Busting the Myths Surrounding Prong Collars
The prong collar.
So many people I've encountered over the years as a dog trainer in the Shenandoah Valley have an aversion to this dog training tool. But, when they tell me why and give me the opportunity to demonstrate for them how the collar works, they end up changing their minds.
Here's a look at some of the myths surrounding this simple, painless dog training tool:
MYTH 1: The prong collar will hurt my dog and is abusive/painful.
The prong collar is painless. Wrap one around your arm and apply pressure. The prong collar does not harm or hurt your dog when used properly. It simply provides a sensation on their neck, similar to the sensation a dog would feel if it's own mother would wrap her mouth around a puppy's neck. In fact, that is exactly what a mother dog does to correct her puppy's unwanted behaviors. The prong collar works in the same way and the dog instinctively recognizes that sensation as a sign to stop its behavior and calm down.
I once had some dog shelter workers tell me that a positive only dog trainer told them to put the prong collar around their necks and yank on it to see that it is painful.
Please, don't ever do that. Yes, it will be painful, and downright dangerous, for a human being. That is because our necks are built very differently than a dog's. We do not have the layers of muscle and fur that a dog has. The structure of our necks is quite different. In addition, a trainer will show you how to properly put a prong collar on a dog and where to position it so that it is most similar to how a dog's mother would apply pressure from her own mouth on her puppy's neck.
MYTH 2: I have to keep the prong collar on my dog all the time.
The prong collar is only used when walking or when you can anticipate your dog will be misbehaving. For example, if your dog has problems behaving when you have company arrive at the house. You may not be able to anticipate every single time someone will ring your doorbell. But if you know you are having company come over, you can put the prong collar on your dog with a leash so that you can correct your dog's unwanted behavior. Otherwise, the prong collar is off while the dog is home, while the dog is in a crate, etc. The collar only gets put on when needed to correct unwanted behaviors in your dog and only when properly supervised.
MYTH 3: I will have to use the prong collar forever.
Any tool, whether it is a prong collar or something else, that you use to train your dog should be considered temporary. The goal is to teach your dog how it should properly behave. Once it understands its owner's expectations, you can slowly wean the dog off the training tool that you used to achieve the proper behavior.
For more information on prong collars and their proper use, you can watch the series of videos below. All of them are from my new YouTube channel! I invite you to subscribe to it. I'll be sharing videos on the dogs I train, training tips, and other helpful info on dog behavior.