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prong collars

Jake's family
January 28th, 2007, 05:56 PM
Do anyone know anything (good or bad) about prong collars and their use?

jesse's mommy
January 28th, 2007, 06:06 PM
They are a wonderful tool to use to train a dog not to pull provided you have an experiences trainer teaching the proper use of them. Don't just go buy one and put it on your dog. We had to use one for a few months with Jesse because she wouldn't listen to Daddy and before we got it we met with a trainer in regards to it and the proper and improper uses of it. If it is used improperly it can hurt the dog, but if it's used in the proper manner it just gives the idea of the pinching/choking effect without actually doing it. I had them adjust the size of it to fit my arm so I would have first hand knowledge of the correct and incorrect ways of it being used. But like I said, if you do decide to use one, please make sure you meet with an experienced handler so you don't cause harm to your dog.

coppperbelle
January 28th, 2007, 06:18 PM
I agree that you should get someone who knows how to use them to show you first hand. I use them when out walking my two dogs but had a trainer show me how to use them correctly.

Winston
January 28th, 2007, 06:33 PM
I agree..you should have someone show you how to use it properly...I have to use it with my boy! He is a 110 pound goofball! He is so strong ! When I used a collar he ran me across a busy intersection trying to get to a dog on the other side! I had no control! I was almost hit by a car! With the prong it is very effective for me! But I think it is mainly used on large dogs anyway..

Cindy

tenderfoot
January 28th, 2007, 08:07 PM
First question to ask - why do you think you need one? What have you tried that has not worked?

breeze
January 28th, 2007, 08:12 PM
Just looking at them make me cring. doesn't prong collars hurt? they pinch the skin is that corect?

Dad of Dog's
January 28th, 2007, 08:13 PM
I have never seen a need for such a collar and have actually seen many dogs who have developed worse behaviours because of them.

Whatever you choose remember they are tools and none of them will teach your dog not to pull. You still need to teach this.

x.l.r.8
January 28th, 2007, 08:33 PM
the one we used did not hurt, (yes I did try it on myself in the store as I hated the look of it) we tried the usual training collar but it wouldn't stay in place and became a thin choke collar (that really hurt when I tried it) the martingale one also did hte same, we have turned about 70% of the prongs to the outside but to be honest he does not pull anymore, after twisting my back I had to try something. I am very lucky though, my trainer also works in the petstore so I had her run through it all with me. It worked for me but I need to correct once on a walk at most now and my aim is to be back to the flat collar soon, like a metal choke, the chink is enough to work, but even before that if I drop my voice (always comes before a correction) 99% of the time that is enough. My wife who weighs a lot less than Riley now enjoys a good walk without having to worry if a squirrel runs out, it trasnformed her relationship with him, she has never had to correct him on walks. I'm not saying this would work for everyone, Riley was never aggressive, just did not respond to the other types of products, this simply worked but we certainly are working to get him away from using it, it's more an aid rather than a long term solition.

breeze
January 28th, 2007, 08:51 PM
couldn't a haltie work just as good, everyone told me to us a prong collar but i opped to use the haltie instead i just could not bring myself to use the prong.

technodoll
January 28th, 2007, 08:58 PM
:offtopic: :sorry: xlr8, i think we need a photo of riley! we all love big doggies! :D

Lissa
January 28th, 2007, 09:51 PM
One of my biggest issues with prong collars are when they're used on reactive dogs. If you slap a prong on a reactive dog, you will make their behaviour worse! The dog will not understand that its the collar causing them pain when they pull/lunge and not whatever they are lunging at (for example a person, dog or object). That will then make them [more] fearful or aggressive or distracted or anxious around their trigger and for a sensitive dog, it could mean irreversible damage.

In addition, very few people know how to fit or train with a prong. As a prong tightens, it should be self-correcting so there shouldn't be any need for leash pops. Unfortunately, most people don't realize that... I also don't like seeing prongs too high up on the neck (because that's where they will cause the most pain).

And lastly, people come to rely on prongs (any training tool really) so instead of fixing the problem, they mask it. You aren't teaching your dog how to walk nicely on-leash, you just aren't giving them any other option when they are wearing the prong.

