DO DOGS REALLY LOVE PRONG COLLARS?

1, 2 – Choke, Prong, and Shock Collars can irreversibly damage your dog, by Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM
Photo provided by Flickr



The photo to the right is an example of a dominant dog collar that is not fit properly. It has too much slack and will not stay in the correct place on the dogs neck - which is right up under the jaw bone.

It is very important that trainers understand that the proper fit will not only insure better training it is also a safety issue with the dog. The less movement in the handlers arm the faster the trainer is going to be able to take the slack out of the collar.

I am not a fan of choke collars as training collars. There are only a few legitimate training collars: a flat collar (leather or nylon), a prong collar, an remote collar (electric collar), and (with aggressive dogs) these dominant dog collars.
I use a prong collar on practically every dog that comes to Nitro K-9. Let me tell you why.
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The prong collar; how do you know when its too tight? I took a link out tonight because Bruno is so furry right now and it seemed to keep falling too low on the neck. Also, I'm going to order a dominant dog collar to use with the prong collar; does it have to be used with the lead through both places on the prong and also on the dominant dog collar? Thanks for your time. See the sizing chart on  to determine the correct prong collar size for your dog.
Photo provided by FlickrQuestion: On which dogs in particular should a prong collar never be used? What about puppies?
Photo provided by Flickr3) training your dog in a positive fashion and using a prong collar are hardly mutually exclusive.
Photo provided by Flickr
Of all the tools used in dog training, perhaps none is more widely misunderstood and maligned than the prong collar (also known as the pinch collar). Many well-meaning but misinformed people assume that judging by its looks, the prong collar is a barbaric device intended to "stab" a dog's neck in order to correct misbehavior. While walking my own dogs on this type of collar I have encountered complete strangers who think nothing of telling me how cruel I am to use such a harsh device. While I am indifferent to this type of comment, I worry that similar incidents will drive responsible dog owners away from using this excellent, effective and kind (yes, kind) training tool on dogs that benefit from it the most. This article is meant to reassure those who are already using the collar or are considering it and more importantly, to educate those who think it is "cruel" or unfair to the dog. The prong collar works on the concept that evenly applied pressure is gentler and more effective on a dog's neck than the quick jerk and impact of a choke chain or the steady, relentless pressure of a flat collar. While a professional trainer can make a choke chain correction look fast and flawless, it is very difficult for most pet dog owners to master the timing and the release of the correction. Also, even a perfectly executed choke chain correction is a repeated impact on a single spot on a dog's neck. The current trend of the "head halter" system is equally flawed. In an earlier edition of this article, I referred to it as a good choice for dogs with structural problems. In the past few years I have spoken with veterinarians, trainers and owners who took issue with that recommendation based on the potential insult to the soft tissue of the dog's upper neck and the often careless way in which the headcollar is used by people who are assured that it is "humane" and cannot harm their dog. Like every other training tool, it also has its place. However, for a breed already beset with potential spinal and structural problems such as the Doberman, I find myself recommending it less and less. The self-limiting tightening action of the prong collar also makes it a safer bet for strong-pulling dogs. A prong collar can only be pulled so tight, unlike the choke or slip collar, which has unlimited closing capacity and in careless or abusive hands, can cut a dog's air entirely. While many people think that the prong collar is a trendy new gadget for the modern dog owner, the fact is that it predates the much more commonly used choke chain. Prong type collars appear in photographs and sketches in European training literature from the turn of the century. Presumably invented by people who relied on their dogs' obedience, responsiveness and good attitude in a time when most dogs had actual "jobs", the prong collar still has a prominent place in the "toolbox" of the modern, balanced dog trainer. The prong collar is often referred to as the "hearing aid" collar: a dog properly introduced to it in the hands of a person likewise prepared suddenly understands the expectations upon him. Rather than the nagging of a choke or slip collar or the constant muzzle and poll pressure of a head halter, the dog feels no pressure at all except at a precise instant when he makes an incorrect decision. Because of its ease of use and the usually rapid positive change in the dog's attitude and behavior, the prong is an excellent choice for elderly or physically compromised people with strong dogs, small people with large dogs, and even the tiniest of the toy breeds which risk permanent damage from regular collars. Even dogs with certain structural problems can be worked successfully on a prong collar rather than allowed to drag their owners around on a harness!