Dangers of using prong (pinch) collars

Skin irritation, neck punctures, and worse from a prong collar. Don’t Jerk or Pull, Use a Harness- Part 2/4.

I am sharing this because I feel very strongly about this. Many people using prong (pinch) collars say it doesn’t hurt the dogs. But how many people have tried it on themselves and tugged on it? If it hurts on your neck, it hurts on their neck even more. If you won’t put it on yourself or your child, you shouldn’t put it on your dog. You should have adopted a smaller dog if you cannot control your dog any other way. If you see someone with this on their dog, please politely ask them to consider not using them. You could be saving a dog from a lifetime of trauma, pain, and even death. Ask your legislators to introduce a bill to ban cruel prong collars. Thank you!!

Tamar Geller is a dog trainer to the stars, including Oprah Winfrey, Ben Affleck, and Natalie Portman. She believes in empowering dogs to be the best they can be while building relationships with their guardians based on mutual devotion and love. The key to successful dog training lies in understanding dogs’ emotions and motivations—not torture devices.
Learn more: 👉, Stop Hurting Your Dog: Throw Out Prong, Choke, and Shock Collars.

The German Animal Welfare Act states that they train by causing “significant pain, suffering or harm to the animal.” Prong collars are illegal in Spain, France, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, the Australian state of Victoria, and the Canadian province of Quebec. Why does the USA allow this cruel treatment of dogs by allowing prong collars?

🐶 San Francisco SPCA (San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) banned prong collars on their campus in 2016. “Prong collars cause injuries and behavioral problems,” the SPCA says in their announcement of the ban, arguing that “prong collars are designed to inflict pain and discomfort and can cause serious physical, behavioral, and emotional damage.” Not only, says the SF SPCA, can prong collars lead to injuries “from skin irritation and punctures to spinal cord problems,” but they “often lead to long-term behavioral problems,” as “if pain is experienced during everyday activities, like walks and vet visits, dogs can begin to associate an owner’s presence, and other harmless stimuli encountered while wearing the prong, with fear and discomfort.”
👉 Click HERE to learn more.
👉 Click HERE to learn more about different types of collars and leashes.

🐶 Why This Veterinarian Hates Prong (aka “Pinch”) Collars.
Click HERE to read and share.

🐶 [Sharing from PETA] What are the dangers of using choke and prong collars?
Click HERE to share.

Choke and prong collars are designed to punish dogs for pulling by inflicting pain and discomfort. They can cause serious physical and emotional damage to dogs and should never be used.

The use of choke collars has been associated with whiplash, fainting, spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis, crushing of the trachea with partial or complete asphyxiation, crushing and/or fracture of the bones in the larynx, dislocated neck bones, bruising of the esophagus, bruising and damage to the skin and tissues in the neck, brain damage and prolapsed eyes caused by sharp increases in pressure in the head, and other injuries.

The metal spikes of prong collars pinch the skin around dogs’ necks when they pull and can scratch or puncture them. Over time, this can cause dogs to develop scar tissue (which has no feeling) and/or build up a tolerance to the painful pinching sensation and thus continue to pull, making walks even more difficult. Dogs may interpret the tightening of a choke or prong collar around their neck as a stranglehold (which it is, after all!) and become fearful or even aggressive.

The most humane and safest option for walking a dog who tends to want to pull is a front-leash attachment harness, such as the Sense-ation. When dogs lunge or pull while wearing the Sense-ation harness, the front leash attachment redirects them back toward the dogwalker. With patience and positive reinforcement, walks can be a pleasant experience for both human and dog.

According to Veterinarian Dr. James Greenwell in his article, “How Choke Collars Can Do Some Real Damage to Your Canine Friend,” choke collars “represent an unseen danger that lurks behind a seemingly harmless leash.” Click HERE to read.

1. It’s Physically Painful 
Attaching a tight leash ( or even a loose one that is poorly constructed ) causes an unimaginable pain to your pet friend is he were to accidentally lunge forward and blast his neck at the end of the leash. One of the reasons here is because a dog’s neck, unlike a human’s is quite delicate and more vulnerable to injurious tension. For example, the thyroid gland in a dog is located in the frontal part of the neck just below the larynx. This is also where a choke collar applies undue pressure when he is tugged on suddenly. If anything, just one incident of thrusting this collar an inhumane and sudden way can cause your dog a sharp tinge of pain that could last for weeks on end. 

The neck injuries that your dog could sustain from a choke collar can also deteriorate to something as severe as the destruction of the animal’s thyroid cells. Which, as a consequence, will usually lead to the deficit of the naturally produced thyroid hormone. This result is perennial skin problems, unexplained hair loss, a lot of weight gain and low energy levels. 

2. Could Result to Long Lasting Neck Injuries 
A classical example of this laryngeal paralysis that is primarily caused by excessive pulling and tugging on a collar, particularly when this becomes a habit. In this case, the immediate lunging on a choke collar damages the very-important laryngeal nerve which is one of the longest nerves in a canine’s body. And anything that compresses or applies injurious pressure on this nerve can alter and damage how the larynx works normally. This is also another good reason to substitute that regular choke collar with a suitable premium no-pull harness. 

