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As a certified professional dog trainer I do not use this tool nor do I recommend its use. There are some common myths and misconceptions when it comes to collars like these that I will be addressing below. If you are currently using one I highly suggest you switch to another tool mentioned below.
What is a prong collar?
A prong collar is a device that has metal fang-shaped prongs on it that is worn around a dog’s neck. When it is pulled tight the prongs create a pinching effect, which causes pain or discomfort for the dog. The way a device like this works is via Positive Punishment, which is when the dog does an incorrect behavior, (pulling) the human then gives a collar correction, which causes the pain or discomfort and in theory will decrease the frequency of the pulling. It also can work via Negative Reinforcement. This is when the dog hits the end of the leash causing the prongs to tighten. The prongs stay tightened until the dog stops pulling. The dog learns that if it pulls, it gets pinched so it stops pulling.
“What do you do if you have a strong, heavy, stubborn dog?”
I recommend using a harness that the leash attaches in the front of. This will give you more strength than any type of neck collar. This works because if the dog tries to pull, where the leash is hooked causes the front end of the dog’s body to be turned back toward the human. This takes away most of the dog’s leverage. I also recommend using Positive Reinforcement to teach the dog what you would like it to do.
“This works great because it mimics the mother’s teeth grabbing her puppy’s neck.”
This is false. There is no scientific data to back this up. Nor do you need to “bite your dog’s neck” to teach it what it is supposed to do.
“They are the most humane of all the pinch collars.”
Everyone has a different definition of humane. I consider humane teaching without pain or fear. These devices work by pinching and poking the dog’s neck to get it to comply. This is what is also referred to as avoidance training. The dog does the correct thing to avoid the pain or discomfort. Positive Reinforcement will yield quicker results that will work better in the short term and the long term.
“You just need to know how to use them correctly.”
In my opinion, there is no right way to hurt a dog. Using these the “right” way consists of using either Positive Punishment or Negative Reinforcement. Both of which do not work as quickly as Positive Reinforcement and both can have negative side effects unlike Positive Reinforcement.
“They don’t hurt the dog if used properly.”
This is false. If they didn’t cause pain or discomfort they wouldn’t work. If that were the case they would work magically. The two quadrants used when training with a collar like this are Positive Punishment (the dog receiving something it dislikes after it does a behavior, and Negative Reinforcement (the pain/discomfort is removed when the dog is doing the correct thing.) These two quadrants only work because of pain or discomfort and have been proven to be less effective than Positive Reinforcement.
“My dog never yelped or was injured.”
Just because your dog isn’t showing that it is being hurt, it doesn’t mean it isn’t being hurt. Most dogs do not show that they’re in pain unless it is on the extreme side.
“My dog gets excited when the collar comes out! Would he do that if it were cruel?”
This is a common one. Your dog gets excited when he sees it because he associates it with going for a walk. He loves walks so that is why he gets excited.
“The reality is that all dogs can’t be trained the same way, sometimes these tools are needed.”
False once again. As a professional trainer I’ve worked with dogs of all breeds, sizes, temperaments etc. Myself along with thousands of other trainers all around the world do not use tools like these and get the results that people are looking for in a humane way.
If you have a strong dog, buy a harness that allows the leash to be clipped in the front, or a head halter if need be. Also, take a look at the videos below to see how to actually teach your dog to walk on a loose leash. If you base your training on communication, you will have more fun and get quicker results.
Kevin is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT.org) and is a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator through the American Kennel Club. He currently resides in Ohio with his dog, V, a six-year-old Shepherd/Lab mix, where he operates All Dogs Go To Kevin, LLC, specializing in helping build positive relationships between humans and their canine companions using clear communication, not pain and fear. For more training tips and tricks, and to meet his amazing dog, V, follow him on Facebook by clicking here.
I am amazed by the rancour expressed here by the advocates of prong collars (all them what you will). They are designed to hurt IF the dog puts any pressure on them. Whoever said that ‘discomfort is not pain’ needs to stop and think. Discomfort is pain which the sufferer feels they can bear — or in other word ‘mild pain’. IF it did not cause sufficient pain for the dog to want to avoid it, it would not work, would it!
Then as to being a ‘widely used tool” I don’t know. I had never heard of such things until my middle age, and only them with horror. Maybe in the USA. The NSW wale Police force does NOT use prong-collars — I would be surprised I any other Police force or the Army or Airforce in Australia use then either As far as I know they use ‘play training/ and a dog will fail if it is not motivated enough to play.
