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Leerburg Dog Training Q&A Archive Prong Collars and Dominant Dog Collars Q&A

Prong Collars and Dominant Dog Collars Q&A

Prong Collars and Dominant Dog Collars Q&A

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  1. My prong collar just doesn't look like it's on right, even though it is sitting at the correct spot on his neck. Could you describe how to properly size and put one on?

  2. Can the prong collar be left on during the day and night or must it be removed after every time using it?

  3. I'm unsure of what size prong to buy my doberman, as she is at the end of the small sized one. Could you help make a suggestion?

  4. My dominant dog collar keeps slipping. What is the best way to determine what size to purchase?

  5. My dog is dog aggressive and I have questions about a prong collar I bought awhile back. I think it may be too big and I'm not sure if I should just use a dominant dog collar.

  6. A prong collar was recommended to us and after seeing your site I realize that the collar is too loose. I have taken a few links out but don't want it to be too tight. What can we do to adjust the size of the collar so that it would stay behind the ears as it is indicated on your photographs?

  7. Do you know if the medium prong collar is available w/ the loop?

  8. What size prong collar should I order or do you think I should use one?

  9. I am about to get a 12 week old Cardigan Welsh Corgi male.  Would the micro prong collar be correct for this breed, and then just add prongs as he grows?

  10. My dog is between link sizes and I'm not sure what to do. What do you suggest?

  11. Is it necessary to use the dominant dog collar with the prong or could I use a martingale lead?

  12. The prongs are I bought are too big, do you think a medium would work better?

  13. We have a pomapoo that weighs around 4 lbs and has a very small neck. Do you think your size small will adjust down enough to use for her?

  14. I understand the dominant dog collar can take the aggression out of the dog by lifting the dog up but do you do this when the prong collar is ALSO attached or only by itself? Also, on fur saver collars, how do you measure them for a proper fit?

  15. Our trainer doesn't allow prongs and likes gentle leaders. What are your thoughts?

  16. I was going to order Cesar Millan's "Illusion" collar but my friend recommended I get your prong collar. I'm not good with reading about how to do this or that and I just need something easy to use. I read a couple of places about how some dogs got out of the prong which scares me.

  17. I have a 5 year old 3 lb. 4 oz. Yorkshire Terrier. Can you recommend a training collar for this size dog please?

  18. I was wondering if you had any immediate thoughts on martingale flat collars. On the equipment section of your Basic Dog Obedience, you don't mention these. Are these effective and humane?

  19. In o ne of the DVDs, Ed said to put on all of the collars during training sessions... Which of the three should be senior (closest to the jaw, then next and on the bottom?)?

  20. How do you know when the prong collar is too tight?

  21. Is the dominant dog collar designed to replace the fur saver collar? My club recommended a fur saver rather then a nylon flat buckle collar. Would the dominant dog collar replace that as well? Aren't they basically the same thing?

  22. I recently purchased the SS Buckle Prong. My dog is between two link sizes. What should be done about in-between sizes? Perhaps she will gain more weight, and the collar will fit better when she does. In the meantime, will any injury or bad habits occur if the collar is lower?

  23. I have a Maltese 5yr old and I have a prong collar for training. Is there a correct way the prongs should face when on the dogs neck?

  24. When my dog is in the house (which is where most of her aggressive behavior is exhibited), we have drag lines on both dogs and the muzzle and a regular buckle collar.  For disciplinary purposes, would you recommend that she also wear a prong collar or the dominant dog collar?

  25. I was wondering if there are any special considerations for the breed or other short hair dogs and your collars.  Is there such a thing as too much shorter than the string measurement?

  26. I have two pekingese dogs and have breath problems because of their 'pushed inside' nose. Can I use prong collar in this breed? Or is there something else, more appropriate?

  27. I was wondering your opinion of using a DD collar for someone that is smaller in stature but has a big dog that pulls? Can one replace a pinch used for pulling, with a DD collar?

  28. I know the collar is to fit snug behind the ears but to get the collar so it stays up there, it seems like the collar is too tight on her. What are your thoughts?

  29. My dog whines and whimpers when she sees another dog. I tried using the DD collar and she became quiet (probably because she was unable to breath). Is using a DD collar for this a good idea or will it damage her confidence, drives, etc., in the long run?

  30. It feels like we are between link sizes. Due to the snugness… I am finding it difficult to attach the links. This has me slightly worried. How does one determine when to add another link?

  31. I am unsure as to how to put on the dominant dog collar. With the traditional choke collar, you are supposed to put it on the dog so that it forms a "p" as you face the dog. Does the same hold true for the dominant dog collar?

  32. My dog pulls us while walking on a leash. My trainer suggested to try your Dominant Dog Collar. As the prime reason for using it, according to your website, is for aggressive dogs, I wanted to check with you if it would be smart using it in our case (we have no aggression problems).

  33. I’m trying to determine the proper size prong collar to order. Should I buy the 14” and add links, or go with the 18” and remove links to start? Does the difference in thickness of the links make more sense to order the larger collar as the dog is still growing?

  34. I have a question about using a prong collar and I also need some strategy for dealing with my high energy dog in the cold Michigan winter. Can you help?

  35. The prong collar takes a harder correction than the DD collar but it is recommended to have the leash hooked to both in case the prong collar comes off. I read that to use the DD collar you lift rather than jerk. However, if you jerk on the prong collar wouldn't that be jerking on the DD collar as well?

  36. Can I leave a dominant dog collar on my dog 24/7?

  37. I observed that your dog Rush wears a prong collar at some point. Could you tell me please at what stage of training or what is the deciding factor to start using the prong collar?

  38. My dog does not like to wear the prong collar. You can walk him with just one finger on the leash, but after a few minutes, he scratches like mad trying to get rid of it. Do you have any suggestions to desensitize him?

  39. My white dog has discolored fur around his collar, will his fur go back to its normal color if I discontinue using the metal prong collar?

  40. If you are going to use the dominant dog collar as a safety with the prong collar. I follow your advise on how to properly use and size these collars; however, should the dominant dog collar be a bit bigger if you use it as a safety with prong?

  41. I have a friend who has a Dachsund, just a year old. I told her owner to go get a prong collar. I think he got one from PetSmart. I can't get it to fit right without taking out too many prongs. How long is the shortest one you have?

  42. My dog is developing bumps on her neck area & the top of her head.  Do you think she could be allergic to the metal in the collar?

  43. Behind my dogs ears approximately one thumb width is a bony prominence. Should the collar go between the rear of the ear and this bony section or behind it, farther down the neck?

  44. I have a 13 week GSD long hair, imported from Germany. The sliding ring on the dominate dog collar stays tight on her throat because of her coat getting stuck in the ring. When I check the tightness of the released collar it just seems too tight to be correct. What can you recommend?

  45. I would like to purchase a quick release prong collar for my dog. My question is, what size link should I order for my dog?

  46. I lost the prong collar I had for my dog, I believe it was a micro I had ordered from a trainer. What is the difference other then price on the chrome and stainless steel? What is the difference in the mm size? Is that the size of the prongs?

  47. I have three akitas, two males and one female, ranging from 100 to 140 pounds. I was considering ordering a couple of your dominant dog collars but wanted to make sure they would hold up to a larger dog (of course with the proper fit).

  48. I started training my 2 ½ -year-old Dobe with a prong collar about a year and a half ago. Our trainer, however, did not say anything about putting the prong collar on and off several times a day for a couple of weeks before starting the training. Being a pretty smart dog, it didn’t take my dog long to figure out that if he doesn’t have the prong collar on, the corrections don’t mean much.  Is it possible for him to “unlearn” this or is it a done deal?

  49. Should I use a prong to correct my 10 pound puppy from lunging at other dogs in class?

  50. I ordered a Dominant Dog Collar and was wondering if I should be attaching the leash to her regular collar as well as the dominant dog collar in case it breaks. If so, how do I go about doing this?

  51. The Dominant Dog Collar is functionally a choke collar albeit with a somewhat different design. I am somewhat confused since you argue against the use of choke collar. I would appreciate you explaining why the arguments against a choke collar don't apply to a Dominant Dog Collar as well.

Question:

Hi Ed,

I've read everything I can on prong collars and am trying to learn the art of using one without doing damage to my dog(s) or myself. My collar never sets down on the dog's neck like it should. It doesn't look right compared to the pictures I see of everyone else's. There seems to be too much space between the neck and the collar (I don't mean loose) but instead something's just not quite right. I have noticed a definite difference between my male Doberman's responsiveness. I don't have to give half dozen corrections on this collar compared to my choke chains but I still know something is wrong. Could you go about describing how to size one properly and to put it on the dog correctly???

