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Can anyone tell me how to properly use a choke collar? I bought my dog a prong choke collar and cannot figure out how to put it on her. I have looked everywhere on the internet and it came with no instructions. I guess I could go to the pet store and ask them how to use it, I just don't want to look like an idiot :) Any tips? Thanks!!
 

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A prong and choke are two different collars. This is a choke collar (they also come in nylon): http://www.max200.com/max_storefront/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=100


I think what you're talking about is a prong: http://www.max200.com/max_storefront/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=104

To put a basic prong on (like the one in the link), you have to take the collar apart at one of the links, put it around the dog's neck, then put the links back together. Click on the first link here to see a video on how to do it.
http://video.google.com/videosearch...esult_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CB4QqwQwAw#
 

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I don't want to pry, but how old is your dog, and what type of training are you doing to have to use the prong? If you are just doing basic obedience, have you exhausted all other avenues as far as training goes ie. buckle collar, regular choker style collar (chain or nylon) and treats? Usually, consistency works well, not saying that you aren't being consistent in your training - but most dogs do not need prong collars if you are just doing basic obedience commands.

Personally, I don't recommend a prong collar until at least 12 months of age or older, depending on dog. Some dogs are more 'softer' than others and may not take very well to the prong collar, and then you have some work cut out for you to 'retrain' your dog, because the prong collar was too harsh of a correction.

I am a big fan for treat training (and lots of happy praising), until they get what I am looking for from them down pat. Then I wean off the treats and just reward with treats very seldomly. I have found that regular choker chain style collars/ and flat buckle collars have worked well for the lab pups that I have.
 

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She is 8 months. She is AWFUL on a leash, has been to and graduated from obedience school, and barks/growls at people everytime we go outside. I have tried gentle leaders and she HATES them! She rubs up against things and I feel bad b/c it's got to be tight on their neck/throat to be effective. The trainers teaching obedience school told me a choke collar may work...however now I may think I got the wrong thing. I didn't realize a choke collar was different from a prong collar, but now that I think about it and looked on the internet I realize there is a huge difference. I definitely don't want to hurt her, I just don't know what to do about her pulling and barking. :(
 

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My pup is 8 months also and I use a prong collar as well as training...she walks fine on a leash until she sees people or other dogs, then she nearly pulls my arm out of its socket and does not respond to me at all. Using a prong collar has made a HUGE difference. Her whole demeanor changes with the prong on and she is perfect, right from the first time we used it. She's not soft at all and the prong collar does not hurt her. Like I said, I also train her with the prong, it's simply a tool, not the solution. It's only temporary, until she "gets" it.
On the other hand, I would NEVER use a choke collar as it can cause damage to their throats.
 

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Mazie is now 9 months and is responding well to our walks on leash. I was always going to get a different collar for months and have put it off and put it off. Now i'm glad I did... she still pulls some but not near as much as months past. Time, consistence and practice,practice and practice. No choke collar for her!!!!!
 

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Not saying that a prong collar shouldn't be used, because in some cases they are a great training tool. I just don't recommend them before the age of 12 months. I have used them on my rottweilers that I owned in the past, and they have worked and didn't have to use them for long.

The reason I don't recommend them on pups under 12 months of age is because they are still very young, and just may not be understanding what you are expecting of them. You could undo some hard training that you have already done by using one - and cause the dog to actually fear or begin to think that walks are a form of punishment. Some dogs are harder to train than others, and need a little extra training time, and a lot of patience on the human end of the leash.

If you are going to use the prong collar for the purpose of a forceful correction because your pup growls and barks at people when she sees them, I again strongly don't recommend using a prong collar, as it may create an even worse problem if your dog is showing aggression. I would recommend consulting an animal behaviorist, especially since she graduated from obedience - it does sound more like an aggression issue rather than disobedience...

Most damage to a dogs throat from a choke collar is the result of improper usage ie. put on the dog backwards ( the correct way when you put it around your wrist, it should look like a "P"), being too big for the dog, allowing it to hang down on the dogs neck and allowing the dog to continuously pull on it and drag the owner down the street. I don't usually recommend choke collars, but some dogs do need that 'extra' in the correction, but not as much as a prong collar would offer.

Everyone has their opinions on training equipment. So you will get varying answers. Not saying that one or the other is wrong, as most including myself (on the rotties around the age of 18mos) speak from their experiences using them and have had excellent results. The problem with that, is every dog is different -without a professional evaluating your dog thoroughly, what may have worked on someone else's dog may not work on your dog.
 

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I use a prong collar on my pup PURELY because he hates wearing a collar and I do not make him wear one in the house. He digs and digs at it till his neckline is bleeding. So I use the prong collar just to go outside to go potty. It is nice because it just slips over his head and I can easily take it off and on quick! Actually, I only use it to walk him to the backyard and then take it off of him to rome on his own. But he doesnt at all seem to have a problem with wearing it. But watch out because if it is too loose they can get their little foot stuck in it while walking. If my pup didnt hate wearing collars I probably never woulda got a prong collar. I would never use a choke collar though because it can pinch nerves in the neck and do damage. With the prong collar it will pinch its skin before damaging the neck. Good luck with your collar situation....
 

