Prong collars

pinkspore

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I used an itty bitty prong on my roommate's 20 lb terrier for a while. Didn't have the time or physical ability to take him and Brisbane for separate runs every day, and if I didn't walk him he wasn't getting walked. I never did corrections, just let him correct himself when he hit the end of the leash. Could I have gotten him to the point of loose leash walking? Maybe someday, but after putting in a ton of time and effort with zero progress I just needed a solution.

Why a prong on a 20 lb dog? Because the mere sight on a leash turn him into a raving lunatic hellbent on GOING the moment it was attached. He dragged a leash almost 24/7 for months and never got even slightly less insane about wearing it or being near any door while wearing it.

This was a dog that would pull continuously until he passed out on a flat collar. On a harness he just hurt my arm and shoulder while scrabbling furiously down the sidewalk. I didn't know anyone who had any luck using a front clip harness at that point.

Said dog would also randomly lunge forward anytime we stopped for any reason, including attempts at leaping into traffic while waiting the light to change. I am absolutely certain he would have injured his neck on a head collar. For many months with the prong he would lunge forward and pop himself so hard he'd yelp. He did eventually figure it out and transition back to a flat collar. For him I'm pretty confident the prong was the right choice.

I was researching hunting dog collars recently, after finding a picture of a leather one with seriously sharp spikes on the inside (no really, go look for the jasa force collar). While down that rabbit hole I learned that a lot of hunters think small prong collars are more severe than large prongs because the smaller points concentrate a lot more force. I've always thought of larger prongs as more severe because the longer pokey bits have more leverage.
 

Southpaw

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While down that rabbit hole I learned that a lot of hunters think small prong collars are more severe than large prongs because the smaller points concentrate a lot more force. I've always thought of larger prongs as more severe because the longer pokey bits have more leverage.
Smaller prongs = "more pinch per inch" ;)
 

pinkspore

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Smaller prongs = "more pinch per inch" ;)
Does that translate to more severe though? Or is it a bunch of small pinches verses a few big pinches? One of my coworkers has three large dogs (GSD, lab, damatian) that are all pretty soft. All three pull like sled dogs in their tiny prong collars given the opportunity, I've not had anyone pull that enthusiastically in a big prong.
 

FG167

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Does that translate to more severe though? Or is it a bunch of small pinches verses a few big pinches? One of my coworkers has three large dogs (GSD, lab, damatian) that are all pretty soft. All three pull like sled dogs in their tiny prong collars given the opportunity, I've not had anyone pull that enthusiastically in a big prong.
The smaller pinch can definitely add more pain, the points are pointier and there are more of them. IF they reach the dogs skin. A smaller pinch on Kastle is pointless as it doesn't even reach the skin. It just pulls his hair. And then I have to carefully detach it from where it's all wrapped up in his long coat.

ETA: IME (with Labs and GSDs) if you don't teach them that pulling is bad, that it is meant as a correction, they just learn to live with it and ignore it. Labs are notorious for it. I see a TON of Labs on pinch collars hauling their owners around like they're on a flat collar.
 
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ETA: IME (with Labs and GSDs) if you don't teach them that pulling is bad, that it is meant as a correction, they just learn to live with it and ignore it. Labs are notorious for it. I see a TON of Labs on pinch collars hauling their owners around like they're on a flat collar.
Exactly!
 

ACooper

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.....I am now considering the prong. But guilt is delaying the process. .......
I hope you find a way to get past it StompinT, for you and your dog :)

I originally felt super guilty about using a prong. No joke, when I first got it I would put a bandana over it, and then had my friend make a cover for it - I felt like people would judge if they saw my dog wearing a prong and, based on some responses in this thread, I guess that wasn't even my irrational social anxiety talking. :) I just felt bad about it and like I could be doing better, but seriously at some point something had to give. I wasn't making progress and I wasn't enjoying walking my dog.

I eventually stopped caring. I think it's sad that anyone has to feel bad about using one. I would like to teach leash walking without one, but I'll always have it in my toolbox and in the future wouldn't hesitate so much about using one.
I'm glad you stopped feeling bad about it Southpaw, you are a wonderful owner who tries their best and loves their dog/s. Anyone who judges you based on a tool you need isn't worth your time anyway :)

I've tried picturing what would happen if a self righteous pompous ass approached me while walking Orson on his prong. I really and truly wouldn't get angry or mean with them. I am pretty sure I'd start giggling/chuckling as I walk away, which might tick them off more than indignant words from me I guess, LOL
 

HayleyMarie

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I use a prong collar on panzer, and I have no guilt using it. I worked very hard to train panzer to have a nice loose Leash walk, which he has, BUT I don't use the prong for walking, I use it for control, when I need it and I have needed it. Especially in cases where an off leash dog runs up to panzer and I when we are walking, because of the prong I was able to keep panzers bitty parts from grabbing the other dog.