Robin

ANSWER:

A prong collar is meant to fit very snug when the collar is right behind the ears and behind the jawbone. There should be no slack. The collar should be snug. It is not meant to be pulled off the head by coming over the ears, eyes and nose. To take it off a link is manually disconnected.


Question:

Hello Ed

Just to say I purchased a Prong Collar from Leerburg a time ago, but I waited a bit for the pup to get a bit of age on him before using it, now he is just 9 months old.

It is a great collar and keeps the pup steady and controlled with no stress to him of pulling back like I did on a chain collar.

One question I read your article on fitting it must be 20 times, and I see it is fairly in a firm position, The pup did not like it being put on, I suppose my lack of expertise in putting it on may have pulled it a bit.

Can this collar be left on the pup during the day and night or must it be removed after every time using it?

Also thanks for the Brilliant Quality Leather Collars and Leashes I bought and for the most informative DVDs.

Last of all the Forum which we learn so much, at times with a little bit of misunderstanding, but it is the best forum on the Web for GS's.

Regards,
Steve
Belgium

Answer:

Steve,

Thanks for the kind words.

We don’t recommend leaving the collar on 24/7.

There is nothing wrong with using MARKERS and a food treat to put the collar on. In fact put it on –Mark it – reward it – then take it off. Then do it again until you desensitize the collar going on. Do this 8 or 9 times a day.


Question:

I was hoping you would be able to give me some advice. I would like to buy from your website a Stainless Steel Prong Collar for my 14 month old female Doberman. I have measured her neck and it is 13" but that is snug. I was going to purchase the Small Prong (up to 13") but was a bit concerned that I would then not have any flexibility if it was too small. I then thought about the Medium prong (up to 19") but was then concerned that it still might be to big even after taking all the links out. Could you please advise me which one to purchase?
 
Kind Regards
Caroline

Answer:

I had Dobermans for MANY years; I always used a small prong but purchased extra links. 

http://leerburg.com/prong.htm  if you scroll past the prong collars, there is a drop down box with a buy now button where you can purchase links separately.

Hope this helps.

Another Question:

Thanks for your advice on the prong collar. We have also purchased a couple of dominant dog collars from your web site at different sizes but they all seem to keep slipping down when we use it. Could you suggest a size that would best fit a female doberman aged 15 months?
 
Kind Regards,
Caroline

Answer:

We have a chart with measuring directions and size recommendations. This goes by neck size, not breed and age.


Question:

Hi Ed,
 
I have a question for ya...
 
I bought a prong collar from Petsmart a long time ago.  I am just now starting to try and learn to use it since Levi is having so much attitude with other dogs.  By the time I take the links out to get a snug fit around the upper neck.  There are only a about 6 links left fitting the dog primarily on one side of his neck.  I can't believe this is a correct fit and even with that being said it still won't stay up on the neck, it always falls down.  I'm trying to decide which collar to buy from you, the dominant dog collar or a leather choke to work with Levi due to his serious aggressiveness towards other dogs.  I told the forum yesterday that the prong seemed to increase his drive and anger towards the other dogs.  Anyhow, I guess the dominant dog collar is to be used with the prong?? Or should I just use it alone since I have no training issues with him other than the dog issue?  Is the prong I got from Petsmart not working right? What do you suggest I do?
 
Thanks, 
Robbin

Answer:

The dominant dog collar is suggested as a back up to the prong.  If you are using the dominant dog collar as a correction collar it can be worn alone.

It sounds like the prong you have is the really large one which is why you only have a few links in it, I would recommend a medium size for a GSD. 

Here is the article on how to correctly fit prongs http://leerburg.com/fit-prong.htm

I like to have all the tools I need in my toolbox, so I would suggest a prong and a dominant dog collar.


Question:

Hello Ed,

Warm greetings to you all and thank you for your wonderful visual website about the pinch/prong collars! Five weeks ago my husband and I adopted our first dog from a rescue group. She was sentenced to death because she was too fearful while waiting in the shelter. Thanks to Hopes Haven in Salem, Oregon, her life was saved and she is very affectionate toward all people & animals and very submissive. However, we turned out not to be the strongest pack leaders so on the walk she has been pulling hard. We signed up for a training class and during the class the trainers recommended to use the prong/pinch collar on her. They let us try and seemed better so we purchased the collar. When we got home we wanted to learn more about the collars and it took a lot of time before we found your great website.

The trainer put the collar on Stella so I did the same the next day to walk & run with her since she has a lot of energy – two years young, looks like a mix of black lab & pit and weighs about 46 lbs. After I ran with her and then saw your website I realized that the collar was too loose and slid down on her neck and ended up pretty much where her regular collar was. I removed one link and walked & run with her and the same thing happened – it slid down her neck. When I removed one more link, I was pretty much choking her and could not really put it on her. It is a bit frustrating because I do not want to hurt her but at the same time I want to collar to be in a proper position so that we can control her pulling. What can we do to adjust the size of the collar so that it would stay behind the ears as it is indicated on your photographs?

I will be very grateful for your feedback as soon as possible so that we can do the right thing.

Thank you very much for understanding and I look forward to hear from you at the right time!

With much love, joy, peace & gratitude,
Fondly,
Pavla

Answer:

I think you still need to take a link out.  As it settles into the fur, it should fit properly.  For it to fit correctly, it will seem quite tight when first putting it on but be patient.  Don’t project a feeling of feeling sorry or worry about hurting her just put this on her matter of factly.

If it’s sliding down her neck, taking out one more link is not going to hurt her.

Best of luck with her, she’s a cutie!


Question:

I am finding your website as a wonderful resource. I do have a couple of questions regarding the prong you sell before I make a purchase.

I am very particular about the lead attachment. I will need a Medium sized collar but see that your website only picture the medium collar having a swivel type link for the lead attachment. I am looking for a medium collar with a "loop" connection point (exactly like what is pictured for your "micro prong" collar). I hope that isn't confusing. Do you know if the medium prong collar is available w/ the loop?

Thank you for your time,
Adam

Answer:

The prong collars are available as pictured on our website. The only size available with 2 "O" rings is the micro.


Question:

Hi,

Just wanted to let you know that I did my first AI using your AI kit and DVD and it was successful!

We took our Mastiff yesterday for x-rays confirmed it.

Thanks so much for your website and useful information.

My English Mastiffs are 190 lbs and 215 lbs. They are not aggressive at all, but when I take them anywhere they pull me around a lot. I am using a choke collar now.

I was thinking of using one of your prong collars. Their neck size is 25 inches and 25 1/2 inches. What size prong collar should I order or do you think I should use one?

Should I also use the dominant collar with it? What size?

Thanks,
Mary

Answer:

Thanks for the kind words, and congratulations on the upcoming litter.

I would most definitely recommend prong collars for dogs of this size.   I would use a large or extra large collar.  Please read this article about how to properly fit a prong collar.  It fits up high on the neck.

We do recommend the dominant dog collar as a safely back up with prongs, here is the chart to select the size based on your dogs measurements.

If you have any questions about the sizing I would suggest you call our office during regular business hours and one of the girls will be glad to help you out. 

I hope this helps.


Question:

I am about to get a 12 week old Cardigan Welsh Corgi male.  Would the micro prong collar be correct for this breed, and then just add prongs as he grows?  I want to start him out with it and use it gently rather than start with something else and switch.

Thank you for the information.

Mary

Answer:

I would think for a Cardi a small link collar would be the best fit as an adult.   The micro would be ok for a young puppy, but Cardigans are not really that small, and their fur is pretty thick.   We have Pembroke Welsh Corgis and if we need a prong, I use the small link and I believe Pembrokes tend to be a bit smaller than Cardigans.


Question:

I own a stainless steel medium prong (from Leerburg).  My shepard/ basenji mix is now grown and she is definitely between links as sizing goes.  If I remove the link to allow the collar to sit high, it is so tight I can not fit even a half of a pinkie finger between the prong and neck, even with effort.  If I leave it, it is definitely too loose and does nothing for control, sliding around.  I would like to know if you have a link that is a half-size, or perhaps a link for the small collar might fit onto the medium collar, and if so, how I might receive one of these links?
 
Thank you!
 
Sincerely, 
Andrea

Answer:

We don’t have smaller links for that size collar, they are a standard size.

I would put it on so it fits snugly, and I think you will find as the dog wears it for a few minutes that it will not be as tight as when you first put it on.