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A prong that is properly adjusted should just "slip over their head". They should be fairly snug and need to be unsnaped to be removed. see links below (with photos). using a prong incorrect is just as dangerous as using a choke chain improperly (or even a regular collar!)

a prong is a collar - I have no idea what you mean by "my dog hates wearing a collar so i use a prong". It is the same thing. But I do agree with not using a flat collar if it chockes them (as it does when they haven't learned proper leash manners yet).

A choke collar, properly used, should not ACTUALLY choke the dog. It is a misnomore. But yes, should not be used willy nilly.

proper fitting of a prong:
http://leerburg.com/fit-prong.htm

http://www.ehow.com/how_2191673_fit-prong-collar-dog.html
http://www.8pawsup.com/articles/training/prongcollars.html
 

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I use a prong collar on my pup PURELY because he hates wearing a collar and I do not make him wear one in the house. He digs and digs at it till his neckline is bleeding. So I use the prong collar just to go outside to go potty. It is nice because it just slips over his head and I can easily take it off and on quick! Actually, I only use it to walk him to the backyard and then take it off of him to rome on his own. But he doesnt at all seem to have a problem with wearing it. But watch out because if it is too loose they can get their little foot stuck in it while walking. If my pup didnt hate wearing collars I probably never woulda got a prong collar. I would never use a choke collar though because it can pinch nerves in the neck and do damage. With the prong collar it will pinch its skin before damaging the neck. Good luck with your collar situation....
You don't have a prong on an 8 week old puppy do you? Do you have more than one dog? A puppy should not have anything but a flat buckle collar on - they will get used to it.
 

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You don't have a prong on an 8 week old puppy do you? Do you have more than one dog? A puppy should not have anything but a flat buckle collar on - they will get used to it.
Wowza, I completley missed this. do they even have prongs that fit on pups that young :( If hte pup is 8wks, please stop using a prong. I don't see how an 8wk old pup is pulling on a leash so much it is drawing blood. Let him/her get used to a nice little collar (not too snug) in the house for short periods. Distract them when they go at the collar and redirect when they pull.

Finally if you do feel that badly using a collar, USE A HARNESS! nothing around the neck, does NOT cause any pain to the pup and you can easily redirect. But this is a short time solution, you need to slowly decencitize the pup to a collar, using it short periods in the house while treating and playing (then slowly increase the time pup has collar on, eventually letting them drag a leash while supervised). If he did draw blood around the neck it may need to heel before you work too much on collar decensitizing, do use the harness in the meantime.
 

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Wowza, I completley missed this. do they even have prongs that fit on pups that young :( If hte pup is 8wks, please stop using a prong. I don't see how an 8wk old pup is pulling on a leash so much it is drawing blood. Let him/her get used to a nice little collar (not too snug) in the house for short periods. Distract them when they go at the collar and redirect when they pull.

Finally if you do feel that badly using a collar, USE A HARNESS! nothing around the neck, does NOT cause any pain to the pup and you can easily redirect. But this is a short time solution, you need to slowly decencitize the pup to a collar, using it short periods in the house while treating and playing (then slowly increase the time pup has collar on, eventually letting them drag a leash while supervised). If he did draw blood around the neck it may need to heel before you work too much on collar decensitizing, do use the harness in the meantime.
First off, thanks for the advise. He is 8 weeks old and it does seem to fit him properly (I got it from the vet when I got his first shots, they didnt say anything about it being bad for him, they just advised not to use a choke collar). He wasnt drawing blood at his neck because he was pulling so hard on the leash, he was drawing blood from digging at the collar around his neck. I was worried he would get an infection from the soars. I went and got a small leather collar ( I started with a cotton one) and thought maybe that would make a difference but it didnt. So when I took him to get his shots I picked up a prong collar at the vet because it looked easy to put on and off for when we went on our million walks a day (and night!). I DO NOT PULL OR YANK IT! I let him lead me at this point because we are just in the fenced in backyard. Often times I just use it to take him from the back door to the backyard and then take it off so he can run around and do his business. I bought a kind of harness that goes around his nose and neck (cloth) to use when we start going on walks once the weather gets decent (It is 0 degrees here!!). I wont use this prong collar for walks, but will use it for training when that time comes. I just want you to know that I use it right now only to get him from the back door to the fenced in backyard because it slips right on and off. I dont want you to get the wrong impression. I wont even do the teeth-gum-lip thing when he hand mouths because I dont want to inflict any pain on him, especially because he is a baby. A firm NO! and removing my hands and ignoring him momentarily is seeming to do the trick without any pain. I wont even tap his nose or slap his butt. And I have never made him cry or whine from using the prong collar because I dont use it in terms to control him. He is my new best friend, I would never hurt him.

 

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did you look at the links regarding how to fit a prong? It clearly states you should not be slipping it on and off over the head, but opening the links to put on and off. I also would not use it for training at that age. Use treats and praise to make training fun and lighthearted.

