I know some people cringe at the sight of a prong collar, it looks barbaric and cruel. The prong collar training gets a lot of attention from pure positive or force free dog trainers. These trainers believe that the prong collar is cruel and should be banned.
But are prong collars cruel? The prong collar controversy is real! But we all need to know the truth about prong collars before passing judgment.
You are most likely reading this because your dog pulls on the leash, is leash reactive or you can’t control your dog on leash, right?
The fact is, the prong collar, when fitted properly, is designed to be the most humane way to train and to NOT harm your dog. Many people have never seen a prong or pinch collar properly used in dog training. I personally never used a prong collar before being introduced to it a couple of years ago.
The prong collar, otherwise known as a pinch collar, has changed so many dog owners lives… just scroll down and read some of the comments from people that have tried the prong collar and are brave enough to share their experience with you.
Now before you pass judgment, please read on to learn more and then decide for yourself…
The training program we used 20 years ago used a choke collar, so that is what we were used to. I thought prong collars were for out-of-control vicious dogs! But, after attending a seminar with a balanced dog trainer and doing a lot of research, I realized what a great dog training tool the prong collar can be.
We now use the prong collar to train our own dogs and our foster dogs when needed. Some foster dogs come to us without any leash skills and in order for me to be able to walk them with my dogs, I need to quickly teach them how to walk on the leash without pulling, and a prong collar is a great tool for this.
The prong collar made the below photo possible… my 10-year-old daughter riding her bike with our 95lb yellow lab, Bear. When we first adopted Bear he had no leash manners at all. He pulled his previous owner down their porch steps! With the prong collar, we’ve been able to quickly train him not to pull on our walks.
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You love your dog, he is your family and you'd do anything for him, right? Then you owe it to him to learn his language.
In full transparency, we do use the prong collar for our dogs. It has been a life-saver. But I am also aware of how other people view the prong collar. I do worry about what other people think, even though I shouldn’t. I love my dogs very much and I know in my heart that I am not a bad dog mom. And I also know that the prong collar is designed to be the most humane way to train and to NOT harm our dogs.
If your dog pulls you when trying to walk him or is leash reactive, I strongly suggest you consider using a prong collar. You will hear strong opinions about prong collars on both sides, for and against.
It is up to you to do your research and make your own opinion. I am certainly not here to push, either way, just to give the facts and my opinion on what a great training tool it can be when used properly.
Just remember, the collar doesn’t train the dog, it’s a tool to train… your training will train your dog.
There are many different types of dog harnesses. There are back clip harnesses, which promote pulling (think about sled dogs). Front clip harnesses that simply manipulates the dog into not pulling and does NOT FIX the pulling. And a Gentle leader or head collar that goes around a dogs muzzle… is that really comfortable for your dog?
I admit I have not tried them all. Although I am thinking I need to do a research project with every type of collar available on the market today! I have tried a few with our foster dogs, and they never truly work.
So now it’s up to you to decide what you are comfortable using to train your dog. I urge you to not shy away from the prong collar just because of what it looks like or what you’ve heard about it in the past.
Give it a chance, try it out and see what a difference it can make with your relationship with your dog. And ask yourself, is it better for your dog to drag you through your walk, choking himself on his flat collar… or to have a peaceful walk with your dog walking next to you, enjoying the smells and scenery?
Reminder, not all prong collars are created equal. If you decide you want to try a prong collar with your dog, make sure your purchase the Herm Sprenger brand (this is the exact one I have).
P.S. I’d love to hear about your success stories on using the prong collar. Comment below and share with the Rescue Dogs 101 Community that may be unsure on the benefits of the prong collar.
Debi McKee is a mom of three kids, two dogs and the creator of Rescue Dogs 101... where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She also volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society.