There are many misconceptions regarding the prong collar, and as a dog owner, you know that collars are great tools for training your dog—if used correctly. Dog owners who aren’t fitting the collars properly are causing the controversy.
Did you know the prong collar was created in the 1940s by a veterinarian who was looking for a better alternative than the choke collar? He felt the prong collar was a cruelty-free way to assist with training your dog. The collar may look scary, but since the prongs are not sharp and the pressure is distributed throughout the collar, the dog feels a pinching sensation.
Our guide on prong collars was put together in order to help you find the right collar for your dog, so you can both have a positive training experience. The buyer’s guide will go over some considerations and tips to keep in mind when shopping for a prong collar.
A Quick Comparison (updated in 2022)
The 10 Best Prong & Chain Collars for Dogs
1. Herm SPRENGER Prong Dog Collar – Best Overall
The Herm collar is 3.2 mm steel chrome plated and will fit a dog up to a neck size of 18 inches. This collar functions as two-in-one with a prong collar and pinch collar that both help with training your dog. We like that it features safety ends that provide a more secure connection when fastened around the neck of your dog.
This collar is effective at preventing your dog from pulling when on a walk. It functions by providing a pinching sensation that decreases when the tension is released so your dog learns to behave when on the leash.
On the downside, the prongs on the quick release have the potential to be difficult for people with poor grip strength. On the upside, there are replacement links available to purchase separately and you can remove links for a more custom fit. This is a quality collar made in Germany by a company that prides itself on quality products that offer a humane form of training for your dog, but make sure you learn how to use it.
2. Hamilton C3200 Training Collar – Best Value
This affordable collar is made from durable hardware that has been tested for strength and safety. We like that it offers a linked design that allows for a custom fit, meaning you can attach and remove prongs and links as needed.
To use this collar, you place it behind the ears of your dog, just below the jaw. Begin by attaching the leash to both rings at once to increase the amount of slack. When attached to one ring, this is referred to as the “live ring” and there is less slack, which causes increased tension and makes your dog respond better.
The rings and prongs are difficult to remove and replace, but this is due to the heavier weight of the material, which makes it a durable and well-made product. It did not make the number one spot since it is not an easy task to make a custom fit.
3. Supet Dog Prong Collar – Premium Choice
The Supet is a great choice for dogs more sensitive to pressure on their neck. This is because the prong collars are smooth, with rounded tips and rubber caps. The rubber caps are especially nice if you have a curly-haired dog since they prevent the prongs from becoming tangled.
We enjoy the quick-release snap with the sliding lock for extra security. The collar comes with an extra link and tips. For easier removal of links, use a pair of pliers to help squeeze the links together.
For a dog that weighs near 90 pounds, the 18-inch collar is a good place to start. It is 3.5 mm chrome-plated and argon-welded for added strength. Unfortunately, this collar is pricier than the Sprenger and the Hamilton which is why it sits in the third spot on the review list.
Also see: LED collars for your pup!
4. StarMark Training Dog Collar
This collar is made of a plastic polymer. The collar is flexible because of the linked “watch-band” design, but the prongs are rigid. You can purchase links separately so you can customize the collar to fit your dog. It is tested to make sure it is safe for your pet while providing the needed strength and durability.
It’s nice that the company offers online training tools and instructional step-by-step videos. We like that this collar is gentle but effective while it prevents pulling and misbehaving when your dog is on the leash. On the downside, the links are difficult to take apart but the large size will fit up to a 20-inch neck circumference.
Some may prefer the design of this collar to traditional metal prongs, and it looks like a regular collar when it is on your dog. Also, the StarMark is offered at an affordable price.
5. Coastal Pet Prong Dog Collar
This prong collar is ideal for large dogs since it can stand up to a strong, intense pull. We like that it is an easy-on design with a plastic buckle that loosens the strap to be able to bring it over the head and a D-ring for the leash attachment. It is 20 inches in size and the company offers extra links and vinyl comfort tips to purchase separately.
