Time for a Prong Collar


New member
Hello All, Now that Elwood is recovering from his elbow surgery, I think it's time we got him a prong collar for HIS safety. I HATE to do it, but I've read that it won't hurt him, and I'm hoping it will keep him safe, at least until he outgrows his puppy stage! He's 15 months old and I only outweigh him by 10 lbs ...and controlling him is tough for me sometimes. When he sees a dog or a person he wants to meet - HE GOES. My fear is that at some point he's going to pull so hard I'll lose his leash and he'll get hit by a car.

I believe I read here that the smaller prongs are better... but after staring at three different sizes in the pet store, I left empty handed (well... with a case of solid gold cans & some dry canidae!). Does anyone have any size/brand suggestions, or might I even hope a link to a website where I can order one?


[ 04-29-2006, 09:16 PM: Message edited by: skoorka ]

Ohana Mom

New member
we use a prong collar in our training. I would recommend working with a trainer though. There is a definate right and wrong way to use it. When used correctly, it does not hurt (I tried on my arm) and it is supposed to mimic the same sensation of when Mom grapped them at the neck.
Our trainer is a big beleiver in "pack-order" training (similar to Cesar Milan on the Dog Whisperer).
The prong is only needed for a time - and then you should be able to go back to a flat collar.
I was totally against this in the beginning - but our trainer is super and I have seen it work. It's funny - you end up giving far less correction and having him focus more on you.
I'm sorry - I can't help you on the size thing... Ours came with extra prongs - we removed what we didn't need and then we add as he grows.
Just tonight - I took Iz for a 1/2 mile walk - on his flat collar. There were other dogs and he did great. He whined a bit - but he didn't pull me - which he used to do.


New member
A prong collar can turn the most determined puller into a complete lady/gentleman...as long as it's sized and used correctly.

Usually you'll be taught to put the collar up high behind the ears, like you often see on a Doberman, GSD, etc. Here's a link:


However, with Goldens, Field Trainers use them differently. They're looser and fit lower on the neck. This is how we use ours, and it's worked great. Here's a quote and a link:

11.Prong or Pinch Collars These are used for the same purposes as the choke collar, to "correct" the dog by using a quick snap and release of the leash followed by praise. The prong collar is actually far safer, and much gentler, than the choke training collar. The study in Germany mentioned above also evaluated prong collars, and found no neck/back/trachea injuries as a result of correct use of this collar.

These collars seem like a kind of medieval torture device but are actually quite gentle when used properly. They should be used for training "NECK INSENSITIVE" dogs. (Those dogs that will strain on the leash to the point of choking and coughing) Small owners with large dogs would benefit from their use as well. The prong collar provides an even pressure around your dog’s neck and when the proper snap-and-release method of correction is used, it will ensure responsiveness from your dog. It allows the handler to apply the right amount of pressure so that over-correction (snapping too hard or too often) does not occur.
I fit the collar like no other trainer I know. It has been my experience that fitting the collar more loosely allows for the collar to engage and disengage more appropriately thus this dog's response is also more appropriate. I like to refer to the fit as creating "acupressure" rather than pinching. The collar is never fitted to the point where when a correction is given that the collar pinches. Instead, even pressure is applied around the dogs neck.

The prong collar is placed around your dog’s neck by squeezing the open end link attached to the actual end piece. I have found that when fitted properly you should even be able to slip the collar over your dog’s head. Extra links can be added as your dog grows. This collar is very effective for use on aggressive dogs but I do recommend a back-up collar be attached as well in the event the prongs disengage. A high-quality German collar is recommended so that you can insure it is constructed properly and has no sharp edges. It’s proper use will not cause pain nor will it choke your dog.

[ 04-30-2006, 12:19 AM: Message edited by: Ardeagold ]


New member
We used a prong collar. I was totally adverse to the idea. BUT. We had a trainer help us and we suddenly realized the worth it had! It does NOT hurt them unless mishandled.

If you use a prong, think about getting some rubber caps to put on the prongs. The prongs can sometimes be sharp and the caps or "covers" fix this. I always worry about infection from a scrape too. The idea of a prong is an even distribution of pressure, NOT, pain or damage! Put it on yourself and try it. And check every prong for sharp edges!

Think of it this way. We only had to use it for a month during the difficult training. The pulling stage. Now, a prong collar is about 1 inch wide, where a collar, or choke chain is not. Maybe about 1/2 inch or so. You are actually providing a safer mode of learning, impressing the idea of learning not to pull--only temporary-- than the risk of esophagus damage from a smaller less controlled collar they will pull on. You can switch to the smaller after they and you have put together the idea of heal and not pulling!


