time. I do have a wireless fence so he wears an e-collar for that. I noticed a couple days ago it had made a small blister on his neck, btw he doesn't wear it inside. That tells you how powerful they are, but it's a safety issue so he must wear it outside ( I've turned down the intensity). I would NEVER use a trainer that used negative techniques on such a sweet breed of dog. And YES, my Berner understands the English language just fine!!! I've learned in the few weeks I've had a Berner that they are easily trainable with consistency and patience. They WANT to do it right and please you. It's their nature to make you happy.
     
  13. Annette5057

    Annette5057 New Member

    No matter what training method you pick the most important key is to be consistentsy and repetition.
    My Berner is 1 yr 4 months and is very alpha orientated. Very sweet and gentle but has a mind of his own. I have at least 5 different varieties of collars. Bottom line most of the obedience isssues were me not him. The really want to please you but they are not push overs. What got his attention was putting his leash around my waist with a martingale collar. He doesn't get any of my tension and I made rapid change in direction whenever the leash got tight and so now he is always looking at me for direction. My neighbors thought I was a lunatic running around in random circles, abruptly stopping, but it paid off. He is a great off leash walker and is 100 times better on walks. He is so much fun and a great dog but you got to keep him stimulated. Just starting his drafting training. This guy needs to work.
     

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