You could always go to the next smaller collar size, and try that if this doesn’t work for you.


Question:

I read thru your site and still have a question.

Must I use the dominant collar with the pronged collar, or will a martingale collar suffice?

I MUST secure a prong ...I have a lower back injury that is aggravated immensely by pulling behavior (I am still not able to walk my three dogs as I am on the mend--thank goodness I have a large yard and dogs who delight in running thru it for exercise).

I have a 35 lb Shiba Inu who is quite strong. I need to train him not to pull and the prong has been recommended by my chiropractor. I have three shibas total that I like to walk together, but I am willing to walk separately for a period while training each of them.

The other two are smaller (only around 22 lbs each).

...these guys are known for slipping their collars and chasing prey...few standard training methods work in this regard. Even the Mid-Atlantic Shiba Rescue recommends that I choose any trainer carefully due to Shibas reacting negatively to most training approaches, with positive reinforcement being the most successful. Small food treats seem to be the best incentive.

Safety and prevention of escape are my number one concern... I am working on recall...the female is excellent...the largest male comes sometimes....and the youngest (male) never comes when called (he is the one who escapes past the baby gate whenever the opportunity arises). We live about three blocks from a major hwy...so I watch them all closely.

Again, can I use the martingale??? It seems to work the best in deterring slipping out of it.

Arlene

Answer:

No A martingale will not work here. You would then have two leashes to handle. This would cause problems - they would tangle and you would have a mess.

Use the prong with the dominant dog collar.

Fact is - if I had your medical issues I would be using a remote collar on my dog that pulled. This would be so much better than a prong.

Use a Dogtra 175NCP or Dogtra 200NCP. Cindy (my other half) uses a Dogtra 200 on her dogs.

Here is the DVD that explains in detail on how to do it.


Question:

Hi there, my name is Emma and I'm sorry to be a pest,I have just bought 2 extra large prong collars for my great danes who are approximately 8 months old. The problem is I can not physically remove any more links without hurting my dog but when they have been wearing them a while out walking they slip down. Do you think it's best to swap them for the medium prong collar as my instructor has advised? This size seems to stay put better.

Regards,
Emma

P.S. As I really want them asap could I order online a smaller size if this is appropriate and get a refund on the two I send back? As I don't want to have to wait on shipping to Scotland both ways.

Answer:

For a Great Dane I would probably go to a medium – we have a Q&A on prong collars. Most people go with too large of a prong collar.

I believe you bought them from us. As long as we can sell them to another customer as a new product you can return them. All it would cost is the freight back.


Question:

We have a pomapoo that weighs around 4 lbs and has a very small neck.

We just completed 10 weeks of dog training whereby she learned nothing.  She thinks she is the pack leader.

We want to repeat the dog training classes using a prong collar hoping that we will get her attention this time.

Do you think your size small will adjust down enough to use for her?

Thanks!
Sandy

Answer:

We have what is called a micro prong.  I would suggest the ‘mini-micro’ size for your dog.

A regular small prong would be much too big, by the time you took enough links out so it would fit her you would have no links left.


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I want to order a prong collar and dominant dog collar but wanted to ask a question first. My main trouble is pulling and excited exuberance and/or dog to dog aggression (depending on the other dog).

I understand the dominant dog collar can take the aggression out of the dog by lifting the dog up but do you do this when the prong collar is ALSO attached or only by itself? I'm confused by that and couldn't find the answer on the website.

Also, on fur saver collars, how do you measure them for a proper fit?

Thanks,
Karen

Answer:

The common sense answer for me would be to use the dominant dog collar separately, and use the fur saver or a buckle collar as your back up for the prong. Or you could get 2 dominant dog collars (one for the safety back up and one to use independently)

The fur saver collars are measured from outside one o-ring to the outside of the other o-ring. Please keep in mind when you are selecting a specific size fur saver for your dog, that the collar must be big enough to slip over the dogs head and ears.

The office staff can help you select a size based on your dogs’ neck measurements if you need assistance. 715.235.6502 Monday – Friday 8-5 Central time

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

Thank you so much for your very quick reply.

No, the instructor does not allow prong collars in her class. She likes the gentle leader and feels she has had success with it. Her daughter is training her new dog in this class and she is using a gentle leader on him. I gather this is a personal preference issue among dog folks. But, I am more prone to your thinking. I think we will only have a problem if something excites Dante enough for him to lunge as he did yesterday and with his strength, that is precisely when he/I could get hurt, (I'm really more concerned about hurting him and turning him off to agility work).

I'm glad I wrote you right away so that I have a week to figure this out.
I'm inclined to think that the Gentle Leader may be useful in correcting constant pulling on walks, but so is the prong. I do worry about a 75 pound lunging jerk on a neck. I'm leaning toward persuading my son to work with me this week on getting Dante used to the leader, just in case I have to use it. I think I will then talk to the instructor about what I think was going on in Dante's mind yesterday and of my concerns about injuring him. I can take the leader with me, but only use it if absolutely necessary. If trainer/dog teams work individually, I will choose not to use the leader. After next Sunday, my son will take charge again and hopefully, it will be a moot issue. I know I am a neophyte at all this, but my instinct says it isn't worth the risk of physical or psychological injury. And personally, I'd rather have something pinch my skin evenly around my neck than having my neck jerked to one side.

One other question, my son has used the word "OK" as his release word. He uses it for all situations, from releasing his dog from a "Wait" when crossing a busy street to releasing the brothers from their down-stay to resume their play. That is where the problem lay yesterday. Dante was just responding in a way that has been accepted in other situations. And because my son has worked hard on improving his drive, when he enthusiastically says, "OK," Dante responds just as enthusiastically. Would it make any sense to use a different word, like, perhaps, "Go" to direct him in his agility work or would it just further confuse the situation for him?

Thanks again,
Marilyn

Answer:

Dogs can have more than one release word, but I don't really see any benefit to it unless the word chosen is used a lot in random conversation and it may be confusing to the dog.

I use the word 'break' as my dog's release word in agility.

Cindy

Thanks:

Thanks, Cindy,

I'll pass this along to my son. I often catch myself using 'OK' too often in my conversation when the dog is under my care, not sure if my son does. I did encourage him to use a different word in the beginning, but he still chose 'OK'. I haven't seen any real evidence of confusion, though, probably because of the tone of voice we use when saying it as a command.

I do see value in using words in agility that are clear, e.g., your word, 'break'. In fact, I think one of the most important things I have learned from our time with the dogs is the need for clear signals and non-ambiguity.
Different from when I was raising my children and I was consciously building their vocabulary by using varying words. I have to really watch myself now.
It's especially tricky because they aren't my dogs and I have limited periods of time with them, but I have the "grandmother" role of caring for both my son's and my daughter's dogs when they can't. The two are being raised a bit differently and a few of their command words are different. I try to be consistent with what the owner does with their dog. Keeps me on my toes. (Good, I don't have 6 kids with dogs, huh?)

Incidentally, my son and I took Dante for his first, (and I guess last), walk on the Gentle Leader yesterday. After only a couple of blocks with Dante pawing at his face or rolling on a lawn attempting to get it off, my son pulled it off of him, announcing, 'He doesn't like it, I don't like it, we aren't going to use it.' So I guess that's that. Now, I have the unpleasant task of explaining this to the instructor on Sunday. Dante is his dog so he gets to call the shots. He's always been negative about using the gentle leader. He is comfortable with the prong collar however, and wants to purchase the electric one. I think what's clear is that he trusts what the Frawley's say more than he trusts anyone else. : )

Thanks again for your help,
Marilyn


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I have two dogs - west highland terrier and pit-bull-coon hound mix (88 pounds). I use the gentle leader and pretty much it works and one time he got loose I think because my husband didn't attach it right, fortunately it had a second mini leash that connected to his collar and I held on to it. Because of that I always have this fear now and it makes walks torture. The little dog Snowflake, gets Bear more excited by her behavior. He does occasionally try to lunge at the cows as we are passing them. Bear is fear-aggressive. I was going to order Cesar Millan's "Illusion" collar but my friend recommended I get your prong collar. I'm not good with reading about how to do this or that and I just need something easy to use. I read a couple of places in one of your articles about some who's dog got out of the prong which scares me.

Also, Bear has seasonal allergies. He is on prednisone every summer but we're well into September and he's still on it with such itchy skin. He cut himself out in the back woods and keeps licking it raw. We took him to the vet and they put him on antibiotics and the collar so he can't lick but the wound looked healed so I let him keep it off last night and he licked it raw again I think because it's very dry looking. Is there an ointment to use? I noticed you have a book on allergies. Is that a real helpful book?