As a professional dog behavioural consultant I was approached one by a woman who complained of the German Shepherd being ‘aggressive’. On questioning it turned out that the dog was hiding under the bed when she brought out the prong collar and was growling at her when she tried to PULL IT OUT from under the bed. I told her that I could not help her (Distance problems) but would report her to the authorities if she continued to used the prong collar. They are illegal in this State.
As to large string dogs — I have had a number of (over 10) German Shepherds over my life time. When I began Obedience trialling I was told that I MUST use a check-chain/slip collar. I found that my dogs pulled very, very badly on these devices — pulling reduced the annoying ‘jerking’. When I reverted to broad flat collars (leather buckle) I had far more success. I have tried various harnesses and would never use or recommend the ‘anti-pull type’. However I did find that the old H-style harnesses worked a treat — with the back attach leash. The dogs tend to simply NOT pull. I think because when they do it puts pressure on the font of their chests. However I stick to leashes on a collar where the law requires and no leash at all where it is both legal and safe.
NOTHING beats good training. My dogs are my friends, part of my family and not wild untameable wild animals.
My dog is severely lame from the harness that attaches at the front. Halties can do severe physical damage to their neck. Flat collars can damage the trachea…how many dogs do you hear gasping and choking on them.The prong collar causes discomfort not physical damage. The man in the video is working with a very sedate dog. If a dog is focused on going to something and you turn around you will be dragging that dog by the neck. The prong collar teaches the dog to back off pressure rather than to continue to push and injure themselves which my dog did on the so called safe front buckle harness. I hope she doesn’t have permanent injury.
I am so proud that in Australia the prong collar is banned. It is NOT a training tool, it is a cruel and useless ‘management tool’.
I have never used a prong collar, but found my experience that my dogs pulled worse and had more aggression issues when I used a check-chain (slip collar) — so now my dogs wear flat leather collars and I prefer to train off-lead wherever possible.
Using prong collars is a sign of incompetence as a trainer.
[…] NOTE: Despite what you may have heard, prong or choke collars are never a good idea! […]
Sled dogs use a harness….so they can pull. Let that marinade and get back to me.
I liked your video, very encouraging. I was gonna buy a prong collar but now I want to try your way of training first.
I love my dog and want to do what’s best for her. Only one thing: My dog is a 2 year old lab who is obsessed with squirrels and our walk pattern is nothing but pulling for squirrels. She is so strong and hurting my hand after 15 min of walk. I want her to enjoy the walk and I want to enjoy it too!
Yeah sorry if you don't know that this is just nonsense. This inaccurate information cuts people off from tools that will help them if coached properly on their use. This directly leads to more dogs dying needlessly.
No ill will just as a real dog behavior expert I find this to be malpractice honestly. Look up Solid k-9 dog training. He will give you $10,000 if he can document you effectively rehab a truly aggressive dog using only positive reinforcement (no corrections right?). No one has taken him up on it for good reason.
I used the pinch collar for two days on our husky it took a total of 45 seconds for the dog to figure it out and now walks loose leash. Two days and that was it. This dog pulled and wouldn't stop for a two hour walk on a normal day. This was for almost a two and half years, we tried the new collar and it was like a switch. She gave one little pull and whine when she walked out the door like her normal go like hell attitude but that was it. Not one pull during the first walk.
That’s it! This tool can’t be bad because it WORKED! I would think that a prong collar CAN be helpful if used correctly (only tightened when the dog pulls and brings it on himself). Unfortunately, most people out there will not use a collar correctly and it is way too easy for this tool to be used as abuse. The other big downer is what if your dog saw something that really just made her snap. Maybe even she gets startled by something and tries to rum, only to get jerked back by her collar. On a flat collar or even a head collar this would be bad enough but think about those METAL prongs! Just saying, there are things in life that your dog may forget about her prong collar and kill herself.
Actually it is safer for a dog to pull hard on a prong. A flat collar can easily collapse the trachea. I’ve read of dogs having their necks snapped from halters as well. I’ve only seen one injury from a prong and it was embedded.
I agree with most of the other commenters, you dont understand how these collars work.
The other day i met an idiot working for a dog rescue, he said that these collars “make dogs wonder why their getting stabbed?” I wanted to slap this guy in the face, he was so dumb, unfortunate that this moron is in the wrong line of work, he should be taking orders at mcdonalds like everyone else with his iq.
Sorry im getting off track. Bottom line, you arent very smart therefore cant understand physics and how the world works so please stop spreading idnorant and wrong thoughts, beliefs and concepts. Your enabling ignorance therouought the world and thats the last thing we need.
