Dog Problems Store
Dog Problems Store

How to Fit a Prong Collar by Ed Frawley

I train dogs with prong collars. There are very few dogs that I would not train with a prong collar. I recommend them to new dog owners, new trainers and people who own dogs with behavioral problems. While some think a prong looks nasty the fact is they are far more humane than a normal choke collar.

The biggest problem with prong collars is that new dog owners don't know how to put them on, how to size them or how to have their dog wear them. This article will address these issues.

Normal choke collars need to be ordered by length (i.e. 22 inches long etc.) Prong collars are ordered by size (small, medium, large or extra large). They all come in a standard length which is adjusted to fit the neck of the dog by removing or adding links to the collar.

Prong collars are meant to be put on and taken off before and after daily training sessions. Unlike a choke collar that is often left on the dog all the time (in some cases this can be a dangerous practice).

A common problem new trainers have is they don't remove enough links to get the correct snug fit. When that happens the collar hangs down on the dogs neck which results in the collar not working the way that it was designed. A prong collar should fit the way you see it in the photo below.

The correct position for a prong collar is to sit right behind the ears and up under the jaw line like you see in the photo above. The photo below shows how many people mistakenly let a dog wear a prong.

This photo above demonstrates a prong collar that was not properly sized for the dog. The collar is too loose and riding too far down on the dog's neck. It should be up where I have drawn the yellow line.

This collar is sized correctly and fit's properly. The rings
on the leash are attached to the right place on the side of the neck.

Sizing the Prong: Adding and Removing Links

Some people mistakenly try and put a prong collar on their dog by slipping it over the dogs head and then moving it down on the neck. That's wrong. Prong collars are designed to be put on and taken off by unhooking links and actually unsnapping the collar from around the neck.

The right way to unhook a collar is to pinch one of the links and pull it apart. Taking the collar off is always easier than putting it back on.

This photo shows how to pinch a link and take the
collar off the dog's neck.

This photo shows how to start reconnecting a link to put the collar back on the dog's
neck. Put one side of the prong of a link in one side of the connecting link.
Then squeeze the link with the thumb until the other side drops in place.

When both prongs are lined up (by using thumb pressure on the link) the collar will go back together.

Problems develop if new trainers try to fit both sides of the link together without
using thumb pressure to squeeze the link together - unless the prong is pinched
together it will never reconnect.

Proper Placement Once the Collar is on the Dog

Most of the time when a collar is put on a dog the handler connects the collar with the links behind the dog's ears - this is the easiest place to access the links (by the red arrow in the photo above). Once the collar is on the neck the rings to connect the leash to are under the dog's chin - which is the wrong place for them to be. You will have to rotate the collar so the rings are in the proper spot on the dog's neck. This is usually on the right side of the neck like you see in the photo below.

This photo shows a proper fitting prong collar - it is sized properly, it is sitting in
the correct spot on the dogs neck and the rings are located in the correct spot for
the leash to be attached (right side of the neck).