Positive Dog Training Prong Collar
Edward R. Forte
October 12, 2021
Training & Behavior
Walking a dog that pulls on leash is not only frustrating but it can also be dangerous so it is common for concerned pet parents to look for simple solutions with many turning to what many might consider controversial training equipment like prong collars and choke chains.As a reward-based training company here in Pasadena, we at My Dog Spot certainly have our opinions about the use of aversive training equipment, but should prong collars, choke chains and shock collars be banned altogether?This results in discomfort and sometimes even pain depending on the strength of your dog’s pull.The discomfort caused by a prong collar is enough to stop a dog from pulling quite quickly, leading the owner to feel satisfied with their dog’s “good behavior” on outings while wearing it.It’s easy to want to judge a dog owner who places a scary looking device around their dog’s throat especially if you are pro positive reinforcement and don’t believe in aversive training.Prong collars work by putting pressure on a dog’s throat which can lead to severe injuries of their thyroid glands and trachea.This can lead to other serious health problems down the road like hypothyroidism, weight gain, ear infections, hair loss, skin issues and even organ failure.It doesn’t teach a dog which types of good behaviors the owner wants from him.These negative associations can lead to more fear and anxiety in the dog which can ultimately lead to the dog pulling and lunging harder at what he now perceives as negative triggers despite being in pain.If Prong Collars Are Potentially Dangerous And Even Ineffective, Why Do Some Trainers Still Recommend Them For Dogs Who Pull On Leash?Some trainers firmly believe in the efficacy of prong collars if and when used properly.This usually required the use of discomfort, pain, and punishment during training sessions to elicit submissive behaviors from a dog.Luckily, this theory has since been debunked and is now considered by many to be an outdated method of dog training.The Most Effective Tool To Stop Your Dog From Pulling On Leash Is Not A Prong Collar At All.Each of the above harnesses are available for purchase on our website and can be ordered in your dog’s particular size.Other Expert Tips You Can Use To Stop Your Dog From Pulling On Leash.When dealing with a dog who is a heavy puller, you may need to undergo some leash training with your dog to help him relax during walks so the experience can be more enjoyable for the both of you. .
Prong Collars, E-Collars and Clickers: Why These Training Tools
The truth is that remote collars make an incredible form of communication between humans and dogs.This safety measure can be very effective in preventing tragic accidents, both on and off leash.Remote collar brands such as Dogtra offer a pager only function on many of their models.Think about it: would you rather experience the terrifying moment that so many owners do when your reactive dog attacks another dog or person, when your excitable pup runs out into the street and gets hit by a car, or doesn’t listen when you desperately call them back during a hiking trip -only to find yourself frantically administering first aid on your companion after they have been torn up by another animal or bitten by a venomous snake. .
Dog Training Aversives: What Are They and Why Should You Avoid
Dog owners never really questioned these methods because they seemed to work – for the most part.We don’t touch a hot stove with our bare hands to avoid the pain of being burned.Studies are exposing the unintended consequences of these methods, including increased aggressive behavior, stress, and fear.For example, you could add a strong prong collar correction when your dog pulls on leash.When considering which techniques or tools to use with your own dog, always ask yourself "Is this necessary?".Let’s look at some reasons why you should avoid using aversive training methods with your dog:.There are even studies done that prove this, such as this one, which states, "Our results demonstrate through direct evidence from real life situations, that the reward-focused training was, indeed, more efficient than methods which included potentially aversive stimuli such as electric stimuli or excessive lead pressure.".Imagine starting a new job and only being told what not to do.You wouldn’t learn how to do your job very quickly, if at all!Imagine starting a new job and only being told what NOT to do.You wouldn’t learn how to do your job very quickly, if at all!There is a variety of collars and harnesses that work just as effectively as aversive collars, without causing discomfort, pain, or injury to the dog, and are more comfortable for the human handler to use.There are many dog trainers who claim they have “fixed” a dog that previously pulled on leash by throwing a prong or choke collar on them and calling it good.But without taking the time to reinforce walking politely on leash and not pulling, the dog hasn’t learned anything other than not to pull when they’re wearing that collar.Another example of this would be bark