OK go ahead and slap me in the face because you won’t like what I say. Prong collars are JUST PLAIN DANGEROUS. They’re so easy to misuse that even a simple mistake could be abusive. I think that it was Caesar Millan (Dog Whisperer with Caesar Millan) that stated that no tool is abusive, it’s how you use it that makes it abusive. I agree with that to some degree. I’m not going to say that prong collars are abusive, but I don’t think they should be used by anyone just because there’s so much danger of even if you are a very careful owner of your dog just getting frightened or seeing a cat or something and doing PERMANENT damage. Especially when there are so many other wonderful tools available…
I disagree with your statements above – although I agree with positive reinforcement and have used it to train for over 40 years – but you’ve no idea what or how a prong collar works. And by the way – since you seem to work mostly with pet dogs, you might want to make sure your Pet Owners know something of feeding – the German Shepherd in our video is OBESE – this does far more damage then the collar!
Your wrong, you made yourself look stupid when in the first paragraph on describing the prong, you stated it pinches. The do not pinch the provide pressure on the prongs, which distributes it in separate areas of the neck, if fitted properly and used in coordination with a trainer these are some of the safest collars on the market.
Yeah–it applies pressure to the neck. Isn’t that what that wonderful tool the flat-buckle collar does? Only difference is that the flat buckle collar is made of cloth or leather while the prong collar is made of mettle. Now how would you like to wear a big poky ring of thorns around your neck, scratching you every time you moved! People say in its proper use it should stay at the top of the neck and off the trachea. RIGHT, good luck with that! It is physically impossible to keep mettle prongs from poking into the dogs throat, especially if you aren’t up to adjusting it back into place every 2 seconds on your walk! Fact is, the proper use for the prong collar is near impossible to achieve. If you could, then it might be a good tool, but you can’t so you shouldn’t try. Instead let your dog go around until he sees a cat and then tear his head off lunging against iron spikes!
I’m not one to use labels or shout names, but you make yourself look like an idiot every time you clearly confuse ‘discomfort’ with ‘pain’. Do I want my dog to ever be uncomfortable? No, of course not, but guess what? Such is life. A properly fitted and well-made prong collar DOES NOT HURT. You can wear the damn thing (such a stylish accessory) and give yourself a hell of a tug, and while it’ll definitely give a pinch all around, it is by no means painful. I believe that you may have come across poorly made prongs in the past – before using it on a dog, a good trainer should personal feel each and every prong to ensure that they are properly blunted, to avoid causing pain. In the process of ordering prongs for the boarding facility I work at, we had to throw out an ENTIRE ORDER because they came from a company of ill repute, and each collar had prongs with noticeably sharp edges to it. Those, of course, DO cause pain.
Don’t get me wrong. I agree that positive reinforcement is a fantastic tool for training and I use it myself, but you are wrong (so, so UNBELIEVABLY wrong) in your belief that all dogs can learn from one technique. That simply is not the case, and any trainer worth his or her salt is able to look a client in the eye and openly confess when/if a dog is not responding well to their methods of training. This is an arrogant belief that would be better suited in a fresh, ‘green’ trainer who hasn’t seen enough of the obedience world. In real-life scenarios, it’s difficult or even impossible to utilize positive reinforcement in certain situations: If my severely dog aggressive, 150 lbs (I’m only 110 lbs) Newfoundland is hyperfocused on going after and potentially mauling another dog, he is not going to give a damn if I wave a fresh steak right in his face. I cannot add any enticement to this situation that is going to break his focus, because he cares more about that other dog than he cares about ANYTHING I have in my pockets. He doesn’t want to run (even though he loves to jog). He doesn’t want a treat (despite being highly food motivated in every other situation). He is looking at that other dog. He does not respond to pulling a harness. He does not respond to a martingale or flat collar. He does, however, jump to attention with a SINGLE quick correction of his prong and a command to ‘leave it’, because it breaks through his focus in a moment of, dare I say it, DISCOMFORT. At this point, I provide his positive reinforcement and we continue on our way, because this ‘barbaric tool’ probably just saved a shih tzu’s life, as well as the life of my Newf, who undoubtedly would have to be euthanized if he decided to eat a toy breed.
go wear it urself then.
He probably has, as he mentioned it could be worn as an accessory. I have worn mine and he is 100% correct. Maybe you need one too ;-). Lets be honest…the guy tried to argue against it by saying the dog only loves the walk. If it the pinch was actually a constant pain to the dog….they wouldnt love the walk….but thats like dog 101…might be too advanced lol
OK, I’ll believe about you wearing it if you try to lie down, roll over and chase after a cat with it on. Play out every scenario that your precious pooch might encounter and then re-post your comment–from the hospital computer!
