Prong Collars

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Katlin
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Prong Collars

Post by Katlin » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:49 am

I've kept this to myself for a bit because I was sure I would return it because it was too harsh...but actually, I have a different story.

Wylie was a perfect gentleman on the leash until 4.5 months, then s&^t hit the fan and he lost all of the training almost overnight. Choke chains hung him, martingale collars were nothing more than a fly on a windshield, gentle leaders were gore splattered from his gums, and harnesses were a total joke. I was at the end of my ropes.

I tried starting to re-train him about a month ago. We went to the middle of a silent street with a choke chain and a long lead. He quickly learned to watch me and only me, he did surprisingly well. But he still lunged. Anything jutting out on a front lawn had to be marked. He wouldn't go up nicely and do it, he'd rip my shoulders out (literally, my roommate walked him for a while or we drove at one point because it was so bad). He was also bad for lunging at dogs in windows.

So maybe the ezywalk harness will help? Nope, he broke it
What about a front lead? Nope, even though it was fitted perfectly it still rubbed to the point of scabbing
Gentle leader (halti)? Also no, he makes a lot of noise when we walk so it cut his gums and he bled all over it
Choke chains were the best option for the time being. A quick snap and it was back to walking. But then he stopped caring about the snap of the leash.

We then tried a starmark collar (plastic "prongs") and he was great! nice walking, looking at me before he was going to mark something, lunging all but diminished. But yet another snag. They have doubled in price and the rope martingale part has worn almost through, it's unsafe. I went to the store and grudgingly bought a prong collar that was well fitted.

I'm amazed. It doesn't hurt him in the least (I would know because he has a very "soft" neck / body and WILL tell you if it hurts), he responds quickly to the sound, and I've only had to give him a good tug once.

As long as owners use a prong collar properly, I don't see the harm in one. They should NEVER be left on unless it's attacked to a leash in YOUR HAND. I've seen the damage they can do and it's not pretty, but for a last resort I'm pleased with my decision.
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Ryphen » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:25 am

We used one on Kumho for a while to help with the same problem of trying to dart off to chase/investigate various things. He learned the lesson pretty quickly and we hardly ever have to use it now. He wears it every so often just as a reminder, but verbal correction is typically enough to get him doing what he's supposed to be doing. He actually figured out something he can do when he's really excited and wants to pull to get to whatever the object is. Since he knows pulling will get him in trouble, instead of yanking on the leash, he weaves back and forth while we're walking, keeping it slack. We've dubbed it "the serpentine."

I know what you mean about people hating them, but when used properly they can be a nice training tool. If I thought it was doing harm in any way, it would've been thrown in the garbage in a heartbeat.

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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Tatzel » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:03 pm

I'm not going to blame you because you sound like you've been at a total loss on what to do about your dogs behaviour, but I have really nothing good to say about this. So I think it's better I don't say anything at all.

But I wonder if there wouldn't have been another way instead of using that... thing on your dog.
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by arianwenarie » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:20 pm

Tatzel wrote:I'm not going to blame you because you sound like you've been at a total loss on what to do about your dogs behaviour, but I have really nothing good to say about this. So I think it's better I don't say anything at all.

But I wonder if there wouldn't have been another way instead of using that... thing on your dog.
I agree. However, if the prong collar is used properly, then it's fine. I would just say be careful the dog doesn't pull too hard or the prongs may cause puncture wounds...not sure if that may be due to improper use though since I've never used one. :?

There is also another collar called the dominant dog collar made by Leerburg. I don't condone his training methods, but at the behaviorist I used to intern with, this is what she used if the dog did not respond to the slip chain (commonly called choke chain). It's made to stay at the top of the neck and all you need is a tiny bit of pressure for the dog to respond.

The only thing I don't like about the dominant dog collar is that due to where it's properly positioned, it's up against the dog's carotid artery. Too much pressure or excessive constant pressure on the carotid artery will cause the dog to pass out - pretty much choking the dog out.

