Last week I wrote a post about how excited I was at the results of my pup's first session with a prong collar. She did so well with it and we have taken a few walks since then with it and it has been going pretty well. Last night I was surfing around the web and reading all kinds of articles about the prong collar, and now I am starting to rethink this method. My pup has shown no signs of discomfort either during use or after, but after reading some of the articles last night and how they said you can do permanent damage, I got a little worried I might be hurting my puppy, which just the thought of makes me feel HORRIBLE. I also wonder if she is too young? She will be 5 months old the end of this month. I had a private trainer come last week for our first session with the prong collar, and it was HER suggestion to use this technique. She is coming again tomorrow for another session with me and my pup. The last thing in the world I want to do is cause long term damage to my little girl!
I personally would not use a prong collar until 6 mos of age.
you wont harm the dog at all if you are using it correctly. It is supposed to be used for training, once she learns to walk no a leash the way you want her to you shouldn't need to use it anymore. This is what a breeder/trainer told me at a show I went to in PA.
<br />*He is my friend, my partner, my defender, my dog. I am his<br />life, his love, his leader. He will be mine, faithful and true, to the<br />last beat of his heart. I owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.*
Your dog is a little young, but I don't believe you can hurt your dog unless you are using it wrong. It should only require slight corrections. Did you already try a head collar (halti/gentle leader)? Is this primarily just to walk the dog or are you looking for on-going training tool? Also what size prong - did you get a micro one?
I started using a prong on Sky when she was about 6mths and Moose at about 9mths (but we went every other kind of training collar first). For Moose the prong was my life saver and I have absolutely no regrets or concerns that I have or ever hurt my dog.
To this day I use the prong when walking both dogs - without it I could not do it.
Sharon, loved by Moose & Sky
I would normally start using one at 6 months too but as long as it's being used properly and fit properly I think you should be fine. I would also suggest using the smaller prongs they are easier to get a better fit.
Remember there are pro and con articles of every type of training out there both sides equally adimant about their point of view. You have to filter the info you read and see what works for your dog.
<br />Barbara, Mocha, Zeus, & Smeagol
I put a prong on Grace at 10 weeks when she started her training class. She did fine. If YOU don't correct, and just let the pup self-correct, there isn't really a chance of you hurting the dog, and they certainly won't pull to the point of hurting themselves.
Just my opinion, but personally a prong collar would be a last resort for me....especially with a pup that young. As for whether it can do any harm I really don't know. Have you tried a Halti?
No, I haven't tried a halti yet. I did try the Easy Walk Gentle Leader, only a couple of times, and it was frustrating because it kept making her fall onto her side. I may have been using it incorrectly, but I followed the instructions it came with. The private trainer I hired went right to the prong collar. I was nervous about it at first. But she has been doing great on it and walking with her now is such a pleasure!! She still tries to pull ahead sometimes but it is easily corrected and I have never once heard her cry, choke, or gag. As soon as we are home and in the fenced backyard, the prong collar comes off. I hope one day I'll be able to walk her without it. I really would rather not have to use it.
I use prong collars as my last option. I always start with flat collars and if that isn't working I move up. I use the prong for training only, properly fitted and never slipped over the head. I will alternate walks between the prong and a flat,otherwise I don't know if we are making any progress. I usually don't attempt the prong until they are over 6 mos. old.
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I use the Easywalk Gentle leader with Max; He is a Big Puller when he sees other people and dogs. He did fall on his side when he tried to pull hard. It took him about three pulls and falling on his side to get the idea!!! He still tries to pull but not as hard. I usually watch his ears; when I see them perks up I know he is going to chase something so I tell him NO right away and Max does not even try after hearing the NO. I like the Easywalk it is a Shoulder saver for me! I don't think I can walk with with just a regular collar. He is growing like a weed! Max turned 6 mos. old just two weeks ago and I think he is almost 60 lbs. or maybe more.
I would like to see the information about a prong collar doing permanent damage to a dog. As long as the dog isn't pulling against the leash or getting a correction the collar is loose on the neck.
There are times when your dog shouldn't be wearing a prong collar, when its alone, in a crate, or playing with other dogs because the collar could get caught on something or someone. Remember its a training tool that you should need for about 6 months if used properly.