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I'm looking for some advice on exactly how a prong collar should fit. My Labrador responds very well to prong collar corrections, but I want to make sure that we're fitting it properly. We started with it fairly loose, lying at the base of her neck. Then we took a link or two out so that how it sits higher on her neck, but now it doesn't rotate as freely around her neck as it did before. What do you guys think?
 

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http://leerburg.com/fit-prong.htm talks and shows good info.



The only change I have is I no longer use a collar with such large sized individual prongs. I use the next size down, feel it's MORE control because there are actually more individual prongs around the dogs neck. And they are easier to open and close (what with the collar NOT being large enough to slip over the neck).

Here are the collars to compare:



Both sized collars on dog (not fit properly, just to show difference)

 

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Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLee I no longer use a collar with such large sized individual prongs. I use the next size down, feel it's MORE control because there are actually more individual prongs around the dogs neck. And they are easier to open and close (what with the collar NOT being large enough to slip over the neck).
Not only that, but the prongs are smaller and therefore more effective.

The collar should indeed be as high on the neck as possible and as tight as possible. It should be difficult to rotate if not impossible.

If I had a dollar for every prong collar I see dogs out there wearing like a necklace I'd be rich.
 

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When I place the collar where it is supposed to fit, it seems mighty tight right off the bat, I feel as if it is giving a correction, or pushing on the skin without any action permitting it, possibly giving my dogs the wrong impression that they are being corrected for nothing. At what point does the dog feel the correction?

When administrating a fairly firm correction, do you find yourself needing to readjust the collar to ensure it is all the way up against the back of the ears, or is there given area that the corrections remain affective?
 

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Even when fitted tightly you will need to pull on the prong in order to give the dog stimulation. Remember, dogs have fur and thick skin. Have you put the prong on yourself? I suggest you do. Even when it's tight, it's not "poking" unless you pull on it.
 

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Fit the prong where you get results. It may take some experimenting.

When fitted high and tight on the neck, some dogs get very collar smart. They work (behave well) "under threat" and are very aware of when the collar is on and when it is off.

Some softer dogs will have issues with a high tight collar too.

Since having the prong looser and lower on the neck requires more arm motion and power to get a good correction, some dogs will learn to watch for the upcoming correction -

Like with everything - it's a balancing act. The above mentioned problems can certainly be worked around, but these are issues that might crop up with some dogs.

Christine
 

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The smaller collars are more "effective" because they are more harsh. Pinch a small bit of skin on yourself, and pinch a large bit of skin on yourself. So keep that in mind when choosing a collar, make sure you get the one with the least correction necessary for the desired outcome.
 

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Quote:The smaller collars are more "effective" because they are more harsh.
I didn't find that true.

With the smaller links it was much easier to fit the collar properly. The larger links sometimes force the size to be either too tight or too loose and the difference is the one link you need to decide to take out or put in.

Additionally, the point of the collar when fitted and used properly is it puts alot of the responsibility ON THE DOG. It's not about me now having a better ability to pinch the dog harder. It's about my dog's learning the EXACT consequence for their behaviors so they pay attention and behave. Rather than ignore the 'nag' on the other end of the leash cause they can!
 

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I've found the smaller links a little less harsh (and yes, easier to place and fit). More links means the same amount of pressure applied over more points, so less pinch for the dog. With the smaller links, I've used the collar more in a way that I can give quick corrections rather than always letting the collar self-correct. With large links, I was uncomfortable ever giving my own corrections, and didn't like seeing my dogs or the dog I was training pulling against so few links on the prong.
 

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Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLee It's about my dog's learning the EXACT consequence for their behaviors so they pay attention and behave. Rather than ignore the 'nag' on the other end of the leash cause they can!
In my opinion this is exactly why many do not like the prong collar in general and especially why many do not like it for any aggression issues. Nagging a dog with repetitive weak prong corrections brings up drive and energy in a dog. One effective correction brings a dog down.
 

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I do think weak corrections (or in my case, allowing it to self-correct) works with some dogs, but I've also had a dog that was on a prong and just got worse. My dog Coke has learned better walking on a prong without swift corrections on my part, but he is not a drivey dog at all, not reactive, not aggressive, and very wimpy so just the little self-corrections alone have helped us define the space where he is allowed to be. Now my uncle's dog...he slapped a prong on her without fitting it right or knowing how to use it. For a while it helped with her pulling but by the time he handed her over to us, she was pulling against the prong so hard she actually snapped it open, and she didn't even care. She built up a resistance to his weak or non-existent corrections and it only made her pulling and reactivity worse. The only time I ever got any sort of response from her in a prong was when she actually yelped, and I don't like to correct so yard the dog is yelping. Ugh, just one of many training mistakes made with that dog....
 

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Originally Posted By: LiesjeI do think weak corrections (or in my case, allowing it to self-correct) works with some dogs, but I've also had a dog that was on a prong and just got worse.
But then that is not a "weak correction", it's just what is appropriate for the individual dog. A level 10 correction to my young female is like a level 5-6 correction to my male. No good comes from making a dog yelp and shut down or avoid unless you are having a specific moment where the dog is consiously "giving you the paw" in response to a command they have been taught and understand and are making a stand while fighting through a normal correction.
 

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Definitely, what is appropriate for the individual is very different. With my female a level 5-6 correction may make her yelp, while I could give my male a 9 without him taking notice! Its most difficult with them when they are together and giving verbal commands. Because if I give a harsh verbal correction to my female she will plaster her ears or even lay down submissively, while the male didn't even hear me.
 

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Quote:One effective correction brings a dog down.
But if my dog is listening to me, not pulling, being obedient with a 'weak' correction.................. why should I ever have to 'bring my dog down'.

I use the collar to teach my dog to listen, learn and pay attention. And if that happens without any 'bringing them down' I think that's a tribute to a great trainer (not me, my trainer) and a smart dog.

So not a failure but a success.
 

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^ Yeah that's kinda what I was getting at. I occasionally use a prong on Coke to fine tune his loose leash walking, and I rarely ever have to give a correction (as in, me giving a quick tug). He's such a wimpy dog, just the gradual pinch as he moves out of my approved "zone" is enough for him. But we're just working on walking. John is working with dogs in high drive that will sometimes ignore a command that they know. I can't harshly correct Coke right now because he's still learning loose leash walk, it wouldn't be fair and considering his lack of drive and intensity, it's just not necessary. I can see where harder corrections would be needed on a dog in drive very revved up on the field. Even with Kenya, who would be considered quite a soft dog relative to John's dogs, needs a quick correction from me every now and then when we use the prong to perfect specific things. If I see her looking confused by the correction, I stop and take a step back, set her up for success. I've worked with it a bit lately and have found the "sweet spot" - what level of correction I can give to send the right message to her and keep her in drive (or rev her up even more) and not confuse her or making training about punishments (anytime I am using a prong/corrections I am also marking and rewarding for the correct behavior).
 

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MRL,

I was not trying to contradict anything you said. I was just expanding on it. I was expressing an opinion about prong collars in relation to aggression, and your post about not nagging and giving an appropriate correction illustrated my point. I know that you were talking about regular training and not a behavioral issue that you needed to "bring your dog down", I was just going beyond that.
 
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