I have definately experimented with my share of training tools and nothing compares to clicker training OR taking the time to train your dog without tools. It definately takes more commitment and patience but for pulling in particular, I'm don't think anything can beat turning in all different directions or the "be a tree" method.

If I can get a 1700lbs Clydesdale to walk nicely with a halter, I don't see why I can't get my 60lbs dog to walk nicely with a collar.;)

ElkhoundChief
January 29th, 2007, 12:43 PM
Prongs are a useful tool. Like any tool, read about it or better have someone show you how to use it and how to fit it.

TMac
January 29th, 2007, 06:40 PM
Jake's family, in my honest opinion I would only recommend a prong collar as a last resort. If the issue is pulling then please first try out other methods that are gentler and pose less risk of hurting the dog if used incorrectly. For example, a head halter (e.g., gentle leader) or anti-pull harness (e.g. Lupi). I have used these last two successfully with my strong dogs (each weigh/weighed about 80-85 pounds). If none of these other methods work, then maybe talk to a trainer about the prong but please don't just jump into that one first.

If the reason is that he's just not listening, then more training is needed, not a prong.

TMac
January 29th, 2007, 06:43 PM
I'm don't think anything can beat turning in all different directions or the "be a tree" method.


Good point- I forgot about that. I often will do the 'walk briskly in the other direction' to get Toby to pay attention and get back to his heel.

ElkhoundChief
January 29th, 2007, 07:39 PM
None of those would ever have worked on my Elkhound. Even with a prong, she will pull hard enough at times to even lift her front half off the ground if she wants at something bad enough, be it a loud motorcycle or even a person she's excited to see.
If a verbal command isn't heeded, a simple pop or a high tug to force a sit works, but only with the prong for me.

Maybe a more docile/obedient breed can do without.

If you've got a young pup, consider a basic obedience class. Aside from the training, it's good experience for it to be calm and relaxed around a group of people and other dogs. I took my dog for basic obedience and the trainer recommended a prong after the first class and she did well with it. She has no fear of it and happily comes and sits waiting for it to be put on. No worries. I think you'd really have to screw up bad to hurt the dog, especially mine. ;)

dogcatharmony
January 29th, 2007, 07:41 PM
I wish I knew how to use the quote. As said in Lissa's post " In addition, very few people know how to fit or train on a prong collar..........I also don't like seeing prongs to high up on the neck(because that's were they will cause the most pain) End quote

Lissa if you were properly trained to use a prong collar you would know that the prong fits securely on the neck under the ears (which is high up on the neck). This is where it is properly postioned to NOT damage the trachea. If it is loose or down low on the dogs neck it can do damage.

I have been taught how to use a prong by an instuctor, I have also used it on myself before putting it on my animal. If you are going to use a prong collar please look at finding "PROFESSIONAL HELP" and do not use the feelings and opinions of other people who may or may not agree in the use of correctional tools. Same as diagnosing a sick or injured animal, people on the net should not diagnose the reason your animal may or may not need a different means of training. Only a professional who can work one on one with your dog and see how it behaves or reacts can diagnose the behavioral issues and what may be needed.

LavenderRott
January 29th, 2007, 08:01 PM
I have four prong collars in my home and no choke collars.

Prong collars are made like martingales - they can NOT tighten up enough to seriously damage a dog unless they are fitted improperly. The pinch of a prong is uncomfortable but NOT painful.

Anyone who judges a prong based on it's appearance is judging a book by it's cover. Not always the wisest way to go about things.

ElkhoundChief
January 29th, 2007, 08:07 PM
Anyone who judges a prong based on it's appearance is judging a book by it's cover. Not always the wisest way to go about things.

:highfive:

Lissa
January 29th, 2007, 09:24 PM
Lissa if you were properly trained to use a prong collar you would know that the prong fits securely on the neck under the ears (which is high up on the neck). This is where it is properly postioned to NOT damage the trachea. If it is loose or down low on the dogs neck it can do damage.