In the end, the pup needs to get used to a regular collar (who knows what hte future holds). So I still stick to my comments on slowly getting pup used to the collar. Start with short stints (like 1 minute or two) and interact with the pup while it is one. Slowly extend the lenght of time it is on and alwayd have something fun or pleasant going on while the collar is on (i.e. treats, meals, play time). Of course, wait until any injuries that may still be present are heeled.
 

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did you look at the links regarding how to fit a prong? It clearly states you should not be slipping it on and off over the head, but opening the links to put on and off. I also would not use it for training at that age. Use treats and praise to make training fun and lighthearted.

In the end, the pup needs to get used to a regular collar (who knows what hte future holds). So I still stick to my comments on slowly getting pup used to the collar. Start with short stints (like 1 minute or two) and interact with the pup while it is one. Slowly extend the lenght of time it is on and alwayd have something fun or pleasant going on while the collar is on (i.e. treats, meals, play time). Of course, wait until any injuries that may still be present are heeled.
I have had the regular cotton collar on Toby today for several short periods of time. When it seems to really start bothering him I take it off for a little while. So I am trying to get him used to it. I am not familiar with the "links" on a prong color,..mine does not have any links, it is all one peice like a choke collar. I have not used it though since your post. And I wasnt planning on using it to train until he hit atleast 6 months (that is when I wanna start training him). I was under the impression it wouldnt hurt him that is why I used it in the first place, but if I can get him used to the cotton or the leather collar, that would definitely be my first choice. I do however want to start using the easy walk harness (that goes around the neck and nose) once we can start taking walks (those are safe, right?). I am new to this puppy raising and I welcome any advise, even if it is constructuve critisism. :)

 

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I have had the regular cotton collar on Toby today for several short periods of time. When it seems to really start bothering him I take it off for a little while. So I am trying to get him used to it. I am not familiar with the "links" on a prong color,..mine does not have any links, it is all one peice like a choke collar. I have not used it though since your post. And I wasnt planning on using it to train until he hit atleast 6 months (that is when I wanna start training him). I was under the impression it wouldnt hurt him that is why I used it in the first place, but if I can get him used to the cotton or the leather collar, that would definitely be my first choice. I do however want to start using the easy walk harness (that goes around the neck and nose) once we can start taking walks (those are safe, right?). I am new to this puppy raising and I welcome any advise, even if it is constructuve critisism. :)
Are you sure it is a prong then? If there are no links, it likely isn't a prong at all - can you take a photo of it? I am wondering if it isn't a choke chain by your description (and yes, those are put on over the head).

It isn't about it being painful, it really should not be. But that it still represents negative reinforcement. For a young dog it is highly recommend to use training that is ALL baised on positve reinforcement. Redirect or ignore bad behavior, and reward good behavior. So by using a collar correction while training you are using negative reinforemet (even though it does not hurt) rather than redirection/ignore. Makes training boring. Especially during the initial phase. Once commands are well known by the dog (and practiced regularly) you can slowly introduce collar correction.

There is also the martingale which is one of my favorite (but many not for an 8wk old pup)


This is a prong (it also comes with plastic black hooks)


choke chain (properly looped to make a P)


martingale with chain (this one has a clip to put on and off which I have never seen before)


and there are hearnesses that go around the body rather than head (this is just one random example) but still are no-pull, this is one I used with a 90 pound adult lab I fostered and LOVED
http://www.softouchconcepts.com/products/sense_ation_harness.php

Personally for an 8wk old pup I would go with just a light harness around the body (not a traning harnes, no-pull harness) and work on training.

 

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I don't want to pry, but how old is your dog, and what type of training are you doing to have to use the prong? If you are just doing basic obedience, have you exhausted all other avenues as far as training goes ie. buckle collar, regular choker style collar (chain or nylon) and treats? Usually, consistency works well, not saying that you aren't being consistent in your training - but most dogs do not need prong collars if you are just doing basic obedience commands.

Personally, I don't recommend a prong collar until at least 12 months of age or older, depending on dog. Some dogs are more 'softer' than others and may not take very well to the prong collar, and then you have some work cut out for you to 'retrain' your dog, because the prong collar was too harsh of a correction.

I am a big fan for treat training (and lots of happy praising), until they get what I am looking for from them down pat. Then I wean off the treats and just reward with treats very seldomly. I have found that regular choker chain style collars/ and flat buckle collars have worked well for the lab pups that I have.
^I agree^ 9 months is still puppy IMO.
 

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Are you sure it is a prong then? If there are no links, it likely isn't a prong at all - can you take a photo of it? I am wondering if it isn't a choke chain by your description (and yes, those are put on over the head).

It isn't about it being painful, it really should not be. But that it still represents negative reinforcement. For a young dog it is highly recommend to use training that is ALL baised on positve reinforcement. Redirect or ignore bad behavior, and reward good behavior. So by using a collar correction while training you are using negative reinforemet (even though it does not hurt) rather than redirection/ignore. Makes training boring. Especially during the initial phase. Once commands are well known by the dog (and practiced regularly) you can slowly introduce collar correction.
Here is a picture of the Prong Collar that I have:


Here are a couple pictures of Toby in his new harness. We both like using it very well. It is easy to use and seems to be comfortable for him.

 
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