What is the purpose of a training collar?

To help you keep your dog in your family.  Our canine companions come in all shapes, sizes, sensitivities, and personalities, as do their owners.  Thus, no training collar design is perfect for all dogs.  Yet no matter what type of training collar is right for you and your dog, it should have three functions:          

  • Help your dog choose not to pull on the leash
  • Increase your level of control and safety
  • Help you minimize setting boundaries so that you focus on rewards & praise

Is a prong collar an appropriate training collar?

Yes.  A prong collar of any size is perhaps the most misunderstood training device in the world.   The confirmed ‘ugly duckling’ of training collars, the average pet owner may be intimidated by its slightly medieval look.  This wariness is misguided, however, since apprehension about the collar is typically rooted in a misunderstanding of how it is to be properly used.   Engineering, safety, and results are all on the side of this simple device.  When used as part of a positive, balanced training program, the prong collar is one of the safest, most gentle training collars in use today.

Can prong collars be a part of a positive training program?

Yes.  In fact, the prong collars must be used in conjunction with positive motivation, rewards, and praise in order for a balanced training program to be effective and successful.  Positive methods such as lure-reward and/or click-and-treat should be used in training to first help the dog understand what (s)he is being asked to learn.  The presence of the prong collar should be used only as a boundary into which the dog might lean, feel the discomfort of the prongs, and choose to voluntarily return to the owner for rewards, praise, and the continuation of positive training.  The prong collar should never be used to punish the dog - it should only be used as a light consequence for pulling beyond the boundary of the loose leash.  The prong collar can and should be used in conjunction with food, toys, play, a proper sequence of communication, and loose leash walking techniques.  Without this balance, the use of the collar is misguided.  

What are the safety features of a prong collar?

There are several.  Used properly, the prong collar is engineered for safety.  The prong collar is made up of several interlocking steel pieces, or ‘links’, attached to a small chain loop.  The loop has a D-ring swivel (or split ring in some styles) on it to which the leash is attached.  The loop also contains a round safety ring that prevents a properly fitting collar from choking the dog.  There are several reasons why the prong collar is favored by trainers worldwide as one of the safest and most effective training collars on the market:

·         Less than 10% of the collar ever touches the dog. The main purpose of the prongs is to suspend most of the collar above the dog’s neck.  Only the blunt ends of each prong rest on the dog,, and when used in conjunction with a loose leash, no part of the collar rests on the trachea.  There is no other collar on the market that is less intrusive when used with a loose leash than the prong collar.

·         The dog chooses to stop pulling on his/her own.  Many dogs pull on their flat buckle collars because hey....why not?  This is undesirable because dogs can damage their necks by pressing constantly - on any collar.  Most dogs will avoid pulling against a prong collar, so leash pulling and/or bolting away from the owner is decreased almost immediately, without any harsh jerking or damage to the neck.

·         It doesn’t pinch the dog's neck.  Prong collars don't 'pinch' into muscle tissue when gently tightened.  Rather, more pressure is simply applied to each blunt end, which then becomes uncomfortable for the dog, causing the dog to stop pressing against it. When the dog stops pulling, the pressure is instantly released, instantly rewarding. It's only referred to as a 'pinch' collar due to the way one has to 'pinch' the prong links gently to add or remove them.

·        The prong collar eliminates the need for any harsh leash corrections.  Setting boundaries can be gentle and informative to your dog, without being abusive.  The prong collar allows you to eliminate leash corrections by simply letting your dog pull into mild pressure while you stand completely still.  Rather than requiring you to apply any harsh jerks on the leash, your dog will choose to avoid the pressure and voluntarily return to your side for rewards and praise.

Which prong collar is right for my dog?

That depends.  There are different styles of prong collars for you to compare.  Select the best collar based on your dog's size, using these guidelines:

  • The Ultra Micro Prong - for tiny dogs under 6 pounds

  • The Original Micro Prong - for small dogs under 15 pounds

  • The Duro Micro Prong - for small to medium dogs under 15 pounds and moderate pullers

  • Kimberland 2.25mm - for medium-sized dogs over 15 pounds and intense pullers

If your dog is under 6 pounds, has a neck diameter smaller than 6 inches, is an extremely hard puller, or you feel that there are other circumstances that should be considered in order to obtain the ideal collar style, please contact us for a custom order.

Can a Micro Prong be used for a large dog?