I can tell you that a harness does not work if the dog weighs a lot or is strong. I weigh 115 lbs and I have a german shepherd that weighs 120 lbs. I used a harness once when he was 9 months old. Even though he was smaller then, he almost pulled me to the ground during a training session.(I had never had this happen with my two other shepherds so it was a bit of a surprise) I tried a chain choke, which also didn’t work. I then moved to a prong collar. I never tugged on it myself. I let him put pressure on the leash and pull the collar tight himself. After it tightened maybe twice, he stopped. I moved back to a choke, then a regular collar and he walks beautifully.
As a canine behaviorist Of 35+ years I have used this collar with positive results. Kevin, you are aware that the domesticated dog had fewer nerve receptors in the neck area so teaching by other dogs can be accomplished with no frightening pain? And that the area on the dog from the base of his neck forward to his nose is his “teaching center” and all actions taken in this area, whether the prong collar or another dogs teeth will instinctively be considered a teaching lesson? And you know that the canine species has its own culture, wholly different from ours, and the lessons taught to the youngsters includes teeth pressure from the older ‘teaching” canines? By maligning this collar that has been around since the 1890’s you are displaying your lack of knowledge of how the canine mind works and learns, and very possibly sentencing dogs who cannot learn with your milquetoast methods to the pound or even death. Get educated and become a trainer who works for the canine, not the treat motivated public.
Fortunately, in the wild, dogs don’t have a set of teeth dangling constantly around their necks, tenderizing their skin so when they try to run or move it tightens unexpectedly! Also, I would hate to see what happened when a dog in the wild with a tooth collar and a leash and owner attached to him would try to catch some game to feed his family!
Steven G Danasays:
Absolutely full of s***. If I put a harness on my dog and he will injure me. Put on a prong collar and he heels with glee. You do a disservice with your wishful thinking.
Use a flat buckle collar and practice with treats and encouragement in your backyard or house (that way if he starts to pull you over he won’t get away. You will be surprised at how well he’ll heel once he knows what you want him to do.
Completely false information, your teaching many people bad habits and i’ve personally witnessed people use this and get themselves injured. The harness also has a nice effect of allowing the dog to put his entire body weight into pulling. I’ve watched plenty of people go flying because there dogs took off while wearing one of these.
There are other tools that you don’t risk chopping off your dog’s head with that will make him heel. If you’re too lazy to work with him through positive enforcement there are Easy-walk harnesses, Sporn non-pull harnesses, Gentle Leader head collars, martingale collars, and a variety of other tools.
Excellent article, Kevin!
Prong collar don’t hurt at all if they are used properly, they will bother the dog only if he pulls, this is why he learns not to pull. With a harness or head collar, the dog will be bothered all the time and will not understand that without pulling it will not be bothered.
Please explain how you can get a prong collar to stay at the top of the neck and off the trachea and “in the correct position”. Also tell how if your dog is suddenly startled or excited he own’t jump or give chase and thus seriously injure himself.
How many Fila Brasileiros or Dogo Argentinos have you worked with? or lived with? A harness is a joke to these breeds. My dogs are not hurt by their pinch collars . They are loved.
I do not use pinch collars, nor have I ever, but the Black shepherd in the video is not pulling hardly at all. I want to see you work with a dog who is prey driven. I am thinking of adopting a 3yo. English Pointer who lunches, pulls, and is an overall mess on-leash. How do you recommend approaching a dog who is not interested in treats, or even positive reinforcement when outside, because they are so obsessed with hunting. If he smells anything, he is uncontrollable, and I have a 2yo. child and another dog (GSP), who is excellent on leash. I trained the GSP with a choke chain, after he refused to keep a gentle lead on (tore his lips open trying to remove it, on multiple occasions), and a harness was like hitching him to a sled, he pulled like crazy! The choke never choked him (he would slow when it would click as it tightened), only slowed him, and now I am able to walk him on leash without any pulling at all. I worry that our new dog will choke himself if I use a chain, and when i walked him on a harness, I was unable to gain any control. Please post a video with a dog that has prey drive!
The key to prey-driven dogs is to do the same thing–a lot more! I own a 40-pound hunting dog who is VERY prey driven. Start in a calm, no-prey environment and use positive reinforcement to get your dog walking nicely. Gradually build up to walks. I know what you mean (believe me, my dog still hates treats when there’s a smell) about him hating treats, but keep trying new treats and you can probably find one he likes best.My dog also likes a variety, I think she is more interested if it isn’t the same old treat every time! To tone down her pulling I use a Sporn non-pull harness. It is padded and doesn’t rub. It doesn’t eliminate her pulling, but it does help.
When my dog came to live with me a prong collar came with him. I changed over to a walking harness to be gentler on him. We used the harness for about two months, then he started running from it. A few days ago I held out the harness and the prong collar. He chose the collar. Now he’s excited about going for walks again. I’ll take his word about which one is better.
