Proper Use of Dog Collars

One of the most important devices in your dog training program is the collar you use. Our training methods are built on using the quickest, most effective, and most humane method to help your dog understand your commands and respond to behavior modification.

Our preferred training collar is a pinch, or prong, collar. Some people think these types of collars are inhumane but, when used properly, they are the most effective way to communicate with your dog in the training process. This article will help dispel some myths about this type of collar vs. others. It’s important to note that we do not recommend a prong collar be worn all the time under any circumstances; it is a tool used for training in  a class session, when you are training at home, or when you are walking your dog on a leash.

Pinch Collar

The Pinch Collar (or prong collar) are used as a training collar. Many people are intimidated by the appearance of these collars; however it has been proven to be one the safest collars you can use.

This collar was designed to duplicate the way a mother dog corrects her puppies or to replicate how the alpha dog corrects the dogs that are lower in the pack. The pinch collar, simply pinches the outer skin of the dog’s neck, gaining the dog’s attention and letting them know that they have done something wrong.

It is important that you get the proper size and that you position the collar in the right way and just like with any other training device, always be sure you remove the collar after you are done training. 

Flat Collar

A normal nylon collar, also known as a flat collar is very common among dog owners. They are wonderful for everyday use and they are a great way to keep your dog’s identification/ rabies tags on them. When using a flat collar, keep in mind that there are dangers just like with other collars. Some of the dangers that we may encounter when using a flat collar on our dogs are:

  • the risk of the collar getting caught on something, such as a fence, the door of a kennel, or even a tree. If this was to happen, the dog may hang themselves or become strangled.
  • the risk of the dogs tag getting stuck in something such as a vent, or crack of a porch.
  • that if the dog is pulled too hard while wearing this collar it places a lot of pressure on the throat which could cause some internal damage

Choke Chain

Choke chains are used as a training device. Most people think they are using a collar that is safe and one that is not harming their dog. Sadly, they are mistaken. It has been said that these collars are safe if used properly, however, they are called “choke chains” for a reason – they choke the dog. When a choke chain is used, pressure is put on parts of the dog’s neck leading to many different injuries including: damaged ocular blood vessels, tracheal and esophageal damage, sprained necks, fainting, transient foreleg paralysis, laryngeal nerve paralysis, and hind leg ataxia. Other problems faced with choke chains are the dangers of them getting hung up on something, such as a fence or even the dog’s paw, which could lead to strangulation.

Shock Collars

It is thought by most that shock collars are cruel and inhumane. Research has determined that shock collars are in fact not harmful and are actually a safe training device if used properly. Most shock collars deliver a small amount of electricity like we receive when we touch a doorknob.Some shock collars do not use electricity at all. These collars are made so that they are not causing any pain to your dog, instead they are simply gaining your dog’s attention. This is a wonderful training tool, especially if you want your dog to listen to you off leash. It is important to note that the type of device, method and voltage of use is important. You should consult with your trainer before attempting to use one of these devices at home. 

*Please keep in mind, a dog should always be supervised and never left unattended while wearing a training collar. There are risks associated with every collar, but some are more dangerous than others. If you are unsure about which collar is best for your dog and the situation you are using it for, do some research before buying one or consult a local trainer.