What Are Prong Collars
Prong collars are chain-link metal collars with dull, angled protrusions that sink into the pet’s skin when the dog or pet parent applies pressure to the leash. The prong collar sits just below the dog’s jaw and isn’t supposed to “pinch” unless the pet parent or dog pulls at the leash. This collar has similarities to the choke collar and martingale collar, but neither of these has the protrusions that pinch collars do.
Haven’t Some Places In The World Banned Training Tools
Some countries around the world have outlawed the use of prong collars and E-collars, often without any scientific basis. Several European countries have longstanding laws in place that restrict or prohibit the use of training tools. These laws are often based on misinformed public sentiment and intense lobbying from interest groups, as opposed to science and reality.
As one example, in 2018, the UK government outlawed e-collars after lengthy campaigns from activists. The law was put in place despite a letter sent by the governments own Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs , which indicated that the results of scientific studies commissioned by the department were not strong enough to support a ban.
This followed a 2014 statement from a previous UK government minister who stated that he did not believe there was evidence that the use of such devices causes unnecessary suffering.
In this instance, it seemed that politicians had changed the law by bowing to the power and PR muscle of campaign groups, as opposed to listening to the science on the topic.
Firsthand Experience Training A Dog With A Pinch Collar
One of our writers, Kimberly, took her dog to a trainer and was told Sally could benefit from using a pinch collar. Below is her experience using one.
When the trainer put the pinch collar on Sally, my heart sunk immediately, the collar had a very harsh look, and I felt like it was some type of torture device. My trainer explained to me thoroughly how to properly use a pinch collar on Sally. She stressed that I should never have continuous pressure on the collar, i.e., the leash should never be tight and should always have slack.
The trainer passed the leash to me, and as I worked on commands with Sally, I noticed how much more responsive Sally was. I know when my dog is in pain, and the soft tugs I was giving Sally to help direct her were not causing any pain at all.
My dog trainer also mentioned that the best way to use it is to give soft tugs when your dog is doing something wrong. So if Sally is walking too far ahead, I can give a soft tug to help her fall back in line with me.
Another thing Sally struggled with was being protective of me on our walks . She would bark and lunge at other dogs in a protective manner. Using the pinch collar to correct this has been extremely beneficial because we look for early warning signs and give soft corrections to the leash to direct her attention elsewhere.
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How Do We Keep These Training Tools
The movement to regulate or ban dog training tools is gaining considerable momentum in the United States. The movement relies on propaganda, fallacies and fabrications to promote their message.
We have the power to change this, however, by promoting a better understanding of these tools, their advantages, and how they have the power to truly help dogs and their owners. Knowledge is power, and education is the key to maintaining harmony in human-dog relationships.
Remember my 10mm socket? If you take it from me, it becomes very difficult for me to fix a lot of problems I encounter with my car. Its the same here. Please dont take my 10mm socket or the tools we need to do our jobs effectively because the reason I need it for could mean the difference between life and death.
This article was originally published on August 28, 2019. The article was updated on November 9, 2021 with additional information.
Best Collars For Golden Retrievers
When you bring your new golden into your home, one of the first bits of kit youll need is a collar. Its right up there with a leash, high-quality food, and water bowls, a brush and toys.
But, what collar should you get for your four-legged friend, and how should you go about choosing it?
Buying the right collar for your golden retriever can be overwhelming, especially for a first-time dog owner. There are all kinds on the market, so it can be tough to know which is right for you and your dog.
Thats why weve put together this list featuring ten of the best collars for golden retrievers, along with some handy general buying tips.
Youll soon be picking out a collar like a pro!
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Consequences Of Prong Collars
Studies have shown over and over that pulling and jerking of the leash is extremely harmful to the dogs neck and throat. Many dogs experience bruising on their neck and even eye damage. I see more puncture wounds in the dogs neck than I care to say.
Physical damage aside, there are mental/emotional consequences of utilizing prong collars. Perhaps youre struggling with your dog pulling toward other dogs while on a walk. Leash corrections dont do anything to address the root cause of the issue. They do, however, increase behavioral issues such as fear and anxiety.
Our first dog, Kaeto, had horrible leash reactivity. We learned that in his prior home he had received leash corrections for over-excitedly pulling toward other dogs. He began to associate strange dogs with the pain of the correction which led him to fear other dogs. Seeing a dog meant pain. Not a good thing.
What Is The Best Shock Collar Setting For My Golden Retriever
According to a professional trainers opinion, it is a universal rule that you must always start with the lowest setting. If the stimulation level is too high, your pup will show signs of suffering and pain.
On the contrary, the perfect setting will respond to the healthy posture of the neck and head.
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Are Prong Collars Cruel
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 cant 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.
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Basic Use Of A Choke Chain Or Pinch Collar
Improper use of a choke or pinch collar can lead to a host of medical problems. Its a good idea to seek the help of a trainer who is experienced using these tools to ensure you are using them safely, but the basic procedure is as follows:
This is technically how you would use a choke or prong collar to correct a dogs reactive behavior. However, this is not the strategy we recommend at K9 of Mine, and there is a lot more an owner must do when training with a reactive dog.
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Onetigris Nylon Dog Collar
This is a really durable collar for Golden Retrievers that will withstand most of what these boisterous dogs put it through! Its a flat collar and has a soft, padded lining for added comfort. It comes in 3 different colors and each has 5 adjustable points for an easy fit.