I think you gave up on harnesses too quicly to choose the lesser of two evils. An ill-fitting no pull harness is a poor choice, too, and the ones sold in most pet stores are a older design that slips easily and may then pinch the dog inappropriately across the shoulder. There are other designs to choose from, including Freedom, Halti, Urban Trail, and Perfect Fit, which is made to your dog’s measurements.
Give it up Anne, you’re an outright charlatan and stooge for the Pet Professional Guild, a notorious bunch of financially driven liars who’s promise of “Force Free” training is backed by tools of force and avoidance, two faced, full of false promise, and judgemental. It’s all about maximising the dollar, suppressing any competition, and not a care in the world for dog welfare as long as you’re getting paid. You’re a blight on the training world, not an authority.
Wow. That was a pretty unprofessional response. Are you a trainer? If so, I highly recommend you take some classes in professional behavior in the workplace and with peers. I wouldn’t hire you just based on your post here. You have embarrassed yourself.
Really? Are you a cheerleader for morally corrupt organisations why routinely lie to the public and try to destroy competing trainer’s businesses through misinformation and targeted unethical smear campaigns? What, is that ‘professional’?
Nope, I stand by my statement and invite the Pet Professional Guild to disprove what I’ve been saying about them for years. Bare faced liars and con artists.
“Paws for Praise is a founding member of The Pet Professional Guild”…. “No Pain, No Force, No Fear”, yet use management tools that rely on force, discomfort, compulsion and avoidance…..their version of “No Pain, No Force, No Fear” is carefully written to specifically cover equipment that goes on the neck and excludes everything else, like the painful equipment that causes fear and works through force that goes around the face or body.
You may have some aversion to the truth and want to sugar coat it, I don’t.
Ha, I love the prong ! so much easier on the dog and myself , which in turn , less failing for dog means better trained … sorry but every dog is a individual and I prefer to do what the dog needs not what it doesn’t. Some dogs need a prong some dont some need a combo of prong and harness or prong and Halti , some need just a Halti or a harness … The damaged neck pictures on dogs floating around on Facebook are dogs who are tethered and in them ALL DAY or collar was FITTED IMPROPERLY! Let me say this I have been a trainer for 8 yrs and its introduction to the prong properly to get dog to respond from the first time you put it on, takes 5-10 minutes with you doing absolutely nothing and without any distractions. The dog learns not by tightening real tight but a gentle pressure not to pinch or hurt dog , the rest of training after established collar is on is communicating with the prong, slight up / down motion… having a serious conversation with the prong collar is only necessary at extreme point, lunging to kill a dog or persons extreme and there is no treat or tone or action that stops dog already at a 10 then a calm leash correction and removing dog away from distraction to the other side of dogs thresh hold 6ft to across the street and repeat getting closer and of course treats and a “GOOD” is needed when a job well done 🙂 Now , I also work with a Old English Bull Dog named Zoey who had to go 2 months to physical therapy for her knee she had surgery on a yr ago and I used a harness by Halti , they said no good, and a flat collar is no good on these kind of dogs. They had a harness I was using but she still pulled frantically wanting motor bikes and skateboards which wasnt doing her knee and hip any good so I put the prong on and had a two sided leash, now she is prong only and the therapist were happy with that, she also was straining her neck and shoulders with the harness only .Now , they have done research on 100 dogs 50 flat and choke chains and 50 with harnesses and prongs from birth to death , did autopsys on all the dogs 46 damaged tracheas due to flat collars and only one damage from the prong and they think that was possible abuse. The prong if fitted correctly and you can get rubber caps and prong goes over the trachea instead of on top of it. Any equipment used improper can damage your dog or hurt it, I rather do less damage to a dog or myself anyday ! There is ALWAYS a NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE TO EVERYTHING, lets remember that than being one sided, riiiight ?!!!! Peace Love !
No dog needs a prong collar. If you have a dog that is reactive to stimuli and out of control, you really can handle it, but you have to know how to diagnose, whether to use operant or classical conditioning, and how to implement that in a technically correct manner. careforreactivedogs.com can give even novices like yourself a good start. Research also shows damage to dogs from choke, prong and shock collars, not the least of which is an association with aggressive behavior.
Now WHERE dos you find that ‘research’???