3. Behavioral Problems 
Just as you would guess, an uncomfortable and irritated dog is an angry canine and a lousy playmate. Since a leash or a choke collar can gradually cause your dog a lot of discomfort, pain, and disease, it is also safe to assume that the same collar will make him an unhappy dog. No wonder some of the most vicious and unfriendly dogs are those that are perpetually on a tight leash. 

According to Animal Hospital of North Ashville, “The use of aversive tools has disadvantages on more than just the physical level, although physical injuries are the most obvious: Choke chains tighten around the dog’s neck with little or no control by the handler over the degree of tightening, potentially strangling the dog to death.

Less drastic and more common, choke chains can lead to fainting, cause tracheal and esophageal injuries, damage ocular blood vessels, and cause nerve damage and transient paralysis as well as neck sprains. Prong or pinch collars can pinch the dog’s trachea. Improperly fitted or inappropriately sized choke and pinch collars can become embedded in the dog’s skin.

Both choke chains and prong collars can damage the thyroid gland, salivary glands, or salivary lymph nodes. The contact points of electric shock collars can irritate the skin and cause hot spots, but they also have the potential to burn holes in the skin.

Worse than many of the physical injuries, and a lot slower to heal, are the mental scars and behavioral implications of aversive training methods.”

According to the Ruby Leslie, the WFA Companion Animal Trainer and Founder, “Leash corrections, jerking on the leash, using prong collars, choke collars, slip leashes and neck collars will only acerbate behavioural issues such as aggression and fear, not stop them, as the pain creates psychological and physical damage to your dog.” “Training using punishment is abusive, inhumane and misused. These practices compromise your dog’s ability to learn by increasing their insecurities, developing long-term and sometimes lasting emotional or physical damage.”

  • Collars: Neck collars and the pressure they cause on a dog’s sensitive neck are linked to Ear and eye issues, Hypothyroidism, Malfunction of the nervous system in a dog’s forelimbs, Behavioural problems.
  • Slip Leads: “The primary underlying reason for most behavioural issues are disease or pain, so consider that by using a slip leash you are contributing to this pain and worsening your dog’s health and welfare, not helping it.”
  • Head Halters: “due to the negative emotional effects, discomfort for dogs, health and safety implications, trainers must not use them.” “The potential is too high for injury to a dog’s soft tissue, spine and psychological damage over prolonged use.” “There can be long-term health implications including injury to the neck and spine and prevention of natural gait and the dog determining his/her personal space.” (Rosee Riggs, 2019)

🐶 Want to learn more? Don’t Jerk or Pull, Use a Harness (Welfare for Animals):
👉 Part 1/4. Fido Pulls
👉 Part 2/4. Equipment That Hurts
👉 Part 3/4. Collars, Slip Leads and Head Halters
👉 Part 4/4. Why “Y” Harnesses

What you can do

1. If you see a dog wearing a prong collar, politely talk to the dog guardian about the dangers of the prong collar. Avoid accusing them or getting angry, but instead calmly use the talking points provided in this article.

2. If you have extra dog harnesses, offer them to the dog guardian using the prong collar on their animal. Let them know that while you understand they don’t intend to treat their dog unkindly, there are benefits to using other methods to control their dog.

3. If you are currently using a prong collar or regular collar on your dog, please consider using a harness instead. It’s much safer and more comfortable for the dogs. Wouldn’t you rather wear a harness than a collar if you were a dog?

4. Talk to your legislators about why this issue is important and ask them to consider drafting a bill to outlaw the use and sale of prong collars. Reference the points provided in the above article.
👉 United States: Find Your California Representative
👉 United States: Find Your US Congressional District Representative
👉 United States: Find Your Congressional Members

📝 Sample Message

Hello, (Assemblymember/Congressman/Congresswoman/Representative/Senator ______),
Has a dog ever been, or is one now, a beloved member of your family? Would you do anything to ensure man’s best friend is kept safe and free from pain? Are you aware that a commonly used collar called a prong, or pinch, collar is not only painful for the dog but can cause serious harm to the animal? To help combat cruelty to dogs, I am requesting that you introduce a bill to ban the use and sale of these cruel dog collars in (California/Your State/Your Country).

This petition, which I fully support and hope you will too, explains the harm and damage these collars cause dogs: The German Animal Welfare Act states that they train by causing “significant pain, suffering or harm to the animal.” Prong collars are illegal in Spain, France, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, the Australian state of Victoria, and the Canadian province of Quebec. I am very saddened that the USA allows this cruel treatment of dogs by allowing prong collars.

You have the power to stop the cruel use of this type of dog collar in our (State/Country) and help (California/Your State/Your Country) become an example to other (States/Countries), and let them know our (State/Country) is both a compassionate and ethical one in our treatment of man’s best friend. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you with positive news.


Your name, City, State

5. Ask your veterinary office to discourage the use of prong collars or other dangerous collars by their patrons. Give them alternate options that are less painful to the dogs.

  1. Eva Anderson-Hanhineva
    Eva Anderson-HanhinevaOctober 20,18

    Terrible, poor animal ..

  2. Alessandra Trois
    Alessandra TroisOctober 29,18


  3. Ana
    AnaJanuary 2,24

    This is just not acceptable.

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