A very long blog post about Prong collars {edited see end of post}

Hello again! First off let me just thank you all for reading/commenting on my blog! I really never expected such a strong turn-out so quickly!!! Second any training advice, comments, or views expressed herein are just MY OPINION and EXPERIENCE, I am NOT a professional nor do I pretend to be one on tv, in fact Daine is actually MY first ever dog… so to say I am still learning would be the understatement of the century

As most of you are aware about a month (maybe two) ago I decided that Daine would go on a training collar (pinch/prong collar) to help me TEACH her not to pull and choke herself. Since then about once a week I get a message/email/comment asking that goes something along the lines of:

“To Daines Mommah, my dog pulls REALLY bad, so bad I never get to walk him/her anymore and Ive tried EVERYTHING, Ive always been told pinch collars are inhumane and harmful to a dogs mind/soul/body/well-being…. But I know how much you love and care for Daine so can you tell me more about them/how could you use one/why did you decide to use one/how do I fit one/etc? Thank you”

I was once in the category of people who believed that all dogs could be trained not to pull with enough patience and reward, and that prong collars were abusive. So what changed that? You ask

Well first of all I still do believe that prong collars CAN BE abusive, because just like any tool (even a leash) in the wrong hands it can hurt. If you are looking to use a prong collar and you dont have access to a good trainer here are a few things you need to think about first:

1.) This is a TRAINING tool, it shouldn’t be used as a permanent fix (imo) are you prepared to work towards a day off the collar?

2.) Are you patient? If you aren’t then chances are you’ll be a ‘leash popper’ and this is actually counter effective with the method I’m going to explain bellow

3.) Have you tried everything else?

4.) Is your dog fearful or agressive? If so the prong collar might not be the best choice for you

and

5.) Are you willing/ready for people to assume your dog IS agressive, to assume you are abusive, to asume you have no control over your dog, and to asume you are lazy? Because trust me it happens and you cant get angry over it because your dog will read that

Yes just this last week someone implied I was obviously just a lazy trainer if I needed a prong collar for Daine…

Okay now that we’ve gone over that here are a few tips on the prong collar themselves and then I will teach you the method that I personally use with Daine

PAY THE EXTRA MONEY! I am all about saving money, buying cheap, etc etc, but for this you want to spend a little extra money. The better ones are MADE BETTER, the prong tips are usually rounded and not sharp, and they dont tend to break as easy. Daines first collar was a cheap petsmart one, it didn’t take her long to break it, and she doesn’t even pull on it that much, its just poorly made. If you want my advice get a Herm Sprenger collar, its the best brand and they are incredible well made. Daine’s collar is actually modified to have a buckle on it (no more pinching the prongs to open them) and I got it from here

NEVER EVER EVER try to ‘slide the collar’ on over the dogs head! First of all if you can do that the collar doesn’t fit correctly and second ITS DANGEROUS!! If the dog jumps you could poke them in the eye!! (Daine gets UBER excited when she sees her collar!)

A GOOD FIT is the most important part, for any dog under a 100 punds go with a small prong, 100 + go with a medium

A properly fitted prong collar should sit lightly on the neck, shouldn’t sag or droop, remove or add prongs as needed

Here is an article on how to fit the prong collar it also teaches you a little about dead ring vs live ring

NOW if you’ve made it this far first of all I thank you, now I will share with you how I use Daine’s collar

*DRUM ROLL PLEASE*

Whenever Daine pulls, I simply do nothing. Thats right, NOTHING. I stop hold the leash the exact same why and DO NOTHING

This way whenever Daine pulls SHE is the one who gives herself the correction, not me, and I dont have to add any force behind it, no ‘popping’ no pulling, no yanking, I just wait… as soon as she backs up so that the leash is slack we start walking again. Easy peasy! It only took Daine 3 or 4 times before she realized ‘Um hey, the collar pokes me if I pull, maybe I shouldn’t pull’ When she lets slack back in the leash I say “YES” (if you use a clicker you can do that too) and we start walking again

For Daine I keep the collar on the live ring, because she’s always been a hard puller

For Teddy I keep it dead ringed because he isn’t a bad puller…yet…and I dont want him to be, he just needs a gentle reminder that pulling will get him no where.

The first time you ever use the prong I suggest you use it on the dead ring, because odds are you wont need to use it on the live ring…

So at this point you might be thinking “Why not just use a chain collar, it looks more humane”

WRONG

Chain collars can crush the throat and cause permanent damage and are NOT for dogs who pull. Period. The prong collar never gets that tight, and it displaces the dogs pull weight evenly around its neck not just on its throat…

DO NOT leave the prong collar on the dog unsupervised or in a kennel, the collar should only be on when you are training or walking

And the prong should NEVER EVER be used with a tie-out! EVER!

