Prong collars are lifesaving and humane training tools

Demystifying prong collars.

As your dog’s protector and pack leader, it is your duty to keep your dog balanced and happy.  When a dog isn’t getting the structure it needs, it will become emotionally and physically frustrated, which will then lead to behavior problems.  This of course frustrates owners who give up too easily, sadly causing millions of dogs to be turned into animal shelters every single day.  The walk, rules and boundaries all must be mastered if you want a harmonious, peaceful relationship with your dog.

The difference between responsible dog ownership and a potential accident is the way we use tools.  Tools are there to empower you as the handler and help to be the leader and completely in control of the dog, whether it’s inside or outside your home.  Every dog has the potential to be incredible if you use the correct tool.  I’ve trained many dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes, and I am here to tell you with absolute certainty that the prong collar is by far the best tool to use to train a dog. Why?  Because it works. 

A lot of people have been told to never use a prong collar because it’s cruel.  Well guess what?  The very people that speak poorly of prongs are the people that have never actually used them.  Isn’t that amazing that they’re so unwilling to leave their comfort zone they’d rather sentence the dog to death by labeling it “aggressive” than try something that actually works? That is crueler than anything I can imagine.

So why haven’t they tried it?

 I hear these myths often:

It looks barbaric so it must be barbaric. 
Haven’t we learned by now that you can never judge anything based on its appearance?  The prong collar is made of interlocking blunt links so when you give a swift correction, mimicking the correction a mother dog gives to her puppies.  It doesn’t hurt.  Dogs mouth each other in play constantly.  YOU are the pack leader, just as the mother is to her pups.  We need to realize it’s OK to correct a dog. The prong collar works.

I don’t want to make my dog uncomfortable or unhappy.
This one is always amazing to hear because to me, a split second of discomfort when corrected for bad behavior is FAR more comfortable for a dog than to be put away into another room and isolated from its owners due to misbehavior all because the dog didn’t know its boundaries.  Isn’t a quick pop of the leash and temporary discomfort worth a day, a week, a month, or even a lifetime of good behavior and living in harmony with you, your dog’s leader?  A pop of the leash is a correction, while a lifetime of being separated from people due to bad behavior is punishment.

The prong collar will make my dog become more aggressive/anxious/shy.
I’ve trained thousands of dogs and have never seen a dog become more aggressive, anxious or fearful from a prong collar.  I’ve seen them become more balanced and confident because there are no more mixed signals.  A dog is happiest when they clearly know their boundaries., and are included in the family because they have consistently great behavior.

Prong collars are just as bad as choke chains.
False.  Prong collars are not at all similar to choke chains.  Choke chains have unlimited pulling capacity which in careless, abusive hands, can cut off a dog’s air supply entirely and cause severe injury and even death.  A prong collar distributes even pressure and a quick pinch.  That’s it. Again, this is a correction, not punishment.  The dog will respond with a rapid and positive behavior change.

Head collars are the most humane collars.
Head collars are the worst type of training collars I’ve ever seen.  Have you noticed dogs walking around with these? They look uncomfortable, right?  It’s because they are uncomfortable.  The leash is attached to the jaw, which is a highly sensitive area, and a strong pull practically guarantees a cervical injury.  Not to mention the fact that these collars must be fitted so tight you cannot even get a finger under them.  Have you also noticed that their heads are kept cruelly tilted, and that the narrow noseband turns the poor dog like a wrench?

It’s normal, and even cute to see the dog on a flat buckled collar, taking its owner for a walk.
Leash pulling has unfortunately become a widely accepted behavior in our society where a shocking number of people think it’s cute seeing a dog “taking the owner for a walk.”  How do people cringe when they see a photo of a dog with a prong collar on, yet laugh if they see a video of a dog dragging its owner down the street, straining and panting?  Do not assume because the dog is making the choice to lunge ahead that it’s not abusive to the dog.  A dog pulling you down the street is abusive to you both, and this should never be allowed.

7) My dog yelps when I correct him/her with the prong collar, which makes me feel guilty for hurting him/her.
Your dog is not hurt, they are simply objecting to the correction.   You should also note that if you’re dog needs a correction in the first place, they are in a high, agitated energy state, and when a dog is in that state of mind, sometimes a even clap of your hands can startle them, causing a surprised yelp.  Dogs also object when they are left alone, crated, are begging for the food on the table, etc.  They need firm, consistent leadership so they can make good decisions. Giving a correction is not hurting the dog.  Allowing the dog to misbehave every day of its life is hurting the dog.

Think about this:

Let’s say I walk into your house and your dog lunges toward me to bite my leg.  If the dog has a prong collar and leash on, and I give it a quick pop, the dog learns instantly that it is not ok to lunge and bite.  Again, just because you were willing to leave your comfort zone and try a different training method, a split second of discomfort for the dog could save you years of frustration and maybe even the death of your dog because other trainers said that your dog was too aggressive to handle. It’s devastating to see so many dogs on death row that wouldn’t be if their trainers had just used a tool that works.  I’ll say it again, the prong collar works, and if you say you’ve tried everything to train your dog, yet still haven’t tried the prong collar then you haven’t tried everything.

A lunging and biting dog will not stop lunging and biting if you give the dog treats.  A lunging and biting dog all too often gets kicked out of obedience classes.  A lunging and biting dog often gets killed.

With a prong collar, the lunging and biting dog learns that there are consequences to bad behavior, such as jeopardizing a person’s safety.
 They get another chance.
No dog should ever be given up on and killed.

The prong collar works.

The public needs to be educated that the prong collar is the kindest tool out there, and if you are accused of being cruel to your dog for using one, try and take the time to inform them of the benefits, rather than responding defensively. I know that if we can bring the properly introduced and well handled prong collar into our nation’s shelters, the dogs will have more structured walks, more effective training, and naturally better behavior, making them more adoptable to the public. An effective training tool can literally save millions of lives if people can be educated and in turn, receptive to a different method, that is exactly what our shelters need.