How Should You Place a Prong Collar on a Dog? Complete Guide.

This is a dog with a prong collar palced on him. It shows correct way how shoudl you place a prong collar on a dog.

Do you want to know how should you place a prong collar on a dog? Chances are, you’re eager to train your adult dog or puppy, and you understand that for this purpose, a prong collar will play a vital role in their training.

Some people feel that a prong training collar is cruel for any animal. But very few people know this prong collar on a dog gives the animal a vibe similar to what their biological parent dog gives.

Mother dogs carry their babies with their mouths holding their necks. The same way a prong collar works to pass the same feeling the pups used to feel at an early age. This feeling or sensation provides understanding and supports dog training.

However, the most important thing about a prong collar is ‘how should you place a prong collar on a dog?’


How does Prong Collar work? Must Learn First.

Prong collar uses a pinching method; that’s why it’s also called ‘pinch collar.’ The prong collars pinch method is not harsh as some people think. Instead, it’s a highly effective method. 

The collar contains movable metal prongs and links. Those prongs move back and forth via links to infuse some pressure on your dog’s neck and pinch it with prongs. These moving metal-tipped prongs give a pinching or biting feeling on the dog’s coat or dog’s hair to stop or warn the dog to stop the bad behavior.

How should you Place a Prong Collar on your dog? Some Basics.

Placing a regular collar or leash around your animal’s neck is always a risky task. Here are some basic tips that can help you successfully place a prong collar on your dog.

Choose the right prong collar for dog.

The foremost step of placing a prong collar on your dog is to choose the right prong collar. But what makes a right prong collar? 

These are three things as stated below:

Build quality and material:

NO, NO, NO, here is a big no for any cheaply made prong collar. . If you get a premium quality stainless steel collar, it can prevent your dog’s skin from puncturing. After all, t’s a matter of your dear pup’s life and mental health.

Similarly, beware not to buy a combination prong collar, like one with rubber-tipped prongs. At first glance, they seem ethical and gentle. Yet, the rubber does more harm than good to your dog’s skin and hair being rougher. In contrast, stainless is more slippery to ensure smooth movement or prongs.

Reliable and high-quality prong collars also last longer than cheap or unreliable prong collars. Cheap prong collars can break easily in two or three training sessions because of the dog’s pulling, out of joy, or aggressiveness. 

But how can you get such a good collar? The trainer-certified collar will make the most satisfying choice.

Collar’s size

The prong collar’s size depends on how much your dog weighs. For instance, a prong collar made for a 50 lb dog can hurt a large-size dog. So, you can consult a trainer or veterinarian to suggest the right size of the collar for your dog.

The Ease of Placing a Prong Collar Depends on your Dog’s Nature

When it’s about how should you place a prong collar on a dog, it has a lot to do with your dog’s nature. Your dog might not like it if it’s aggressive, and hence they don’t enjoy giving people control. 

He may also bite or harm you if he feels threatened by your ways of placing the prong collar. But with sensitive and sweet dogs, it’s entirely different or the opposite. 

They might enjoy and start licking or playing with you when they find you placing a prong collar on their neck. However, sometimes it also depends on your relationship with your dog. Suppose you have an unhealthy relationship with your dog; he might not allow you to place the prong collar. 

You’ve to Choose the Right Person to Place a Prong Collar to your Dog.

The chances are that your dog might not agree to get the prong collar placed by you around his neck. But he may allow a complete stranger to placing it. That entirely depends on how he wants you to treat him and from whom he wants to love or affection. 

Some dogs can enjoy your company, adore you with heart, and easily allow you to place the prong collar. So, you’ll need to observe their reaction to whatever you ask them to do. If their body language shows resistance or aggressiveness, you need to give them a break from the prong collar. 

Being new dog owners, you can always ask someone expert to place the prong collar first. Yet, in case of no help, you can pat your dog and place the prong collar along the neck. Patting will help your dog to cooperate with you. 

After making them comfortable with yourself and the prong collar, you’ll need to ensure that the prong collar is in the right place.

Where should you Place a Prong Collar on a Dog, and How? 

Prong dog training collars are always placed right behind the dog’s ears and kept intact with the body. The mouth part of the prong collar always goes under the jawline. 

The simple way of placing the prong collar after making your dog comfortable is to:

  • First, unhook the pin to open the collar.
  • Second, set the hook area of the collar on the upper area around the neck of the dog. 
  • Last, place the collar exactly behind the ears of the dog and under the jawline and fit snugly. Placing the collar lower will make the collar ineffective. The part of the collar that hooks onto a leash should face upward, just behind a dog’s ears.

Once you’re sure that the collar is set and not loose enough to fall or stick at the lower neck, you can put appropriate pressure on its neck. Thus, it won’t make bruises, nor will it suffocate the dog. 

It’s crucial to check if the prong collar properly fits because it can severely injure your dog if it does not. Only begin training sessions when you’re sure that the collar is properly fitted and that it’s not a loose fit.

Should You Use a Prong Collar to Train your Dog?