Thank you,
MaryKay

Answer:

Your dog won’t get loose if you use a back up collar like we recommend.
There’s a free video on this page that gives information on how to fit the collar and use the back up collar.

The allergy book is helpful, but I also recommend you evaluate the diet and vaccine history of your dog. Many times what appear to be seasonal allergies are either a sensitivity to an ingredient in a commercial processed diet or a symptom of Vaccinosis (or a combination of all of those ) Skin conditions are a big signal that the dog’s system is having problems and most vets want to suppress this with antibiotics and steroids. This doesn’t solve the problem and typically makes it worse over time.

Here is some suggested reading. Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article. I ask that everyone do their own research and weigh the benefits and the risks of vaccinating their animals. We do not vaccinate our dogs, cats or horses here and will not sell puppies to people who insist on vaccinating and feeding kibble.

I would also recommend these 2 books, Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats.

For more information on natural health care and homeopathic treatment of your dogs (and cats), I highly recommend Homeopathic Care for Cats & Dogs and Natural Health for Dogs and Cats.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hello, I have a 5 year old ..3 lb. 4 oz Yorkshire Terrier. Can you recommend a training collar for this size dog please? 

Thank you, 
Forrest

Answer:

I believe the only collar I have that would fit a dog that small would be our MINI micro prong.  It is for dogs under 5 pounds.

Cindy


Question:

Hello!

I've gotten so much out of your site and the Basic Dog Obedience DVD.
It has helped me so much with my 18 month old rescue Weimaraner. I also got a hold of "Don Sullivan's Perfect Dog" (theperfectdog.com) and while I appreciate the plastic 'kinder gentler' prong collar that comes with this, I found his training advice to be less helpful than what I learned from your DVDs. In particular was his emphasis on never using treats. Joe and I have been working on retrieving work and have been experiencing particular difficulty getting him to reliably "drop." Don's advice on this was to pop the dog on the underside of the mouth. This was absolutely ineffective with Joe. So then I went back to the marker training and the treat bag and it took all of 5 rounds and he got it just fine.

I had a collar question, I was wondering if you had any immediate thoughts on martingale flat collars. On the equipment section of your Basic Dog Obedience, you don't mention these. Are these effective and humane?

Thank you.
Reuben

Answer:

In our opinion, a martingale collar is really nothing more than a flat collar that the dog can't slip. You see a lot of these on sight hounds, because of their unique structure of having a head smaller than their neck.
They can get out of regular collars very easily.

I use a variety of collars on my dogs, flat collar, prong collar and remote.
I don't feel that there is one PERFECT collar out there, they each are used as needed according to the dog's drive, temperament and level of training.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hello Cindy,   

I have a 2.3 year old "trained" German Shepard that need some re-training, two bad habits jumping up & trying to drag you where he wants to go (like into open door in house or auto).

We got him from an older couple that couldn't keep him any longer.

We've bought 3 of your DVDs (all excellent) and we've picked out some more for later. We've bought a Dogtra E collar, and a quick release prong collar Extra heavy. Currently ordered your Leerburg Dominant Dog Collar ....waiting for delivery some time next week.

My question is.... One of the DVDs Ed said to put on all of the collars during training sessions... Which of the three should be senior (closest to the jaw, then next and on the bottom??)

Thanks, "LEE"

PS. You're correct, Petsmart tried to talk us out of all of the above training aids

Answer:

If you go to this page and go a bit more than half way down you’ll see a photo of a dog with a dominant dog collar and a prong on.  I would place the ecollar slightly below those.   It is also possible to put the prong on the top (closest to jaw) and then the DD collar and then the ecollar lowest.   Each dog’s neck is slightly different so those top 2 can be switched around without a problem.  They should always be above any other collar you have on the dog though.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

The prong collar; how do you know when its too tight? I took a link out tonight because Bruno is so furry right now and it seemed to keep falling too low on the neck. Also, I'm going to order a dominant dog collar to use with the prong collar; does it have to be used with the lead through both places on the prong and also on the dominant dog collar? Thanks for your time.

Lori
Indiana

Answer:

We have a section on the website that explains how to use the collar, how to make sure it’s properly fitted and how to use the back up collar.  You can attach your lead to one or both places on the prong, and on the live ring of the DD collar.


Question:

Hi,

Is the dominant dog collar designed to replace the fur saver collar? I was interested in purchasing a prong collar for some pulling issues I am having with my seven month old GSD. I wanted to use the dominant dog collar as a backup for the prong. My dog is not aggressive to people or animals although he does pull to get to other dogs to investigate/play. I already have your Pack Structure DVD which I like but I need a little extra help. Also my club recommended a fur saver rather then a nylon flat buckle collar. Would the dominant dog collar replace that as well? Aren't they basically the same thing?

Thanks for all your help.
Dave

Answer:

The dominant dog collar is either for a back up to a prong or for use in controlling a dog when he chooses to behave in a dominant manner. 

A fur saver and a flat collar are not used for corrections at all, they are merely collars to hook a leash to or to attach tags to.  I don’t use fur savers or flat collars (either nylon or leather) as correction collars.

Cindy


Question:

I recently purchased the SS Buckle Prong w/ DD collar from your website. Before I ordered, I measured Sadie (a 15 month old Doberman) using instructions from your ebook on proper fit/position for a prong collar. Her neck measured 14 inches. I knew I would have to remove several links to get the correct fit since the collar measures 17 inches. I wanted the buckle collar because I have trouble with arthritis in my thumbs, so pinching the links to attach the collar is sometimes painful.

I received the collars today, removed three links which seemed to be a good fit, and we went for a walk. She is fairly well-behaved (she's a rescue dog), but does occasionally pull away from me when she sees a squirrel. Today she pulled only once. The collar worked beautifully; however, during the course of the walk, the collar slipped down somewhat, reaching the position your website shows as too low. When we got back home, I removed one more link (now a total of four), but when I fastened the collar this time in the proper position, she choked, and the prongs seemed already to be pinching.

What should be done about in-between sizes? Perhaps she will gain more weight, and the collar will fit better when she does. In the meantime, will any injury or bad habits occur if the collar is lower? I am using the dominant collar as backup, so even if the looser prong collar gives way, she will still be under my control.

I have enjoyed reading your ebooks and perusing your website. My last obedience training experience was thirty years ago with another female Dobbie (as intelligent as Sadie is and when I was younger and more nimble) using William Koehler's methods. I have found the addition of treats to be effective, even if Koehler may be turning in his grave.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.
Louise

Answer:

It's possible that your dog will continue to grow and she'll fill out enough for a correct fit. If you are getting the desired results you may be ok with a less than perfect neck placement. Growing dogs are always a bit tricky; my young Malinois (16 months) is between sizes as well so we just make do while he's growing.

Cindy


Question:

Hi,

I have a Maltese 5yr old and I have a prong collar for training. Is there a correct way the prongs should face when on the dogs neck? i.e. towards me?

Thanks
James

Answer:

We have a detailed article on how to put on a prong collar, and make sure it fits properly. 

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hello Cindy,

We are in the process of ordering a muzzle and I was speaking with the ladies at your office.  They suggested I contact you about my question on collars.

I have a German Shepherd and have just adopted a Ridgeback Shepherd mix.  The German Shepherd is not accepting the new addition and has attacked him several times.  She is wearing a cloth muzzle now when they are together, but we are ordering a plastic or wire for her.   

When she is in the house (which is where most of her aggressive behavior is exhibited), we have drag lines on both dogs and the muzzle and a regular buckle collar.  For disciplinary purposes, would you recommend that she also wear a prong collar or the dominant dog collar?  She does not seems to have a problem with the prong in terms of reacting to it.  My thought was that the dominant dog collar might be more comfortable (when not in use) and also not have her be as aware that she has it on and easier for us as she goes in and out (and I don't like to send her outside in the yard with a prong collar on. But I also don't want to use a stronger correction than needed.

Your advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
JoAnne

Answer:

I think I would recommend a dominant dog collar for in the house. 

I like to use a prong for walks if the dog is a puller, with a dominant dog collar as a back up.

Cindy


Question:

Your staff has been helpful, but they suggested I contact you directly with regard to buying a 2nd dominant dog collar for a Doberman stray, they mentioned you used to breed them, I picked up last year,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25276556@N05/3284791077/

I purchased a 13" dominant dog collar from your online store (as well as a video or two) and am pleased that it works as advertised with one slight issue, it's too long despite following the directions, measuring with string, and I am seeking to correct that mistake by ordering something ~2" shorter.  However, even when pulled tight on him in the proper location, it slides down his coat on the slightest suggestion over the top lumbar vertebrae down to his shoulder blades, the base of his neck is softer and smaller in diameter than right behind the skull so the collar seems to seek that area once it slides past the top vertebrae.  Obviously it becomes completely ineffective compared to what it does so well when in the proper position.

