A prong collar or pinch collar will make training and walking your dog a much more pleasant experience. If these collars are used properly, they will help you train your dog to walk nicely on a leash in all situations. These collars are not cruel or painful. Many trainers encourage them. My mutt is much better off wearing his pinch collar than without because he gets to go along to more places if he is under control.

A pinch collar is simply a metal choke collar with prongs. When the dog pulls, the collar puts even pressure around the dog’s neck and pinches his skin. I admit, it does sound and look like a medieval torture device. However, I would never hurt an animal. These collars look a lot worse than they are. I am very concerned with animal welfare and have considered taking jobs with PETA and The Humane Society. I recently became a vegetarian partly because of how animals are treated before they reach our dinner plates.

dog-with-pinch-collarWhen the pinch collar is worn correctly, it should fit loose and high on the dog’s neck, just behind his ears. As long as the dog is walking without pulling or lunging, the collar will hang loosely. If the dog pulls, you should quickly pop his leash with a quick snap. This will quickly tighten and then loosen the dog’s collar, showing your disapproval of his behavior. It reminds the dog to return to a heel position, or to remain focused on you and not another dog. Using the pinch collar enforces good behavior. Many of the dogs through my dog walking business wear pinch collars.

You want the collar to be loose when your dog is behaving. If it is always tight and uncomfortable, he will not learn anything. Remain calm and relaxed during your walks so the leash is never tight and you are never tense. Ideally, your dog will eventually learn to walk on a leash without pulling, so he won’t have to wear the pinch collar.

If you have never used a pinch collar, it would be a good idea to meet with a professional dog trainer and have him or her show you the proper way to fit and use one. If the collar is used incorrectly, it could damage a dog’s throat. And of course, some dogs walk just fine without wearing a pinch collar. I wish that were the case with my mutt. I have spent hours training him to heel properly on a leash, and he walks better on a leash than most dogs I know. But I still walk Ace with the pinch collar, and I recommend you give it a try while walking your dog.