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Discussion Starter #1
On large, powerful, or "dangerous" breeds are metal collars supposed to be a subtle "stay away" signal to others? I'm not talking about spiked or other decorative metal, but chain or pronged collars.

Maybe I'm oddly biases but am I the only one that gets sense that a metal chain (choke or otherwise) is like almost like a Scarlett letter for a large dog? What about dogs that you always see wearing pronged or pinch collars? I'm not talking about just during a training phase for a few weeks but months or even years later?

I don't have a fact based logical reason for it but chains, prongs, and the like always give me the impression that the owner believes something could happen at any moment and only the strength of a metal chain can hold it back. Obviously I try to suppress the bias, but for the now the best I can do is read my dog's reaction to them and act based on that.

Am I the only one that makes this connection?
 

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I used to use prong collars is was more about pulling,and sometimes prey drive or dog reactivity. Its more likely to be used on large dogs because they pull harder.

Heavy chains around the neck,or backwards prong collars are more about showing off,kind of dog gangsta bling,I don't know if those dogs are actually dangerous or not.
 

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I never really got that impression. I usually think that either the owner is uninformed about types of collars and their uses or that if the dog is really large that the owner might think that a metal collar is the only way to control them especially if they have broken regular buckle collars before.

When I was a child we used a choke chain on our English springer spaniel for a few months. She was the sweetest dog you'd ever meet and wouldn't hurt a fly but she was never trained not to pull and the logic at the time was to get one of these "training" collars. I'm sure there are lots of people who haven't researched or found the newer training techniques or no pull harnesses.
 

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Prong collars, used correctly (not like stupid inside out spikes or something) are a tool. There are a wide variety of training tools and techniques and I have found that some dogs respond VERY well to the prong. The majority of dogs I know that are walked on a prong collar are not dog aggressive but have a high prey drive and the strength to drag a person along after a rabbit if they desired. There are also dogs that I switch between harnesses and prong collars depending on the situation, especially while training or if I know that I need to be able to hold the dog close and control their head better than I can on a harness. Probably 80% of the time I use harnesses, I feel they are safer, but prong collars serve a purpose for me too.

I look at how an item is being used. I see people yank a dog around on a flat collar and others walk a dog relaxed on a choke chain that I can see is basically being used as a no-slip collar. The only time I "judge" a style of collar or harness is one that has no functional purpose except to look tough. Like a widely oversized studded collar on a puppy or small dog for example. But that's a pretty limited amount of gear.

I understand your thought process though- I've had people look askance at the dogs when for example, I used a harness and a chain leash on a pit bull. The chain leash wasn't bling, it was cause the dog kept trying to bite/chew her leash and within a few walks of using the chain leash, she lost interest in that. Or my heavy leather harness that can look "tough" but I chose for a sturdy and highly adjustable harness that did not have sliding straps or plastic buckles. I needed a tough harness in the sense of being able to stand up to heavy use, not a harness to look tough, if you get my meaning.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
And obviously prongs and chains have their use. I was just under the impression that prongs and choke chains in particular are training aides that a dog "graduates" from over time. Oddly, the chain lease doesn't mean anything to me, just the collar.
 

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I fully intend to get the dog I am using a prong on now out of one, eventually, but ultimately it's going to take time - because he's not on it because he doesn't know how to loose leash walk, he's on it because he loose leash walks beautifully 99% of the time, and the other 1% - well, he's a 27" high, 100lb, 10 month old puppy, who really likes pouncing after butterflies. I don't like my face hitting asphalt.

I suspect a lot of people do think he's out of control or dangerous, but it's hard for me to judge since we don't spend a lot of time around strangers and their dogs, and, again, he's a 100lb puppy who looks kind of intimidating. People would probably be steering clear of us, anyway. ;-)

The only message it sends TO ME, provided it's used properly and isn't on a tiny dog, is either 'strong dog' or, more likely, 'strong dog in training'. Used wrong or on a tiny dog my assumption is 'asshole owner'.
 

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It may seem weird but at a time I used studded collars,because of loose aggressive dogs. Sense I had loose dogs grab at my dogs necks before,I thought it could bring a little protection. One time I really think it did. That's what spiked collars originally where intended for actually.
I of course won't use plastic buckles,I know they can break and its not worth it. He has broken and bent metal before,I do not trust plastic.
 

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I actually like the look of the choke chains. I just recently started using on Royce correctly. He is a little over 50
Lbs which is big for me, and he is a puppy that forgets what he is doing every 4 seconds and jerks me around, I tried the harnesses, no pull and what not they don't work he just pulls through them...however even when he gets there and walks beautifully 100% of the time, I may still use a chain collar because they are pretty and don't bunch his hair all up.

So because of that I don't get much of an impression from them what so ever. A friend of my sister had a chi that had this little tiny pink choker on her, she looked adorable. The girl never let that darn dog actually walk, so it was mainly jaunt am accuser ray that can easily slip on and off....and was cute.
 

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Oh yeah. No plastic fasteners and no even METAL clip together collars. Buckles, ONLY, regardless of the material of the collar (easier to find with leather collar, though).
 

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I tried head halter(gentle leaders) but he is a pain with them,he had it for months but couldn't get used to it. Would head butt people and rub his head against anything near by.

I mainly use a martingale collar now. Although not quite as effective as a prong,I was also having issues with the prong collars getting bent up. I also don't like prolonged use of choke-chains,I`m worried it may cause issues. They also can't escape from it like sometimes they can with choke chains.

For tie outs or heavy pullers I would say the most durable and safest is wide nylon collar with a quality metal buckle.

With my first dog she was talented,she could escape a flat collar and a choke chain/prong collar at the same time if attached together,in only a couple seconds. Then she was likely to run off and either chase cats,or look for people to pet her.
 