It is argon welded and chrome plated for increased strength and durability, plus it will not tarnish or rust. When using a prong or pinch collar, it is important to fit it correctly and apply it appropriately to prevent injury to your dog. The links are removable too so you can customize the fit to your dog.
On the downside, this collar may be too large and aggressive for smaller sized breeds. But it works well to train larger dogs to behave when out for a walk.
6. OSPet Dog Prong Collar
The OSPet offers a prong collar that is ideal for medium and large dogs with the maximum length of the collar at 24 inches and a diameter of 0.14 inches or 3.5 mm. The prongs are detachable so you can adjust the size to fit your dog and each prong has a cover cap for added comfort while still able to provide training when using correctly.
It comes with a heavy-duty five-foot leash made from ½-inch rock climbing rope padded handles that protect your hands from rope burns. This collar is designed to provide even pressure around your dog’s neck to prevent injury to the trachea. It is designed with a heavy-duty metal quick-release snap that is anchored to a tough nylon.
On the downside, the prong caps do not stay in place and fall off easily, and some have had problems with the nylon wearing quickly where it is attached to the metal surface.
7. Mayerzon Dog Prong Training Collar
The Mayerzon is made from stainless steel that is chrome plated to prevent rust from forming and also allows it to remain lightweight. This collar is designed with a quick-release snap buckle that is made from metal that is durable and makes it easy to apply and remove from your dog.
The prongs have rounded edges covered with a rubber tip for added comfort. The links are removable with or without tools. The collar is 23.62 inches in length and the diameter is 4.0 mm, adding to the overall strength. Follow the sizing guideline to achieve the right fit for your dog. It should fit snug (though not too tight) and sit just below the ears.
We found that the links are difficult to remove by hand. The task can be accomplished with pliers, though it still is time-consuming.
8. Terrain D.O.G. Pronged Slip Collar
This collar is an option for smaller to medium-sized dogs (35-50 pounds) since the length is 12 inches and the diameter is 2.3 mm. The links are removable and you can purchase replacement links separately. It is a traditional prong collar and offers two ways to attach a leash to obtain different tension.
It works well to correct your dog from pulling, but if you use it with a strong dog, you risk bending the prongs and other parts of the collar. We like that the collar is chrome plated and allows the pressure of the pull to be distributed evenly when your dog misbehaves. To get it on your dog, you can unlink the collar. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to unlink at times.
9. Wellbro Prong Pet Collar
The Wellbro is made from stainless steel that will last for many years to come. It is 24 inches in length and has nine removable prongs so you can adjust the size accordingly. The prongs are covered with a rubber tip (extra five tips are included with your purchase). The prongs have to be removed with the use of pliers and even then, it is difficult.
The collar’s aggressive prongs are not suitable for small dogs or puppies. It is easy to slip over the dog’s head and then close securely with the metal buckle. We found that the buckle is not easy to fasten and unfasten and the nylon is not as durable as some other collars previously mentioned, so that it may wear faster at the metal attachment.
10. Titan Prong Collar
Last on our list is the Titan prong collar that is chrome plated and argon welded to make it more durable. The plating will also prevent the collar from rusting prematurely. It offers a slip-on feature with a plastic buckle to make it easy to apply and remove from your dog’s neck. Unfortunately, the buckle is not as strong as the metal buckles and may not hold up to constant high pressure.
The collar is 20 inches in length and the diameter is 3.3 mm. We like that it comes with 10 helpful tips for using a prong or pinch collar that will help and make sure others know the proper way to use the prong collar to prevent from injuring their pet.
