This is kind of a spin-off of my previous thread. I want to start introducing my 7 month old to a prong collar.
I am looking at some Herm Sprenger prong collars on amazon and I noticed "lightweight", "mediumweight", "heavyweight", and "xheavyweight". Is this referring to the sizes of the individual prongs? Which is more appropriate for a GSD?
I believe I read in another thread on this forum that smaller prongs are safer and more effective.
The lightweight/heavyweight/small/medium/large etc is a poor way to describe the collars. The various metals have different load capabilities, the different gauges have different load capabilities, and they are sometimes sold with links removed to create new sizes away from the standard. The different gauges and stock collar sizes available are:
4.0mm - 25" - stainless steel, curogan, chrome, nickel, antique brown
3.2mm - 23" - stainless steel, black stainless steel, curogan, chrome, nickel
3.0mm - 22" - chrome, antique brown
2.25mm - 16.5" - stainless steel, chrome
The links each have different dimensions, this is where some collars are badly selected and owners end up with a collar far too chunky for the dog, or alternatively have to remove too many links for the collar to be effective where a smaller collar would be more suitable. Link sizes are:
4.0mm - 1.75" x 1.25"
3.2mm - 1.25" x 1"
3.0mm x 1.25" x 1"
2.25mm x 1.0" x 0.7"
This is partly where understanding the properties of the metal can help. The different metals are capable of withstanding a maximum load based on how hard a dog can pull, and the weight of the dog increases the force that could potentially be applied. A 3.2mm chrome/curogan/nickel colar would be suitable for a dog weighing up to around 50-55kg. Much over that the temptation is to move to the 4.0mm collar and remove links, however a 3.2mm stainless steel collar would be suitable for a dog weighing up to 65kg as it has a greater load capability, thereby keeping the smaller profile prong and more prongs in the collar. More prongs are more effective.
It's possible to use the 2.25mm collar on a larger dog, doberman owners seem more inclined to use this gauge with extra links, and the stainless steel is the choice because it's load capability is well in excess of the chrome 2.25mm collar. On the whole though, the 3.2mm collar is the general workhorse and is a natural choice for a GSD as all the metals can cope with the force and offers the widest variety of styles and fasteners.
Summing up all that information up as lightweight/heavyweight or S/M/L/XL is just sloppy and too simplistic. Most of the time it's a telltale sign of a retailer who copied and pasted someone elses descriptions and doesn't understand enough to know it's inaccurate. The prong collar should be chosen depending on the dogs weight and neck size, it can even change within breeds where size variences are quite dramatic, a big 130+ lbs male will have a different gauge requirement to a small 70lbs female and the collar would be selected to suit. If you post some measurements it would help narrow the size range down.