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How to Fit a Prong Collar

written by Ed Frawley

Leerburg Enterprises, Inc. is a family-owned business that was started in 1980 by Ed Frawley, who has owned and trained dogs since 1960. Ed purchased his first video camera in 1978 for personal use and began producing training videos in 1982. He also began breeding dogs in 1978, and continued to breed working bloodline German Shepherds for 35 years. Ed retired from breeding a few years ago in order to devote more time to Leerburg.

During the 1980s, Ed competed in AKC obedience, tracking competitions, and Schutzhund, where he titled a number of dogs. In the late 80s, he started training police service dogs, and in the 90s, Ed was a K9 handler for the local Sheriff’s Department, during which time he also worked as a K9 handler with a regional multi-department drug task force.

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written by Ed Frawley

Leerburg Enterprises, Inc. is a family-owned business that was started in 1980 by Ed Frawley, who has owned and trained dogs since 1960. Ed purchased his first video camera in 1978 for personal use and began producing training videos in 1982. He also began breeding dogs in 1978, and continued to breed working bloodline German Shepherds for 35 years. Ed retired from breeding a few years ago in order to devote more time to Leerburg.

During the 1980s, Ed competed in AKC obedience, tracking competitions, and Schutzhund, where he titled a number of dogs. In the late 80s, he started training police service dogs, and in the 90s, Ed was a K9 handler for the local Sheriff’s Department, during which time he also worked as a K9 handler with a regional multi-department drug task force.


I train dogs with prong collars. There are very few dogs that I would not train with a prong collar. I recommend them to new dog owners, new trainers and people who own dogs with behavioral problems. While some think a prong looks nasty the fact is they are far more humane than a normal choke collar.

The biggest problem with prong collars is that new dog owners don't know how to put them on, how to size them or how to have their dog wear them. This article will address these issues.

Normal choke collars need to be ordered by length (i.e. 22 inches long etc.) Prong collars are ordered by size (small, medium, large or extra large). They all come in a standard length which is adjusted to fit the neck of the dog by removing or adding links to the collar.

Prong collars are meant to be put on and taken off before and after daily training sessions. Unlike a choke collar that is often left on the dog all the time (in some cases this can be a dangerous practice).

A common problem new trainers have is they don't remove enough links to get the correct snug fit. When that happens the collar hangs down on the dogs neck which results in the collar not working the way that it was designed. A prong collar should fit the way you see it in the photo of Sonny, our Yellow Lab.

The correct and incorrect way of fitting a prong collar.

This photo demonstrates the right and wrong way to fit a prong collar. The correct way is when it sits right under the jawline. The wrong way is when the collar is too loose and riding too far down on the dog's neck.

The correct position for a prong collar is to sit right behind the ears and up under the jaw line like you see in the photo above. The photos below show how many people mistakenly let a dog wear a prong and the correct way to wear a prong.

The correct way to fit a prong collar: right under the jaw line

CORRECT

The incorrect way to fit a prong collar is when the collar rides low on the neck.

INCORRECT



Sizing the Prong

Adding and Removing Links

Wrong way to fit a prong
Correct way to fit a prong.
The correct way to change links

Some people mistakenly try and put a prong collar on their dog by slipping it over the dogs head and then moving it down on the neck. That's wrong. Prong collars are designed to be put on and taken off by unhooking links and actually unsnapping the collar from around the neck.

The right way to unhook a collar is to pinch one of the links and pull it apart. Taking the collar off is always easier than putting it back on.



Proper Placement Once the Collar is on the Dog

Most of the time when a collar is put on a dog, the handler connects the collar with the links behind the dog's ears - this is the easiest place to access the links. Once the collar is on the neck, the rings to connect the leash to are under the dog's chin - which is the wrong place for them to be. You will have to rotate the collar so the rings are in the proper spot on the dog's neck. This is usually on the right side of the neck .

Correct fitting of a prong on a Doberman.

The photo of the Doberman Pinscher shows a proper fitting prong collar. It is sized properly, it is sitting in the correct spot on the dogs neck, and the rings are located in the correct spot for the leash to be attached (right side of the neck).