Here are a few pictures of Daine’s collar so you can see how its fitted and the buckle:

Now as you can see even tho we aren’t walking Daine is wearing her collar, that we she knows its time to train

I hope that answers some of your questions!!! If you have anymore please feel free to comment/email me with them! I also hope this all makes sense because I had to stop several times while writing it for ‘potty breaks’ (for the kids not me lol) and to toss a few tennis balls! 😉

If enough people are interested I will try to make a video of Daine and her prong collar as well

Until next time

~M

{EDIT}

Before the hate mail starts I would like to say one last thing:

I did NOT just wake up one day and decide to use a prong collar on Daine, Daine and I have been working on her pulling since she was 8 weeks old and it only got worse as time went on, I used the ‘stop and go’ method, a gentle leader, an ex-walk harness, and several other training methods, I also attempted to wear her out till she was too tired to pull, and using a longer leash, none of which helped her at all. I do not recommend using the prong collar as a first option. EVER. I do NOT think all dogs SHOULD use or NEED to use a prong collar

Daine was about 10 months old when we swapped to the prong collar and at that point I literally couldn’t even take her for a walk down the driveway

{END EDIT}

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Categories: Training | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “A very long blog post about Prong collars {edited see end of post}

  1. Kelly roe

    Awesome post ty. I am going to try ur suggestion as my youngest lilah bear is a 5 month oldis pittie and uber hyper and pulls constantly and as of yet no amount of patience rederection etc has helped. So again ty

  2. Thanks for the great post! I have Bella on a gentle leader right now, i’m going to try the ‘stop and go’ method with that. 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I use the ‘stop and go’ method along with the ez-walker harness for Beka 😀 Good luck!

  3. Gina Lind

    Thank you so much for writing this. My Rufus just started school and our trainer asked us to put his prong collar on him because he pulls so badly. So, my husband went to put it over his head and he was immediately told you should never be able to do that! She took some links out and made it fit properly. We were told that all we had was a collar with prongs! No wonder it did no good! We saw a difference in his behavior almost immediately. I can walk him on nothing but his nylon longe line and it isnt ripping my hand apart!! And best of all, he is so darn proud of himself!! please keep writing, I love to read about DD and Beka and Teddy!

    • Thank you!! I’m pleased to see you’ve got a trainer who knows what they are doing! 😀 And Daine holds up her head and prances whenever shes wearing her prong color isn’t it wonderful?
      Thank you again!

  4. really intresting thank you.im waiting for chewing tips when i go out.i leave tv on and don’t leave ever more than 2hours.anyway il keep reading.xx

    • Ah chewing, Daine was a big chewer and so is Teddy! I could cover that in the next blog perhaps! Thanks!!

  5. Very good post. A lot of people think prong collars are abusive. They are a tool, and used improperly can be abusive. It’s up to the owner to be responsible about using the prong collar properly. This is true with anything tool or training aid.

    Love the blog!

  6. Thanks for this information! Beau’s prong collar was not fitted right, no wonder he pulled just as bad with it… LOL I am going to try one of these other collars that you have used and recomend. and then we will give this prong collar a try again! His old one is just hanging by the door “because it didnt work” AKA mommy was not using it correctlly

    • You are most welcome!! Too many people dont know how its actually supposed to be fitted ❤ Good luck with everything!!

  7. Pingback: A letter to dog owners | From The Desk of Mommah

  8. I really loved this. My Kalia is a nasty puller. I am so worried that I am doing something wrong, because it usually is the human, lol. She has broken a finger, blew out my knee and pulls me off my feet. Nothing is working. Stop and go, redirection, treats. She even pulls the Gentle Leader right out of my hands. Cheeky thing that she is. Could you tell me the best prong collar to get her? Other than on a walk she is the sweetest most gentle thing. I really don’t want to fail her.

    • kelly

      I was of the same opinion as you originally about spring collars but after trying everything including training at Petsmart and still not getting Lilah to quit pulling my arm out of socket every time I walked her, I changed her trainer and he immediately put lilah on a prong collar within minutes she realized she needed to stop pulling or it would sting (her collar is properly fitted and has rounded prongs) I now use her prong collar for all training so she like Daine realizes its training time. FYI the trainer I have has a back ground as military canine handler, police dept canine trainer and has raised pittes for 25 years and his ref are great and says some dogs need prong collars but to always make sure its fitted correctly and you know how to use it for the safety of your dog

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