Panzer respects it, which is nice so in those situations it doesn't take my whole body strength to keep him under control.
 

FG167

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I use a prong collar on panzer, and I have no guilt using it. I worked very hard to train panzer to have a nice loose Leash walk, which he has, BUT I don't use the prong for walking, I use it for control, when I need it and I have needed it. Especially in cases where an off leash dog runs up to panzer and I when we are walking, because of the prong I was able to keep panzers bitty parts from grabbing the other dog.

Panzer respects it, which is nice so in those situations it doesn't take my whole body strength to keep him under control.
With a dog that size, and a you the size you are, I think this is the epitome of responsible dog ownership. :hail:
 
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My friend has heard/read about this:
When used on a dog with reactivity, I feel like a prong collar INCREASES reactivity in most instances, and create more tension, anxiety, and even aggression towards whatever the dog is reacting to. If your dog dislikes other dogs, sees another dog with a prong collar on, and is pinched or poked in even a minimally painful or discomforting way, they're going to be like "well when I see another dog this s*** happens so I better FREAK OUT".
So how did you get opposite results than what she has heard/read? :confused:
 

Sweet72947

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I'm not going to get all righteous and start lecturing at people for using prongs, but I myself prefer not to use them. Norris is leash reactive to dogs and sensitive and putting a prong on him would just cause way more problems than it would solve. I used a gentle leader with him for about six months, and he hated it. We use an easy walk harness now, so that he can't drag me toward random food on the ground. If we are in my parent's neighborhood where people DON'T throw their trash everywhere, I can get Norris to walk like a perfect gentleman on his martingale collar, our main issue is that he is so extremely food driven that when he sees food on the ground, his brain falls out and he'll DRAG me to it. It doesn't matter if the food on the ground is old bread and my treats are chicken, food on the ground is higher value, end of story. His food drive is a wonderful thing for training, but on walks it works against us. :/ And Norris is STRONG. :eek:

I think if there were more education on teaching your dog to behave itself while it's still small, most people wouldn't really need to use a prong to control it when it gets big. Most dogs I see in prongs are jumping around and acting crazy, because their owners just slapped a prong on it without putting any training on the dog expecting the prong to be magical and solve all the problems. The tool I really dislike are shock collars. People bring their dogs to the dog park wearing shock collars, ask the dog to come while the dog is playing, the dog inevitably ignores them because they haven't proofed around distractions, and then they take out their bulky remote and shock the dog until it comes to them. These dogs are anxious, always looking over their shoulder, and they give off uncomfortable behaviors to other dogs which causes tension all around and a higher likelyhood for a fight. For God's sake, take the shock collar off at the dog park and let your dog be free for a little while!:rolleyes:
 
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My friend has heard/read about this:


So how did you get opposite results than what she has heard/read? :confused:
it's about relationship and making things clear. There is absolutely zero reason a dog should feel more anxious, feel more tension and associate a prong collar with the sight of another dog unless you're doing everything completely wrong.

That's not to say I can't create tension, and associations with it, because I can, and do for protection work. I can also use it to clearly and quickly tell a dog to knock it off. Crystal clear and done with.

when my dog is corrected for anything, it's coming from ME and they know it. How do I do it? well it starts from the day I get them and we start building our relationship. There isn't a 7 step program to it an end result, it's in everything we do from day one.
 

GipsyQueen

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I'm a little late to the party - and I only read the first 3 Pages but...


1. Would you consider yourself against, or for, the use of prong collars in training (by someone who knows how to correctly use this tool)?

I wouldn't call if "for" a prong, but I am not against. It NEEDS to be used correctly though - like someone earlier said, it's a management tool and needs to be used like one.

They are illegal here in Germany though - so no one uses them / they aren't sold here. Though choke collars are sold, and I find those much worse than pinch collars.

2. Have you ever used one on your own dog(s)? Tell us a little bit about why, the methods you used along with it, why you made the choice, and how it worked out.

We used one on Gipsy. We tried for 1,5 years to correct pulling with training, we used a no pull harness and tried a halti. The halti resulting in Gipsy running around the street with no leash because at some point she figured out how to get out of it. It came to the point where my mom had trouble holding her if she was excited about something, and I as a child was not able to even hold her leash. Gipsy, while hating the halti and no pull harness had no problem with her prong and did very well on it. Around the time she was 5, she didn't need it anymore because it finally got into her head, pulling is getting me no where.
Prongs shouldn't be used as an excuse not to train walking on a leash though.
 

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