I have been "properly" trained to use the prong by my trainers and have witnessed enough mis-use of the prong to not support the high neck placement (one of my trainers believes in the high placement, the other does not). From my experience, a high placement is not safer or necessary if you know what you are doing, its just the area where the prong is most effective (by causing the most pain). A prong should not tighten/pinch enough to come anywhere close to damaging the trachea, no matter its position- especially since, when used properly as a training tool, a prong should never inflict constant pressure or even be used long-term.

You follow the "Leerburg" method: http://www.leerburg.com/fit-prong.htm
and as a positive reinforcement supporter, I follow Suzanne Clothier: http://www.flyingdogpress.com/prong.html

TMac
January 29th, 2007, 09:26 PM
Jake's family....sounds like we need more info. As many of the owners of giant/extra large dogs have said, in their case they may have needed a prong. What kind of dog do you have? And what have you tried?

TMac
January 29th, 2007, 09:28 PM
None of those would ever have worked on my Elkhound. Even with a prong, she will pull hard enough at times to even lift her front half off the ground if she wants at something bad enough, be it a loud motorcycle or even a person she's excited to see.
If a verbal command isn't heeded, a simple pop or a high tug to force a sit works, but only with the prong for me.

Maybe a more docile/obedient breed can do without.


:offtopic: Sorry - I'm off topic... I have to admit I don't know much about Elkhounds. Are they known to be particularly difficult to train?

4thedogs
January 29th, 2007, 09:41 PM
How is testing the prong on yourself close to the correction a dog receives since the dog is not the one holding the leash. The correction you inflict on yourself is not the same. When your dog gets it they are either pulling on the leash or bolting. There will be a lot more force when correcting a dog vs you tightening one around your arm.

As I mentioned I don't believe there is ever a need for them, training is key. I see very few dogs on prong collars ever get off them, they are often sitting wrong on the dog and many dogs develop social issues.

Prin
January 29th, 2007, 10:02 PM
All I know is, if you show a prong to Boo, he hits the floor and starts throwing up, so the potential for serious harm is there.

LavenderRott
January 30th, 2007, 09:10 AM
All I know is, if you show a prong to Boo, he hits the floor and starts throwing up, so the potential for serious harm is there.

ABSOLUTELY NO - THE POTENTIAL FOR SERIOUS HARM IS [B]NOT[B] THERE!

In my hand I have a rottweiler fitted prong. There is a hook at the top where the leash is attached and from this hook hangs a pair of chains that are 6" long that attach to a ring that goes between the sides of the actual collar. Fully extended there is 2 1/2" of chain on each side of the collar. A PROPERLY fitted prong collar doesn't have that much play - it is fit snugly on the neck behind the ears.

How is testing the prong on yourself close to the correction a dog receives since the dog is not the one holding the leash. The correction you inflict on yourself is not the same. When your dog gets it they are either pulling on the leash or bolting. There will be a lot more force when correcting a dog vs you tightening one around your arm.


You are right - I would never in a million years correct my dogs with the amount of force I used on myself. I never put the collar around my arm - I put it around my left leg, just above my knee. That way I was sure that I could give it a really good pull. Yes. It was uncomfortable. No, it was not painful. The amount of "force" used to correct a dog is minimal. They are self correcting - a dog pulling with a prong collar on will stop when it tightens and becomes uncomfortable. There is absolutely no need for a human correction.

If you don't like how the prong collar looks or don't prefer to use one - that is your right. But don't make it out to be something spawned by Satan to abuse dogs with. Personally - I would never put an e-collar on a dog of mine again. But that doesn't mean that with handler training and for certain issues it is a bad tool.

4thedogs
January 30th, 2007, 09:39 AM
I never said anything about the look of the collar, only the use. An E-collar? This is short form for an elizabethan collar which is the cone shaped collar worn for dogs with wounds or surgical sites to prevent the dog from bothering it as it heals.

For those thinking about trying this collar
IMO, Unless you are willing to place one on your neck and have someone hold the leash while you jerk forward then I wouldn't place it on a dog.
I am well aware of how to fit and use them correctly, I just won't. There are better more successful ways to train a dog without resorting to a prong.

