How Should You Place A Prong Collar On A Dog – The Correct Way!

If you’re a dog owner, chances are you’ve heard of prong collars. Dogs are amazing creatures, however, sometimes they can be a little stubborn, which is why some owners may need to use a prong collar on their dog from time to time.

Contrary to popular belief, prong collars don’t hurt dogs – when used correctly, they can be very effective tools for training.

But how should you place a prong collar on a dog? Don’t worry!

Read on as we teach you how to do it the correct way – safely, comfortably, and securely.

What Is A Prong Collar?

A prong collar is a training device commonly used to train dogs who pull or want to walk ahead of their owners.

Prong collars can be used to teach dogs good manners and behavior. They are also known by the name ‘pinch collars.

Does it hurt?

The short answer is no, when used correctly they don’t hurt your dog in any way. It merely creates a quick, unpleasant sensation on his neck that will discourage him from pulling or walking ahead of you.

They are considered very humane devices when used correctly.

Prong collars come in different forms. There are many types of prong collars. Some have plastic prongs, while others have metal-tipped prongs. These prongs, or spikes, run along one side.

A prong collar can be worn on your dog the same way as a regular training collar for a dog. The prongs are placed directly against your dog’s neck, behind his ears.

If you have a large stubborn dog, train them with a bark collar or shock collar for large dogs depending on their behavior.

How To Attach A Prong Collar To A Dog?

Your dog should be introduced to their new collar in a calm environment before the first time you attach it to their neck. Positive reinforcement treats, and praise will help ensure your dog is not afraid of his collar.

prong collar on a wooden background

Once your dog is familiar with his collar, attaching it should be simple and quick.

Don’t just place the collar on your dog, make them wear it all day long. Introduce it slowly to them. The only time the prong collar should be used is for training purposes – if you don’t use it, your dog could get used to wearing his regular collar and not mind having it attached to his neck.

When putting a prong collar on a dog, the goal is to get the collar around your dog’s neck and attach it quickly – just like a regular collar.

  1. To unlock the collar’s link, loosen it by unhooking one of its links. To enable the link to slip from the other end, pinch one end of the link.
  2. Attach the collar to the neck, under their ears, and below their jaw.
  3. The collar should be connected around the neck by connecting the links.

The Right Way For Your Dog…

  • The collar should be just below the ears, and below the jawline.
  • The leash rings should be placed behind the dog’s neck and not under their chin.
  • Adjust the collar if the rings are below your chin.

The Wrong Way For Your Dog…

  • Too many links on the collar can lead to a loose collar for your dog. This is a common error.
  • Too many links can cause pressure on the neck of your dog – a vulnerable part of their body.
  • The collar must not slip over the dog’s head – if it does, it is worn incorrectly and potentially unsafe.

How Does A Prong Collar Work?

When used correctly, a prong collar can be an effective training tool that teaches your dog good behavior.

Essentially it is a device that mimics the mother dog’s correcting her pups. The quick, unpleasant sensation acts as an instant ‘reminder’ for your dog to behave or stop certain behaviors.

Prong collars can also help train dogs that like to pull and lunge forward while on the leash. The quick unpleasant sensation (and training) will discourage your dog from pulling against their collar.

They are not a bad training tool if used correctly.

In fact, they are very humane when used properly. They simply give your dog a ‘reminder’ to behave or stop doing something.

To ensure the collar is only giving the dog a little correction that won’t harm them physically or emotionally,

It is important to understand how a prong collar works before using it on your dog.

If not used properly or safely, misuse of this tool can lead to injuries on the neck and throat of your dog. It can also traumatize your dog into further bad behavior, due to him being stressed or afraid.

Anyways, we also wrote an interesting article about chain collars for pitbulls and collars for american bully. Read on as we discuss the right type of collar for them.

How Tight Should A Prong Collar Be?

A properly fitted prong collar will sit high up on your dog’s neck, where it won’t slip down.

It should fit snugly, with the rings behind the ears and below your dog’s jawline. But not too tight – if you can’t fit one finger between the collar and your dog’s neck, it is probably too tight.

A prong collar should fit comfortably as a normal collar or flea collars would.

When there’s too much slack in the chain, it is harder for your dog to be corrected properly. If the bites are too close to the neck, they can dig into a particularly sensitive part of their body, causing them discomfort.

How To Keep A Prong Collar In Place?

Even a properly fitted prong collar can slip up on the neck of your dog if it is not kept in place.

To keep it from slipping, you can attach a second leash from the side to prevent it from moving down their neck.

It will also help you train your dog at first as they will be forced to adjust quickly with the collars on.

If you want to remove the collar for your own safety, it will be easier to unhook both leashes with two hands rather than one. It also prevents any sudden movements from the dog that might catch your hand around their neck.

Before you buy collars, it is important to know your dog’s weight.

Measure around your dog’s neck to determine the correct size of prong collar to buy – place two fingers between the measuring tape and their neck. Allow space for comfort and slight movement, but not too much.

Additionally, you can also re-size a prong collar by adding or removing links from the chain. This ensures a perfect fit on your dog’s neck.

If interested, we also suggest reading about dog collar camera and gps dog collar fence to keep an eye on your dog all the time.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Prong Collar For Dogs?

As mentioned before, the prong collar is often misunderstood as an inhumane training tool.

dog sitting outdoors wearing a prong collar

Contrary to rumors, it does not cause pain to the dog when used properly. It simply gives them a quick ‘reminder’ or correction which they will learn from after some time.

Here are some key benefits of using a prong collar on your dog:

  • Allows for correction in two directions – down towards the ground and backward. This gives you more control over your dog, allowing you to train them or correct bad behavior easily.
  • Greater control when in crowded or tight spaces – in a dog park, for example. Or when you’re out shopping with your dog.
  • Allows your dog to be trained faster (and more effectively) than with regular collars or harnesses.
  • Helps train dogs that like to pull on the leash by discouraging them from lunging forward.
  • Encourages your dog to pay attention to you when walking.
  • The quick unpleasant sensation is usually enough for your dog to stop doing the unwanted behavior.
  • It is also a great way to teach stay commands like ‘leave it’ by giving the dog a quick correction when they break the command.

If you opt to use a shock collar for your dog, then here’s how to train a dog with a shock collar.

People Also Ask

Are Prong Collars Bad?

No, as long as they are used properly. It is a misunderstood tool, therefore it has been seen as an inhumane training tool by many dog trainers and owners alike. When used correctly, prong collars will not cause pain or discomfort.

At What Age Can You Use A Prong Collar?

It is recommended to use a prong collar on dogs after they are 4 months old. However, some people prefer to use them on younger puppies as well. Using it when they are a little older means it won’t shock them as much.

Where Should You Place A Prong Collar On A Dog?

A prong collar should fit around the neck of your dog, just behind their ears and below their jawline. There should be two rings on the front – one near the throat and another towards the back of your dog’s neck.


Though the prong collar has received much criticism for its use in training, it can be useful when used correctly.

It allows you to give corrections towards your dog’s bad behavior or train them with ease. Not only that but it will also help improve communication between you and your dog during walks, preventing lunging and other unwanted behavior.

The collar fits around the neck of your dog, just behind their ears and below their jawline.

Make sure you buy the right size – measure around your dog’s neck before buying one to determine the correct size.

Remember to adjust if not snug on your dog’s neck, but not too tight!

Does your dog use a prong collar?

Share your experience in the comments section below.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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