Home Discussion Forum Prong collar question...how tight is too tight?

Prong collar question…how tight is too tight?

First off, please no rants about how prong collars are cruel, as they most certainly are not.
I have a 65lb Foxhound mix and they way I had her prong collar adjusted, it sat high up behind her ears, but throughout our walk it would always slip down some and so I would have to pull it back up. Now it didn’t slip down a lot like all the way down to the base of her neck, just maybe and inch or so, so it was more like in the top/middle portion of her neck (my dog has a pretty short neck, kinda like a Lab’s). Also, the collar twists around pretty easily so throughout our walk the rings will start out on the side of her neck and slowly work their way to the top of her neck. Is this an okay amount of movement, as long as it’s still staying relatively high on her neck, even if it’s not right behind her ears? Unfortunately my camera’s broke so I can’t take a pic, but I used paint to draw lines where the collar starts out and ends up (black line is where it starts, red line is where it ends up) http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y109/Ironic_karma/Untitled.png
Also, i removed another link and now it doesn’t move AT ALL, like not even a centimeter. But it feels really tight, like I can just barely get one finger under it, and when I put my finger under it it’s pressing pretty hard on my finger. Also, there is absolutely no slack on the chain part at all, it’s stretched as tight as it will go…it’s stretched so tight that there’s not even slack on the chain part when her leash is attached to the live ring!. It’s really hard to tell if the prongs are pressing into her though because her coat is so thick. In fact, it’s so tight that you can’t even hardly see it on her neck because her fur goes over it. Her fur is about as long and dense as a Lab’s.
Also, I’ve seen the leerberg article…but it’s just so hard to tell on my dog if it’s fitted properly because, unlike the Dobe model they have on their website, my dog has a short neck and thick fur so it’s not as clear cut. I would have a trainer do it, but around here it’s hippie central and I have not come across one single trainer who will go within 5 feet of a prong πŸ™
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I guess I should also mention she’s had this collar since she was a year old and she’s currently 10. But the thing is I was using it totally wrong for the first 8 or so years (hanging loose around the base of her neck and slipping it over her head). Then I finally figured out the right way to use it, and I had it adjusted beautifully for a while, but she’s lost a little weight and that’s what’s causing the problem now…


  1. I’ve never used a prong collar, I don’t intend to either but surely you were shown how to fit this on your dog?
    This training tool can be dangerous if used incorrectly, anyone will tell you that.

  2. I don’t believe prong collars are cruel, I just think they should be a last resort – if your dog will absolutely not stop pulling no matter what else you try. I’m getting close to getting one for my husky, actually, if his new harness doesn’t help any..
    I honestly don’t see any reason why it should be right behind her ears into her throatlatch. In fact, I would never put it that high on my dog as I wouldn’t want him getting pronged that high up. I’d let it sit lower because think about it. Would you want a collar with prongs that high on YOUR neck? Sure, it’s effective, but I can’t see it at all being comfortable and dogs will respond to uncomfortable situations by becoming sour toward them. Just let it sit closer to the middle of her neck, she has more power there anyway so you’re not just holding her head with it, but the body, too.
    It sounds like it’s fitted okay, maybe a tad bit looser. She should probably be able to just feel the prongs on her neck without any pressure from them if she’s standing still or not pulling against the collar.

  3. Tricky question!
    It sounds like the Prong was just a bit too loose to begin with- you definately dont want it slipping on your dog- but as you said- although it is easy to tell how it is sitting on a short coated dog- not so easy on a double coat!
    You dont need to be putting your finger under the collar to check it for slack- this is the one collar where it needs to be so tight you cant get your finger under it. It really does need to be right a the top of the neck, as well.
    What you don’t want is the collar to be so tight that it is permanently correcting the dog- if there is no slack whatsoever on the limited slip then it is certainly possible that the collar is too tight.
    Can you feel around the collar to see whether the prongs are pinching the skin or sitting nicely on top of it? This is probably your best bet to acertain whether it is too tight or not.
    If the collar is too tight, you may need to talk to the professionals about this- you dont need to talk to your local dog trainers- but talk to the people you are buying the collar off to see whether they can sell you a better fitting collar. You may want to measure around your dogs neck where the collar should be fitted to ensure that you get one that fits perfectly.
    It may be possible to purchase one smaller link, or you may need to get a collar that is slightly smaller, and adjust the links accordingly.
    Good luck!

  4. first the collar should be sitting right behind the ears and under the jaw line, this controls the dog on walk as the lower part of the neck is the strongest and any dog will pull and fight when its lower. However when its right behind the ears it works better controling the dog better on walks. It also helps to guide them easier when walking. With the proper use of a quality collar, the prong collar will not cause pain to your dog. It’s proper use, and fit, will not cause pain nor will it choke your dogThe prong collar should never be so loose that it hangs low enough to where your dog’s jaw can become hooked. Basically, loose enough to fit over your dog’s head, and when tightened it stops before it pinches. (where the two prong-sided ends of the collar meet each other in the middle) If you have to un-hook the collar by squeezing a prong link to put it on, then it is too small and a link, or links, should be added.Using both hands, have the chain section of the collar on top, open the collar wide and slip over your dog’s head. If it is too small it will not slip over your dogs head easily. Links should be added or you should use the next size up.

  5. It sounds too tight. The only time a prong collar should tighten is when the dog pulls or you stop and the dog refuses to. When they are in heel or whatever position at your side is satisfactory for you, the collar should be a little slack and without pressure. The slack helps when you want to proceed, change direction etc. A little jungle of the collar side to side will cue your dog without having to resort to pulling or squeezing the collar. Also make sure the dog is never behind you and is by your side and the collar is directly under the hand leading (like where a yo-yo would be), as it is easier. Also it’s optimal if the prongs on the collar have rubber tips. Oh, just saw your pic. Red minus two to three prongs links is the fit and the slack chain should be at 90 degrees from the floor or ground when walking. Make sure the slack chain is long enough for this. Good luck.

  6. I have a prong for my Lab mix, but mine fit properly once I took out a couple of links, so I cant answer your question.
    Why dont you write to Leerburg and ask, or ask in the forum that is on his website?

  7. dead wrong, why dont you read up on them? it can cause their trachea damage sliding down that low on their throat. can actually really hard your dog, thats why youre not supposed to let them slide down that low.

  8. Oh dear goodness no. A prong collar is designed to sit high on the neck just behind the ears and under the jaw. If it sits lower you risk damage to the trachea if they pull hard.
    You are thinking of this the wrong way. (Not being snotty just trying to educate) you do not want to put this type of collar where the dog has MORE power. You want full control of the head. When you have control of the head you have control of the brain. A dog will not continue to pull if it’s head is redirected. Try this with a simple slip lead first if you don’t believe me.
    Anyway. The prongs are supposed to evenly distribute the pressure of the correction around the neck thus making it less painful and more of a simple distrating pressure. I have an 85lb Italian mastiff puppy and this is the only collar she will not pull in and her attitude is completely different when I put it on her. She has become more attentive to what I want her to do with the prong collar on.


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