I would like to discuss two of the most controversial – and misunderstood training tools in the dog world.
Prong collars and e-collars.
Remember it is always best advice to consult a professional before initiating any training with your dog using these tools.
The Prong Collar
A prong or pinch collar is typically used with dogs that have a higher threshold and require a level of correction beyond that of a slip collar.
Typically made with lightweight metal, the prong collar looks mean, but the prongs on it aren’t actually sharp. The best of these are made by a German company called Herm-Sprenger
Beyond the use of a slip collar, A slip collar is very safe but has its limitations, a lot of dogs need a bigger correction than a slip collar can offer.
In order to achieve that, it is not recommended to simply just violently jerk the slip collar harder and harder, while that can elicit a response from the dog, I believe it is not safe for the dog’s trachea to receive such heavy corrections.
That is where the Prong Collar can be of great value.
If you look a prong collar closely and the way in which it acts around the dog’s neck it nearly resembles a bite, like that of an older dog teaching a puppy.
It’s purpose is not to puncture the skin or cause any kind of injuries to the dog despite its torture device looks.
The handler is able to deliver a leash correction with less effort. Therefore more likely to get a positive response from the dog with minimal damaging effects on the dogs neck than say tugging on a slip collar or even a flat collar.
Bad Good or Indifferent?
A prong collar is made in such a way that makes it a good training tool, but it is not any use at al as a collar itself.
With time and wear, the links that hold the prongs can eventually come undone while the dog is wearing the collar, and if the dog is not attached to any other collar, the dog’s owner will have a bad time chasing his dog.
So that is why trainers always recommend using a slip collar along with the prong collar for safety. Both should be attached to the leash in case the prong collar was to come away.
Stories that are told about the prong collars most likely come from incorrect use of this training tool.
Never should you leave a prong collar on your dog while he is in the crate or unsupervised it should definitely be removed at night.
Owners who fail to follow these guidelines often see their dogs have problems such as punctured skin or even the collar getting embedded into the dog’s neck.(something seen with “normal collars”)
Some all food no consequence trainers report stories about dogs developing fear and aggression after having training with a prong collar.
Such cases are based on the improper use of this tool. I have seen dogs who are as happy as any dog can be when they see their prong collars because they know they are going out to do something fun.
So draw your own conclusions.
The Electronic Collar or E-collar
Most people flinch when they just hear someone mention an Electronic Collar “I do not want to inflict electric shocks on my dog!” Is one statement heard about countless times. Well, lets try and clear up some misconceptions here before we move on.
First, I prefer not call these devices a shock collar for this reason. They are not designed to shock or electrocute your dog. In fact, you probably already know what an e-collar stimulation feels like. Ever received a static discharge from your car door, nylon shirtier a carpet. How about one of those devices that promises to tone your abs by sending electrical stimulation to your muscles?
Did It Kill You?
Chances are you did not die or get traumatized by any of those experiences. Likewise, an e-collar delivers a controlled static stimulus that can be turned up or down through a remote control. It never fails to get a dog’s attention because if you are just like me, you will most often jump up when feeling that static discharge after touching a doorknob. It also got your attention.
So, let’s end this once for all – an e-collar delivers harmless static-like stimulation to your dog that can be controlled through a remote and does not have any where near enough amperage to cause any damage. So to call this tool a “shock” collar is inaccurate and a disparaging way to describe it.
When To Use An E-Collar
An e-collar is the next tool of choice for dogs who do not respond to the prong collar. Sometimes people do not like all the work of using a prong collar and choose the e-collar as a more practical and efficient way to do their training.
There are several different methods employed in training dogs with an e-collar, and I am sure a lot of them work in different levels, the preferred way to use it, is the same way a leash and collar correction is used, but tapping on the remote instead.
Not needing need a leash to issue a correction gives your dog more freedom, because you can make corrections at a distance, which makes the transition to having your dog off-leash much easier.
Like any electronic device, it has batteries that need to be charged or replaced every now and then.
It is a device that needs to be monitored from time to time, because it can malfunction and deliver inconsistent corrections.
Like any tool, an e-collar should not be left on while the dog is unsupervised.
The owner also needs to be careful to ensure the two prongs that are in contact with the dogs skin are not causing any irritation.
It is recommended that the e-collar be moved around from time to time, otherwise wearing it always on the same spot can cause irritations.
In Conclusion Prong Collars and E-Collars
I hope this article has given you a better understanding of some dog training tools there are out there. Not every one of them is the best for your dog.
Some tools such as the Halti have a politically “correct” image, but it does not necessarily bring any benefits to permanently improve the relationship you have with your dog or in fact the results required to have a calm well trained dog.
Thoughts About Prong Collars and E-Collars
Remember this a dog owner who wishes to harm or train his dog by fear or submission does not need to spend money on these tools, or time training to cause his animal pain or fear. He or She can kick slap or beat their dog. Use the lead or normal collar to choke or cause their dog pain.
Still the debate rages and here in the UK the government are working towards a ban on these training tools. A good or bad thing, is a personal decision. Enter your thoughts in the comments box and let me know your opinion about the prong collar or e-collar, have you ever used one or are you in the ban them camp?