Ahh yes he has never trained a rescue or one that is going through the terrible 2’s at age 5 love it when ppl love to give advice on these things
I have. And I don’t use choke, prong or shock collars. In fact, neither does anyone in PPG. petprofessionalguild.com
Nope, they may not use the tools you mention, however they do use head collars and restricting harnesses. A ‘force free’ training organisation allowing members to use tools that rely on force and avoidance, and unquestionably aversive, yet badmouthing tools they don’t get paid to use that rely on force and avoidance and are unquestionably aversive. How ‘force free’ is the PPG committed to being? Not very it seems, perhaps you’d like to clarify the stance Anne?
Dogs are best trained OFF-lead. All leads, collars and harnesses are nothing more than management tools. They are not ‘training tools’ Try instead a fenced training area (‘like a back yard 🙂
All I know is my small self is able to walk two large dogs, one is 50 lbs and the other is 70 lbs, and push a stroller safely at the same time while using prong collars. Yes, they are trained, however, they hate squirrels and other people’s loose dogs. So if by me using prong collars to prevent my dogs from pulling away from me is lazy, then I guess I am lazy. But at least the loose dogs and squirrels are safe! 😉
I would have no problem wearing a prong collar because… I don’t pull on people I’m walking with. I’m not going to dart unexpectedly into traffic to go smell another guys butt. I’m also not likely to run up to & knock over a kid in my eagerness to play with them, possibly hurting them.
That said, I think all dogs & situations are different.
I’ve had 4 dogs & trained them to one degree or another… 3 with just a regular collar. The fourth is a 70+ lb Pittie that I took to foster at 14mos old. He had zero training & socialization. The ONLY way to get him to start walking calmly and not sled dogging was with a pinch. Harness didn’t work because of his strength etc. Constant tug of war. He pulled so much with a muzzle harness he bloodied his own nose.
That’s gotta be inhumane.
But the pinch worked & we don’t need to use it all the time now.
if you use one, in lieu of training, ie: just keep jerking it, then that’s on you. But it can, when nothing else works, get their attention so you can train them.
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As a trainer, I’d like to weigh in on this. I do not use prong collars, choke chains, slip leads, or remote Ecollars for training loose-leash walking. The ONLY effective thing to train your dog to walk nicely on a leash is YOU, the owner/guardian/parent(choose the most PC). There is NO collar, harness or apparatus you can buy that will magically make your dog walk nicely. There are tools to use while learning, but ultimately, YOU -their person- is what makes it happen or not. First, loose-leash walking doesn’t happen overnight. You need to start training, ideally,when your dog is young. Every time you allow your pup to sled-dog you when walking on a leash, you are reinforcing that behavior is okay. Starting in a low-distraction area, your trainer should help you understand how to get your dog’s attention on YOU, how to reinforce a good Leave It! and how to use a non-forceful vocal interrupter, then give your dog a cue to get the behavior you want (stop pulling). This is not difficult, it is not complex, but it takes time, patience and consistency. Every walk is a kind of practice session. Moving from low-distraction to high-distraction takes time, but it is doable with both you and your dog being happy with the result. Always remember, your dog’s RESPECT is not the same as FEAR. I have trained Yorkies to Great Danes, Malinois to Labs and Pitbulls to Goldendoodles. While each program is tailored to the specific dog, my ideology and methods remain constant.
Debra most excellent reply. I can not agree more. I consider training dogs much as your writing. I belive dog and man are a team , no one component fails or succeeds. I also belive training is time investment. Many defend ‘short cuts’ and are extremely defensive of their beliefs
Another case of some people trying to tell the rest of the world what to do. So tired of busy bodies. If you don’t like them, DON’T use them. None of your business if I choose to use one on my dog.
I would strongly approve a ban on the pinch collars because it does hurt the dog if people would stop and think how would I feel if I had this on my neck ? I don’t use this type of collar my dog uses a regular collar and a harness since he rides a lot with us in the car and the harness is used to keep him locked in his car seat but I think that this ban would be very helpful to lead to stopping abuse with the use of these collars. if these people who use these collars they should have one put on them to see how their pets feel and maybe it would change their mind
I like how all the people who are outraged at this article are the ones who use prong collars…
You wish people would honor their dogs enough to stop calling them FUR BABIES.
They are not babies. They are not substitute children. They are dogs and they really deserve the respect that comes from being such a noble animal.
I train dogs. I don’t train fur babies.
I’m sorry, but I will call my dogs my fur babies if I please. I honor and respect them, and love them with all of my heart. I don’t want children, I have dogs. I treat them very well, and I train my own dogs… who are my fur babies. Maybe you should worry more about the people who abuse their dogs, and not the ones who love and spoil them.