collars, whether shock (e-collars) or citronella spray.What's most disheartening about these tools is that it's punishing a normal dog behavior.And bark collars can also have extremely detrimental effects on dogs who associate the thing they were barking at with the aversive consequence, causing long-term fear, anxiety, reactivity, or aggression issues with those particular stimuli.Your dog’s good behavior shouldn’t rely on whether they’re wearing a specific kind of collar.It’s much more rewarding as a dog owner to see your dog make good decisions because you’ve taught them what behaviors are rewarding and make you happy!For example, if you are using an electric shock collar to stop your dog from barking, the desired association is that a bark equals a shock, therefore we want the dog to learn: don’t bark and you won’t be shocked.But you can do everything possible to prevent negative associations by not using aversives in the first place.When your dog is having fun, they’re willing to work harder and more often.Or one who happily engages with you and offers good behaviors because they are having a great time?Using punitive methods also makes it harder to increase the quality of training responses from your dog.Want to see the difference in body language and motivation levels between dogs trained with aversives versus positive reinforcement?An alpha roll is when the handler uses force to push the dog down into a vulnerable position on their side or on their back while standing or laying over them in a threatening manner until they “submit.”.You might have seen this technique used by popular TV trainers, but they purposefully have their production team edit out the dog bite footage (or keep it in for shock value).Intentionally forcing a dog into a situation where they feel like they have no choice but to bite is incredibly irresponsible and leads directly to euthanasia of dogs for behavioral issues that were directly caused by human actions.Grandma won’t be able to alpha roll the family dog as well as her strong grandson, and neither of them should have to put themselves in such an unsafe position in the first place.This video is a news story showing the fallout of using an alpha roll.David Mech, wolf expert and one of the original researchers behind pack theory, has since denounced it.You can train your dog just as effectively — and have more fun doing so — by using positive reinforcement training methods.But it's a different kind of consequence than the aversives I discussed above.Well, that's more than worth it to me and better for the dog.Dogs that are deemed "high drive" breeds, such as bully breeds, Belgian Malinois, etc., are often used as examples of dogs that require aversive methods or tools to control or train.What's amazing is the success of positive trainers with these breeds, especially in protection dog sports such as Schutzhund, mandioring, or Police K9 training — areas where aversive training has been the mainstay for decades.In an unregulated industry, it can be difficult to connect with a trainer whose training methods and philosophy match your own.There are many different certifications for dog trainers, some that even include the use of aversives in training methods. .
A flat collar should fit comfortably on your dog's neck; it should not be so tight as to choke your dog nor so loose that they can slip out of it.It is also useful for a dog of any breed who is adept at slipping out of their collar or for fearful dogs who may try to retreat while out on a walk.The leash attaches to a ring on this loop.When your dog tries to back out of the martingale, the collar tightens around their neck.Head collar.Because the halter is around your dog's muzzle, instead of their neck, your dog loses a great deal of leverage and they are unable to pull on the leash with the full weight of their body.Don't leave the head collar on your dog all the time; eventually they will manage to pull off the muzzle loop and use it as their chew toy! .
Myths and Facts
Myth: Dogs’ skin is so thick they can’t feel the pain.So if you think wearing a prong collar would hurt, imagine how your dog feels.Myth: Nothing else works, and I can’t control my dog any other way.Fact: If you’re working with a skilled trainer who’s using positive reinforcement, you can teach your dog to perform nearly any behavior without the use of pain or fear.Socialization and training have more of an influence than breed on behavior.Fact: Unfortunately, many trainers are still using out-of-date, non-evidence-based training methods, which end up doing more harm than good.We recommend that you follow the advice of reputable dog welfare groups and look for a credentialed trainer that has passed a reliable, validated assessment of his or her skills.Myth: My dog’s prong collar has little plastic protectors so it doesn’t hurt as much.Fact: Sadly, this is a false statement that’s been perpetuated by aversive trainers.However, by using this collar, you aren’t actually training your dog to do anything.Fact: If you can see that a choke collar is inhumane, why would you want to use another inhumane tool, such as a prong, that hurts your dog? .
