The other day, I saw a video a guy posted about why he uses dog prong collars. This can be a controversial subject actually. Many dog owners feel that dog prong collars can be cruel. Or, slightly Mid-Evil in how they’re used. But there are different reasons as to why many dog owners use them. Here’s why I use them for my dogs.
When it comes to training dogs, all dogs are different. I’m not referring to how dogs are trained being different either. I’m talking about the dog itself. Dogs personalities vary as much as human personalities do. I have three dogs now. Buttons, unfortunately, passed about two months ago. Of my three dogs, they each have a unique personality. Don’t worry, I’m getting back to the prong collars in a moment. But, understanding your dog’s personality, will help you on whether the prongs are a good fit or not. Maybe you need a different training tool to help your dog?
But let’s talk about how dogs differ first.
Dogs Differ Dog to Dog.
This might be a “duh” moment for some dog owners, but to others, they might question this. Do all dogs really differ that much? Yes, they do. Each of my three dogs can be trained using different techniques and styles. That’s because each was raised differently, and each of them has a different learning style. This means, that not all training is effective if I use the exact same method. Now, does this mean that each dog needs a different training session? No. I train Muse and Atlas together.
As far as their personalities go, they’re both very stubborn. Stubborn dogs don’t do well with just treats and kissy faces. Or that lame baby talk that I hear people use with their dogs. Especially when I hear it if they’re trying to train their dog. Mine need a firm hand, and treats. Otherwise, forget it.
With Harry, the Chihuahua, training him is almost impossible. But, being firm with him doesn’t always work. Point being? All dogs are different. This means, that my training tools that I use for each dog is different as well. I don’t use prongs on Harry because he fights them all ways to Sunday. He’s simply too small, and the flat collar works just fine on him for training. For Atlas and Muse though? Forget the flat collar! That does nothing!
Dogs differ in what works for each of them.
Different Dogs Need Different Tools.
When it comes to the tools you choose to use for your dog, they can differ based on that dogs behavior. Now, for Atlas and Muse, they both need prong dog collars during training. Why? The flat collar simply doesn’t work on these two knuckle heads – yes, they’re stubborn. And, the slip collar doesn’t do much either. The dog prong collars however, work wonders.
They also both have muzzles, but I’m afraid that Muse is not so happy with her muzzle, versus Atlas. Atlas doesn’t exactly like it, but it doesn’t rub her skin wrong like it does Muse. Muse, being the crazy dog that she is, has chewed through a thick leather muzzle before. That’s right, she chewed through the thing! But that’s Muse for you.
Also, they both have shock collars. Atlas is tough, and doesn’t care about the collar. She doesn’t like it, but she doesn’t pout about it like Muse does. Muse is very sensitive I’ve come to learn. So, when I had to use it on her, she was very upset about it. Muse is a sensitive dog. She’s very needy, cuddly and needs a lot of attention. Don’t get me wrong, they can both be this way. However, Muse is this way all the time. But even being sensitive, the dog prong collar is necessary for her during training sessions.
Using the Dog Prong Collar.
Regardless of the fact that Muse is sensitive, she still can be stubborn. She also is very reactive, well, she was very reactive when I first got her. Now, she’s calmed down and doesn’t freak out at the smallest thing outdoors. I thank most of this to the dog prong collar. The prong collar works by pressure points. See, the flat collar doesn’t. If a dog pulls with a flat collar, they don’t care, even as they choke themselves out. They know that they can pull as much as they want, and the pressure never changes. Sure, the tightness will choke them, but honestly, stubborn dogs don’t care.
The prongs are different. The prongs will work by A: tightening as they pull, this is the choker style and B: the points will apply pressure the more they pull. Dogs don’t like this. So, when I have the prongs on Atlas and Muse, they don’t pull like they would a flat collar. They simply can’t. The pressure of the prongs in specific pressure points prevent this from happening. As I mentioned above though, the prongs work well on Atlas and Muse, but not Harry. Different dogs need different tools.
Now, regardless of whether you use this collar or not, you still have to actually train the dog to do what you’re asking them to do. It’s not a magical collar of, “Now my dog acts perfectly in public.” No, you have to put in the work too.
Training with the Dog Prong Collars.
Like I mentioned above, just because you put this thing around your dogs neck, does not mean that your dog is going to be the perfect example of the perfect dog. Will they have a hard time pulling on the leash with this thing around their neck? Yeah! It doesn’t feel good to them, as long as you have it set correctly of course.
**To fit the prongs correctly, it must be kind of tight, first off. And, it must be fitted to sit right behind their ears, directly under their chin. This is where the pressure points are for your dog. The one that I use also has a flat metal piece that sits across their throat, so the prongs don’t dig into their esophagus if they pull too hard. I don’t want my dogs injured, but I will say, they rarely pull once this collar goes on.**
Back to training. You still have to train your dog with the dog prong collars on. Meaning, reward them when they do what you’re asking. Like, sitting. Or heeling. Laying down, etc. You still have to actually put in the work I’m afraid. The prongs are simply a tool that allow you to train easily, without having to yank on your dog to do what you’re asking.
Final Words on Dog Prong Collars.
I know I didn’t go super in-depth with this. The dog prong collars is a very lengthy topic. There’s the Why to using them, and then there’s the How to using them correctly. I suppose a YouTube video will be in short demand soon on both of these topics. But the point of this article is Why I use them; for both of my stubborn dogs. And, Atlas and Muse just both happen to be American Bullies, so of course stubborn is in their DNA. But, each of them is still different when I use different tools on them.
However, they both react well to the prong collars. It’s a tool that makes dog training much more easy versus just a slip collar or flat collar. It allows the trainer more control over your dog versus other tools, simply because a small, minor correction is all it takes to maneuver your dog.
Let’s say I’m telling Muse, Down, and she just stands there. Instead of pushing her whole body down, I simply lower her leash connected to the prong collar towards the ground. She follows instantly, and does the down position quickly. That’s it. No more pushing with my whole body, no fighting her to get her in the down. Once there, I reward her and say, “Yes, good girl Muse!”
Do you use the dog prong collars? If so, how have they helped your dogs during training? Do you continue to use them? If not, why? What tools do you prefer over the prong collar?