how should you place a prong collar on a dog

The prong collar is one of the most difficult collars to put on. It comes with a learning curve that most people have a hard time getting over. It is a training collar used to teach dogs leash manners and also not meant as a permanent walking collar. So, how should you place a prong collar on a dog? Continue reading to find out exactly how.

Before going into details about how you should place a prong collar on a dog, you should first know how to choose and buy a prong collar, and how to properly fit the prong collar before using it.

How to Choose a Prong Collar?

If you are confused about choosing the right prong collar, talk to a certified dog training professional who will help you choose the right one.

A prong collar is not just a piece of walking equipment like a harness or a gentle leader but a training device. So, it should not be used without consulting a professional dog trainer.

A certified dog trainer might have used a prong collar to discipline a dog, so talking to a certified dog trainer will help you know the right collar to choose as well as help you know how and when to use the prong collar.

How to Purchase a Prong Collar?

how should you place a prong collar on a dog

Most people are wary of these collars because of the potential for pain. However, buying the right kind of prong collar lessens the likelihood your dog will experience pain while wearing it.

  • Buy quality prong collars as they are designed to gently pinch the loose skin around the dog’s neck thus providing negative reinforcement in the event of pulling and misbehaving. A quality collar will never puncture your dog’s skin.
  • Buy the right size: Purchasing the right size is important as prong collars are divided by weight distinction. Knowing how much your dog weighs before buying a prong collar will help you get the right size.
  • Buy from a certified dog trainer: Prong collars sold at chain stores are often not as well made and the prongs have sharp edges rather than rounded edges. These types of prong collars can puncture rather than pinch your dog’s skin thereby leading to aggression during training sessions. But if you buy from a certified dog trainer or a certified dog trainer’s website, you are sure to get the right one.
  • Don’t buy a prong collar with rubber-tipped prongs: Most people think buying a prong collar with rubber-tipped prongs is more ethical but rubber can rub against your dog’s hair which can cause pain. On the other hand, metal moves smoothly over a dog’s coat.    

How Should You Place a Prong Collar on a Dog?

It is important to know how prong collar works and how they are designed. Like I earlier mentioned, prong collars are designed in a particular way and should be used correctly. So, it is essential you know how to place a prong collar on a dog.

A prong collar must be placed around a dog’s neck in a specific manner in order to be safe and helpful for training purposes.  

  • A prong collar should sit right behind your dog’s ears and under your dog’s jaw. If you place the prong collar lower than this, it will make the collar ineffective.
  • The part of the prong collar that hooks onto a leash should be facing upward just behind your dog’s ears. Do not clip the prong collar below your dog’s jaw or on the side of the neck.
  • The prong collar should fit comfortably as it doesn’t move around from the proper place. If it is loose, then consider removing one of the prongs.

How to Use Prong Collars Correctly

A prong collar is a training device and it is not designed for permanent use i.e. it shouldn’t be used to walk a dog or take a dog out.

  • A prong collar should not be used for more than one hour and should only be used during designated training sessions.
  • A prong collar should not be used as your primary walking collar. Dogs learn by association and if in the long term, your dog learns to associate pain with pulling, he will also learn to associate negativity with events that cause him to pull. Mostly friendly dogs pull in response to seeing other people and animals. So, if a prong collar is used on every walk, your dog will learn to associate people and animals with pain, and with time, he will become timid and even aggressive in the presence of others and might even begin growling and biting.
  • To correct your dog’s behavior, use short, firm tugs when your dog pulls or lunges in response to stimuli. Then, release the pressure. Your dog should let up when he feels the pull and it is unlikely you will need much more than a quick tug.
  • Never use a prong collar on a puppy. Prong collars are made for larger, untrained dogs in order to teach leash manners and are usually the last resort for dogs whose pulling problems are not resolved through other means. Since puppies are new to walking, they shouldn’t start off with the most intense level of training collar as this will only scare them.
how should you place a prong collar on a dog

Benefits of a Prong Collar

The main purpose of a prong collar is to train your dog and it takes some time to prepare your dog to use a dog training collar like a prong collar. When you trust your dog and your dog trust you too, it becomes easy for you to take your dog anyplace at any time without stress and anxiety.

When your dog is trained with a prong collar, you can make him do long walks without any leash, and he will not become reactive or over-excited.

When your dog is properly trained with a prong collar, you can off-leash him and don’t worry about running after other animals, people, cars, etc.

Note: a prong collar is just a temporary device and should be used with positive reinforcement techniques.


I’m certain the question “how should you place a prong collar on a dog” has been answered in this post. Keep in mind that prong collars are safe, effective, and let you and your dog enjoy life more. When prong collars are used with positive reinforcement techniques, dog training can be a fun experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are prong collars cruel?

A prong collar isn’t cruel if fits properly but when misused, it might dig into the sensitive skin of your dog’s neck thus causing damage to the trachea, thyroid, and esophagus.

2. Can a prong collar cause any damage?

The short answer is yes. A prong collar might cause fainting, whiplash, and bruising of the neck, esophagus, or skin tissues.

Also, if quick, jerking movements are used, a prong collar can cause bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, dislocated neck bones, or crushed tracheas.

Note: All these cause can occur when a prong collar is misued or when it is used for a very long time like two or three hours.

3. Can prong collars cause aggression?

Prong collars can be painful if not used correctly. Some severe injuries may affect the relationship you have with your dog and this can lead to long-term behavioral issues like aggression and fear.

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