I have seen plenty of dogs continue to place pressure on the collar even with the correction and I have seen even more people use them incorrectly because someone they met who uses them told them they should get one. This happens with most training tools. They were never taught how to fit and use them. With fitting alone I see them fitted too loose so the collar twists around the neck often while correcting. Some have been fitted too tight so the collar has the ability to become smaller than the neck allows.

Spirit
January 30th, 2007, 09:55 AM
The prong was designed to mimic the bite of (presumably) the mother, when puppy walks out of line (pardon the pun). When used correctly, they can be effectiive. Personally, this is not my tool of choice for 2 reasons. If used incorrectly, it can cause vertabrae damage or spinal cord injuries. Most dogs will walk nicely on a leash for no other reason than to avoid the "pinch". If you walk a young dog on a pinch then switch him back to a buckle collar, chances are that dog is ONLY going to walk nicely on the prong. This dog is avoiding the correction, because it either hurts, or is not comfortable for the dog (after all, is this not the point of this tool?).

I put it around my left leg, just above my knee. That way I was sure that I could give it a really good pull. Yes. It was uncomfortable. No, it was not painful. The amount of "force" used to correct a dog is minimal. They are self correcting - a dog pulling with a prong collar on will stop when it tightens and becomes uncomfortable. There is absolutely no need for a human correction.

Your thigh has nowhere near the amount of "skin rolls" that your dogs neck has, and so it will feel much different to you than it will to your dog. As for the amount of force used, you shouldn't have to use force at all... but then why use the prong collar? In most demonstrations I've seen, the first time the prong was used, the dogs all yelped, then proceeded to look at the trainer and obey every further command given. "I'm sorry! I won't do it again! What would you like me to do now?" Some dogs would recoil in fear or submission ("I don't know what just happened, but I'm afraid of it happening again"), where others will "get it" ("So that little tug means I shouldn't do that? okay") and be just fine.

They are safer than let's say a choke or shock collar, but they certainly aren't a gentle method of training. Having said that, even a tool as gentle as the head halter (for example), if given a good yank, can even do damage to the neck if the correction is severe enough.

Prong collars were made to use for training, then never again. If you've used your prong for a total of 60-90 minutes, let's say in 5-10 minute training sessions, youv'e used it for too long.

For walking nicely on a leash, I was talked into trying a prong a couple years ago, and I had more luck with a regular buckle collar in 15 minutes, than I did using the prong for several months. The corrections on the buckle collar were gentle (no leash jerking). The same technique with the prong had a completely different effect (or none at all).

Spirit
January 30th, 2007, 10:00 AM
All I know is, if you show a prong to Boo, he hits the floor and starts throwing up, so the potential for serious harm is there.

If your dog throws up at the sight of a prong, the harm has already been done. I'm sorry to hear this. :(

dogcatharmony
January 30th, 2007, 10:02 AM
I first purchased a Halti and my dog tried to bash her nose off. I tried to show her it was a positive thing and she still slammed her face off the floor, the concrete what ever. If a prong collar causes so much pain how come when I take it out she comes running, tail wagging and sits nicely waiting for it to go on? She is also a well trained dog.....she knows all her commands on and off leash. IMO if a dog is scared of the prong , the collar must have been used incorrectly and caused the dog pain, also if the owner is afraid of the prong do you not think your dog doesn't pick up on your uncomfort and associate it with something bad? For two years now I have used a prong collar with no ill effects. With a halti and choke chain she experienced pain. To each his own........but IMO with professional help a prong collar is a good collar to use if you need it.

4thedogs
January 30th, 2007, 10:08 AM
I agree they are usually safer than the choke but they have their own set of problems. I personally won't use either.

Btw, I mentioned the corrections that the dog would apply, not your correction on them. Still it is different than you correcting on yourself.

Spirit
January 30th, 2007, 10:09 AM
IMO if a dog is scared of the prong , the collar must have been used incorrectly and caused the dog pain

Strongly agree, but ANY tool can cause pain or fear if used incorrectly. Even a plain old buckle collar.

She is also a well trained dog.....she knows all her commands on and off leash

----

For two years now I have used a prong collar with no ill effects.