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Oh yeah. No plastic fasteners and no even METAL clip together collars. Buckles, ONLY, regardless of the material of the collar (easier to find with leather collar, though).
Yeah, if I'm truly worried about a dog either escaping or powering through a collar/harness, then it is belt style buckles or martingales only. The exception being the Ruffwear harness because I've found the multiple straps to be great for wild dogs. Worked very well for securing my highly reactive foster Frankie.

A prong collar can pop open, it can actually be less reliable than flat buckle collar (even a plastic buckle), so it should be used along with a martingale or choke chain back-up (or similar)
 

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Yeah, if I'm truly worried about a dog either escaping or powering through a collar/harness, then it is belt style buckles or martingales only. The exception being the Ruffwear harness because I've found the multiple straps to be great for wild dogs. Worked very well for securing my highly reactive foster Frankie.

A prong collar can pop open, it can actually be less reliable than flat buckle collar (even a plastic buckle), so it should be used along with a martingale or choke chain back-up (or similar)
Yeah, I've never taken Thud's buckle collar off, just used the prong on top of it. I wouldn't use it to keep a dog from escaping, just from dragging me on my face.
 

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Sometimes I think just having a big, powerful dog to begin with repels some people, regardless of the collar. Sam has a copper-colored fursaver (chain) collar that I use on the "dead" ring, meaning that it doesn't tighten. I like that it blends well with his fur and I use it with his flat leather collar as a backup. He is strong and I use a chain collar to stay in control at those times like CaptJack mentioned. At some point, I may opt for a prong, but again, not as a substitute for training.

Ironically, I got more "aggressive dog" comments when one of my dogs wore a halti head collar because people thought it was a muzzle. I think most of our neighborhood think Sam is some kind of police dog in training or something, particular
Y since I work on training so much on walks. Lol
 

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Yeah, I've never taken Thud's buckle collar off, just used the prong on top of it. I wouldn't use it to keep a dog from escaping, just from dragging me on my face.
But then you are missing all those good face in the gravel moments to put on youtube.

Sometimes a dog can walk like this:


Or sometimes they have moments like this in which (if on leash) a prong collar can save your butt (she might be only 55 lbs, but she's ALL muscle and drive)


While he may look loaded for bear, this dog is about the most gentle dog towards other dogs ever. Non-reactive and non-aggressive to basically everything.


Whereas this dog, with simple get-up, was the most reactive/aggressive one that I've had. (aka, can't judge a dog by her collar)
 

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The last time we were at the Lake, a person came past being towed along by his Rotty on a prong collar. He had just got past us when all of a sudden the dog was loose. Luckily the dog did not bother with the Golden my niece had in the water with her and just walked out into the Lake. The owner then spent the next ten minutes trying to get the dog to come to them. He finally had to wade out and get him.

I picked up a good sturdy martingale collar for Kris at a garage sale. I had been using the small ones I use in Agility as they are easy to put on and off the little dogs at the trials, but I never really trusted them. Kris is good walking on leash but every once in a while she will take a leap wanting to play and she has almost pulled me over when I just had the flat collar on her. It is also the only collar other than a flat one that you can have at Agility trials even if you are not entered.
 

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I do not feel that they are a "Stay away" signal. They are a tool like others here have said. I use a prong on my very strong well muscled 56 pound 11 month old Australian Shepherd. He walks great on lead 98% of the time the other 2% he is being a VERY strong overly happy puppy. And when he acts like that I am likely to get a faceful of concrete or dirt. And let me tell you, that HURTS. I no longer use a prong on him however because his fur is so long the prongs get stuck in his fur when I go to remove it after the walk. Which is a pain in and of itself. I now use a fursaver or choker on him, along with a flat buckle collar.
 

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My only thought when I see a dog wearing a training collar is "I hope they know how to use that properly."

If they actually want people to be afraid of their dog they just need to use a head halter. =/ The two times I walked my dog in one we had people crossing the street to avoid us. The sight of something that looks like a muzzle seems to strike some people with fear. My SO even admitted until he knew what a Halti was, he thought it meant the dog was a biter and was wary of those dogs.
 

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I use choke chains on all my dogs when teaching them to walk properly on a leash. But if you see the owner trying to choke the dog and pulling as hard as they can or constant pressure (tight leash) id stay away from both of them!

Prong collars ive never used because ive never been taught how to use them, but like choke collars or as i prefer "training collars" or "correction collars" they are used as a tool and shouldn't be used at all if not used correctly. Also, they should never be left on. Always take them off when you're not walking!

But no i wouldnt consider it as a warning because its not for that purpose.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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I have seen too many of those prong collars 'pop' and now the dog is loose without a collar on it. I personally think that too many people who use them have no idea the proper way to use them. Often times the collar is too big and not being effective when the dog is pulling. Also, the prongs themselves are way to big for the dog it is on.

My own experience with the plastic snap buckles the other dogs would chew on them causing the collar to fall off the dog. Or I would find the collar out in the field just laying there open. I went back to the metal buckle collars. There are those plastic buckle collars with the new designed ring. The metal ring was place on the collar to take the weight of the pull to prevent the buckle from opening.. trouble is most owners do not have the collar on right. The ring is flopping out in the breeze and not on the collar like it was designed to be. I explain to the owners how the ring is supposed to go on. The owners are thankful because they just could not figure out how to put the collar on.

I like a good quality flat leather buckle collar. This way I can not only attach tags to the collar but I also will marker my phone number on the collar or will have it stamped on the collar. I have seen too many dogs enter a shelter with just a 's' hook attached to the collar ring and no tags.

For me metal collars on a dog is more of a clue to me about the owner than the dog itself.
 
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