[ 04-30-2006, 07:19 AM: Message edited by: RobandRobin ]


New member
Thanks so much you guys! Admittedly, the whole pulling thing is our fault. We were doing GREAT on the training at first... we even had a personal trainer come the first few weeks we had him as he was my first dog and my husband's first pup. Then we did two series of puppy classes. We even thought we had tought him to STAY, but soon realized he was just lazy! :D

Back then our problem was him not WANTING to walk, which is when we found out about his elbow dysplaysia and the INTENSE JEWISH GUILT set in for walking him in the first place! Then we were COMPLETELY lax on the training out of not wanting to hurt him more!

As far as the pack thing goes, we've always worked at Elwood being the 'delta dog', after my husband, me, and the cat! That's why the cat was allowed on the furniture and Elwood wasn't. Let's just say it worked for the cat!!!
It sounds like the prong is the way to go, and the engineer in me understands the implementation. He pulls my husband too, but only when he wants to play/meet someone. He just LOVES everyone!

But the good news out of all of this is that now that he is feeling better, we've asked Cathy of the New England Newf Rescue to see if she can find Elwood a girlfriend someday soon! Hopefully she'll find an older girl to join our family, keep Elwood company, and play without running him ragged.

We know we chose the right breed. I can't imagine life without Elwood, and can't wait to find him a companion. I've got two hands, I need two Newf heads to scratch! I gotta tell you, the time we spent meeting Cathy and her husband and dogs (and Cow!), and hanging out in a house full of Newfs was HEAVEN to me. Someday, I hope to have enough land to have ten!


New member
Wow! Elwood sounds just like my Koda! Similar age and problem. I did purchase a prong collar but my husband wouldn't let me use it.

Koda loves to go for walks and wants to run up to greet everyone, dragging me in tow.

One thing that helped me was to occasionally just stop walking (when noone else was around) and make him stop and sit. You know, reinforce who is boss. He still pulls and barks a loud greeting when we see a future friend, but only about 80% of the time now.

This discussion has made me decide to try the collar after all. He has gotten away from me once or twice and it is very frighting for me and the person he is barreling down on to meet.

I'm betting if we both keep at it our boys will turn out lovely young gents!


New member
Have you tried the newer no pull harnesses? I hear they also work pretty well. As for the collar Is it possible that you would measure his neck and add two inches like a regular choke? I've never used one so I'm not sure, maybe some one out there can tell you. thisis just a suggestion.


New member
Just an update on our use of the prong collar. I am SO glad I checked in here and finally used the one we got. Koda is a wonderful gentlemen on our walks now (he only whines his frustration when a rabbit or squirrel is sighted.) We now walk much more frequently and enjoy it so much more. I know he doesn't fear the prong collar because when I pick it up to get ready for our walks he gets excited and sits right down in front of me to be suited up.

We have been using it about a month now. Think I should try walking him without it now?


New member
U could try walking him without it but my advice to you would first try in a safe area, and second if u decide to continue on a walk, bring the collar just in case. I used to put my prong in my bag..pocketbook/backpack until i was sure.. i carried it around for a month LOL. some collars allow you to put them on and use a regular collar also, so u can switch fast if u feel he is testing you or figuring out he can pull u along, or if sees one of them rabbits haha


Inactive Member
I always use my prong collar on my walks with Remi. I don't need it anymore but I still keep it to reinforce it is there. My trainer suggested we stop at every intersection and Remi sits until I tell him to walk again. (we are just reinforcing His sitting when I stop like we do in obedience class cause Newfs are so slow to sit)
He is always in the heel position and we practice figure 8's and he has to listen to me when we walk.(no sniffing or pulling...) This is our way to walk to tire him out and to practice what we learn in class. So now not only does he whine to go on our walks EVERY DAY RAIN OR SHINE UGGG but he listens to me instead of pulling me and freaking out over every critter we see.
I am 4ft 9 1/2in and was in traction for 6 weeks with neck fusion surgery so I couldn't have him pull on me or it would have been pretty bad for me.
The one thing I have found is I have to be consistent and do this every day and I noticed when I slacked off he reverted to his old ways so we go to classes and we practice whether I want to or not. The funny thing is he loves it and will not let us miss a walk. Oh and I forgot to add I tell him good boy and how handsome he is and he walks more like a proud peacock than a newfie. We keep it fun and special and if the clock is one minute later than our time we normally go Remi goes to get his leash!!!


New member
"Oh and I forgot to add I tell him good boy and how handsome he is and he walks more like a proud peacock than a newfie."

That's hilarious...I had a friend stay with the dogs while we were away and she noted that Atticus prances proudly while on walks too. She says he's got the look-at-me-I'm-so-good-looking prance...sort of like a horse. Since then I've noticed it too.

We use a prong collar too. Don't know what I'd do without it. He loves that jangling sound too.