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Leerburg Dog Training Blog

The best source for dog training news, tricks and treats, right from world class leaders in dog training.

The best source for dog training news, tricks and treats, right from world class leaders in dog training.

If you train with a Prong – use a backup collar – here’s why

If you don’t already know it, prong collars may accidentally come apart during training.

Look closely at the photo of our friend’s dog – the prong came apart and is hanging down from the snap on the leash but the dog was still on leash because the trainer had a back-up collar on.  This happened today to our friend and if he not had the backup collar on, this dog would have been off-leash in an area with a lot of distractions.

Trainers use prong collars for a number of reasons but if the prong comes apart and there is no backup collar, the dog is suddenly and unexpectedly off leash.  If the handler doesn’t have a reliable recall there is a problem.

Years ago another one of our friends had a dog get loose when the prong collar came apart, that dog ran out into traffic and was killed instantly.  A back up collar would have prevented this tragedy.

I am also aware of a situation where a prong came apart on a reactive, dog aggressive dog. That dog then killed a small poodle that was tied in the  owner’s yard (right in front of the poodle’s owner). The owner of the poodle was bitten and the ensuing lawsuit cost the reactive dog’s owner $50,000 in legal fees.

If a dog handler is using one of our Leerburg dominant dog collars (like you see in this photo) as a back-up collar it’s important to size the dominant dog collar correctly.  When using a dominant dog collar as a back-up we recommend oversizing it by 3-4 inches.  The reason is simple, when the handler gives a leash correction on the prong he wants that correction to come from the prong collar not the slip collar. If the the dominant dog collar is too short the correction will come from that and not the prong collar.

For trainers who intend to wean off of a prong collar, I always recommend to have two dominant dog collars on the dog. One should be used as a back-up with a prong and one should be used as a normal training collar (which fits snug up under the jaw and right behind the ears – there should only be 1 inch of slack).

I hope this helps save a few dogs.



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