I am very hesitant to order something too short for him and, while I'm sure I could get one that was tight enough to lock into place, I'm concerned that he would practically be in a half choke to keep it there with as slick as his fur is.  The one I have only has ~1" of slack when properly adjusted and under slight tension (as you show in many of your videos), but up to 3"  between the rings when pulled taught in a proper front foot lift correction.  The flesh compresses quite a bit and perhaps that's why my initial string measurement prior to ordering didn't end up panning out.  I end up seeing a rabbit or cat before he does and manually lifting the collar into place, taking all the slack out and preparing for his high prey drive overreaction (which has been getting better and better thanks to the collar, thank you).  In this function it works quickly, without hurting him, and immediately shakes him off target but you can see where he quickly learned that my attempting to place the collar behind the skull means there's something to anxious about in the area.

I was wondering if there are any special considerations for the breed or other short hair dogs and your collars.  Is there such a thing as too much shorter than the string measurement?  Right now, without compressing him, I can measure him at 13.5" high on the throat and right behind the skull (he is a small 55lb Doberman) and, when loose, the nylon / cotton between the rings on the collar measures 12.5".  It should work, but his flesh just lets it slide right down to his shoulders under most conditions and is never in place for when I really need it.  I don't want to order a 10" or 11" collar without getting the right advice first.

Respectfully,
Shannon

Answer:

The coat doesn’t really matter for the dominant dog collar, but based on your description I would think the 11” collar would be a better size than the 13”.   If that one doesn’t fit, you can exchange it for an even smaller size.  You may want to keep the leash and collar with no slack at all, place the collar up high on his neck when you walk him and keep a very slight tension on the leash so it can’t slide down.

The good thing is that the more you use the collar, the less you should have to use it as your dog learns to restrain himself.

Cindy


Question:

Dear Cindy,

I have bought and watched all videos on dog training. I have two pekingese dogs and as you already know this breed has breath problems because of their 'pushed inside' nose. Can I use prong collar in this breed? Or is there something else, more appropriate in order to not cause any problems with their breathing?

Thank you very much,
Jenny

Answer:

You can use a prong collar with a Pekingese.  It actually is less restrictive on their breathing than other types of collars.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Greetings Cindy,

Really appreciate all your help you guys give us.  I was wondering your opinion of using a DD collar for someone that is smaller in stature but has a big dog that pulls.  Historically I would automatically use a pinch.  Can one replace a pinch used for pulling, with a DD collar.  P.S. I really enjoyed the video on proper sizing of the DD Collar.

James

Answer:

The pinch is a better tool for pulling, the DD collar is more useful for cases of aggression or situations that cause a dog to get over stimulated with a prong/pinch.

Cindy


Question:

Afternoon,

I have purchased 3 of your DVDs and am very pleased with them. Question I have is  the proper fit of the prong collar. I have a 16 month old 90 lb spaded female Shepherd and have been working with her since I got her at 2 months old. My question is that I know the collar is to fit snug behind the ears but to get the collar so it stays up there, it seems like the collar is to tight on her.  Its like I can't place my fingers under it. I have the large collar so would that be the proper fit.  When we walk her front legs are past my legs. Is that considered walking out to far out in front of me.  She just doesn't seem to want to stay right next to me. I have also the E-collar and have tried that but she seems to walk fine for a little and then like she has lost her concentration on what she's suppose to do. Also I had taken her to an obedience class when she was about 5-6 months old and used the prong collar and the instructor had us positioning the collar with the rings on the back of the dogs head. I see that you have the rings positioned on the side of the dogs neck. If that’s correct, and I walk my dog on the right side of me, I should then have the rings on the left side of her neck?

One other thing is that my neighbor guy has her brother, and she gets so excited when ever she gets near the guy whether its with his dog or alone, that she urinates. Is this because she's being submissive to him? She doesn't do that around other people. 

Thank you for your time.

Cheryl

Answer:

You are not supposed to be able to fit your fingers under a properly fit prong.  Here is the information on how to fit the collar.

I don’t use the large size prong on any of our dogs, the links are much too large. I might use the large prong on a very BIG St. Bernard or Mastiff, but would use a medium on most German Shepherds.  I use the small or medium on my own dogs and add the number of links necessary for the proper fit.  Whether the rings or on the back of the dog’s neck, if it’s fit properly and the dog has a clear understanding of what you expect it shouldn’t make that much difference.

What you are describing is submissive urination.  You can do a search on our website for more information on that.  I would direct you to the search function in the upper left corner of the website If you type in your key words it will guide you to articles, Q & A’s and posts on our forum. 

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I just read the weekly newsletter published today and related to the Q/A on the guy who's dog whines and whimpers when she sees another dog and I do not allow her to go since I do not allow her to meet and greet other dogs. My dog (14 months old now) does the same thing, but she is very loud and it sounds like someone is trying to kill her. Her lunging at another dog (all of this occurs on sidewalks) has diminished where I implemented your earlier recommendations to me; however, this vocalization is quite frustrating. I tried to administer a physical correction (hard and soft via prong and e-collars), but that just makes her even louder and more anxious. Just yesterday, I decided to try using the DD collar I have on her as a back-up. She indeed became quiet (probably because she was unable to breath). My question: is using a DD collar for this a good idea or will it damage her confidence, drives, etc., in the long run?

Thanks again,
Jeffrey

Answer:

Every dog is different so it’s hard to say what the long term repercussions would be from using the DD collar. It may be just fine. I’d prefer to use markers to reinforce good behavior over corrections for this. If it doesn’t work, you can always go to a physical correction later.

I’ve found that dogs usually vocalize because they are anxious, and using physical means to stop it usually adds more anxiety. 

I’d worry about damaging the relationship, more than damaging her drives. Like I said before, if you’ve tried other things and given them a real chance (not just once or twice) and they don’t work at all then try something else. This is one of those cases where you have to use your knowledge of your dog and your instincts to know what’s best for the situation. I always start with the least “offensive” way (for lack of a better word) and go from there.

Cindy


Question:

Hello Cindy!

I just spoke with the personnel at your office to complete our video and orbee ball order.  We’re very excited to receive them!

After reading through numerous Q & A`s on your website; I am understanding that it is better for the prong collar to be very snug, so that it remains in the correct position (behind ears and at jaw line), rather then be loose and have it slip down.

As several other dog owners are experiencing, it feels like we are between link sizes. Due to the snugness… I am finding it difficult to attach the links. This has me slightly worried.

How does one determine when to add another link… Sigma is a 9 month old rottie and has lots of growing to do.

Thank you for answering this question.

Have a fantastic day!!!

Jennifer
Ontario, Canada

Answer:

Hi Jennifer,

When you are dealing with a growing dog, you just have to be prepared for the fact that there will be times that the fit isn’t perfect. I add another link when it becomes impossible to close the collar. Most people don’t fit the collar properly, because they worry about it being too tight. Many times it’s quite snug when you first put it on the dog, but once the dog shakes and the collar settles through the coat it will fit properly.

Of course, if it is possible to make the collar too tight but I think you need to experiment a bit as your dog grows.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hi,

I recently purchased the dominant dog collar and am unsure as to how to put it on. With the traditional choke collar, you are supposed to put it on the dog so that it forms a "p" as you face the dog. Does the same hold true for the dominant dog collar? It appears to be put on both ways in the video on your website... but I don't know if the video gets flipped at any time.

I appreciate your help.

Carol

Answer:

I personally put the dominant dog collar on the same way as a regular choke collar. It’s Ok to put it on either way though because we aren’t using it for pop and release corrections like a choke. 


Question:

Hello Ed,

Thanks for you wonderful website.
I have a question about the dominant collar. My dog is a black Labrador. He is 10 month old. Since 3 months, we have been working with a trainer. Niki, that's his name, is VERY stubborn. It's taken time and hard work to "persuade" him do something. He keeps testing the boundaries every day. One problem we are having is that he pulls us (me and my wife) while walking him on a leash. It's even a bigger problem when he sees a cat/another dog/something he thinks interesting. Regular choke collars aren't efficient (they always drop down on his neck). My trainer suggested to try one of your Dominant Dog Collars. As the prime reason for using it, according to your website, is for aggressive dogs, I wanted to check with you if it would be smart using it in our case (we have no aggression problems).

