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Pinch Collars for Dog Training

Pinch Collars for Dog Training

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Dog Training

Pinch collars, also known as prong collars, are one of many controversial tools for dog training. The collar is made of interlocking steel links which pinch down on the dog’s neck when pressure is applied to the leash. It works on the same principle as a choke collar. Are these pinch collars for dog training humane? Do they work?

First, the most important question for dog owners - are pinch collars safe? The pinch felt by the dog is meant to mimic one a mother dog would give her baby when he misbehaved. Mama dogs often give a little nip to the neck that is gentle enough not to hurt but nevertheless presents a reminder that her baby needs to behave himself. The safety question depends on the trainer and the dog.

There is the risk of injury to your pet if you put the collar on incorrectly, as is true for any dog collar. To ensure a proper fit and to eliminate the possibility of injury, the collar should have the appropriate size prong. This is what is meant by “size” when you are thinking of buying a pinch collar for dog training. A small prong, obviously, is meant for a small dog.

You also need to consider the “fit,” or how the pinch collar fits around your dog’s neck. You should have enough about a half of finger width space between the collar and your dog’s neck. If you think it’s more humane to loosen it, you are actually harming your dog. If it is loose, you have to administer, three or four times as many tugs and this can cause the collar to wear at your dog’s fur and irritate his neck.

Another complaint about dog pinch collars for training is that they put pressure on the trachea, which has the potential to cause serious injury. Again, this risk is eliminated when you put the collar on correctly. The collar should fit just below the dog’s ears, and unlike a choke chain, a pinch collar puts even pressure around the neck by pinching the skin. No pressure is exerted on the trachea.

Many dog trainers swear by pinch or prong collars because they can quickly train your dog in a gentle way. To increase the effectiveness of pinch collars for dog training, consider the following:

* Use other training techniques, like repetition, praise, and rewards along with the collar.

* Use the collar appropriately – there are mean people out there who tug on leashes and may cause the dog pain. Be gentle, and the leash will do the rest.

* Consider if it is right for your dog. Pinch collars shouldn’t be used in training of aggressive, fearful, or shy dogs. Pinch collars are not appropriate for puppies under six months.

* Pinch collars are great for little people with big dogs, or for dogs who have started a pulling habit. Labs are great candidates for pinch collars. Before you buy, check to make sure the collar will work for your dog. You can ask a trainer, ask at the pet store or look online for more information.

* Make sure the alpha human (the one in charge of the “pack” does the training.

* Use the collar whenever engaged in training, but don’t leave it on without human supervision.

Pinch collars for dog training have been shown to be effective and safe – if you use them properly! Any collar, leash, or piece of training equipment has the potential to be hazardous if not used correctly. It is similar to a baby carrier - you wouldn’t put it on with your child without first learning how to use it. That doesn’t mean the carrier is unsafe, only that you need to be cautious. Pinch collars can be great training tools, but as with anything else, they are only as good as the trainer (you!) Before you decide to get a pinch collar, make sure you are fully aware of how to put it on and use it.