We all had our fill of unmannerly dogs. Fortunately, there are many ways to teach a dog walking manners and of them is wearing a prong collar. But how should you place a prong collar on a dog? Keep reading to find out.

What is a Prong Collar?

A prong collar is a type of collar used for teaching dogs walking manners.

Despite how awful the collar looks, this device only puts pressure on the back of a dog’s neck. The pointy links of the collar are not for pinching a dog’s front neck, but to even out the pull’s pressure to tighten the back of their neck and discourage them to keep on moving forward.

Are Prong Collars Painful?

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There is a general misconception about the prong collar: the prongs the collar dig into a dog’s throat. Even though many entities, such as Michigan State University, have stated this is dead wrong, people still frown upon the prong collar.

So, does the prong collar really inflict pain?

If used improperly, yes. Although the prong collar is fairly easy to use, wrong fits and positioning will indeed inflict pain on a dog’s neck.

For this very reason, it’s essential to get the proper size before using it. If the collar doesn’t fit snugly on your dog, then it won’t be a training tool, but a painful tool that will only teach your dog to despise walking sessions with you. Never forget this!

How Should You Place a Prong Collar On a Dog?

Knowing where to place a prong collar on a dog is key: putting on the collar incorrectly will defeat the whole concept of the collar. Next, we’ll explain how to place a prong collar properly:

Unhook the Prong Collar

This may seem fairly obvious, but we’ve seen many videos of owners putting the prong collar on their dogs through their heads. Do not try this!

Putting them on over a dog’s head may cause one of the links to pinch your dog a little. Those links won’t cause a deep wound, so don’t feel like certain owners and trainers are evil or incompetent, but it’s best to avoid mishappens if possible.

So, how do I unhook the collar? You simply need to unhook the links of the collar by pulling the prong away or just separating one of the links from the front plate of the collar. It’s that easy!

Place the Collar Correctly

Now that the collar is on, it’s time to place it correctly. This step is as crucial as getting the right size. First, the collar needs to be just behind and between a dog’s ears, and below their jaw, not on the lower part of a dog’s neck.

As we said previously, the prong collar functions in a way that redistributes pressure to wherever the collar is getting pulled. We don’t want to choke our dog, so the leash must be hooked at the back of a dog’s neck in order to make your pulling a signal to move away.

One tip to ensure the prong collar has been correctly fastened is to check if the front plate of the collar is at the middle of the dog’s throat and the leash hook matches the opposite position of that plate.

How Do I Use the Prong Collar?

Prong collars are different from run-of-the-mill collars. Since they work differently, it’s paramount to know how and when to use the prong collar.

Pull, Don’t Tug!

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Keep in mind that the prong collar applies pressure, so tugging with a sudden movement will produce unnecessary strain on a dog’s neck, and that’s never our purpose!

The only way to use the collar is to gently pull it towards the direction you want your dog to move to. This is why many professional trainers and owners think prong collars are one of the most humane training methods there are. Your dog’s throat is never at risk.

To reinforce this behavior, it’s advisable to reward your dog with verbal praise and treats so as to make the training more successful.

When Should I Use the Prong Collar?

Only use this collar in training sessions! Do not use the collar when you’re not training your dog as the pressure will make them too obedient when you want your pet to roam freely without supervision.

Also, this collar is not advisable for puppies and dogs not used to walking outdoors. Most dogs will naturally struggle to follow you around during your first outings, so putting the collar on in this new activity might be too much for them and will only make them anxious.

Use Safety Clips

Your dog’s safety is of utmost importance whenever you take them on a walk. For that reason, you should use a safety clip whenever you’re training your canine with the prong collar.

The safety clip is a short string with both ends to attach two collars to one leash. The prong collar might unexpectedly give out, letting your dog run rampant, so having your leash linked to a regular collar will guarantee your dog never gets out of control.

You’re Ready to Go!

Congrats! If you made it this far, it’s sure you are now ready to use the prong collar without any issues. We hope we properly answered how should you place a prong collar on a dog and how do you use a prong collar.

Since dogs are our passion, we strive to make your time with your beloved pets more enjoyable, here are some top dog walking tips for you:

Walk On Par With Your Dog

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Your dog needs to understand they can’t behave as they do in your house.

Make your dog walk by your side: never let them take the lead or else they won’t obey you! You’re the leader and they are the pet, not the other way around.

However, do note that your pet shouldn’t face your back. You don’t want them to act like robots without personality. Make sure your dog is at a distance you can interact with them at any moment.

Bring Water and Treats

Dogs have needs just like us. Especially during Summer, it’s important you bring water and treats when walking your dog. The fact that dogs are pretty energetic doesn’t mean they don’t get thirsty. If possible, bring a collapsable water bottle for them to drink from.

But why treats? Rewarding them for both their behavior and willingness to accompany you will give off the impression that you’re thankful for their presence and merits. Bear in mind dogs have high emotional intelligence and your reactions may affect a dog’s mood.

What’s that!? Lemme Sniff!

Dogs have a keen sense of smell, so they usually go around sniffing everything that catches their attention.

Do not prevent them from sniffing! Smelling is a dog’s way of feeling and discovering the world around them. If you don’t let them sniff things, dogs won’t experience the world around them.