Pronged Collars and Muzzles

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For or Against?

For Collars
1
5%
Against Collars
4
21%
For Muzzle
1
5%
Against Muzzle
1
5%
For Both
8
42%
Against Both
4
21%
 
Total votes : 19

Pronged Collars and Muzzles

Postby Zeteri » June 11th, 2019, 4:47:35 am

Recently I've heard quite a few people on different online threads talking about how "evil" and "abusive" pronged collars and muzzles are. I'm curious. What do you think about pronged dog collars and muzzles for training purposes as well as for protection for the dog/people around it?

I know I'm probably going to get many people mad, but I'm personally fine with them. And would even encourage them depending on the dog.
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Re: Pronged Collars and Muzzles

Postby MakuroMythos » July 7th, 2019, 7:18:20 pm

Personally, I am more opposed to choke-chains than pronged collars. I'm visiting my grandparents, and they have an actual choke-chain for their 10m/o puppy. He's a german shepherd mix and 52lb and they're >70y/o so it makes sense that they would want a way to control him. The puppy is super sweet, but he isn't very well behaved and likes to jump, pull, and bark, so I think it would be appropriate to use a pronged collar with him, at least until he's better behaved or more mature and less energetic.

Until a pronged collar, which pokes the dog's neck when they pull against it, a choke chain actually tightens around the neck. Normally, the chain would loosen again when the dog stops pulling, but if it doesn't slide smoothly it's easy for the chain to continue hurting the dog. A pronged collar seems more humane, but I can see how it would be easy to abuse either collar.

Muzzles, though, aren't designed to hurt the dog, only prevent them from opening their mouth very far. Unless the dog has been exercising and needs to pant/breathe harder or they're being attacked and need to defend themselves, I can't think of a reason that a muzzle would be detrimental. I know several people who use muzzles on their trained service dogs just to be safe. In the case of aggressive or protective dogs, a muzzle prevents them from biting humans and other dogs.

Both the collars and the muzzles also protect the dog. An uncontrollable dog can hurt themselves and others without meaning to. I know that back home, we've had several instances of police/guards shooting dogs because the animal was running, jumping, barking, etc. and were mistaken as aggressive, dangerous dogs.

Of course, it's easy to misuse any of these tools, but in that case I think the problem would be the owner, not the object. None of these were designed to cause damage to the dog, so they're not inherently abusive, and definitely not "evil."
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Re: Pronged Collars and Muzzles

Postby BradTheMad » July 8th, 2019, 6:04:59 am

Firmly opposed to both. If you have to resort to such measures I believe you have already losts the battle so to speak.
It is well known that positive reinforcement is the best training for any animal species and especially canines.
In the case of the puppy that MakuroMythos mentions you simply give the puppy the command to sit and every time he does that you get super excited and happy and pet him or give him a treat.

Training animals takes patience, a lot of patience. If you do not have the time or think negative reinforcement is the way to go please do not get an animal.

Pronged collars and muzzles are actually illegal in the Netherlands and IMO for good reason. The idea of how such tools should function rest on very outdated animal training/behaviour studies. Used to be normal that when a dog peed on the carpet you would rub the poor animal's face in it...it is now pretty obvious that for a dog that sort of action borders on psyhopathic behavior and you create an unstable dog.

Just because it "works for my dog", as most people will tell you with a smile, doesn't mean it isn't harmful. The statistics of the amount of dog bites and such incidents alone is telling. Dogs are not wild wolves nor are they humans. They have their very own inner world you need to access.

If safety is at stake regular muzzles and full body harnessess are much better for dogs. You can keep control of the dog without hurting him or her.

In my spare time I have studied canine, reptile and bird behavior. I have trained crows, ravens, monitors and adopted two so-called "problem" dogs. My health has never been that great so a well behaved animal is important to me. I have never had any issues with my animals I could not resolve through patience and constant positive reinforcement.
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Re: Pronged Collars and Muzzles

Postby Brynmala » July 11th, 2019, 8:55:35 am

well this has turned out longer than I anticipated...

I’ve been involved with dog training for quite a few years – with my own dogs and being involved with a training club. My partner is a qualified pet dog trainer as are several friends, and we were trained ourselves by a couple of very able ex-police and MOD dog handlers turned pet trainers/behaviourists.

I am very against pronged collars. I was at Crufts (not competing!!) one year and looking at a stand which had them. Obviously I was looking sceptical as the stand holder came and offered to show me how much they didn’t hurt by – he put one round my arm and yanked. He was wrong, it did hurt. In the wrong or too violent hands it could seriously damage a dog.

Conversely I am not against the use of a check chain (the not-so-new but more PC name for a choke chain, in the UK at least), in the hands of someone who has been trained to use it. They can be an effective training tool for an unruly dog, but they need to be used properly. There is a right and wrong way to put them on, one way will make them tighten and release, the other makes them tighten only. If they are put on the right way there should never be an issue. Also the manner of use makes a lot of difference – with the dog on your left you hold the lead only in your right hand and any check is across your body, away from the dog… sideways in other words, so the greatest force applies on the outside of the neck. Any backwards check applies pressure to the windpipe which can be dangerous. And… check and immediate release, not check and hold the pressure. This method of checking a dog is exactly the same as you’d use with an ordinary flat collar.

