A lot of people shy away from them, if you are not used to using one they look scary, complicated and sometimes you will get dirty looks from people who are ignorant. People who think that you should be able to call your German Shepherd off of a rabbit with a treat.... I have said this before and I will say it again, treats are great for TEACHING but they are not great at PROOFING a behavior. Most dogs understand how to sit, but most dogs will not stop and sit while mid chase of a rabbit. Getting your dog to sit while chasing a rabbit is part of the PROOFING phase of training and this is where the prong collar can be an extremely useful tool if used correctly.
You can take ANY training tool from the box, I don't care if its a gentle leader, choke chain, flat buckle collar or even a harness and make it dangerous by using it the way it was not intended for use. And that's the important part here, ALL tools need to be used the way they were intended. And all tools need to be used in a way that we are always prepping the dog for removal. If you are using a tool with plans to continue to use that tool for the dogs entire life that is management not training. The goal of training is to use the tool to proof the behavior and then get rid of it. Its a step that so many seem to have trouble with.
Prong collars are a corrective tool, they are a safe corrective tool. Much safer then a regular choke chain because they don't restrict air flow. You can't cut off your dogs air supply with a prong collar like you can with a choke chain or even a flat buckle collar. We have all seen dogs dragging their owners down the street on a choke or flat collar, the dog is choking and hacking and the owner is being dragged and pulled. This is not humane and this is not fun for the owners or the dog. I actually broke my hand walking a dog on a flat buckle collar... it was not fun and certainly was dangerous.
Prong collars are used to correct the dog by pulling the leash and giving a correction, they are not to be used for the dog to pull against. Remember the goal is to eventually remove the collar, we can't remove the collar if we are using it to lessen the pulling, we need to use it to teach the dog not to pull in the first place so that we can remove the training tool and have a dog who walks beside us on a loose leash with just a flat buckle collar... this is the goal!
Prong collars hurt, I have used them on myself. They hurt as much as allowing a dog to pull on a flat or choke chain and they certainly hurt much less then a broken hand! I assure you!
Before we label something as inhumane or dangerous we need to fully understand it, we need to be educated about its use and be taught how to properly use it. I have helped many owners gain control of their dogs using a prong collar for a brief time (sometimes in as little as 2 weeks). I have helped people who struggle with mobility gain control over their strong dogs using a prong collar, I have saved dogs from being put down or being given up by using a prong collar. Its a tool that for the right dog and with proper use can be a life saver!
Using a prong collar is not cruel, but being ignorant to a tool that you do not understand is. This is the basis of being a balanced trainer. We can use all of the tools in our tool box to paint a picture perfect dog. We are not restricted to only treats or only corrections.... we use a combination of both, and sometimes one or the other depending on what we are doing. No tool is out of reach and all tools are judged based on experience and an open mind. What fits one dog will certainly not fit all dogs, and sometimes something that fits one dog will only fit that one dog. We need to have an open mind and a clear goal along with educated brains and experienced guidance to reach our goals.
If you need more information or you would like instructions on use and sizing please contact me.