That depends.  The collar is specifically designed for small to medium-sized dogs.  However, many people find that big dogs who are not extremely powerful pullers do very well on them.  Large dogs with sleek coats who are not highly aggressive or heavy pullers on leash are the best candidates for an Original Micro or Duro Micro Prong style. We have had customers in the past use a Duro successfully to train a 180-pound English Mastiff! This dog was large, but not an intense puller.  If you are unsure about using an Original Micro or Duro Micro on a larger dog, contact us before purchasing.

How should a prong collar fit?

Like a glove! The collar is put on a dog by pinching and disconnecting two of the links at one end of the collar from each other.  The open collar is placed under the dog’s jaw and brought up around the neck to fasten just behind the ears.  The links should be snug but not tight, and you should be able to fit one little finger comfortably between a prong and your dog’s skin.  The collar should fit closely enough so that it does not drop down or roll around on the dog’s neck, yet should not press into the dog’s skin when used on a loose leash.  The D-swivel or welded ring that attaches to your leash should hang down under the chin or off to the side, below the ears.

What if the prong collar I ordered is too big, or too small?

No problem - it is completely customizable.  Your Micro Prong collar comes ready to fit a 9" neck, while a Kimberland 2.25mm prong collar comes ready to fit a 16” neck. However, the collars are designed to be custom-fit to each dog.  This means that as your dog grows, gains weight, or loses weight, it may need to be adjusted for a proper fit.   To adjust the collar size, simply add or remove links until the fit is correct.  Additional links are available for purchase if your pet's neck is larger than 9 inches.

How do I know how many extra links to order?

Please check our Fitting Charts for your easy reference: 

What are prong collars made of?

Each artisan-made collar is handcrafted individually using 100% stainless steel. The prongs and end links are made from American Quarter Hard Type 304 stainless, with a sporty, brushed steel finish.  The links are then assembled together with the martingale chain imported from Germany. All collars are produced here in the U.S.A.

When should I use a prong collar?

Only when you are training your dog on a 4-6 foot leash.  Never on a retractable leash.  Supervision must always accompany the use of the prong collar.  Use only when training or attending your dog; never leave the collar on overnight or whilst you are away.  Young children should not be allowed to work with a dog on a prong collar without supervision.  You cannot use a prong collar with any kind of flex-style or retractable leash.  And never tie your dog up to anything with a prong collar of any size or kind.

Who can most benefit from a prong collar?

A whole lot of people!  The prong collar can be helpful to almost any dog and handler team; of course, there are exceptions.  Here are some common dog owners and handlers who might benefit from using a prong collar: 

  • People with small dogs who need to learn to walk on a leash

  • People whose dogs (of any size) pull constantly on the leash

  • People who own energetic, hard-to-control puppies or dogs

  • People whose dogs choke or gag on other collars

  • People with a disability who have limited strength or motion

  • People who walk more than one energetic dog at once

  • People whose dogs have throats that are sensitive or damaged

  • People whose dogs have sensitive, frail necks

What does the AKC say about using a training collar?

A lot.  The American Kennel Club recognizes that: "Special training collars (including but not limited to collars with prongs) may be effective and useful management devices, when properly used, for controlling dogs that might be extremely active, difficult to control on a neck collar, or are aggressive."  The AKC also recognizes that: "These collars are possibly useful for gaining control at the start of the basic obedience training, essential education that dogs both deserve and need."

Is the prong collar the right collar for every dog?

No.  There is no style of collar - even buckle collars, head halters, and walking harnesses - that is safe for every dog.  Prong collars in general are not the best choice for extremely aggressive dogs, extra sensitive dogs, and excessively shy or fearful dogs.  Some dogs with damaged tracheas cannot even wear collars and may need different training programs and equipment altogether.  Very young puppies should not be worked on prong collars, however, with guidance, many owners find that older puppies do very well on them. If you are unsure about whether or not a prong collar is a good fit for your dog, contact us prior to ordering and we can help.

Is the prong collar the right collar for every owner?

No.  Not every person is right for a prong collar, either.  Owners who cannot learn to work on a loose leash, and those who cannot learn to be consistent and fair in their use of setting boundaries and praise are not good candidates for prong collars.  Head collars, anti-pull Harnesses, and other types of training equipment can all be better solutions depending upon the situation and instruction.  We recommend obtaining professional assistance if you are unsure how to properly use a training collar of any type.