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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Katlin » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:15 pm

Puncture wounds are due to the dog pulling and not releasing when they feel pressure. These collars are meant to fold in and pinch, NOT poke and stab, that's not the point of them at all. In Wylie's case, he doesn't pull with it on. He'll put tension on it and then look back at me when he feels it tighten, then immediately back up. It's a teeny bit loose so it's the sound of the chain part moving that makes him come back, rather than it pinching. He's a perfect candidate for one of these since it only takes a wiggle of the leash for him to stop dead and back up. I've heard of owners reefing on them or using them because they look tough and that's why they have a bad rep, because people are idiots with them. I put it around my arm and pulled, twisted, tugged, ect and with my strength I couldn't get it to hurt. I'm sure if he took off at a run and kept going with me dragging then it would cause damage, but it that case I would spin around with him or let him go. I'm careful enough that this tool will never hurt him.
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by arianwenarie » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:23 pm

Katlin wrote:Puncture wounds are due to the dog pulling and not releasing when they feel pressure. These collars are meant to fold in and pinch, NOT poke and stab, that's not the point of them at all. In Wylie's case, he doesn't pull with it on. He'll put tension on it and then look back at me when he feels it tighten, then immediately back up. It's a teeny bit loose so it's the sound of the chain part moving that makes him come back, rather than it pinching. He's a perfect candidate for one of these since it only takes a wiggle of the leash for him to stop dead and back up. I've heard of owners reefing on them or using them because they look tough and that's why they have a bad rep, because people are idiots with them. I put it around my arm and pulled, twisted, tugged, ect and with my strength I couldn't get it to hurt. I'm sure if he took off at a run and kept going with me dragging then it would cause damage, but it that case I would spin around with him or let him go. I'm careful enough that this tool will never hurt him.
I know what you mean. I was talking about the folks who don't know how to size their dog for a prong collar and use it. There are also different types of prong collars, no? I think there was a plastic one...don't really remember.

If you know how to use one properly and Wylie responds to it, then great. I would also assume that a dog who has short fur and thinner skin on their neck would not be good candidates for prong collars; especially the ones that get chafed from a regular collar from the slightest pulling.

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Re: Prong Collars

Post by iamnic » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:59 pm

I believe the Starmark collar Katlin mentioned is a plastic one. The problem with that one is that the connection is made of rope...which can wear down with use.

Both my girls have pinch collars, though two different kinds. Naima uses the traditional, like Wylie's. Kona is way more sensitive and doesn't need as severe of a correction as her sister. She wears a martingale with a short prong - probably most similar to the Starmark, but made of metal. It's called the Neck Tech by Herm Sprenger. The corrections are much lighter.

I've found that pinch collars are great tools when used correctly, especially for dogs who are body insensitive and love to pull. Absolutely nothing fazes Naima or Kona when they're in drive. They will hang themselves on a slip chain to the point where they cut off air and are coughing. Same with flat and martingale collars. Training with a pinch collars has allowed them to become at least halfway civilized.

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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Nimwey » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:16 pm

Prong collars are not painful and do not cause injury - properly used. IMproperly used, any collar or training device can cause physical or psychological trauma.
Choke chains can severely injure the trachea or neck bones, haltees/"gentle" leaders can scrape the dog's eyes or nose, and injure its neck (a dog's head is not supposed to be in a halter like a horse's), and so on.

Just a few articles I found on the subject, not considering prong collars medieval torture devices (because they are clearly not, but that tends to be people's knee jerk reaction when they see one and know nothing about them):
http://www.thatmutt.com/2011/08/24/gent ... ch-collar/
http://www.examiner.com/article/pinch-prong-collars
http://www.dogproblems.com/excerpts/poi ... ke-collar/
http://www.cobankopegi.com/prong.html
http://www.doganswers.com/collars.htm
http://www.suzanneclothier.com/the-arti ... ong-collar
And something I found during the same search, the problem with haltees: http://www.suzanneclothier.com/the-arti ... ad-halters
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Katlin » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:31 pm

