The prong collar has been around for a long time now, and it works on the principle of negative reinforcement and positive punishment. The collar is an accessory used for training and teaching leash manners to dogs. Prong collars are very different from choke collars. Instead of metal links, prongs are used in these collars.
The loose skin around a dog’s neck is pinched when it comes in contact with a collar. Prong collars follow the concept that evenly applied pressure is far more gentle and effective as compared to a quick jerk or impact caused by a choke chain. These collars are not meant to be used as permanent walking collars. For effective results, these collars shall be used under an expert’s supervision. If you are buying a prong collar, keep the following factors in mind:-
Factors To Keep In Mind While Buying A Prong Collar
Finding The Right Collar
A prong collar is not a regular walking collar. It is a collar specifically designed for training. If not used in the right manner, the collar can cause a lot of pain to the dog. Before buying a prong collar, it’s recommended to consult a professional dog trainer.
Do thorough research in order to understand the workings of this device. Purchasing the right collar will not only train your dog but will also prevent any potential injury. The size of the collar is the most important characteristic to consider while buying a prong collar.
If your dog weighs 120 pounds and you are buying a collar that would fit a 90 pound dog, then your dog will have a hard time fitting into it, which can be very painful. High-quality prong collars will only gently pinch the loose skin of the dog to prevent negative reinforcement in case the pet chooses to misbehave.
A good quality collar will never puncture the skin of your dog. Make it a point to buy the collar from a professional trainer. Never buy a prong collar that has rubber-tipped prongs. Due to movement and friction, rubber can cause pain, whereas metal moves smoothly over the dog’s coat.
How To Place A Prong Collar
Placing the collar around your dog’s neck demands special care and attention. The right placement is when the prong collar sits right behind the ears and under the jaw of the dog. A lower placement will not show any benefits.
Make sure that the part of the collar hooked up to the leash must face upward, right behind the dog’s ears. Don’t clip the collar lower than jaw or on the side of the neck. The collar should fit the dog snugly. It shouldn’t move much from its original place. If it’s loose, remove one of the prongs.
The right placement of the collar will not only reap benefits, but it will also prevent your dog from getting injured. If the collar is too tight, it can puncture your dog’s skin. If it’s too loose, it may end up causing severe skin abrasions.
The size of the collar, as well as the size of prongs, should be perfect. Place each end of the collar in each hand. Pinch the link and connect both the ends around the dog’s neck. You will get the exact measurement of your dog. Always keep in mind that you need to place the collar behind the dog’s ears. You only need a gentle tug to communicate with your pet.
Don’t Use The Collar For Too Long
Since it’s more of a training equipment, don’t use the collar for more than an hour. It is not suited for long term use. Using it in the place of a primary collar can pose a serious threat to your pet. Use it only when you are training your dog. If you leave it for a longer period, the collar could irritate your dog’s neck.
Also, dogs learn through association. Your pet might start associating pulling with pain. So he might start associating negativity with any circumstances that cause him to pull. For example, dogs pull when they see someone or something familiar. If the prong collar is used frequently, your dog might become aggressive or timid in the presence of strangers.
Short Tugs Are The Way To Go
Make sure that your dog doesn’t tug to a prong collar freely. They are only used to train and correct behavior. It is advised to use short and firm tugs. Whenever your dog pulls or lunges forward, give a short and firm tug to your dog.
As the collar mimics another dog biting, a quick tug is enough to make your pet realize that it has stepped out of line and needs to behave. Constant pulling or pressuring the neck will only make the dog more aggressive.
Don’t Use The Collar On Puppies
Prong collars were explicitly designed for untrained adult dogs to teach them leash manners. They are always considered as a last option for dogs who can’t seem to behave even after trying out several other means.
Since puppies are new to moving, starting with intense training collars is not suitable for them at all. It will only cause an injury and might scar the puppy forever.
It is advised to use collars for dogs that are at least 5-6 months old. Generally, this method is not at all recommended for dogs in their early growing years. Use the collar only after a professional dog trainer advises you to do so.
How To Cease The Use
While walking, use a gentle collar. A harness or gentle leader is a great option for walking as they don’t encourage heavy pulling and won’t put unnecessary pressure around the dog’s neck. Use the prong collar only during the designated time of training. Also, use it under the supervision of a dog trainer.
When not in use, take the collar off immediately. It shouldn’t stay around your dog’s neck like a regular collar. Dogs can choke themselves or it can cause scarring around the neck. It’s unnecessary to leave the collar on for a long time as these collars do not contain name tags that a regular collar does.
These collars are not meant to be used forever. Once your dog is trained and learns walking manners, there’s no need to put the prong collar around its neck.
Benefits Of Prong Collar
The primary purpose of these collars is to train your dog and learn leash manners. It does not take a lot of time for your dog to get used to it. It’s essential to train your dog, so it becomes easy for the owner to trust the pet.
When the pet is well behaved, it won’t run after people or won’t overreact around strangers. This way, the owner can let the dog loose in open spaces without any stress or anxiety. Even in a crowded place, your dog will not misbehave or lose its cool once appropriately trained.
Many owners don’t take out their dogs for regular walks due to their bad behavior. Unfortunately, not exposing your dog to an open environment can cause an outburst in the form of barking, chewing, and jumping inside the house.
These bad behavioral tendencies can easily go out of control if the dog is not put under immediate training. In such cases, a prong collar becomes an absolute necessity.
When used in the correct manner, it becomes very useful. Your dog listens to your commands, and you are able to establish a positive and trustworthy relationship with your pet.
The prong collars are one of the safest collars if you know how to use it effectively. The design itself was created in a manner that makes it the most reliable collar as compared to others.
If you look at other collars such as slip leads, choke chains, flat collars, etc. these can cause harm to your pet. The reason why the prong collar is safer than the rest is that when your dog pulls forward, instead of applying pressure to one area, it is evenly distributed around the neck. That prevents any injury or damage.
At face value, the prong collar might look scary, but it’s really not. The collar should be used as a means of communication. Accordingly, you have to teach your dog to respond to it. The lack of knowledge leads to the impropriety of the training tool.
As an owner, it’s your responsibility to educate yourself. When used with positive reinforcement techniques, training your dog with a prong collar becomes exciting and fun. This training also establishes a trustworthy bond between the dog and the owner. If you are still debating to buy this wonderful training device, then do it now! You won’t regret buying it at all!