Please let me know what do you think.

Thank you,
Knafel

Answer:

We recommend the dominant dog collar for situations that involve aggression OR high levels of excitement.  A prong collar is best for pulling problems, but if the dog is overly excited or aggressive the prong can actually add to the problem.

I’d actually recommend you have both collars, I use both of them with my dogs.


Question:

Cindy,

I’m trying to determine the proper size prong collar to order for my 7 month old border collie and had one question. Based on your sizing instructions, he measures a snug 14 behind the ears; this is the size I’m ordering my dominant dog collar in. However, I’m not so sure about the correct prong collar. Should I buy the 14” and add links, or go with the 18” and remove links to start? Does the difference in thickness of the links make more sense to order the larger collar as the dog is still growing? I appreciate your time.

Thanks,
Colleen

Answer:

I’d go with the smaller link collar and add links as needed for a Border Collie.  The smaller gauge links work best, in my experience.


Question:

So glad I found Leerburg.com! I thought I knew how to raise a pup, had done so successfully but with (in hindsight) luckily pretty soft dogs. Husband decided "it was time" to get a pound puppy, so an 8 week old lab/hound/shep/pit mix came home with us from the downtown Detroit Humane Society last March. Of course I knew I would raise it but boy did I get more than I bargained for. I have 4 kids and a husband in denial. No one in his family "trains" their dogs but they always have huge labs that just hang out. I want to enjoy a bonded, alert animal that I feel you get to enjoy only if you EARN it. All of our problems have stemmed from inconsistency (from husband), intimidated children, lots of outside distractions, too much Cesar Millan mumbo-jumbo, lame Pet Smart advice, AND a very smart, dominant, hard dog. Your website has probably literally saved the life of this dog.

I've had 2 or 3 "Waterloos" with this pup since March where I saw no choice but to take her back. I could take her infrequent but scary garbage but my kids... They'd beg me to keep trying and they'd stay out of my way. I'd buckle down and look for more training options to implement.

LUCKILY for Georgie (dog) and me I got 3 of your DVDs and a couple of DD collars and the "taking the air away" approach was the key. I had really tried to do everything I knew correctly with her (this was before I found your site) and have been super consistent with exercise and basic obedience training. We walk 7 days a week, no exceptions, up until now for an hour minimum. This has been through occasional excited aggression (toward me), challenging me on corrections, and intense prey drive. (tons of rabbits and squirrels in this very populated area) As I said, the DD collar is great. My problem as a handler was that I was nagging her instead of setting her straight. I am physically capable of doing it, was just reticent.

Re: a prong, she pulls much of the time, but not always. I would not say she is a sharp dog, just very hard (even a strong correction that DOES stop unwanted behavior, she NEVER carries a grudge) so, would you recommend a prong to stop the pulling backed up by the DD collar in case she jumps up in protest (very rare these days) I am the only one who walks or trains her...I'm now using the "SLOW" command in place of HEEL with frequent but intermittent food rewards and she will slow but only briefly, so I'm constantly repeating and popping on the DD, which can't be good for her throat, even with the smaller of the 2 sizes I have now. Would a prong be preferable to DD collar?

I try to do as much of the pack program as I can...I work part time only so I have time to work with her every day, thank goodness. It hasn't been easy to convince my family that the puppy should NOT have access to the sofa, should NOT have access to upstairs/bedrooms, should NOT be indiscriminately cuddled for human gratification, etc. They finally got it that their selfish behavior (wanting to just cuddle and play with the dog) was dangerous for ME, as I was the enforcer. LOL.

Now, this seasonal situation...we live in southeast Michigan, and get much of the same weather you do. If it's over 25 degrees and not too windy, I have no problem splitting up daily exercise in several walks and it's OK. However, when it's bitter cold and windy, all I can hack (and all I dare put her through) is two or three 10-15 minute stints, max.

Because of what I've learned from you and Ed, I have finally gotten my family to almost completely stop just "letting her out" into our fenced yard because it makes her "drunk with power" and has greatly slowed my ability to train any reliable outdoor recall. We now take her outside to pee on a long lead and bring her back in. If you drop the end of any leash attached to her while she's outside, she won't even take off to run around. (due to leash attached between us inside much of the time) Unclip the lead, and she runs around like mad. Will play a good disciplined game of fetch (drop, leave it, sit, wait, release to fetch again)but occasionally very difficult to get her back in. Thus, I really don't want to play with her in the back yard unless really necessary for her exercise.

What do I do when there is fresh snow on the ground and she wants to lunge and bolt on a walk? Her decent walking manners vanish if the sidewalk is covered. If the streets are clear, we go there and it's better, but how do you guys exercise your dogs in snowy/frigid/icy weather?? I'm pretty tough and am willing to deal with it (believe you me my neighbors think I'm insane when we set off in a downpour or other crappy weather) but it's hard to give food rewards when you have to keep taking gloves off and your hands start to get numb. You know what I mean. Do I just let her out or play with her in the backyard myself or skip it (which I don't want to do, she's almost 1 year old, and though she's not hyper, when she gets bored or restless she starts sock hunting or bugging the cat or whatever. I could crate her more but doesn't she need to move every day? (I've taught group fitness for 25 years and am a musician, too, so I live by practice and routine myself).

Thanks for reading my novel, I see you get quite a few, so I thought I'd take a whack at it myself.

THANK YOU for your service and life mission. My dog thanks you.

Lesley

Answer:

I think I would implement a prong collar for pulling on walks and continue with the DD collar for the other issues. The prong is made to be popped and released and should help your issues with the walks.

I take my dogs outside for physical exercise every day, 365 days a year. This time of year, they get bundled up if it's subzero and we go snowshoeing for 45-60 minutes. I only miss a day if we are out of town. High energy dogs require this to be mentally balanced and happy. I find that for snowshoeing MY optimal temperature is about 5-8 degreees. Anything above that and I overheat. The dogs have coats to wear if the weather is subzero, and boots too. On days like today, 12 degrees with -2 windchills they go out naked. :)

Playing with her in the back yard would be a good alternative to a walk; dogs need to drain their physical energy to be settled (some more than others). One thing though, many people underestimate how tiring teaching your dog to use her mind can be. The beauty of this is that you can do it indoors. I spend time every day in the winter teaching fun or silly parlor tricks, new obedience commands or making my dogs search for toys or articles I hid in the house. The foundation of all this is marker training.

Don't underestimate this! The Power of Training Dogs with Markers and The Power of Training Dogs with Food

It will also carry over into your dog's daily life with you, because it makes the dog want to engage with you more and more in a positive way.

I hope this helps. Cindy


Question:

Thank you for all the great information on your site. My question is about the prong collar and DD collar use. The prong collar takes a harder correction than the DD collar but it is recommended to have the leash hooked to both in case the prong collar comes off. I read that to use the DD collar you lift rather than jerk. However, if you jerk on the prong collar wouldn't that be jerking on the DD collar as well?

Thanks,
Linda

Answer:

If you have the prong collar fitted correctly, the prong should engage on the dog’s neck with very little leash movement and the dominant dog collar won’t be put into play.

If you are concerned about that I’d recommend a larger size dominant dog collar for use as a back up.    

Cindy


Question:

Hi Ed:

I just received my dominant dog collar and am wondering whether I can keep it on my GSD 24/7. I am training him with a prong collar under the guidance of an accredited trainer. I bought the dominant dog collar to have on my dog as a backup to the prong collar. But there are occasions in the house where he needs correcting and I don't want to use or leave the prong collar on him.

Regards,
Dick

Answer:

I wouldn't leave the dominant dog collar on the dog when he's not supervised.  It could get snagged on something and choke the dog.  If you are home and he's with you then its fine to leave it on.


Question:

Hi Cindy:

First of all let me thank you for the education and the information Leerburg provides. Very professional and helpful, thanks again!!

I have a question about the prong collar use. I have 5 months old GSD female pup. I would like her to become our family protection dog and companion. I follow your methods of puppy training and family pack structure.

I started her on marker training according your Marker Training video. I observed that your dog Rush wears a prong collar at some point.

Could you tell me please at what stage of training or what is the deciding factor to start using the prong collar?

Thank you very much for your time to read this e-mail and looking forward for your answer.

Best Regards,
Robert

Answer:

Hi Robert,

I let my dogs start wearing the prong collar at around 4 months old but I don’t actively use it until after we complete leash pressure work (as shown in Focused Heeling with Michael Ellis).

