Prong Collar vs. Choke Chain
Every dog needs a collar and a dog tag. Their dog tag should have their ID, license, and rabies vaccination tag. Your microchip will also have this information but unless you have a microchip reader you will not be able to easily access that information. If you dog is not microchipped bring them by the clinic during our shot clinic and get their microchip implanted. It is easy and inexpensive, and is also required by Bernalillo County. Different collars have different purposes. Some are for holding their tags, flea control, or training purposes. Collars like choke and prong (or pincher) collars are known as aversive collars are used for difficult dogs or for training purposes. They rely on causing a level of discomfort that ranges from mild discomfort to more sever which can even lead to your dog exhibiting aggressive behavior. It is important to know what your collar does and how best to use them when using an aversive collar.
The choke chain is a training collar that most people are familiar with. It is designed to control by tightening around your dogs neck. There is no way to control how much a choke chain can tighten, so it is possible to choke or strangle your dog with this kind of collar. It is also easy to cause injuries to the trachea, esophagus, the blood vessels around the eyes, neck sprains, nerve damage, fainting, and temporary paralysis. Though this is a collar that many people know, this is not recommended unless used under the guide of an experienced trainer. These collars should never be left on your dog when they are not on the leash. If the collar were to get caught on something, you dog could strangle itself.
If you use the choke chain too strongly and cause serious pain to your dog, your dog may react aggressively towards you and try to bit or attack you to get away from the pain caused by the collar.
Prong or pinch collar
This collar is like a chain but has prongs facing inward towards the dog’s neck and the chain is on a martingale. The martingale controls how much tightening the collar can do, which reduces the chance for accidental injuries. The prongs, though they look scary, have blunted points and if fitted properly do not dig into the dogs skin. When you pull on the control chain, the collar tightens and pinches your dogs neck skin. Proper fitting of the collar is very important. It should be fitted right behind your dogs ears and be tight enough to not shift to where they can pinch the trachea.
This collar is good for dog’s that are pulling on you when they walk, refuse to heel, have shown aggression when going on walks or are not responsive to positive reinforcement training methods.
If you are using an aversive collar it is best to consult a trainer. No collar will permanently fix a dog’s bad behavior. This needs to be done with good training. Using an aversive collar should be done in combination with good training.