Each point is a double metal buckle which will ensure the collar stays on. The durable nylon isnt waterproof, however, so if your pet is a real swimmer this may not be the right collar for you.
Size large fits dogs with neck sizes of 17.7 to 20.9 inches, which should work for most Golden Retrievers.
Proper Placement Once The Collar Is On The Dog
Most of the time when a collar is put on a dog, the handler connects the collar with the links behind the dog’s ears – this is the easiest place to access the links. Once the collar is on the neck, the rings to connect the leash to are under the dog’s chin – which is the wrong place for them to be. You will have to rotate the collar so the rings are in the proper spot on the dog’s neck. This is usually on the right side of the neck .
The photo of the Doberman Pinscher shows a proper fitting prong collar. It is sized properly, it is sitting in the correct spot on the dogs neck, and the rings are located in the correct spot for the leash to be attached .
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What Is A Choke Collar
A choke collar is a chain looped around the neck which tightens while the prong is a collar of metal spikes with a chain loop, these spikes will tighten, pinching the neck. This means the trainer will have to depend on a collar to get a response if they do not combine this collar with positive reinforcement.
Do Dogs Like It When You Take Their Collar Off
When you take your dogs collar off, they will be more than happy to get rid of it. The problem with this is that using a collar is very important when training your pet. It provides them with the kind of feedback they need to know if they are doing something right or wrong.
You should only take your dogs collar off when they are at a safe place where they cannot get themselves into trouble.
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I Dont Support Aversives But I Understand Why Some People Use Them
Using aversives like prong and choke collars in dog training is risky. These pieces of equipment can have some serious repercussions and damage your dogs bond with you.
However, I also know how excruciating it can be to have a dog with serious behavior problems.
As an owner of a rescue dog who once had some troubling aggressive behaviors that took a dramatic toll on my emotional wellbeing, I understand the stress, frustration, and fear that can happen when dealing with a problem dog.
I myself was probably a month away from resorting to aversives with Remy until I finally started to see some progress with our force-free centered training.
While I would always recommend that owners utilize force-free methods and positive, reward-based training, some owners may already be at their breaking point and about to give up.
When youre dealing with dog behavior that is putting you or your family in danger and have already attempted several strategies without success, sometimes it can feel like resorting to an aversive tool to suppress behavior is the only option on the table.
When youre at that point where you need to see change fast or youll need to surrender or euthanize your dog, I can understand resorting to aversives.
If at all possible, Id suggest seeking out a force-free, positive-based trainer .
Exercise & Living Conditions
As you already know, the Aussie Retriever needs a lot of exercises but how much is a lot? Well, it depends on which parent he takes after. But you should expect to schedule a minimum of 60 to 90 minutes every day. This is without fail, come rain or shine, and without it, he will become unhappy, unhealthy, and behavioral problems will start. So, if you cannot guarantee him this, then he is not the breed for you.
As he is a super-intelligent dog, it is advised that you mix up his activity schedule each week to keep him interested. He makes a great jogging partner, agility course participant, ball retriever, and flyball pro. Basically, anything you like doing, he will too.
The Golden Retriever Australian Shepherd mix will prefer to live in a medium to large-sized home. Being used to the cowboy and ranch life, hed appreciate living somewhere with access to a backyard to roam, play, and snooze to his hearts content. Unfortunately, he is not suited to apartment living.
He makes an excellent match for families with young children because he is loving and gentle. He also likes the company of other dogs, and he isnt that concerned by cats or other animals, so he would be suited to a multi-pet household. But, if allowed, he can find himself in the habit of herding children and smaller pets. Which can become annoying and uncomfortable if you dont train this out of him. This is something to bear in mind and learn how to handle if it does become a problem.
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Dead Ring Vs Live Ring
There are two ways to attach a leash to the prong collar. It can either be connected to the live-ring or the dead-ring. Which one you choose will depend on the dog and what you are trying to do.
Leash that is attached to the live-ring on the prong collar.
This photo shows how to attach a snap to the dead-rings on the prong collar. Hook your leash to both sets of rings.
When the snap is on the live-ring the correction is amplified because more slack is taken out of the collar when the correction is given and the leash is popped. The live-ring is used if a dog does not respond well to the snap being placed on the dead-ring.
The first time a prong is used on a dog the snap should be on the dead-ring. When a correction is applied and the leash is attached to the dead-ring the correction will not take as much slack out of the collar as when it is attached to the live-ring.
Dont Judge The Book By Its Cover Or The Prong Collar In This Case
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, weve been able to quickly train him not to pull on our walks.
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Who Should Buy A Training Collar
Looking at the benefits mentioned above, you can see that a dog training collar is an ideal option for dog parents whose babies are strong pullers, incessant barkers, or indulging in other distracting and dangerous behavior. But note that you must understand the temperament of your dog before considering a training collar.
A rottweiler with a sweet temperament may not need a training collar, as opposed to an over-excited Labrador with aggressive tendencies. In cases where a docile dog needs a collar, opt for a less firm material or even a flat buckle collar. This is the basic dog collar with a metal buckle.
The most important thing is not to completely rely only on no-shock or e-collar dog training to get your dog to behave. Rewarding your pooch with treats when she acts appropriately and praising her efforts must be included as well. Verbal commands must also be used, especially around the home.
You can use a training collar to prevent leash aggression, lunging at bystanders, or picking a fight with neighborhood dogs. Just make sure youve picked the right type based on the behavior you want to control.
Here are the best candidates for a training collar:
- Strong pullers
- Dogs that bark all the time