The prong collar is rubbing on my dog's fur creating a fur divot. What can I do to fix this?
I have a four year old GSD that has been on a prong collar for the past three years. It's a large link version and I feel it is properly sized for his neck. He's in the prong whenever we leave the house regardless of activity: training, walking, or for a run. I started using the collar early on since the dog is very, very hard.
The problem I have is the collar has created a permanent fur divot in the right side of his neck. In the areas where the slip chain feeds through the circular links, the fur has abraded down to almost bare skin.
There are two concerns. First I'm afraid that the nearly bare spots may ulcerate if the collar use in continued. Second is the aesthetics of the issue. The dog has an asymmetric coat at the neck line. It's fairly apparent to me, and probably to others that know what they are looking at.
The latter issue is probably mostly my pride in an otherwise well confirmed dog. The former issue is more potentially problematic.
I'll add that the dog does apply a lot of leash pressure during walks. I could do more to correct him, but it's a lose-lose situation: pulling activates the prong, correcting activates the prong. If I corrected him enough he wouldn't pull, but he's a GSD! They're leaders.
What do you suggest?
If the hair is being worn off your dog's neck I would suspect a few things. 1) the collar isn’t fit on the neck properly and it's moving around to cause hair breakage 2) the dog is wearing the collar too much 3) the size of the links is wrong for this dog.
I feel the problem is probably a combination of all of the above.
I would recommend at the LARGEST, a medium link for a GSD. The only dogs I would *maybe* use a large prong on would be a St. Bernard or similar size dog. I would also recommend looking at our prong page, if the collar is fitting the dog properly, there should not be enough loose chain to rub the hair.
Also, if the collar was fit properly, your dog would be more respectful of the collar and would not be as likely to pull. Using the excuse that he's a GSD isn't a reason to allow him to pull you. Dogs that pull into a prong collar usually do so because they've been desensitized to the feeling of the prong, instead of taught "leash pressure" as outlined in the Ellis heeling DVD ( I see that you ordered that last summer).
I think changing things like the size of the collar and placement on the neck may help your problems.