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How Should You Place A Prong Collar On A Dog?

How Should You Place A Prong Collar On A Dog?
How Should You Place A Prong Collar On A Dog

When you see a prong collar, chances are you are thinking it’s some kind of a medieval torture device. Therefore, it’s no surprise that prong collars have a bad reputation, and many dog owners run away from them. It seems counterintuitive to put something that has spikes on it around the neck of a dog you love so much. However, many experienced dog trainers will tell you this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The community is definitely divided on this subject and you will find both supporters and opponents of prong collar usage on dogs. We think that every dog owner should decide what is and what isn’t acceptable to him and his dog. Therefore, we don’t take sides in this article, but simply answering a few questions regarding prong collars. What are they, how they work, and how you should properly place a prong collar on your dog. So, let’s start.

What is a prong dog collar?

A prong collar, also known as pinch or poke collar is a series of connected chain links, with the open ends of the links facing the dog’s neck. When a dog pulls the leash, the prong collar tightens, and those open ends facing the dog’s neck create a pinching sensation, thus forcing the dog to reduce the pressure on the leash. As soon as the dog stops pulling, or turns in the opposite direction, the pinching sensation will instantly stop.

Unlike regular dog collars, the prong collar does not apply pressure on one point, usually the dog’s trachea. Instead, with the prong collar, the pressure is divided equally into points around the dog’s neck. This is good since the pressure to the trachea can collapse it causing severe, permanent damage.

How Should You Place A Prong Collar On A Dog?

Well, the first thing you need to understand is that you don’t order prong collars by length, as is the case with choke collars. Instead, prong collars are ordered by size, based on the size of the dog. Therefore, you have four sizes to choose from, small, medium, large, and extra-large.

These collars are basically series of chain links connected to each other. Therefore, you can remove or add links to change the size of the collar. You even have an option of buying additional chain links if your dog’s neck is larger than the maximum size of the collar.

One of the biggest issues with prong collars is that dog owners don’t know how to properly place a prong collar on a dog. Most dog owners, especially new ones, leave the prong collar too loose. The collar then hangs down on the dog’s neck, not working the way it should. 

How you should place a prong collar on a dog:

The prong collar needs to sit right behind the ears and up under the dog’s jawline. This is the only correct way to fit a prong collar. 

  1. Tell your dog to sit.
  2. Take the prong collar and place it around the dog’s neck.
  3. If the size fits, continue with the next step. If not, add or remove the chain link to adjust the size of the collar to fit your dog.
  4. Each link has two parts, a male and a female part. When you want to put a prong collar on your dog, you need to connect the last two links. To do this, take both parts with your hands, one in the left and one in the right hand. Line up the links and then apply pressure on the two ends of the male link to squeeze it, so it can go through the female part of the other link.
  5. Now, rotate the collar so that the links are under the dog’s neck and the rings that connect the leash to the collar are on the right side of the dog’s neck.

Removing the prong collar

Another mistake new dog owners make is to leave the prong collar on the dog’s neck all the time. This is a big mistake since it can cause irritation and even cause sores and wounds to appear on the dog’s neck. A prong collar is primarily a training tool, it’s not designed to be left on your dog 24/7.

Therefore, make sure to remove the prong collar when the training or the walk is over. How do you do this?

Some dog owners try to remove the collar by slipping it over the dog’s head. This is a big mistake, and it can cause serious injuries to your dog. You should remove the prong collar in a similar way you put it on a dog. You need to unhook the links. Simply find two links that are the most accessible and again pinch the male part of one link and pull it out of the female part of another link. You will find that taking the collar off is almost always easier than putting it on.


Prong collars have caused a heated debate among dog trainers and dog owners. Some praise the efficiency of prong collars and consider them to be a safer option than the traditional choke collars. However, others claim that prong collars hurt the dogs and they can cause severe damage to the esophagus, thyroid, and trachea. The biggest issue with prong collars seems to be that a typical new dog owner doesn’t know how he should properly place a dog collar on a dog. Also, many new dog owners don’t understand that a prong collar is a training tool and not something a dog should wear on the neck 24/7.