Why I Decided to Go with Balanced Dog Training – Long Haul
I described our struggles with her recall and running together and many friends, whom I know loved their dogs more than anything, suggested that we try an e-collar.I watched YouTube videos recommended to me by these same people.I implemented the techniques suggested by world renowned dog trainers and nothing worked consistently.I’d play recall games with her, but once we hit the woods, she would take off.I felt that my only real success was implementing Karen Overall’s Relaxation Protocol.Unless I was shoveling food into her mouth, she didn’t listen.My uncle had invited me to their dog, Noogie’s training lesson.Noogie was one of the most well-behaved dogs I have ever known.My aunt is one of the most compassionate people I know.My partner found a trainer through the rescue he volunteered with and while she didn’t use my method of choice, I was willing to give her a try.Removing privileges helped significantly and the martingale made some difference during walks, but components of her method didn’t make sense to me.We were directed not to use treats and only very limited praise while working with her.Unsatisfied with the lack of progression, I actively sought out a balanced trainer in Spain.Refusing to stop talking about the subject, my partner finally ceded and we got a taste of balanced training for Laila.It was exhausting, but even after the first few lessons, I noticed a difference.I had no idea what to do and felt completely frazzled.George, our trainer came over, took Laila from me and we switched her to a prong collar.There was an instant difference in my ability to manage and communicate with her.I had full belief that this was going to be the answer.Unfortunately, after only a few lessons, my relationship ended and thus terminated Laila’s training.I tried walking him without one on our first walk and we didn’t make it out of the driveway.He sold me a collar and like Laila, the difference was instantaneous.Tools such as prong collars and e-collars deliver corrections to the dog.Positive Reinforcement (R+) Adds something to increase the frequency of a behavior.Negative Reinforcement (R-) Removes something to increase the frequency of a behavior.Positive Punishment (P+) – Adds something to decrease the frequency of a behavior.These accusations typically come from dog trainers who have never attempted to try tools like prong and e-collars.When used methodically, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth.The term “positive only” is used to make people feel good and happy about dog training.Any time a dog pulls against their collar is negative reinforcement.Aversive therapy would expose them to something unpleasant, like a bad smell, taste, or snap on the wrist from a rubber band, when they begin to engage in the habit.Before, I’d call their name with urgency or anger if the leash came loose or they broke a stay, begging them to come back as they sprinted toward oncoming dogs and people.Now, with the push of a button, I can send a distant “ah uh” tap on my dog’s shoulder and have near 100% confidence that my dog will come when I ask on the first attempt.For challenging dogs with reactivity, aggression, over stimulation, and biting issues, balanced training can literally save their lives.Do not use these tools without the guidance of a professional dog trainer.Do not just buy these tools and figure out the method yourself, as this puts your dog at risk for incorrect useage.E-collar Technologies ME-300 Micro Educator Remote E-Collar – Most balanced dog trainers will likely recommend this e-collar.To give you an idea of Sitka’s base level, he works at a 4 when there are few distractions.How have your thoughts about balanced dog training changed since reading this article? .