Clearly, you have never owned or worked with a Belgian Malinois…
So wait, you are seriously trying to say if a harness stops (operative word stops) pulling, you aren’t using punishment? Isn’t that oxymoronic. If a positive based technique is working, by operant conditioning based science, no tool to stop a behavior would be needed, or technically you are applying punishment or negative reinforcement. Funny how we just ignore that…. The dog being pulled to its side applies discomfort to a certain degree, and even more so on a no pull harness, as it is “stopping a behavior, and discouraging it, which means the dog finds the sensation undesirable, and thus it is safe to assume causing discomfort. Let’s be realists when discussing dog training, science, and tools, not just say what makes us “feel” good about ourselves. Negative reinforcement an punishment is active using any of these devices. Een a leash and flat buckle if effective are applying a form of both -r and +p. Let’s not draw lines in the sand because we don’t understand that and we want to live in an imaginary rules with pseudo science we throw out because it makes is sleep better at night. Don’t like em, fine, don’t use them… But ignoring the same dangers of injury and discomfort for other tools while demonizing another is seriously a joke
Let me get this straight- this guy, who clearly has financial gain to be made by maligning training methods other than his own, has greater expertise than world-renowned competitors and trainers who have real accomplishments in the dog world? More expertise than published DVMs who specialize in chiropractic care whose studies have proven that prong collars cause the least amount of cervical sublaxations, significantly less than harnesses or head halters?
Shame on you, Doggington Post, for irresponsibly endorsing those who seek to spread their fear mongering and propaganda without fact.
Where is the research that proves that prong collars cause less cervical subluxations than harnesses???? I’d love to see that. There is not pressure on the cervical area from a harness. How could a harness cause a cervical subluxation?
Geez, has the world gone crazy? What a load of crap. Just another crack pot with a hidden agenda of promoting himself by trying to make other training methods look bad so he can seem superior by comparison. What he left out is how wonderfully effective these collars are how this gives the AVERAGE dog owner a tool to use so the dog stays in the home rather than bing sent to a shelter.
How do I get my name off this mailing list. These articles are just insane dribble.
My big dogs would pull and choke with a martingale or gentle leader. A harness made them a sled dog with me as the sled. It was danderous for both me and my dogs. A sprenger prong collar has made all the difference. Using one correctly on the top of the neck has my sweet girls walking right beside me. They almost never- except with squirrel alerts- need any correction. I used to be absolutely against their use as well as an electric fence. But they run and play within the boundaries and never get a correction anymore. If you have an out of control dog then give it a try with a behavioral trainer. My daughter’s rescue has used a trainer who has changed dramatically leash aggressive dogs. Other positive reinforcement trainers had given up on them and said the dogs should be put down. Now the dogs are in homes and are behaving well.
I find it EXTREMELY humorous that there is an advertisement above the article for an “Overstock Sale on Shock Training Collars” that are vet-approved. $59.99-a 3 day sale…while supplies last.
Really? The Dogington Post wants us to read an article about the horrors that a prong collar is, while a bold, colorful ad right above the article headline is selling SHOCK COLLARS!
Yes, prong collars could cause discomfort and maybe pain when used incorrectly, but shock collars? Shock collars in the hands of Joe Public without any training is even more brutal than a prong collar ever will be.
Maybe the author and Dogington Post need to get together PRIOR to publishing an article to make sure surrounding advertisements aren’t in conflict.
Done with the Dogington Post now. Shame on you.
After my comment was posted, the advertisement was something different. Apparently, the advertisement changes, but by NO MEANS should there an article moaning about the horrors of the prong collar, only to be advertising a collar that is known to burn holes into the flesh of a dog’s neck.
“that is known to burn holes into the flesh of a dogs neck”… wow, you need to do a bit more research before spouting misinformation as fact. shameful.
Jack, simply research various veterinary journals and articles and you will see that there are many, many references about the electronic collars that have burned the flesh of many necks. These are tools not to be used by the average Joe, which are the ones buying them at hardware stores and big box stores. You are the shameful one.
I would say to all these people who use prongs/chokes and similarly pain inducing equipment that perhaps they should try wearing one themselves and then ask the question, ”Do I really want to put one of these on my best friend?”
There is no short cut to training a dog well.
Been there done that. No big deal. it’s like wearing glasses on your face. At first you are aware of them and then you forget they’re on. But it’s good to have them on when you need them.
I am not advocating for or against here… but I have put a prong collar around my scrawny chicken leg (100#, 5’5″, and yanked on it pretty hard,, and it wasn’t bad
try wearing it all the time and having someone else yank it every time you do something wrong that you don’t even know is wrong yet and don’t know when it’s going to be yanked. Then see how you feel about them as a “training tool” and how excited you would be about “training” that way. real fun, can’t wait for more of that! Effective training can and should be fun – at least not painful, uncomfortable or even annoying.
