A prong collar is much more humane - a German study followed a great number of hunting dogs from puppies to death & then autopsied them when they died.
Almost every dog who had been trained on a choke collar had at least some internal damage. Only two of the dogs on prongs had.
Here's an excellent site on prong collars, including results of that study:
The smaller the links, the more effective the correction. The theory behind using a very effective correction is that it will work after just a few tries by the dog. In a sense it is self correcting, and the dog quickly learns to respect it. This is better (as you are experiencing with your Dal) than multiple jerks and corrections which the dog learns to ignore. It's kind of like nagging a dog.
Dutch gets SO excited when he sees me take hi collar off the coat rack! He knows this means a walk in the woods.