Well, it has been a heating debate whether you should train your dog with a prong collar or not. The answer is, the right placement and careful training come with amazing benefits. 

To enjoy the benefits of training your dog with a prong collar, it’s also essential to check the cons of using a prong collar. What are these? Let’s have an insight.

Despite being controversial, the prong collars have got some significant benefits. Some are listed below.

Prong collars are excellent to train aggressive dogs and their bad behavior. 

The primary benefit of using a poke collar is that it helps communicate with aggressive and untamed dogs without verbal communication using their animal language. With this animal language, dogs self-correct themselves with single or short tugs. 

The usage of the pinching technique reminds or gives them the sensation of childhood training that mother dogs gave them. Besides correcting aggressiveness, it also helps correct unacceptable behavior of tamed watch dogs, and even K9: police dogs.

The large dog breeds can get best out of it:

There is no doubt it’s the best collar for large, strong breeds. Strong large breeds like German shepherds, Golden Retriever, Boxer, Dachshund, Dalmatian, Beagle, or Mastiffs need prong collars for learning respectful and good behaviors or special training for criminal search. 

Harnesses don’t help a lot in learning as much dog prong collars do.

Better choice than clickers, choke, or E-collars:

Prong training collars are better than clickers, choke collars, or E-collars being less harmful collars and don’t inflict pain or suffering on the dogs. Choke collars give severe punishment and can suffocate your dog. Imagine suffocating your dog just for the sake of some training session? 

The Choke collar uses a choke chain that sits around the dog’s neck. And can affect thyroid glands by putting pressure on a dog’s neck. 

Are prong collars bad? How Far can Myths be Debunked?

Below we’ve discussed a few cons of prong collars, which depend on how you’re using them. No particular drawbacks, yet these points are meant to emphasize the right and careful usage of the prong collar.

Pinch collars are only effective for short-term training:

Prong collars aren’t used for long-term heavy training, mainly if the training session includes heavy running. The reason is, that it uses a pinching method. During longer training sessions, this pinch collar may cause breathing issues and also wounds the delicate neck skin.

It can be dangerous for Dog’s trachea if not used right way

Most dog collars are considered unhealthy as they are bad for the esophagus and very dangerous for the trachea and the dog’s skin. If in case the leash is repeatedly tugged, you’ll need to visit the vet immediately to check if your dog had some serious injuries.

They might not be a permanent or primary choice, being Negative. 

Many people don’t like it and think it’s cruel to do it for their pets. Many folks believe harnesses are the best option for training durations. The reason is they can affect your dog mentally. So, if you’re thinking of buying one or putting one around your dog’s neck, keep in mind that your vet or others may point out the collar’s negative effects on your dog’s mental and physical health.

It’s not the dog’s collar, but the wrong use that can harm your dog, e.g., a flat collar can also be equally harmful if pulled or jerked frequently. So, always get advice from your dog’s veterinarian before purchasing to ensure that you purchase an appropriate training collar for your dog. 

Prong Collar Vs. Shock Collar/ Choke Collar; Which is better?

As previously discussed, Prong collars have prongs on them that move back and forth to pinch your dog’s skin. However, the shock collar and choke collar differ from the prong collars in different ways. 

Shock collars are electronic collars that use technology or electronic means to give the dog a biting sensation on the neck. The biting sensation is not harsh, just like a harmless bug bite. 

It also gives a shock sensation to the dog; that’s why it’s also called ‘shock collars.’ In contrast, the choke collars are built with chains and used in a way that purposefully inflicts pain on the dog’s neck to attend to the person holding the leash.

However, the vets discourage the use of choke collars and shock collars. 

Which is Better: Short Light Tug or Repetitive Tug?

Generally, short tugs with an immediate release are healthy for dogs’ mental health. It’s always preferred to keep the hands slightly loose while pulling the leash so that the prongs don’t give a harsh, biting sensation. 

They usually consider small soft bites as a sign to make corrections if they do something terrible. The prong collar gives the minor bite sensation, warning them to correct their behavior immediately. 

That’s why short dog pulls are relatively healthy. Yet, repetitive dog pulls, whether short or long, are primarily unhealthy for dogs. They sense harm from the person controlling the leash. 

Repetitive dog pulling gives a sensation of biting, which the dogs perceive as harmful or rude. They will try to get rid of the leash and attack the person controlling it to protect themselves. 

Repetitive tugs can also hurt a dog’s trachea and attract infectious bacteria. Try to practice short tugs and positive reinforcement during the training sessions to hold bad feelings about you or get emotionally detached from you.

Should Prong Collars be Left on 24/7?

Prong collars are only made for purposeful training sessions. Professional vets advise trainers and pet owners to remove prong collars when the training session is over so that the dogs should relax.

If you force the dog to keep it for a more extended period, it can be dangerous for the trachea and causes prolonged issues. These issues can also include itching, rashes, or wounds on the neck, even terrible traumatic situations for your dog’s mental health. Resultantly,

Your dog might not get over the trauma and completely reject wearing it the next time. Therefore, it’s always better to unhook the collar within 20 minutes of completing the training session.