Extra links and rubber tips are available to purchase separately. We found the links are also difficult to remove even when using pliers and it causes the dog’s fur to change colors wherever the collar sits on the neck. Also, it is more aggressive since there are no tip covers so it is not ideal for sensitive dogs.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Prong Collar for Dogs
To find a prong collar that is safe to use on your pet, you need to keep a few things in mind. Our buyer’s guide will cover features, considerations, and tips that will help you pick the perfect collar for your dog. When used correctly, they are a safe way to train your dog to not pull on the leash or to not misbehave when out for a walk.
Prongs: You see that there are different prongs available depending on the manufacturer. Some will be thicker in diameter, longer, and may or may not have a rounded end. If your dog is highly sensitive, you will most likely not need an aggressive prong, and you may opt for rubber tip covers.
Link size: This is related to how long the hair is on your dog, so if you have a short-haired dog, a long link isn’t necessary.
Dead rings and live rings: The dead ring is located in the middle of the collar and will not spin. You would use the dead ring if you require less action from the collar such as with a sensitive dog who responds to light tension or if you are weaning your dog from the collar. The live ring is located at the end of the collar at it will spin to prevent the leash from tangling. Most will use the live ring with training as it provides the most tension to grab your dog’s attention.
Buckle: some non-traditional prong and pinch collars will come with a quick-release option in the form of a buckle. This allows you to remove the collar over your dog’s head without removing a link. So it is considered a timesaving feature. Look for buckles that are well made and durable so they can stand the pressure from a strong pull.
Diameter of the metal: The metal diameter is important to help determine how strong the metal will be. The higher the diameter, the stronger the metal. You will want a stronger collar if you plan to use it on a larger dog, otherwise, it could bend when put under stress.
How It Works
The prong collar mimics a mother dog when she bites her pup on the back of the neck. The puppies learn they are misbehaving and will learn not to do something unacceptable. The prong collar pinches the neck when tension is applied, thus teaching the dog it is unacceptable to pull or lunge. When used properly, the collar will not choke or injure your dog.
Find the Correct Fit
Typically, the biggest blunder a newbie makes is using a collar that is too loose when applied. It should be snug around their neck and be placed just under their ears. A collar that is fitted correctly will not slip over your dog’s head (unless it has a buckle), and you have to disconnect it each time you take it on and off.
If the collar is too loose, it could injure your dog’s esophagus or other portions of their neck and cause and/or cause them unnecessary pain.
Never leave a prong collar on longer than your training session and don’t leave your dog alone with the collar in place. You will not want to tie your dog up either when the collar is on. All three situations might injure your pet.
- Introduce your dog to the collar so you don’t frighten or cause undue stress when you head out for your walk. Start by practicing taking it on and off and let your dog get used to the feel of it with no tension. Then you have to teach your dog that the corrections from the collar are because of an action generated, so your dog associates the misbehavior with tension from the collar.
- The collar should never be used for punishment, use it as communication.
- Your goal is to eventually get rid of the prong collar once your dog has learned that the behavior he was producing is not acceptable.
- Use it in conjunction with positive reinforcement.
- Don’t allow your dog to continually pull on the chain with no release of tension. This can cause undue stress on the neck and trachea.
- Prong collars are not for puppies and small dogs due to their thin skin. The collar could jab and bite into their skin and cause pain or bleeding.
- When your dog is doing something wrong give the leash a soft tug.
- If you need extra help, contact a professional trainer.
Prong collars have their place in training your dog, especially if you learn how to use them and follow the instructions to fit the collar properly. Our review guide showcased the 10 prong collars we found to be the best.
Our top choice is the Sprenger since it is a well-made traditional prong collar that is made to apply even pressure along the dog’s neck while providing reinforcement to correct the bad behavior. The Hamilton is the best value since it provides strength and quality at an affordable price. The premium pick is the Supet prong collar that has a quick-release buckle with a lock and the prongs feature a rubber tip.
As you search for a prong collar for your dog, keep in mind the importance of finding one that fits correctly and has the features you find valuable and worthy of your investment.
We truly hope that this guide helps you find the best prong collar for your dog. Good luck with your search!