Prong and Choke/ Check Collars: the Good and the Bad! — Animal
Prong and chokers are common tools seen in dog training, usually made of metal, they sit around the dog's neck providing a correction (tightens) when the owner pulls/jerks the leash.Correction collars are positive punishment and negative reinforcement based which means: They are used to stop the dog from engaging in a behaviour by adding an aversion: pain or used to get a dog to complete a behaviour, where the aversion is removed after (eg.This means the trainer will have to depend on a collar to get a response if they do not combine this collar with positive reinforcement.Now some will claim that prong doesn't hurt the dog, but if it didn't, it wouldn't be very effective, would it?Still, if used properly it is said that these collars shouldn't cause permanent damage, but this has been refuted by a study in 1992 which claims that any collar can cause damage when it jerks or pulls on the neck.2 Additionally, see Eileen Anderson's blog for more on how prong collars can hurt based on pressure points – link.Therefore, even if you are interested in using these collars in your training you shouldn't use them for walking in public areas or on a fearful /poorly socialized dog to further prevent or increase reactivity.Though no matter the tool, you still need to train your dog to walk properly, the tool is only to support your technique and allow you to work with your dog (not control them!).Now some might see this as a long time but biting is a dog's main form of communication and the only way they have to grab things so of course it's going to take time to show them a different way (especially if some people in your house let it happen.).In all the only good use for a choke collar is to prevent your dog slipping a leash on a walk or for reducing collar chewing-when your dog stops chewing switch back to a normal collar.These collars are seen as inhumane even by those that use prong due to the pressure they apply and the fact the choke trainers would have the dog wear the collar at all times.Dogs will correct themselves with these collars-the trainers often state that's because the dog is not paying attention but the owner is just as likely to not pay attention and cause a correction.Leerburg says they should fit snugly below the jaw with the leash attached on the right side of the neck, the leash should be attached to the dead ring most of the time.9 According to them live is only if the dead ring is not enough -some trainers use live all the time.They call it the Dominant Dog Collar and even suggest it is more humane than the prong collar.This collar's additional purpose is to prevent escape if the prong un-clips (the links were not attached properly or worn out).9 Another trainer will agree with placement of the prong collar but states the leash should attach in front and only shift slightly to the side, as the prong could damage the throat.6 This trainer is also one of few to mention prong should not be used on young pups under 6 months old as it is too extreme.The trainers in the correction field can not even agree on how the collar should be worn while all positive reinforcement trainers can agree a front clip harness is the best for pulling. .
Positive vs. Aversive Dog Training Methods
If the reinforcement is positive, the dog is paid for his work and the response to that stimulus will tend to be repeated.In both scenarios, the likelihood of the dog sitting on command is increased and we can say we have trained the dog to sit when he hears the command to “sit.” The major difference between the two is that in one the dog is doing something in order to get a positive payoff while in the other, the dog is trying to control or avoid pressure and the payoff is being able to stop the pressure.We have flat non-choking collars, flat choking collars, chain collars, which can be either choking or not depending on which ring the leash is attached to.For training our hunting dogs, the flat collar, prong collar, and e-collar are the most used today.The flat collar can be loose enough so it doesn’t put pressure on the dog’s neck as a positive or it can be a bit tighter and used with a lot of pressure by snugging up on the leash.The sound/buzz can be used like one would use a clicker which, associated with a reward of some type, becomes a positive reinforcement.Or, the collar can be used with a mild single stimulation to be a reminder/mild correction much like a light pinch of the prong collar.This is an aversive use because the dog is controlling the duration of the pressure and learns that doing what is asked will allow him to avoid the correction.An e-collar can be an important tool in dog training and can be used for both positive and aversive methods.You need to evaluate your dog’s temperament and determine where he lies on the continuum from super soft/sensitive to extremely tough/hardheaded, what he can handle and what he can’t.Another thing you can do is to watch your dog’s reactions to all sorts of situations both on and off leash.But if your dog is overactive, up on his toes, looking everywhere but at you, more interested in anything else that is going on rather than the job at hand, you know the picture, you need to ratchet up the aversive parts of the training stimulus to redirect his attention onto you and what you want him to do. .
HERM SPRENGER Ultra-Plus Training Dog Prong Collar, 14-in
Although this is definitely lighter (think more aluminum body then stainless steel), and has some added points which differ from the early 2000s version, so far it seems just as effective on my 75lb German Shepherd adult male as it did on my 80lb adult male Flat Coat Retriever mix.Although this is definitely lighter (think more aluminum body then stainless steel), and has some added points which differ from the early 2000s version, so far it seems just as effective on my 75lb German Shepherd adult male as it did on my 80lb adult male Flat Coat Retriever mix. .