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Old 08-22-2014, 02:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why a prong?

I remember back in the 80's and early 90's that a choke chain was the way to go. Then I moved away from home and didn't have a dog again until 5 years ago. Sometime between the mid-90's and mid-00's the choke chain fell out of favour because it could be dangerous to the dog. I always heard/thought the same about prong collars.

Our 5.5 year old uses a martingale because she needs the tightening the chain part provides. If we use a straight nylon collar she pulls like the devil on leash walks and with the martingale she's much better. But when we bought the martingale, the local pet store owner looked down even on that and talked badly about prongs, saying they were only for very aggressive dogs with bad owners.

But on this site, and from what I've seen at the few meetings I've been to with other GSD owners, prongs are very popular.

Why do you use a prong? What are the benefits it provides? How do you use it correctly? Are there any down-sides? Can it hurt the dog? I'm a total newbie to it so any comments, either for or against, are welcome!
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Any tool can hurt the dog when used improperly. Flat collars, chains, and martingales can put a lot of pressure on the trachea and collapse it or do major damage to it even when used properly.

When used properly, and prong collar does not hurt the dog or risk collapsing the trachea.

I use prong collars because I cannot physically control some dogs (without going mad) on a flat collar, martingale, etc. and do not feel comfortable with the health risks in using head collars, front clip harnesses, etc. It's basically power steering while I use positive reinforcement to train the dog how to walk nicely on a flat collar.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"I use prong collars because I cannot physically control some dogs (without going mad) on a flat collar, martingale, etc. and do not feel comfortable with the health risks in using head collars, front clip harnesses, etc. It's basically power steering while I use positive reinforcement to train the dog how to walk nicely on a flat collar."
This is my philosophy also...
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Good prongs are designed if used properly and put on properly, to tighten evenly around the neck. They are pretty effective tools and can be a safe tool if properly used. I used one for a short while and switched to an e-collar.

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Old 08-22-2014, 04:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How do you use it properly? Is there a difference between how you use a prong collar vs a flat collar? And I read that it fits on higher up on the neck - where on the neck and how do you make sure you have the right fit?
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have reason to believe that prior to me adopting her, Keeta had been a tied dog. Probably spent the first year of her life lunging at the end of a chain. This completely disensitized her to collar pressure. She knew one forward gear: Pull into the collar with all your might. At the time, I thought of prongs as cruel and evil (well, they look evil), and tried a choke chain, with the result that she now just choked herself each time we went on a walk. We did obedience classes, and she did super well in class, and it greatly improved our relationship and my ability to control her, but if she got it into her head to go somewhere and check something out, I could barely hold her. And I'm a big person, you have to be strong and determined to pull me off my feet, which she did just about every day.

I gave up and with the guidance of a trainer tried a prong, OMG!! The thing was like magic! It isn't cruel - get a prong collar, put it around your arm, or your thigh, or even your own neck, and pull on it. You will definitely be aware of its presence, but it does not hurt - the pressure is evenly distributed all around the area. It just makes you sit up and take notice.

Gryffon is more in tune with me, and always wanting to please, and is a dream to walk on just a flat, yet it gives me great peace of mind knowing that with prong collars, I can walk my two dogs and I know that I will have full control - especially in my rural area were lots pf people let their dogs run loose, and being approached by a loose dog wanting to start trouble is a real issue.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Lucia, that's a big help! I have had the same issues with Frankie. I'm a big person too, and I'm pretty strong. But if she gets it in her head to pull she can pull me around - and that's saying something! We've done a lot of training with leash pulling and she's gotten a lot better, but she still has relapses.

And our new guy is VERY determined so, when he gets older, I could see him being a pain on the leash if he really wanted to check something out.

How do I learn how to use a prong properly? I know nothing about them. I live in a really small town, and we have 2 trainers for general obedience for the average house dog. I don't know if they'd have experience with prongs.

And I was wondering - do you leave them on all the time or do they only go on at training time? Do you use it in place of a flat collar or do you have both collars on?
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Castlemaid View Post
I have reason to believe that prior to me adopting her, Keeta had been a tied dog. Probably spent the first year of her life lunging at the end of a chain. This completely disensitized her to collar pressure. She knew one forward gear: Pull into the collar with all your might. At the time, I thought of prongs as cruel and evil (well, they look evil), and tried a choke chain, with the result that she now just choked herself each time we went on a walk. We did obedience classes, and she did super well in class, and it greatly improved our relationship and my ability to control her, but if she got it into her head to go somewhere and check something out, I could barely hold her. And I'm a big person, you have to be strong and determined to pull me off my feet, which she did just about every day.

I gave up and with the guidance of a trainer tried a prong, OMG!! The thing was like magic! It isn't cruel - get a prong collar, put it around your arm, or your thigh, or even your own neck, and pull on it. You will definitely be aware of its presence, but it does not hurt - the pressure is evenly distributed all around the area. It just makes you sit up and take notice.

Gryffon is more in tune with me, and always wanting to please, and is a dream to walk on just a flat, yet it gives me great peace of mind knowing that with prong collars, I can walk my two dogs and I know that I will have full control - especially in my rural area were lots pf people let their dogs run loose, and being approached by a loose dog wanting to start trouble is a real issue.
This! I just switched Arson (9 months) from a choke chain to a prong and it's amazing the difference.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There is a link on this forum about the proper way to use a prong...I am sorry I cannot provide that for you, but I am sure someone else can...I use a prong on my gsd...she has pulled me down too many times...not to hurt me..it is just those darn squirrels! Best of luck to you....
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Please refer to loki needs help on this forum...there are links re:the proper way to use a prong collar....good luck
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