Any practical training should only last 15 to 20 minutes every day, along with positive reinforcement for appreciation. While, your dog will wear it 20 minutes before starting the training, and keep on wearing it for 20 minutes after the training session has ended. Thus, the total time will be 1 hour or 60 minutes.

Can Dogs Learn Faster after Wearing a Prong collar?

It has been observed that dogs often understand prohibited things better when prong collars are used on them. Yet, it’s essential to know that prong collars are only effective if your dog responds and accepts whatever you ask them to do.

Dogs learning faster because of a prong collar doesn’t mean that you must use a prong collar in the first place for every dog. The first training must be done verbally and with patience. Why? The reason is most young puppies quickly learn things with time and don’t require prong collars or leashes for training. 

Fast learning also doesn’t depend on prong collars but only on how much understanding between the dog and the trainer. 

Sometimes the communication happens between a dog and a trainer, but it’s ineffective. It might happen because of a few reasons like:

  • The dog’s different love language
  • The dog’s inability to understand signs and warnings
  • Your dog’s aggressiveness
  • Mentally disability, or stressed because of a threatening environment.

Besides the factors mentioned above, another big reason can be that young male dogs sometimes get stressed because of the territorial markings of other males in the surrounding area. So, it’s always necessary to choose perfect locations that don’t add to trauma memory.

For fast training, it’s vital to understand your dog’s emotional and love language. If your dog is going through some hard time or is mental, it’s essential to work things out in a way they feel comfortable. The more understanding between the trainer and dog, the more effective training sessions will be. 

How will you Know your Dog is Getting Hurt by a Prong Collar?

Usual behavioral signs of discomfort dogs show are barking, scratching the area where the hook is pinned, and repeatedly stopping during the session. Some visible signs will also appear, such as rashes, wounds, or even bleeding from the back of your dog’s ears. Yet, it all happens if you place the prong collar in the wrong manner.

What should you do if your Dog Doesn’t Like a Prong Collar?

The best thing to do when your dog doesn’t like prong collars is to know:

  •  Why are they uncomfortable with the prong collar?
  •  Or how the person has placed the prong collar? 

If it’s clear that your dog is uncomfortable about the prong collar, in that case, you can find alternative ways to train your dog, like expressing disappointment. You can also use a dog’s head halters harness, head collar, front clip harness, back clip, body harnesses, and duel clip harness for training. 

Is Prong Collar Dangerous for Small dogs?

Prong collars are for big size dogs. If prong collars are placed on a small neck, the dog can have wounds and bruises. So, yes, prong collars are dangerous for small dogs and should be avoided at all costs. Alternatively, training harnesses like body, no-pull, or back clip harnesses work well for small dogs. 

My Dog Hurt itself with a Prong Collar. What Should you do?

Sometimes, dogs can hurt their neck’s delicate skin resulting from rapid repetitive tugging out of excitement or frustration. It can happen when you make your dog wear the prong collar longer than the advised period. The best first aid to provide your dog is to unhook the prong collar and notice if there is any severe bleeding. If the wound is bleeding, ensure to stop bleeding. 

Try to clean the wound as fast as possible with a clean cloth or antiseptic wipes. Check if there is any foreign object present.

Use a tweezer to remove it, and also place a disinfectant along with a band-aid on the wound for a speedy recovery. To let the wound heal caused by the collar properly and ensure to keep prong collars away for some time. 

Why are Prong Collars Banned in Some Countries?

Countries like New Zealand, Quebec, Canada, Switzerland have banned prong collars, shock collars, E-collars, and choke collars for dogs in their countries under animal cruelty acts for training or daily use. They validated the ban for the reasons given below:

No need for Prong Collars for training: 

The states with banned prong collars believe that there is no need for them. To teach or train dogs, many humane alternatives are available out there. 

These countries have taken excellent and efficient steps for better understanding and training, proving that dogs can learn much more effectively if trained with healthy verbal and physical communication. 

Mental Anguish:

During and after training sessions, dogs were observed responding violently to collars; these incidents led to a ban in these nations. Dogs were also seen avoiding drinking and eating food following training sessions, owing to mental anguish, which gave an ominous hint that these nations should ban prong collars entirely.

Reported Prolonged Depression and Anxiety:

Prolonged depression and severe anxiety cases were also observed, which helped such nations conclude that if they use collars for training dogs daily, it can ultimately deteriorate dogs’ mental health. 

Prolong depression resulting from prong collars may last for days and one or two months, depending upon the dog. 

The inappropriate use of prong collars can also cause dogs to lower their activity levels and completely disregard your affection.

Negative associations: 

The pain inflicted upon dogs can make them create negative associations, and recalling those negative associations can either cause trauma bonding or make them relive trauma repeatedly.

Final Thoughts

Prong collars can provide safety and effectiveness for a wide range of applications if used correctly. Although some criticisms have been made, collars are safe as long as you follow proper precautions. is a participant in the Amazon Associate program and will earn from qualifying purchases.