Types & Styles of Prong Collars

Chrome Plated Herm Sprenger Prong Collar

Chrome Plated Herm Sprenger Prong Collar - Cost effective solution.

Stainless Steel Herm Sprenger Prong Collar

Stainless Steel Herm Sprenger Prong Collar - Holds its shape, preventing the links from wearing out over time.

Curogan Herm Sprenger Prong Collar

Curogan Herm Sprenger Prong Collar - For dogs with skin allergies.

Herm Sprenger Neck Tech

Herm Sprenger Neck Tech - Offers a more discreet appearance. Less likely to fail. However, a back up collar is still advised.

Micro Prong Collar

Micro Prong Collar - Used for small dogs. Also used by obedience trainers for large dogs. Allows for a more subtle, yet evenly spread out correction on larger dogs.

Keeper Collars Hidden Prong with Snap

Keeper Collars Hidden Prong with Snap - Does not require a back up collar. Perfect for walking your dog. Prevents unwanted attention from strangers.



Size of Prongs

2.25 mm prong

2.25 mm Prong - For smaller dogs or larger dogs being trained for precision obedience. Offers more effective communication with less pressure.

3.2 mm prong.

3.2 mm Prong - For medium to large dogs with a thicker coat, also for dogs that may be physically overstimulated from the smaller prongs. This is the largest prong we use on any dog here at Leerburg.

4.0 mm prong

4.0 mm Prong - Very heavy and we only recommend these for extremely large and giant breed dogs, can be hard to put on due to the thickness of the prongs and because of the thickness and size of the prongs it doesn’t offer the precision of the two smaller sizes.



Dead Ring vs. Live Ring

There are two ways to attach a leash to the prong collar. It can either be connected to the live-ring or the dead-ring. Which one you choose will depend on the dog and what you are trying to do.

Leash hooked to a Live Ring

Leash that is attached to the live-ring on the prong collar.

Leash hooked to a Dead Ring

This photo shows how to attach a snap to the dead-rings on the prong collar. Hook your leash to both sets of rings.

When the snap is on the live-ring the correction is amplified because more slack is taken out of the collar when the correction is given and the leash is popped. The live-ring is used if a dog does not respond well to the snap being placed on the dead-ring.

The first time a prong is used on a dog the snap should be on the dead-ring. When a correction is applied and the leash is attached to the dead-ring the correction will not take as much slack out of the collar as when it is attached to the live-ring.



A Leerburg-Recommended Safety System

for ALL Prong Collars

A perfect safety procedure is to use along with a prong is a Dominant Dog Collar™. I offer this advice to ALL those trainers who use prong collars.

It is not unheard of for a mistake to happen and a prong collar comes apart when you need it the most. By having a dominant dog collar on the dog at the same time as the prong this will never be a problem. Simply attach the clip on the leash to both the prong and the ring on the dominant dog collar.

The Dominand Dog Collar is designed specifically for dominant and aggressive dogs to control their behavior. When used appropriately, dominant dog collars are a humane alternative to prong and electric collars. This collar is not intended to give a painful correction. When used appropriately, tightening should take the air away from a dominant aggressive dog just enough to correct unwanted behavior. Some dogs will get overstimulated by a prong collar, resulting in a more hectic and aggressive dog. Using a dominant dog collar correctly on aggressive dogs takes the drive and fight out of the dog.

Leash hooked to a Dominant Dog Collar and prong collar

The clip on the leash is attached to the prong collar and the Dominant Dog Collar™

Leash hooked to a Dominant Dog Collar and prong collar

Pull Tab is attached to the prong AND the Dominant Dog Collar™

A helpful training tool that you can find only at Leerburg is the Prong Collar Leash. This Amish made latigo leather leash has high quality stainless steel snaps. This leash is made so that a prong collar is attached to one clip and dominant dog collar™ (or backup collar) is attached to second clip. There is a 6 inch tab attached to clip end of the leash for that 2nd collar. When or if the prong collar fails and comes off the dog, the second collar is already attached without interfering with the prong collar corrections. Leerburg sells these training tools separately or in a set.







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