Training Collars are one of the most misunderstood training aids used for animal obedience these days, so I would like to take the time to clear up a few issues with these devices.
Slip Chain – One of the most used and effective tools used for obedience. Although it has gotten a bad rap as a “choke chain” due to people using it incorrectly, it is actually one of the most valuable tools used in dog training. When used properly it does not choke or hurt the dog in any way, it is used more like a slap on the hand, as in “no, don’t do that again” and after a few corrections most dogs will hear the links click as slack is taken up and then correct themselves! which is the behavior we are striving for.
This collar should only be put on the dog for training or working, it should never be used as a primary collar, I’ve heard ’em all from “I like the way it looks” to “it breaks all the other collars”. As I mentioned before the training collar should only be used for training or working and nothing else, not only does it diminishes its effectiveness as a training tool, but it is dangerous for the dog to be in the collar while unsupervised.
Pinch or Prong Collar – A Prong Collar is basically a heavy duty Slip collar with the added enhancement of small prongs that poke into the dog’s neck as the collar is tightened. A Pinch collar is a more rigid metal collar that is like a hinge, when tightened it exerts a lot of pressure on the sides of the dog’s neck.
Both of these collars are unnecessary for most dogs, they should only be used if the dog has a serious behavioral problem or the owner has some specific medical problems, I’ve seen a lot of these collars on the wrong dogs lately including puppies (a bad thing for good training), some people said that their dog trainer recommended it to correct pulling! this is the lazy trainer’s way of saying “I don’t want to take the time to help you properly train your dog.”
This collar should normally be used for very specific behavior modifications and should not be used on most dogs! if your trainer says to use it… get a second opinion! it should never be used on puppies or to correct pulling.
Halter-type Devices – Harnesses either around the body or head, These are great for a trained pet but should not normally be used for obedience training as no correction can be given to modifying the behavior if anything they can increase the dogs propensity to pull.
Leather or Nylon Collars – These should be the primary collars worn by dogs when not in training, they should never be used for training as they can exert massive amounts of pressure to the front of the dogs neck when giving a correction.