On the same dog??? (If so) Why do you still use it if your dog is so well trained? A prong is a training tool (not an everyday collar).

dogcatharmony
January 30th, 2007, 10:28 AM
The prong collar is not on her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She has a normal buckle collar on all day. I use the prong for our daily training, sometimes she is very stubborn and hard headed. Like i have stated I use professional help to make this decision. Between a obediance trainer and a animal behaviorist the prong was suggested for her problems. And the prong is never left on her unattended and never on for more than 15mins. She has associated the collar with good things and she knows to mind her manners and pay attention. She has only had one correction on the collar and it was the trainer that performed that, i myself have never used a correction with it.

Spirit
January 30th, 2007, 10:40 AM
The prong collar is not on her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She has a normal buckle collar on all day. I use the prong for our daily training, sometimes she is very stubborn and hard headed. Like i have stated I use professional help to make this decision. Between a obediance trainer and a animal behaviorist the prong was suggested for her problems. And the prong is never left on her unattended and never on for more than 15mins. She has associated the collar with good things and she knows to mind her manners and pay attention. She has only had one correction on the collar and it was the trainer that performed that, i myself have never used a correction with it.

This is a good example of when to use it (ie. for 15 minute training sessions). I guess my question (rhetorical) is why (after 2 years) do you still feel the need to use it. Especially since you say that you have never used a correction with it. Making corrections is a part of training. We give them a command, they do something wrong, and we correct it by teaching the right way to do it.

LL1
January 30th, 2007, 11:49 AM
I wonder why as well,and which behaviorist suggests a prong?

I do not like prongs or chokes and do not use either.

4thedogs
January 30th, 2007, 12:59 PM
Making corrections is a part of training. We give them a command, they do something wrong, and we correct it by teaching the right way to do it.

This is what I do but not all training methods do. I myself use a verbal cue for something done wrong and then correct by showing them what I do want and praise and reward that behaviour.

dogcatharmony
January 30th, 2007, 01:34 PM
This is the last I am going to say on this matter. The prong collar is obviously a "hot" debate and like in some situations people cannot be swayed either way no matter what information they are shown. I do not have to justify My use of this collar to anyone. I use what I use because I made an INFORMED decision. I have EDUCATED myself on this device. I do not judge how others train their animals unless I see someone physically beating their animal. That is INHUMANE!!! There are many different training techniques, there are many different breeds that have different temperments. There also are many uninformed people that go off half-corked because the collar looks as it does.

Just because I choose to use the methods I do does not make me an irresponsible pet owner. Just the fact that I have sought out help and information for the problems that my dog has should show that I care enough to learn how to properly train and understand my dog. I could just throw her a cookie and hope she learns the rules, and then become so frustrated because she just isn't getting it and ship her off because she is a "problem dog"

Ignorance is bliss........educate and inform yourself. And remember not everyone has the same opinions as the next.

Lissa
January 30th, 2007, 02:04 PM
ABSOLUTELY NO - THE POTENTIAL FOR SERIOUS HARM IS [B]NOT[B] THERE!

They are self correcting - a dog pulling with a prong collar on will stop when it tightens and becomes uncomfortable. There is absolutely no need for a human correction.

If you don't like how the prong collar looks or don't prefer to use one - that is your right. But don't make it out to be something spawned by Satan to abuse dogs with.

The potential for harm is there - perhaps not in your hands but your next paragraph explains why prongs can and do cause damage. There's plenty of people who do not believe or understand that prongs are self-correcting and use plenty of leash jerking when their dog is wearing a prong. Many people do not get professional help before experimenting with a prong, so fitting and tightening aside, prongs end up on dogs in the wrong situation, like out for a walk on a 6 ft, the dog lungs after a dog, squirrel, child - not only does that kind of pressure cause physical damage, it can also lead to a dog that is fearful or aggressive of whatever they lunged after...

I don't think anyone has said that prongs are a torture device and if that's how you took my posts it was not my intention. I simply do not believe that prongs should have filtered down from being used for schutzhund, proofing behaviours and precision work to anti-pulling devices... If the prong was being properly used as a tool for precision behaviours, I wouldn't have a problem with them, that's just not the case for the majority of users.