I see you ordered
The Power of Training Dogs with Markers
The Power of Training Dogs with Food
The Power of Playing Tug with your Dog

That’s great, because the heeling video is the next one in the series. After you complete the work in those then the heeling work can be done. You could certainly let your dog wear the prong collar now so that it’s no big deal when it comes time to use it.

Thanks for the kind words, I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hello Cindy.

It is always a pleasure to get your newsletters.

Today I have a quick question. My dog does not like to wear the prong collar. He does not mind me putting it on him. I followed your instructions on how to fit it. At first, he does great. You can walk him with just one finger on the leash, but after a few minutes, he scratches like mad trying to get rid of it. I can redirect his attention and he will stop for awhile, but soon after, he scratches again. It looks like he is trying to slip the collar over his head to get rid of it. Do you have any suggestions to desensitize him?

Thanks,
Laurent.

Answer:

Just put it on him daily and leave it on him until he no longer notices it.  Also make sure you have it fit properly, if it’s too loose around his neck he is more likely to scratch at it.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Cindy,

I have a white Lab and have been using a metal prong collar.  Lately I’ve noticed that his fur around the collar is discolored (grey colored). Is the discoloration caused by the metal prong collar? Will his fur return to its original color if I stop using the metal prong collar?

Thanks,
Steve

Answer:

There are some light colored dogs that end up with discolored fur from metal collars.  We’ve recently started carrying these curogan collars, as they are not as likely to cause discoloration. 

Some dogs (less than 10%) do react on Curogan with a discoloration.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hello Cindy:

Thank you very much for your answers to my e-mails in the past.

It always helps. My GSD pupp Emma is 6 months old today; doing great!!

I have a question about sizing the dominant dog collar if you are going to use it as a safety with the prong collar. I follow your advise on how to properly use and size these collars; however, should the dominant dog collar be a bit bigger if you use it as a safety with prong?

I am a bit confused. I want my prong to be the function and have the dominant dog collar only as a back up in case the prong brakes. I am wandering if the dog would not get "two" corrections if the dominant dog collar is basically the same size as the prong.

Thank you again for your help and looking forward for your feedback.

Best Regards,
Robert

PS: The last time I asked you about correcting my puppy for eating my turkey sandwich. Thank you for "waking me up"; I was ahead of myself in the training.

Answer:

Hi Robert,

If you are using a dominant dog collar merely as a safety/backup collar it can be several inches larger than the recommended size.  I hope this helps. I am glad to hear you and Emma are doing great.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hi Cindy!

I have a friend who has a Dachsund from HELL. She's just a year old, so still a pup. Disobedient as the day is long. So, I told her owner to go get a prong collar. The thing is, I think he got one from PetSmart. I can't get it to fit right without taking out too many prongs. Then it digs into her neck. How long is the shortest one you have? I prefer the quick release kind, for obvious reasons. We did use the one he has on her for a while last night, and she did get the message. I just don't feel comfortable with it not fitting correctly. Let me know what, if anything, you can do.

Thank You!!

Answer:

Try a micro prong collar, its made especially for small dogs.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

I have a four year old German Shepherd that wears a prong collar.  I have consulted with a vet and behaviorist to be sure that it is fitted properly.  She began wearing a prong at about age one and after realizing the restriction, hurt herself once or twice and now just jumps straight up and down in the air when she is out of control for her fear of other dogs.  (Trust me...something I have worked on) but the point is she never hurts herself with the prong collar. 

My concern is that over the last six months, she is developing small bumps on her neck and the top of her head.  Of course she only wears her prong collar on her walks when I have her on a leash but I'm thinking she is allergic to the metal.  Is there another material you sell that may solve that problem...have you ever heard of this before?

I feel sorry for her since she has these bumps developing all around her collar area.  Any ideas would be helpful

Please let me know if you have another collar that might not cause her allergies.

Thanks

Answer:

We carry curogan collars which are recommended for use on dogs with nickel allergies (which may be your dog’s issue).

Curogan is a copper-tin-alloy with a high copper portion and some additives which make the material strong - but without any nickel. Therefore these chains avoid a discoloration of fair haired dogs. Some dogs (less than 10%) do react on Curogan with a discoloration.

A further advantage of curogan is the fact that it is absolutely free of nickel. More often nickel is responsible for allergic reactions of sensitive dogs and causes of some skin rashes.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Sir,
 
I am preparing to order a prong collar and have a fitting question.
 
Behind my dogs ears approximately one thumb width is a bony prominence (I think its the wings of Atlas). Should the collar go between the rear of the ear and this bony section or behind it, farther down the neck?
 
Thanks, 
John

Answer:

The collar goes right up under the jaw and follows that line around the neck- never had a dog with the wings of Atlas so I would be guessing. Bottom line is if the prong is snug enough it will stay in place and wont matter.

Keep in mind you should be using a dominant dog collar along with a prong.  They do come apart and they will come apart when you need them the most.

To be honest I find myself using my dominant dog collar more than the prong on my dog, too often the prongs over stimulate a dog and make them hectic. Where as the dominant dog collar takes the drive out of the dog and doesn’t make them hectic at all.

Regards,
Ed Frawley


Question:

Hello Cindy,

I have a 13 week GSD. She's a long hair that we imported from Germany.

I've bought a lot of wonderful things for her from your web site including a good selection of DVDs. She's definitely got a mind of her own and even at 13 weeks was starting to pull so hard on the leather collar that I order your puppy prong collar and a dominant dog collar as a safety back up.

Here's my problem. It's her coat. The sliding ring on the dominate dog collar stays tight on her throat because of her coat getting stuck in the ring. This also happens with the prong collar but not as badly. The collars work when I pull on them put don't release fully when I release pressure. When I check the tightness of the released collar it just seems too tight to be correct. She doesn't complain but I know that they're still very tight on her.

I know that you sell fur saver collars but I need to be able to stop her pulling. What can you recommend?

By the way, I really am really leaning a lot from your DVDs with Michael Ellis. It turns out that I live about 20 min from Fairfield, CA and will be taking one of his 2 week courses in July.

Thanks for any advice that you may have for me.
Robert

Answer:

The prong is the collar we recommend for pulling. Are you sure the prong is sized properly? It should be quite snug even when not engaged. There is an article on this page with how to fit the collar correctly on the prong page.

I've found that about 99% of the people new to using prongs don't put them on snug enough. The only other idea I have is to thin the coat around her collar area a bit with thinning shears and to use a fairly large dominant dog collar so the rings don't engage at all. This is fine to do if it's only being used a backup.

I'm totally envious that you live so close to Fairfield. Lucky you and your pup! I spent 2 weeks out there in March and it was great. Have a great time at the class. :)

Cindy Rhodes

Thanks:

Thank you Cindy,

I followed the sizing instruction closely for both. I think the problem with her maybe that I've sized both collars as if they were the only collar that she was wearing. Together, along with her coat, things get tangled a bit.

I'll order a new dominant dog collar today. I think your suggestion to use a bigger one should fix the problem. If not, I'll also try thinning her coat. That would be my last choice. I get at least 5 compliments a day while we're out. She's a beautiful girl, a bit hard headed, but beautiful.

Ha! reminds of my former wife. Opps sorry, my mind drifted there.

Thanks again, I'll let you know if changing to a longer dominant dog collar fixes the problem.

Bob


Question:

Dear Mr. Frawley,

I would like to purchase a quick release prong collar for my dog. My question is, what size link should I order for my dog. Her neck measures 17 1/2 inches. The medium fits up to 18"  and the large fits 17 to 20".  She is  possibly a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. Her coat is a bit like a Shepherd but shorter. With her ears down she looks like a Rhodesian and with them up, she looks like a Malinois. She weighs 68 pounds and looks a bit dainty, but she is anything but! She can take off and pull like a drag racecar.

Thanks for your attention.

Sincerely,
Randee

Answer:

I would recommend either a small (with additional  links) or a medium. I’d probably get an extra link or two with the medium as well, in case you need to add links in the future.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hi

I lost the prong collar I had for my dog, I believe it was a micro I had ordered from a trainer. She is a chihuahua/rat terrier about 7 lbs and neck is about 9.5" What is the difference other then price on the chrome and stainless steele? And what is the difference in the mm size? Is that the size of the prongs? Sorry to sound clueless. I just want to make sure I order the right one and fast as I am using a back up choker chain and don't like it, she walks much better with the prong. It is amazing!

Thank you for your time.
MJ

Answer:

Stainless steel is more durable than chrome and will not rust.
The mm is the size of the prongs.

