Prong Collars… There really is a better way to handle your dog.

Yes, even the big, powerful, forever-playful dogs.

“Aversive techniques can elicit an aggressive response in dogs because they can increase the fear and arousal in the dog, especially in those that are already defensive.” -Herron, Frances S. Shofer and Ilana R. Reisner, veterinarians with the Department of Clinical Studies at University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine

We’ve all been there.

Our dogs want to pull us to the next corner to smell the neighborhood tree trunk. They get excited to see a friendly face and unintentionally pull us down with their exuberance. Or, they lunge as another dog passes, and we’re left red-hot with embarrassment for the rest of the walk.

Here’s the problem with using a prong collar to correct these issues.

When your dog is corrected while wearing a prong collar, she experiences pain. When we say “corrected”, we mean everything from willingly pulling too hard on the leash to unwillingly being pulled in another direction. When she experiences that pain, she’s going to react to it, emotionally, physically, or both.

Simply put, pain puts your dog into a fearful state of mind – a state of mind that diminishes trust.

Damaging your bond

When your dog is in a fearful state of mind, she’s afraid to display normal dog behaviors. Like humans, her feelings are suppressed, and it’s very likely that one day her behavior will explode. Trainers refer to this as trigger stacking – the prong collar causes pain, and only so much pain can be applied before the dog’s mentality explodes.

A far better way to walk together

A front-clip harness can provide you with physical leverage that doesn’t involve pain to redirect your dog away from the stimulus that they are reactive toward. My favorite harness (which I use for Riley) is the Freedom No-pull harness. It’s got both a front-clip and a back-clip harness. The front clip provides efficient, painless control, because when your dog pulls, the pressure from the leash attached to the front clip provides leverage from her center of gravity at the chest, redirecting her toward you. This gives your dog less forward force and keeps her body (and yours) safe and secure.

Find more top-rated harness here. Top Rated Harnesses

Still not convinced?

Like most dog-related topics, I really could go on and on. More on this topic in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, check out this article for more expert education on the detriments of using fear and pain to control your dog.