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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Keeper Hidden Prong Collar vs. Working Dog Dry Goods Tactical Hidden Prong Collar

I have tried numerous "hidden" prong collars, looking for reliability, ease to put on and remove and at least some of the correction of a Martingale. I have the classic Herm Sprenger prong collar, which is the gold standard for training, but despite having a periodically reactive GSD, I don't need such sharp corrections for everyday use. A regular Martingale collar sometimes is not enough. The difficulty in unhooking and hooking the prongs and the inevitable prong failure make the HS less than ideal for daily use.

Up until recently, I found the Keeper Collar was the best choice. It was seemingly sturdy, had the HS 3.2 prongs permanently sewn in and was easy to put on and remove with a heavy duty plastic side release buckle. The problem is the Martingale "pop" correction is poor, rendering it slightly better than a prong flat collar. Unfortunately, I recently experienced a catastrophic failure of the buckle, resulting in a dog fight. In retrospect, the failure of Keeper Collar to advertise the rating of their buckle and 1 inch webbing should have been a red flag.

A gracious forum poster recommended the Working Dog Dry Goods Tactical Hidden Prong Collar. I was reassured when I discovered the online description included ratings for the 1.5 inch webbing and Cobra Polymer buckle. The Cobra buckle is rated at 500 lbs and the webbing at 5500 lbs. The hardware is welded, black powder covered. Upon receiving the WDDG collar I was immediately struck by the high quality , oversize hardware. The D ring for the leash and rectangle ring for the Martingale action are significant improvements over the Keeper Collar's generic chrome hardware. The increased size of the WDDG D ring makes attaching the leash on a squirming dog much easier. The oversize square ring greatly improves the correction quality of the Martingale action. I ordered one recently and have used it for about a week. I have found the correction to be a significant improvement over the Keeper. The WDDG Cobra buckle is easy to use. The only area where the Keeper may have an edge is the HS 3.2 prongs are sewn in, while the WDDG HS prongs are retained by elastic band tension. Whether that translates into a degradation of durability leaves to be seen.

My final conclusion is the WDDG is a superior product over the Keeper Collar. I'm curious about forum members experiences with either collar.
 

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Luna 3 months
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Hi BobbyShermanice, thanks for your review as I am looking into getting a Working dog dry goods hidden prong collar for my 7 month old female GSD as she has some noticeable leash reactivity at times. Just wanted to ask if you used the 6 prong or the 8 prong collar for your gsd? Their website lists that the 6 prong collar with cobra buckle fits 14”-18” necks and the 8 prong collar with cobra buckle is ideal for neck sizes 17”-22”. I’m pretty much new to prong collars and I’m not sure if I’m measuring my pup’s neck right. With measuring tape just behind her ears around the neck measures 16.5”. I guess what I’m asking would the 8 prong collar with cobra buckle be too noticeably big or would it work out as she still has time to grow? Thanks in advance
 

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We've had this collar for 9 years. The nylon backup collar makes this an easy on, easy off and secure.
569906

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Alfred:

The Leerburg website has a good depiction on how to size a prong collar: Leerburg Dog Training | How to Fit a Prong Collar. Use that as a guide. The prong collar should fit high on the neck and should be snug. I regularly witness inexperienced owners with prong collars dangling, loosely on the dog's neck. That negates the prong collar's purpose as a training tool to administer sharp, immediate, corrections. Owners with plush or long coat dogs often don't factor in the coat density and order the collar too loose. My GSD uses an 8 prong. He has a 19.5 neck (heavy coat). My guess is at your pups age, an 8 may be too big. Reach out to the seller after you redo the sizing.

I would be remiss if I did not offer my two cents on your use of a prong collar at this stage. What you perceive as periodic leash reactivity may in-fact be healthy, puppy exuberance. Misuse of a prong collar at such a young age could have long-term, adverse behavioral consequences. I know the default response on this forum is to "get a trainer" and in this case , that would be good advice. At the very least, have a trainer evaluate your dog. I realize that pandemic restrictions and financial considerations may preclude that option. If getting a trainer is a viable option, do your homework. I have dealt with several trainers over the years and found the best one through the local Schutzhund club. Find your local club and drop them a line. They may even help you out with a free evaluation!

Watch youtube videos on prong collars and do your homework. I would hold off on the WDDG hidden prong collar for now. It is effective for what I use it for; an adult dog from a rescue that was fear reactive to large dogs. He was outstanding in obedience and was amazingly gentle with our elderly, blind Teacup poodle. But encounter a big dog and the fight was on. Through a lot of work with different trainers, and a Herm Sprenger prong collar, he is 80% better. There is still that level of unpredictability. He no longer needs a HS prong, but a regular collar doesn't work very well if he goes bananas. That's where the WDDG hidden prong is effective.

I would definitely not use a harness. While your doing your research I would strongly urge you to get a Martingale style collar and see how that works. If after all the above and you still have problems, get the basic Herm Sprenger prong collar, and use it only for training to administer corrections, Don't use it for a regular, daily collar.

Good luck!
 

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Initially I started with the regular prong. Later I got the Keeper, which works just aa a reminder. Love that collar because it is easy to clip on and off with the buckle. I didn't buy it to hide the prongs.
 

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Luna 3 months
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Thank you Bobby for your response regarding the prong collar. As a matter of fact I am currently looking for a dog trainer near me and I believe you’re right on that being the better option than to just jump on getting the prong collar. I appreciate the in depth advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Glad to help. There are a lot of squirrely trainers out there so choose wisely. You don't want to pick a dog whisperer that specializes in Pomeranians. Trainers with dubious credentials are charging up to $120 an hour here in Houston. As I said, I reached out online to the local Schutzhund club and found an active member that offered to work with me and my dogs for $60 an hour. We benefitted greatly from her experience with German Shepherds. She turned out to be the best trainer i've ever worked with. If you don't have a schutzhund club nearby, contact the nearest one and ask if there are any individual members near you.

Schutzhund competitors can be a demanding intense bunch, but they truly love the German Shepherd breed, have an uncanny understanding of the GS psyche and are very receptive and helpful to novice owners. Good luck!
Clubs & Events | United Schutzhund Clubs of America
 

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Love my keeper collar over all other hidden prongs. I upgrade to the leather and metal hardware. For training at club and such I’d go over to a regular prong however, for out and about things my keeper if I feel I need a prong that day.

This is in second favorite but still prefer my keeper over this Hidden Prong Collar -Velcro Id Patch | CrazyTuff K9 Gear
I have the CrazyTuffK9 Gear option and love it, trained with plain HS and still have it when needed for quicker and more obvious corrections .. but mostly just use the Hidden Prong now .. so easy to get on and off, not to mention it looks cool lol personalized.
 
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