iamnic wrote:I believe the Starmark collar Katlin mentioned is a plastic one. The problem with that one is that the connection is made of rope...which can wear down with use.
Yes, which is exactly what happened, and the rope isn't sturdy - it only lasted about 3 weeks.
iamnic wrote:Absolutely nothing fazes Naima or Kona when they're in drive. They will hang themselves on a slip chain to the point where they cut off air and are coughing. Same with flat and martingale collars. Training with a pinch collars has allowed them to become at least halfway civilized.
Same with Wylie, he would choke himself on anything and I began to worry about his trachea. Even the harnesses caused him to breathe funny and he would still be pulling with 80% force.
Nimwey wrote:Prong collars are not painful and do not cause injury - properly used. IMproperly used, any collar or training device can cause physical or psychological trauma.
Choke chains can severely injure the trachea or neck bones, haltees/"gentle" leaders can scrape the dog's eyes or nose, and injure its neck (a dog's head is not supposed to be in a halter like a horse's), and so on.

Just a few articles I found on the subject, not considering prong collars medieval torture devices (because they are clearly not, but that tends to be people's knee jerk reaction when they see one and know nothing about them):
http://www.thatmutt.com/2011/08/24/gent ... ch-collar/
http://www.examiner.com/article/pinch-prong-collars
http://www.dogproblems.com/excerpts/poi ... ke-collar/
http://www.cobankopegi.com/prong.html
http://www.doganswers.com/collars.htm
http://www.suzanneclothier.com/the-arti ... ong-collar
And something I found during the same search, the problem with haltees: http://www.suzanneclothier.com/the-arti ... ad-halters
Awesome links! Thanks! I found both times I tried the halti he had a sore neck. He'd still pull with it on which caused his head to fold down and pull on his nose. When I corrected him back to the heel position he'd dance sideways and his bum would move outwards, twisting his poor neck. He'd scream the entire time while walking in it so I know it was causing him problems, but he just wouldn't understand if he stopped pulling the pain / annoying thing on his nose would stop.

Once he's figured this one out I think we'll move down to a shorter pronged collar (much more expensive, but less severe), as you mentioned with Kona.
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by iamnic » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:04 pm

One other suggestion... I attempted using a head harness with Kona (which she still detests--we've been "desensitizing" for about a month :roll: ), and when researching options I found that I wasn't a huge fan of the harnesses that attached beneath the chin due to her habit of charging forward. I ended up purchasing a halter called NewTrix (www.newtrix.ca), which is built like the Holt Halti -- extra padded muzzle strap -- but attached behind her head. There are kind of a lot of straps to adjust, but once you get the fit right it's really easy to take on and off, plus has an extra connection to attach to the collar for security. Check out their site...they do a much better job of explaining the physics of it than I do.

You might want to try a NewTrix out sometime too. There are very few retailers that carried it in the states, so I ended up purchasing directly from the company and just hoped that I ordered the right size. You might have an easier time of getting a hold of one if you're interested, as it's a Canadian company :)

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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Katlin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:54 am

I have a red Newtrix that fits him, but he doesn't like it at ALL, it works either on the back of the head or under the muzzle and both are just awful for Wylie.
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Tatzel » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:25 am

How can any of you know that they do not cause pain? They look like torture devices to me!
Did any of you wear one yet?

A pinch -does- sound painful!

I'm not trying to pick a fight, but it sounds so self-convincing when people say stuff like that :/
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Katlin » Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:32 am

I put it around my leg and ripped on it a few times. Because it fits properly it doesn't cause problems. Sure if he were to lunge and keep going it would cause problems but he doesn't.
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Tiantai » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:21 pm

Tatzel wrote:How can any of you know that they do not cause pain? They look like torture devices to me!
Did any of you wear one yet?

A pinch -does- sound painful!

I'm not trying to pick a fight, but it sounds so self-convincing when people say stuff like that :/
Ricki I made those wrong judgements too in the past. Prong collar can be used painlessly if done correctly and on the right dog.
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Hawthorne » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:10 pm

The cheap ones are sharp at the points. :(
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Katlin » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:33 pm

Hawthorne wrote:The cheap ones are sharp at the points. :(
This one was NOT cheap lol! :lol: :roll: I tried it out on myself before it even touched Wylie. I am not hurting my dog in any way, this collar can't cut skin unless it's being used improperly - which it's not. So Wylie is doing very well with it, and I'm happy with his progress :)
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Tatzel » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:59 pm

Well that's good to hear.
I hope that one day he won't need this tool anymore though.
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by chelle784 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:06 am

I never saw any dog with a prong collar until i moved here. I guess they are more popular in north america. Personally I wouldn't use one because I have no clue how to use them properly so would be one of those people who fall into the category of not knowing what they were doing and would likely hurt my dog. I also don't know enough about them to make a valid comment but I guess every collar has the potential to harm a dog.

