Do Vets Recommend Prong Collars? (Solved & Explained!)

There is not actually a unified stance on them, but most vets do not feel that the prong collar should be your first choice when it comes to discipline and training of your dog. This is because strong dogs can still be perfectly restrained by means of a harness or even a durable neoprene collar.

The prong collar works by pinching at your dog’s neck then they attempt to pull and it comes with a bit of a risk, as a poorly fitted prong collar can damage a dog’s trachea or esophagus. If you will be using a prong collar, you must make sure that it is fitted perfectly and worn for no longer than 1 hour at a time.

It should only be worn when training and no longer – and not used for casual walks! That said, most vets are going to tell you that you don’t need one, but again there is no unified opinion on these. Some vets may recommend it, but most will not.

In this article we’re going to answer questions about prong collars. Do police dogs use them? How long do you train a dog with a prong collar? Read on to find out what you need to know about this training option – details are waiting below!

Is it cruel to use a prong collar on a dog?

Prong collars are considered by most to be cruel, as they dig in to a dog’s skin and pose a serious danger to the trachea, the thyroid, and the esophagus.

Some proponents of these collars advise that they are not a danger – when fitted properly – however it is best to go with a standard collar and positive reinforcement training. That way, there is no risk as all of a poorly fitted collar harming your dog!

Why you shouldn’t use a prong collar?

A prong collar is not a good idea, as it can harm your dog’s neck skin and also there it potential for damaging your dog’s trachea or esophagus. The risk outweighs the potential usefulness, as you can still train a dog just fine with patience and positive reinforcement.

There’s no need to go with a prong collar or an e-collar for your dog – your dog can learn just fine without the potential of painful reinforcement when they resist their training.

What can I use instead of a prong collar?

As alternatives to the prong collar, the SF SPCA recommended that you instead use a Martingale collar for dogs as high risk of slipping-out of their collars, or you could simply use a rolled or flat variety collar. Better yet, a front or back clip harness can give you more control without putting pressure on your dog’s neck.

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It takes a little getting used to, as they can pull harder on the leash, but once you’ve grown accustomed to this then you will have much more control when training your dog and it will not harm them in the slightest as long as you always take the harness off after the walking or training is done.

Do police dogs use prong collars?

Yes, most police dogs do have prong collars, are they are often in high-stress situations where control is absolutely required, whether to prevent a bite or simply to tell the dog not to bite so hard.

In most scenarios, you wouldn’t otherwise really need a prong collar, but it is considered a ‘necessary evil’ where police dogs are concerned.

Which is better e collar or prong collar?

The e collar would be better out of these two choices, but only if a vibrating e collar is being used. Electric shock e collars are largely considered to be cruel, as they are utilizing electricity to control the dog, whereas prong collars dig into the skin and could potentially harm a dog as well.

With a vibrating e collar, there are no shocks or prongs to dig into the skin, but simply vibration being used to get the dog’s attention so that you can exert better control by means of their training, rather than the fear of pain.

Should I use a prong collar on my puppy?

No, there is not reason to use a prong collar on a puppy. You should only use a nylon collar and instead of employing an e collar or a prong collar, simply focus on actual training – this is a time to teach your dog how to behave, not to force them into it.

This will help to ensure that your dog stills learns what is needed but does not potentially develop issues due to the use of a harsher prong or e collar.

How long should I use a prong collar?

If you have a reason to use a prong collar anyways, then it should not be used for periods longer than one hour at a time. Any more than this will irritate your dog’s neck and use during casual walks are likely to take a large amount of the pleasure out of them for your dog.

If you will be using a prong collar, it must only be in small, controlled sessions and only when absolutely required.

Will a prong collar stop pulling?

When you use a prong collar on a dog, it prevents pulling by exerting a certain amount of pressure completely around your dog’s neck. The biggest problem, unfortunately, if that if the collar is not fitted properly then it could damage your dog’s trachea or worse.

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As such, it is considered much better to simply use a harness and a short leash, so that you can have good control of your dog without risking their health.

How long does it take to train a dog with a prong collar?

While opinions differ on this, prong collar training generally takes anywhere from 6 months, up to a year, before the prong collar is no longer required.

Unless your dog is prone to violence and requires excessive control measures, however, you can easily accomplish the same with a neoprene or nylon collar or even better, a good chest-linked harness so that there is no pressure on their neck.

Do prong collars stay on all the time?

No, prong collars are only intended to be worn for 1 hour at a time, and only then during specific training sessions. They are not intended to be worn for longer, nor for casual walks. They are training tools only and wearing a prong collar too long can greatly increase the risk that it will harm your dog.