How Tight Should Prong Collar be
Dog Care Tips · Dog Training Guide

How Tight Should Prong Collar be? 8 Tips From A Dog Trainer 

Last Updated/Info Checked on October 23, 2023 by Linda Michaels

I’ve been in the dog training business for over 12 years. During this time, you could imagine how many dogs with different behavioral tendencies would I have trained.

The harder-to-train dogs are undoubtedly the aggressive ones. We use prongs or shock collars to train them.

Shock collars are a different story altogether, but if you wanna give the other type a shot, here’s how tight should prong collar be:

  • High enough to be just behind the ears and low enough to be under the jaw. 
  • If you drape it over the dog, the collar is huge.
  • Use prong collars that pinch open. 
  • Use collars with 2.2 mm prongs.
  • Spread fingers on the prongs to see if they’re polished.
  • Take the middle pieces off if need be. 
  • Use positive reinforcement.
  • Use the two types of corrections that it allows.
  • Combine the choke chain with the prong collar.
How Tight Should Prong Collar Be? - Infographic

8 Tips On How Tight Should Prong Collar Be For Better Usage

Below are some tips that will help you a heads-up.

1. Draping The Collar Isn’t A Good Idea 

The collar should stay high enough to be under the ears of the dog and low enough just so it stays behind the jaw. The chain should be snug and fit but not too tight to encourage choking. 

I’ve seen some owners drape the collar over the head of the dog. This isn’t how you let them wear it. Draping essentially means the collar is loose enough to be worn over the head. 

2. Use Prong Collars That Open

Pinch collars of today are called pinch collars because they have a hook behind them that comes undone. This helps you tie the collar over the neck of the dog as if it’s a necklace. 

It also tells you if the collar would stay snug because the moment you pinch it over, if it falls, then it isn’t tight. 

3. 2.2 mm Prongs Are Preferable 

There are collars with huge prongs on the market.

However, I don’t recommend them. The reason for this is the collar protrudes away from the neck in an eerie display.

You may get a lot of negative stares when you’re out with the dog plus that type is a bit uncomfortable for the dog as well. 

Therefore, go for the collars with 2.2 mm prongs. These are smaller. Neither the dog nor the people around you would easily notice them. 

4. Polished Prongs Are A Must 

The prongs on a pinch collar are made from metal. You want them to be as blunt as possible. The idea is to not hurt the dog but to use the collar as a tool of communication. 

As a result, I always go for collars that have polished prongs. I spread my fingers over them to see if there are any stray splinters or pieces of metal that could potentially hurt my dog. 

5. Take A Piece of The Chain Off If Need Be 

The collars available in the market come with chain pieces that sit right beneath the dog’s trachea.

I suggest you should remove those pieces despite what you hear from your fellows about their function of spreading the pressure evenly. Removing them will tighten the collar further. 

However, when you do so, try to insert a finger into the collar. If it fits through then it’s not too tight. 

6. Use positive reinforcement For First-Timers 

Dogs trying out things for the first time need education and encouragement. Throughout history, we trainers have used treats as a currency to encourage positive reinforcement.

With a dog learning to come to terms with a prong collar for the first time, you may have to use lots of treats. 

7. Prong Collars Offer Two Types of Corrections

The two hooks on the backside of the collar are used to tether the snap. You could use them to perform two types of corrections:

  • Tether the snap in both of the rings for a taut correction. 
  • Use the other ring to use the device as a martingale collar.

The first type will let the prong collar double as a choke collar. The second one allows further tightening to a safer degree should the dog decide to pull on the leash.

8. Combine The Choke Chain With The Prong Collar 

I use a choke collar with the prong collar just to make sure that I don’t lose the dog if one of them breaks somehow.

Hook the snap to both the collars at once. Don’t worry, this won’t be uncomfortable for your dog or reduce the function of any of the two when used in combination. 

Are Prong Collars Humane?

Are Prong Collars Humane?

Many will tell you that these collars put the dogs through a lot. They don’t know any better.

All the training tools available in the market one way or another could be harmful to the dogs if not used properly. 

Therefore, no matter who the owners are, I advise them to use each tool after receiving proper training.

There is a ton of information available online to learn. Also, the products come with their instructions. Read them carefully for the safety of your dog.

Remember that the injuries caused by a prong collar are not because of the device but because owners use loose collars on their dogs. 

How Tight Should Prong Collar Be – Conclusion 

Prong collars should stay just beneath the ears of the dog and below the jaw. It shouldn’t slide up and down to avoid any friction and thus, injury.

Ideally, one of your fingers should slide between the collar and the dog’s neck and not more than that. Also, make sure you’re using a collar with polished prongs.

To get it tighter, though, you could remove a piece quite easily. Lastly, combine choke collars with prong collars to discourage the dog from running away should one of the chains break off.

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