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Re: Prong Collars

Post by chelle784 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:08 am

They also look scary lol

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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Ryphen » Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:00 pm

Horse bits are the same way, and I'm sure a lot of people don't think about them because you can't see them when the horse is wearing it. Used improperly and not fitted well, they can cause pain. Otherwise, they help you communicate with the horse.

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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Hawthorne » Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:40 pm

We used one on Freyja and Darwin when they were young. It worked! But for us the real solution was walking them separately. We can't even take our lab with one of the Tams because then the Tams automatically want to pull. Even with two handlers.

I had much better luck and response from the easy walk harness and literally taking one step at a time. We worked on loose leash walking from day one in Obedience I and Manners I. I guess I will never expect them to be able to go on a pack walk together and walk nice on the leash. Because if we see a squirrel (and there must be hundreds in our neighborhood) I'd be on the ground! So it's either one dog at a time or off leash hiking in remote areas.
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Katlin » Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:25 pm

Ryphen wrote:Horse bits are the same way, and I'm sure a lot of people don't think about them because you can't see them when the horse is wearing it. Used improperly and not fitted well, they can cause pain. Otherwise, they help you communicate with the horse.
Ugh, when I used to ride I saw some nasty things, same with spurs.
Hawthorne wrote:We used one on Freyja and Darwin when they were young. It worked! But for us the real solution was walking them separately. We can't even take our lab with one of the Tams because then the Tams automatically want to pull. Even with two handlers.

I had much better luck and response from the easy walk harness and literally taking one step at a time. We worked on loose leash walking from day one in Obedience I and Manners I. I guess I will never expect them to be able to go on a pack walk together and walk nice on the leash. Because if we see a squirrel (and there must be hundreds in our neighborhood) I'd be on the ground! So it's either one dog at a time or off leash hiking in remote areas.
Well when Wylie broke an ezywalk I decided it wasn't safe enough. He has such a prey drive and I have more than one neighbour who doesn't have any control over their aggressive dogs :( It's too dangerous to not have control over him. Of course my goal is to not have to even have it on him eventually!
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Hawthorne » Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:26 am

You'll get there. He's a teenager ;)

Did I ever mention I carry bear spray when I walk my dogs? I used to carry mace. Now I carry bear spray. It's more for the people than for the stray dogs at this point... but it would work on dogs, too!
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Re: Prong Collars

Post by AZDehlin » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:59 pm

Zephyr was bad as a teenager but I couldnt bring myself to buy one because he is such a bull and I am sure he would pull until the thing is dug into his neck and caused damage. I use head halter because he has already injured his trachea because he would pull on his collar until he couldnt breath. I like the ezy walk besides Noque likes to chew them off of himself and Zephyr and I cant afford to keep replacing them. Since working Zephyr in Harness and a sled 3-4 times a week he has mellowed out and walks at a heal when he is alone and he has gotten much better walking with other dogs.

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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Kootenaywolf » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:00 pm

I'm glad you found something that is working! I know a lot of people condemn prongs, but like a few people have said, it's not the equipment, it's how it is used. ANY tool can be used improperly and cause damage. Prongs absolutely have a place when used correctly.

Your walks must be so much more pleasant now!

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Re: Prong Collars

Post by Katlin » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:55 am

Kootenaywolf wrote:I'm glad you found something that is working! I know a lot of people condemn prongs, but like a few people have said, it's not the equipment, it's how it is used. ANY tool can be used improperly and cause damage. Prongs absolutely have a place when used correctly.

Your walks must be so much more pleasant now!

Exactly! Some people think it's cruel, but that's their opinion, my opinion is it works when it's used properly on the right dog. It's entirely circumstantial :)

Ugh yeah my walks are pretty good now, a bit less pulling haha :lol: :roll:
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