Sorry this is off-topic but it caught my attention!:o:
Making corrections is a part of training. We give them a command, they do something wrong, and we correct it by teaching the right way to do it.

I agree with your first sentence because there will of course be times when corrections (hopefully mild) are necessary.
I do not agree with the second part... I personally do not like giving a command unless I know my dog is going to listen. So if we are learning not to pull on leash, I will either free shape, mark or lure him into position but I will ONLY put a command to it when I have no doubt about his response. This way, I am setting the dog up for success - instead of giving a command, getting the "wrong" response and then correcting it.

When I do get the wrong response from a command that my dog is familiar with or when he's self-rewarding I do something like this:

I myself use a verbal cue for something done wrong and then correct by showing them what I do want and praise and reward that behaviour.

The difference in what I do, is that I use a no reward marker like "Ah" - which means you are doing something wrong and its not going to be rewarded.

ElkhoundChief
January 30th, 2007, 02:18 PM
The prong is a tool. Certainly you should educate yourself or ideally seek professional guidance on the use of the tool but because most don't and subsequently misuse it does not make the prong bad.

There's not just potential for harm, but potential for good as well. I think dogcatharmony is upset with all the attention here of the former and ignoring the latter.

Spirit
January 30th, 2007, 02:46 PM
Holy he**, this thread turn an interesting turn to the original question "Do anyone know anything (good or bad) about prong collars and their use?"

LOL!!!

Mild corrections (or sometimes stronger ones) will be made throughout the dogs life (that's a given), but hopefully you've established your position in the pack, and training "tools" should not have to be resued. And if they do, it would be for the simple purpose of reshaping the command.

Lissa: You're absolutely right. I was on my way out the door and I got all distracted. My apologies for not being clear.

What I meant was that you should not give a command if there's a chance that your dog will not obey it. If (let's assume your dog knows the sit command), you ask your dog to sit and it doesn't, then you correct it by showing your dog what sit means, or by not giving your dog the option to sit on the third or seventh command (say it once!). Whether it be via a jerk to a prong collar ("I said sit!"), a tap on the rear, a click of the tongue (etc), body language (etc), the dog learns to listen to you the first time, and the need for a training tool then becomes no longer required. I mean how weird would it be if everyone carried a clicker or a whistle around with them for the life of their dog... you'd hear clicking and whistling all over the place. lol

This thread should close... I hope most of us answered your question, Jake's Family! :thumbs up

Spirit
January 30th, 2007, 02:50 PM
The difference in what I do, is that I use a no reward marker like "Ah" - which means you are doing something wrong and its not going to be rewarded.

I too use "ah-ah", but I've been having problems with two commands. Long distance down -he keeps wanting to get up and come closer, and bow -keeps wanting to go into down position. I recently started using a clicker to shape these two behaviors (something I've never used before). I used it for about 20-30 repetitions (until he really understood what I was asking), then threw it away (I no longer need it) as I don't want to rely on it for good listening skills.

My clicker though, was an old snapple lid. :D

TMac
January 31st, 2007, 07:58 PM
Holy he**, this thread turn an interesting turn to the original question "Do anyone know anything (good or bad) about prong collars and their use?"

LOL!!!

This thread should close... I hope most of us answered your question, Jake's Family! :thumbs up

I think we scared Jake's family off! :eek:

I agree - "this thread has run its course and should now be closed" :p

GermanShepLove
February 1st, 2007, 03:34 PM
Well sorry guys, I know that most of you want the debate on the prong collar to be over. My intention isn't to bring stir up another round of arguments. I just came across a website, recommended by someone i know of.

Now this website addresses the concerns of most dog owners - what type of collar should you use for your dog in training. Perhaps you would like to view the website: http://www.doganswers.com/collars.htm

Hopefully this website will shed some light and give us proper understanding in regards to dog training devices. I think in the end, what it boils down to is that whatever you use.. make sure you are aware of the good and bad effects of it and use it wisely. :thumbs up