For your dog, I would recommend a micro prong.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Ed Frawley (Leerburg Kennels),

I was interested in purchasing a couple of your dominant dog collars. I have three akitas, two males and one female, ranging from one-hundred to one-hundred and forty pounds (not fat). I have used metal choke collars for the last eight years of so with good results but of course, they tend to slide down the dog's neck and have to be re-set. In the last six months or so, I found your site and have been very happy with your training methods and products (purchased the leather leash and the DVDs on dominant dogs and pack structure). I was considering ordering a couple of your dominant dog collars but wanted to make sure they would hold up to a larger dog (of course with the proper fit). The two males are adoptions and have been aggressive in the past and I've had to use the airway constriction technique (glad you are an advocate of this technique). They are well behaved now but I would hate to pull up on the leash and have the collar snap. I appreciate any feedback and also would like to thank you for your service as a police officer. I am a police officer in the north Dallas area. Thanks in advance for you reply...

Mike

Answer:

We have these collars made specifically for big dominant dogs and the larger size have strong hardware, but if you have any doubt, I would recommend using TWO dominant dog collars (both clipped to the same leash)  That way if there is failure, you have a back up.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

I’m sorry if this question has already been answered somewhere in your vast amount of information. I searched in your articles and on your Q&A, but my eyes are starting to cross from all the reading! I started training Spencer (2 ½ -year-old Dobe) with a prong collar about a year and a half ago. It was a life-saver for him because I wanted to wring his neck every day. There are no trainers in our area who will use a prong collar (they all favor the Gentle Leader, which Spencer hates), so had to go all the way up to Massachusetts to learn how to deal with my wild man. The trainer, however, did not say anything about putting the prong collar on and off several times a day for a couple of weeks before starting the training. I just watched your Basic Obedience DVD yesterday where you suggest doing this with the prong collar and also the e-collar which I have purchased but haven’t started using yet because I want to make sure I do it exactly right. The more I learn from you, the more I realize how much MORE I need to learn!  Anyway, being a pretty smart dog, it didn’t take Spencer long to figure out that if he doesn’t have the prong collar on, the corrections don’t mean much.  Is it possible for him to “unlearn” this or is it a done deal? He’s a great dog, therapy certified, with no behavioral or temperament problems. He’s very cooperative and will do what I tell him if he understands clearly what I want. I think I have botched the prong collar training from the beginning, so if I could “re-teach” it, I’m sure he could “re-learn” it.

Thank you for all your help. Your DVDs (I think I have 5 or 6 of them now) and articles have made a huge difference in how I’m training Spencer. Your methods are so much more common-sense, simple but not easy, but well worth the effort. Spencer loves to train, and your information has given me so many fun ways to work with him. I have taken obedience and agility classes with him just to exercise his body and mind, with no intent to compete. Now I’m starting to think that competing is a very good possibility with your clear-cut methods to guide me. Pretty exciting prospect for an old lady of 64!

Judy

Answer:

Re-teaching a dog is nothing more than creating new habits. Just figure out how you want to proceed and then be consistent. Put the prong on every day, even on days you aren’t going to use it. I do the same thing with the remote. Collars go on when we get up and come off when we go to bed. It becomes just something that happens every day, like putting on wristwatch in the AM for us.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Good morning, Cindy.

I wanted to thank you for offering me help with my dog in the past. I have a quick question for you if you have a minute.

I have been taking my dog to training classes, and although there's been some progress, they are very against corrections of any kind. They are 100% reward based trainers. I told my trainer that I purchased a prong collar from your site, and he was mortified. The reason I purchased it is because my dog is a little dog, and she has a bad habit of barking and lunging at other dogs if I allow it. His solution is to pull her off to the side and feed her while the other dog passes, but this unfortunately doesn't always work, and I need to be able to provide a correction if she decides the dog is more interesting than the food. My trainer believes that she does this because she is a little dog, and feels the need to "act big" around other dogs. He said some dogs never actually get much better with this kind of behavior.  I feel it is an issue, and his explanation is not good enough for me. I want a dog that I can take anywhere, and I believe every dog is trainable.

I know that there are a lot of variables, but do you believe I should be using a prong collar on my 10lb dog to control this behavior? I've done some reading on the E-Collar and have been thinking a little about whether or not I should purchase the E-Collar DVD and learn to use it instead. I am receiving mixed advice about how to deal with the barking and lunging at strange dogs, and I could really use a little advice from someone who actually knows what she's talking about.

Thanks Cindy. I appreciate any time you can offer.

Answer:

I do not believe you should use a prong for THIS behavior and I also believe you shouldn’t be putting your dog in this situation.  She’s not ready for it.  If she is barking and lunging at other dogs the worst thing you can do is continue to put her in this situation.  She needs to learn to listen to you under distraction and you don’t get that kind of behavior by overwhelming her in a class full of dogs.  A prong collar actually makes things worse.  It’s great for finesse work in obedience, or for pulling but to use it when a dog is excited/aggressive actually makes the behaviors you DON’T want worse.

If your dog is reactive to other dogs you need to work on this at a distance from other dogs.  If she reacts to dogs 20 yards away, then go to a distance that she can relax and focus on you and gradually work your way closer.  By doing what you have been in a class, you are actually teaching her the very behavior you want to extinguish.  Engagement with you should be your goal.

If I recall your dog is a puppy, so you need to back up and start over using a strategy that isn’t based on corrections. I am all for corrections when needed, but in this situation a correction (especially with a prong) is only going to cement the idea that dogs are bad and scary because their presence means a correction.

Become a student of marker training. When your dog (AND YOU) know and understand markers you are going to be able to tell him the EXACT instant he does something correctly or just as important the exact instant he does something wrong.

Markers opens a level of communication between you and your dog that was never available when we all started training dogs many years ago. We have a free 85 Page eBook titled THE POWER OF TRAINING DOGS WITH MARKERS. It’s on the web site in the list of eBooks on my web site. This is the place to start.

I would also recommend you go to the free streaming videos on the web site and watch the lecture of Michael Ellis where he talks about his philosophy of dog training. Not only will you learn a lot you will understand why we are doing a series of training DVDs with Michael.

Here is the short list I recommend to new trainers: Engagement with YOU starts here.  I train all my dogs from puppies using this method.

The Power of Training Dog with Markers
The Power of Training Dogs with Food
The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog  **optional
Focused Heeling with Michael Ellis

The work in these DVDs will take you through the first 6 to 8 months of your dogs life but the foundation you established with this work will be used for the rest of your dogs life.  It will give you tools to train any endeavor you care to get involved with.

Good luck,
Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hi there, I ordered one of these [Dominant Dog Collar] last night and was wondering if I should be attaching the leash to her regular collar as well as the dominant dog collar in case it breaks.  If so, how do I go about doing this?

Normally we don't use a leash, but the police have been cracking down on people walking their dogs without one, mostly due to the fact there are so many young people with pitbulls that have no training, and continue to cause problems. I normally don't and let our GSD, Heidi, come along without a leash, but after a few tickets I don't really have a choice until we move in 6 months. She does very well off leash, needs a bit more guidance on leash, which is why I heard about the dominant dog collar and decided it was a much more viable solution than a prong collar.  Let me know what you think. Also if there is another piece of equipment we need to purchase in order to connect the DD collar to her regular collar, please provide a link.

-Jeff

Answer:

If you are worried about the collar breaking you can clip the leash to the ring on the dominant dog collar and the ring on your regular collar. No special equipment required.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hi Ed,

Following your advise from one of your DVDs I did recently purchase from Leerburg a Dominant Dog Collar together with a Herm Sprenger Prong Collar. When I received it I realized that your Dominant Dog Collar is functionally a Choke Collar albeit with a somewhat different design. I am somewhat confused since you in the same DVD (along with other trainers I have talked to) argue against the use of Choke Collar. I am hesitant to putting this Dominant Dog Collar on my 8 months old Dobie since I don't want to risk any neck injuries.

I would appreciate you explaining why the arguments against a Choke Collar don't apply to a Dominant Dog Collar as well.

Regards,
Tomas

Answer:

The dominant dog collar is used in a specific way that doesn't involve a "jerk and release" the way choke collars are used. The correct use is outlined on the website and in the dominant dog DVD.

If you are only using it as a back up collar, then you would not be applying any pressure to the dog's neck with the DD collar anyway, so it should not be an issue.

If you use the DD collar properly, it should not be a problem. If you try to apply a jerking type of correction with a snug DD collar, it could cause the dog's neck to be injured.

Cindy Rhodes

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