Try it on your neck as the dog wears it
Thank you for this info. When I adopted my 120 pound bull dog the previous owner used a prong collar on my dog and gave me the prong collar. I thought about using it on my dog to stop my dog from pulling on walks but I dont think I will be using the prong collar now. The collar must be painful for the dog is the UK is banning the collar!
Before you try these tools on your dog, why not try them on yourself? If you think pronged collars are so wonderful, put one on and have someone pull you with it. If you don’t have a problem with pain or breathing then use it on your dog. Until then I think you are a cruel, idiotic person who will mistreat an animal. DON’T HAVE A DOG IF YOU CANNNOT CONTROLL IT WITHOUT A PRONG COLLAR!
there is a kid in our town who wears one as a fashion statement. DON’T TELL OTHER PEOPLE HOW TO TRAIN THEIR DOGS. NOT EVERYONE IS A FANATIC.
It’s a tool and when used properly very effective.
It does not cause pain for the dog.
I bet he endorses Head Halti’s – they cause more pain then a prong collar.
100% of the issues with prong collars are the people at the end of the leash.
Linda, I suggest you wear one for a while. You apparently haven’t seen the results of using these horrid things. They are not a tool, they are used by a lazy person instead of learning proper training techniques.
you guys need to come up with more than 5 catch phrases… do some actual research and hands-on trials instead of frequenting groups and pages that advocate the banning of training tools, essentially there as a digital circle jerk for the all-positive training community rather than as a place where people can learn things and make up their own minds.
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Pain and discomfort? Have you tried it? I put it on my arm first and then around my own neck and jerked it sharply as in training and there was NO pain or discomfort ONLY pressure but not the kind which can crush a trachea like a choke collar which can leave an excited animal coughing and chocking. These collars are for training quick and simple before the pet or someone else gets hurt, they are NOT lifelong collars. As the saying goes: Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.
Agreed!! Strong positive training is the key here. It’s not brain surgery folks. Just use common sense! And be kind to your fur baby. They love you unconditionally and leash training should be a pleasant experience and not associated with pain or discomfort.
yes. the prong collar became the most widely used training tool in the world because the average dog owner is A-okay with hurting their dogs to force them into fearful submission…. re-evaluate your view on the world and while you’re at it read a book.
Oh for the love of all things Holy! What is wrong with you people? If you don’t have the time or more importantly, the patience to train your dog, then DONT GET ONE!!! I’ve never ever had to use anything but a harness for my fur babies and leash training. If your dog is an over zealous puller, then get the anti-pull harness described above. I wish I could put one of those those horrid tourture prong collars on that vet or anyone else that uses these awful “tools” I’d pull it tight enough for them to feel it real good! Those thing are CRUEL AND HARMFUL!!!!!! No one, even an animal, can learn by being put in pain. THE PAIN ASSOCIATED WITH THE TRAINING IS WHAT THEY LEARN! And the associate it with you, the owner!
You are a Tool Bag if you use these types of collars with prongs on them! Shame on you!!
ignorant people speak the loudest. prong collars are not for the mean and the lazy. they are an extremely effective tool and banning them will undoubtedly result in more dogs getting given up, put down or hit by cars. read a book.
Bonnie, so you are calling those who train police dogs, search and rescue dogs, assistant dogs lazy? Really?
I do not think you are an idiot… however you can tell first of all your dog is already trained and knows your your expectations. I see you have a choker on your dog. Sorry but I do believe in some cases a pinch collar is a great training aide. A Choker is NOT. I am sure you know and have experienced dogs who have injured themselves with a choker and a training person that does not even know how one works or how to work it, the dog will pull against it as well as some harness. Hence the way sled dogs are trained with a harness w/ a strap across their chest. I understand what you are saying about the harness you use from the front that redirects them back to you. However these Do Not work on all dogs either. I have had some larger dogs walk out of them. As with any they tool it must be fitted correctly and used correctly TOO, just like a choker on SOME Dogs but most will continue to choke themselves and get injured.
Pinch collars are attention getting (not pain) that must be used along with your words and body language. Also positive training w/ rewards in with whatever makes you pet happy and want more, and again words and body language. i just think you are being close mined to many facts.
i put these collars right up there with choke chains. they are cruel and useless! if you take time and patience with a dog, you will get what you want. no clicker can give you the results i get from my little ones. a hug and sugars go a long long way in getting what you want with a dog. my son even trains his pits with nothing but positive reinforcement and they turn out to be the sweetest dogs you can get! i would rather use a halter with a dog anyway cause his trachea is put in danger when they pull with any type of collar. and when teaching a puppy on a leash, i allow it to go with their own time and get used to them.