Chip, a question. When you have a prong on a leash and you correct, why would this be more desirable than the lowest stim level or vibrate in your opinion?
Here is the issue as I see it; you need to teach
the proper behavior, then you train
the behavior. This is done with praise, reward and motivation long before you go to a prong collar or an E collar. Teaching behaviors by methods that use compulsion, whether it is a choke collar, prong collar or E collar are poor training methods. IMHO, using an e collar and a jerk on a leash to teach a dog to sit is poor training and will not give the desired results in a timely fashion. Teaching a recall with a long line and a yank, or stim from E collar, even low level are simply poor and lazy training methods.
In my experience, it is completely unfair to punish, correct or yank on a dog to perform a task or behavior they have not been taught properly to do. It baffles me to read websites, like Lou Castles or others that say "you teach the dog to turn the stim off"????? Then they tell you that the stim is not a correction, it is only "low level"!!! If it is not unpleasant or aversive to the dog then the dog will not desire to "turn it off" as they recommend. To be clear, corrections whether they are from a leash and choke chain, prong collar or an E collar are used for disobedience. If a dog does not understand a behavior, has not been trained correctly to do a behavior why would anyone punish a dog for not doing the behavior? If I have not taught my dog to sit, which is the simplest of tasks, why would I pop him with a leash or use an E collar to make the dog sit? Think about how unfair that is to a dog.
Teaching a reliable recall is also very simple and very easy, even under distraction. Why would I call my dog to come to me, then correct the dog to make it come to me? Please consider what goes through your dog's mind when you do this. Confusion, distrust and avoidance are a few of the things that can occur.
I use E collars and I use prong collars, I also have dogs that work in a high level of drive and motivations for years. I never teach a behavior with compulsion or corrections, it is simply unfair to the dog.
The biggest difference between an E collar and a prong collar in a novice pet owners hands is what they are willing to do with each tool. Many folks lack the physical strength, technique and mental fortitude to give a dog a good strong correction with a prong collar. If they have the physical ability to deliver a sharp correction with a prong collar, they often lack the mental ability to do it because they think they might end up hurting their dog. But, that little button on the E collar transmitter is so easy to push, takes no skill, no strength and it can be turned up really high when the owner gets frustrated. Presto, the dog gets zapped and suddenly appears to comply. The dog becomes "calm and submissive" like CM says is so good. (sarcasm) Or the dog gets startled and runs away, goes into avoidance or shuts down. Most novice folks will not see the spirit crushing effects of the "low stim method" has and how teaching the dog to turn the stim off really screws dogs up.
I love my dogs, I want my dogs to enjoy working with me, actually love working with me. I use two other training tools that most people will not or fail to use; patience and consistency. I know it takes time and thousands of repetitions to train a dog properly. I set up a plan and go step by step laying a good foundation and not taking shortcuts. I know where I will be in a month, two months and a year. I know that what I teach my dogs will last a lifetime, that is why I do it correctly. I don't look for shortcuts, I do not use the old "yank and crank" methods to teach or train my dogs and I certainly would not use the E collar methods (even low stim) some espouse to teach a sit, recall or anything else.
My point here is even low stim is aversive and using compulsion or aversive methods to train a dog has gone the way of the dodo bird. At least it has for the good, experienced and skilled dog trainers. Corrections, compulsion, etc is for disobedience and a dog that has not been properly trained simply can not be disobedient. Once a dog has been taught a behavior or command, then trained and understands a command or behavior and decides not to do it, that is disobedience and that is when corrections come into the training. Not before.
I hope this makes sense, I'm happy to explain it if my post is as clear as mud.