Use of Prong Collars for Dog Training
The use of prong collars for dog training is controversial. The collar has a series of chain links with open ends that dig into a dog’s neck if the dog pulls during a walk. The goal is to train the dog not to pull because every time the dog does, it causes discomfort and for some dogs – pain.
Many people believe the use of prong collars are for aggressive dogs or big dogs that can be hard to control on a walk. However, prong collars for dog training are used on all type of dogs – big and small.
Many dog owners find the use of aversive tools such as prong collars as cruel because it hurts the dog’s neck or dog’s throat. Other popular collars people do not approve of are choke collars. The use of choke collars constrict the dog’s throat when pulling, which is also uncomfortable for the dog.
What Professional Dog Trainers Believe About Prong Collars and Choke Collars
Professional dog trainers vary in their opinions when it comes to a prong collar, choke collar, or pinch collar. Many believe there’s nothing wrong with dog owners using them, while others believe there are other ways to train a canine to not pull on a leash.
Professional dog trainers who are against prong collar training that inflicts pain or discomfort use noise from a clicker to teach dogs not to pull. Whether it’s as effective as a pinch collar is debatable as some dogs learn quickly not to pull with the prong collar while others aren’t affected by it but find the clicker to be annoying enough to do anything for it to stop.
One thing that many dog owners should know is that a prong collar or pinch collar doesn’t pierce the dog’s skin. At least, it’s not supposed to although if the walker pulls forcefully enough it could irritate or scratch the dog’s skin.
One of the biggest questions that dog owners have when considering the prong collar is if the flat collar will be as effective in keeping a dog from pulling. Unfortunately, only using the flat collar doesn’t seem to work. There must be something that distresses the dog when pulling to stop the behavior.
Alternatively, positive reinforcement is a good way to teach a dog not to pull. When walking the dog, providing praise and small treats when not pulling and then stopping when the dog does pull helps some dogs learn to not pull. Although, it can take a long time for the dog to connect the positive reinforcement with the pulling.
What About Shock Collars
Shock collars are another type of training collar, but mostly for teaching dogs to not bark even though it can be used to teach dogs not to pull while on the leash. Shock collars are also promoted as e collars. There are many different manufacturers for e collars. They offer e collars with different levels of stimulation in order to be effective on many different breeds of dogs. For example, small dogs will likely not need as much stimulation as a large breed dog.
Shock collars or e collars are not meant to be used for punishment. They are used to alert dogs about unwanted behavior – leash pulling or barking.
An Alternative to a Choke Chain – Martingale Collars
An alternative to a choke collar (choke chain) are martingale collars. A martingale collars provide more control over the animal without chocking the neck like with a slip collar. This type of dog collar consists of a large loop that encircles the neck and there’s a smaller loop to attach the leash to it.
Training Dogs with Training Equipment
It’s never okay cause dog pain. Aggressive dogs can sometimes act out when provoked. To avoid that type of situation, people often use training tools for leash pulling or unwanted behavior. This may include prong collar training, negative reinforcement, or positive punishment that doesn’t lead to pain. While it can take time to change a dog’s behavior, the effort is well worth it.
People who are concerned about dog pain from prong collars, pinch collars, or e collars, there are flat collars available along with positive reinforcement tactics that don’t include aversive tools. Martingale collars are also an option, which can be just as effective as another type of head collar.
Where to Buy Training Equipment
You can purchase aversive tools and other types of training collars online on Amazon. With Prime membership, there is free shipping and you could have a head collar in as little as two days.
What to Remember When Training Dogs
Training dogs, especially small dogs takes a lot of effort and patience. Do not give up though. Be a gentle leader for your dog and your dog’s behavior will change. Just be consistent – no matter if you use negative reinforcement, positive punishment, aversive tools, prong collar training or even a professional dog trainer, as long as you remain adamant about the behavior you want and don’t want, your dog will learn.
What’s your take on prong collars for dog training? Sound off in the comments.