I’m surprised the prong collar is still used so often in dog training. On top of the fact the prong collar hurts dogs, with the possibility of seriously hurting them (dog’s necks have been pierced and some vets associate routing choking of dogs with throat cancer.) If you are trying to stop your dog from pulling, jumping, scavenging etc. there are three types of equipment I would recommend and they are:

1. sensation harness – This is my favorite piece of dog training equipment. It doesn’t hurt dogs, is amazingly effective and dogs do not seem to mind it. It can be used for a dog who pulls, a dog who jumps and or for a dog who is perfect on the leash, in place of a collar.

2. gentle leader – The gentle leader is one of the most used pieces of equipment for dogs who pull but there are things to be wary of with it. Over use of the gentle leader can lead to both neck and eye problems. The gentle leader is meant for dogs who either bite, lunge and or scavenge but I would try and not use it long term. I would more recommend using the gentle leader as a negotiating tool for teaching a term, like “no bite”, “drop it”, etc..

3. halti – The halti is very similar to the gentle leader with the difference being the gentle leader is lighter and dogs seem to like it better. What you as an owner might like is that the halti has a clip that attaches to the collar for added safety. But if the gentle leader is sized correctly it shouldn’t never come off. The halti is meant for dogs who pull, scavenge, bite and or lunge.

14 Responses

  1. Please educate yourself.

    When used correctly, they neither cause pain nor pose a significant threat of injury to a dog. In fact, they are one of the safest tools you can use with your dog.

    Harnesses, for one thing, encourage pulling by placing pressure across the strongest part of the body. The dog is recieving mixed signals – the straps of the harness say “pull” but the uncomfortable sensation he recieves contradicts that. To me, that is much crueler than any prong collar.

    Head halter pose a SERIOUS threat of injury to dogs who lunge/pull. They can seriously injure a dog’s neck and spine by jerking the dog’s head around if the dog hits the end of the lead suddenly. Not to mention the fact that most dogs absolutely hate them, including my own. It absolutely ruined her walks – when we pulled the Gentle Leader into view, she tucked tail down and sat wherever she was, despite our conditioning her with treats and trying to make the halti a positive experience.

    On the contrary, she runs eagerly toward the prong for her walks, with no treats involved. Her demeanor is drastically improved. Not only that, but I purchased my prong collar AFTER my dog was trained to heel, so it was not a “training crutch” as many claim. I chose it because it poses no threat to the dogs trachea/soft tissue, and allows for the greatest level of finese between owner and dog while on a leash. It also places even pressure around the dog’s neck through small points, which mimics a mother dog’s mouth around the neck of a puppy. It is a much more natural way to communicate with a dog, other than pushing him off balabce with a corrective harness, or pulling his head around with a halti.

    Not ever collar is for every dog or every handler. The prong collar may not be for you or your dogs, but the fact remains that it is an extremely valid and humane tool for training a dog when used correctly.

    And if you really think it hurts, fit it PROPERLY around your upper arm, and give it a pop. I’ve done this and did not find it painful at all. My dog has much thicker skin on her neck than I do on my arm, too. That and I rarely ever “pop” the prong collar; just a squeeze on the leash will do.

    You are sorely uneducated on prong collars and their use, and it’s a bit sad.

  2. If your dog was already trained to heel… why in hell did you need to use a prong collar? Could you not just use a flat leather collar?

  3. My dog also hated his Gentle Leader….he spent his whole walk trying to figure out how to get it off, and therefore, missing out on any training I was trying to give him. He is another one who tucked his tail, and ears when the GL came out. Ah, but when he hears the jingle of his prong collar, he knows we’re REALLY going somewhere special, as I use his leather collar for the walks around our fields….He loves hearing the “jingle”!

  4. The prong was used under high distraction. When you’re sitting around, doing nothing, you’re quite aware of a mosquito biting your arm. However, when you’re busy/distracted/exciting, you probably won’t even notice.

    The same goes for flat buckel vs. prong collar. When we’re just walking outside, a squeeze on the flat buckel tells her, “Hey – get back here.” When she’s busy, it means nothing.

    Also, it’s by far the safest and most humane way to deliver a leash correction should you choose.

  5. I was using the Gentle Leader head collar until last summer when my dog injured his eye while wearing it. He tore his eyelid, requiring surgery that cost me over $1000. I have now been trying out the Gentle Leader harness and will see if it works. I have a lab that likes to lunge and pull.

  6. Another sad case of ignorance.

    Before you spew nonsense about something you very obviously don't understand, you should properly research it.

    A prong collar that is yanked so often it warps, is being used for abuse. They aren't meant to be yanked on, and pulled until the dog is in pain. It's a short tug and the dog should heel.

    My dog used to CHOKE himself on collars, and Halters meant nothing to him, he would just pull right through them, Haltis I would never use because they cut a dogs face.

    When I got a prong collar, it took me fifteen minutes to teach my dog not to pull. He never yelped once, nor showed signs of extreme discomfort. They pinch the skin around the neck when the dog lunges, that's IT.

    If you want to see cruel, check out the dogs who tear their lips and snouts because of a Halti.

    Also, a harness is used for pulling in any dog, so suggesting one, even with a snap on the front…is just stupidity.

  7. A prong collar is not animal cruelty. Not training your dog that you are the Alpha, IS. The people who say this is cruel, will turn around and get a choke chain, and use it for regular walking collar.
    All of these tools are meant to be used properly, and by that I mean once or twice, not all the time. It is a tool that says to your dog, I don't know how to communicate with you, so it has come to this. This is very common so don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you don't love your dog. Teaching your dog how to be successful in the first place is YOUR JOB AS ALPHA, not waiting for them to make mistakes that you never warned them about. Sounds like your worst boss story right? If you spend the time with your dog when they are young, you would not be in this position, arguing about who knows more about animal cruelty than the other person does.
    Dogs require as much hands on as your own kids would in order to be your right hand pal ( which is what you wanted in the first place right?).

  8. Prong collars do not pose a threat when used correctly. The halti and gentle leader are in fact MORE dangerous than these pieces of equipment, as they have a greater chance of twisting their neck in a dangerous way. Prongs, instead, slightly "pinch" the dog, not enough to hurt, but just enough for them to notice. So all of these people stating that prongs are bad, are upright…. CRAZY!!


  9. I heard that the prong collar was designed so that it had a limit to how small the collar can get on your dog's neck unlike the slip collar which can choke your dog all the way through.

    The harness is designed to fit on the strongest parts of the dog's body, like his chest. They were mostly designed for sledding dogs, like Huskies, in the first place so they can pull the heavy sleds.

  10. Any training tool is like any tool which is used for any profession. An artist uses a paint brush beautifully I would make a disaster of the canvas. A car mechanic does wonderful work with his tools, I would destroy a car using the same tools. The bottom line is you can blind a dog with a toothpick but is a toothpick considered a dangerous device. A prong collar is a wonderful tool is used by an artist but as any tool can be disastrous in the wrong hands. These tools are used for short term training to educate for the basic commands. Quick little inconspicuous wrist snaps amidst a play session in a quiet environment will guide your dog into the right behaviors. Using food, play and a lot of movement in this beginning educational phase of training is crucial. Your key to know if you playing your dog properly is the tail continuing to wag throughout your training session. Those who just use the prong collar to walk their dog are using it incorrectly. By doing this your dog will build up a callas and muscle resistance to the collar and it will become ineffective very quickly. In addition, when you take the collar off after your walk your dog still dose not know how to heel. That makes this tool used in that manner only a temporary fix. The goal is to educate and get away from the collar as quickly as possible when you've taught what you wanted to teach.

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