Harnesses – well I don’t think you have any real control over a dog with them, and they encourage a dog to pull, so if you want to use one you need to have already trained your dog to properly walk at heel on a loose lead. Many harnesses are of such thin rope materials that they are going to cut into the dog and hurt it. The more robust leather ones still have solid edges because most of the dog world doesn’t seem to have caught up with the horse world in knowing that you need to oil, soap and work to soften leather before it goes anywhere near your animal. As an offshoot of harnesses I absolutely loath the headcollar/halti type of ‘collar’ – I have never yet seen a dog that isn’t trying continuously to scrape the thing off its head, or seen one that doesn’t automatically end up rubbing in a dog’s eye. A headcollar works on a horse because a horse’s head is above the handler’s hands (with the exception of miniatures, which presumably have the same issues) and the pressure is downwards. A dog’s head is (again almost always) below the handler’s hand, so the pressure is upwards, or at best sideways pulling the headcollar away from where it should be. They are recommended to only be used in conjunction with a flat collar and a second lead, and used only when the dog goes loopy, but somehow that bit of advice always seems to be ignored.

Muzzles – well there are muzzles and muzzles. A box muzzle isn’t a problem, it allows the dog to pant freely and drink as the mouth is not restricted. Any of the fabric tube types, or ‘anti-bark’ muzzles that do restrict the mouth opening I would consider cruel. I’ve been peripherally involved with the greyhound racing industry where box muzzles (and the light racing muzzles which are essentially the same shape but made of thin wire) are routinely used to protect both dogs and humans, but they are never left on a second longer than absolutely necessary.

I have a friend who had a stonking great rescued Rottweiler – he would make most people quail just looking at him, and he was boisterous as well. She is just a little thing, she used both a check chain, to remind him who was in charge, and a muzzle when out because people genuinely crossed the road on the assumption that he was dangerous if she didn’t. He was actually one of the best trained dogs I’ve ever met. I’d agree with MakuroMythos – check chains and muzzles are tools that have their place. Like any tool though they need to be used properly.
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Re: Pronged Collars and Muzzles

Postby HobbitFeet » July 11th, 2019, 1:15:37 pm

I'm surprised to see more people for them than against. To me, that breathes of misinformation, or maybe a fear of big dogs?

We've had choke chains in our house, because my dad believed it would be a deterrent for pulling. Quite the contrary. If a dog hasn't been trained against it properly, it's going to keep pulling whether or not it can hardly breathe. I've witnessed it again and again.

There are better options out there, such as a cloth muzzle that turns the dog's head away when it starts pulling. I put that particular muzzle on my Rott mix, and it works great. She's young and has a lot of energy, but when her head starts turning against her will, she settles down. It also takes the pressure off of me when I walk her, because she's not pulling me to the ground to get a squirrel or another dog.

It's also of note that we had a purebred Rott for the first time years ago and she had a proper trainer. He never, ever used a pronged collar or a choke chain, and she was the most pleasant, calmest dog for it.

So obviously I find choke chains and pronged collars lazy, and for those who don't understand how to train a dog. Take that as you will.
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Re: Pronged Collars and Muzzles

Postby tinkerbees98 » October 26th, 2019, 5:03:15 pm

I'm for muzzles but I do think they are situational items. For example, my mother's dog has to be muzzled when she gets groomed as she tries to snap at the groomers. My mom would groom the dog herself but she has back problems and grooming requires standing for a long period of time and bending over, which she cannot do. Also, the dog is a not a breed that can go without grooming so the muzzle has to be used. Without the muzzle, the dog wouldn't get groomed at would become matted and dirty, thus hurting the dog. While muzzles may look mean, they really are only to keep the dog from getting things in its mouth, but allow the dog to still open its mouth to pant and drink water. There are also very many types of muzzles, many of which are humane but the type that I am for are the kind I described in the sentence above.
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Re: Pronged Collars and Muzzles

Postby Revan » November 15th, 2019, 12:39:39 am

I bought a pronged collar for my basset/belgian malinois mix since she's built like a tank and can be very unruly and hard to control, but ended up never using it for reasons mentioned above. Just looking at it made ME hurt. We ended up using a simple chain collar on her. Less for control though and more so she can have her tags. She ATE the last dozen or so regular collars we had on her. And 5 garden hoses. And the deck railing. She's very chew happy. :derp:

As for muzzles, I'm torn. I don't like to see them on a dog that's in his/her own territory (aka yard/home) unless you have visitors and are afraid of the dog biting. Some cities/towns require when you take a dog out for a walk in public that it be muzzled for the same reason. It can be a good training tool too to help quiet down a dog that barks a lot, if you do it right. I've seen them left on for hours, even days at a time though, and I find that just cruel.
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Re: Pronged Collars and Muzzles

Postby WarriorsRock2010 » January 29th, 2020, 2:03:55 pm

We adopted a rather...interesting Golden Retriever. He's really sweet, but he eats everything he gets his mouth on. Socks? Bras? Erasers? LINT from the dryer? All fair game. We're probably going to get him a muzzle so that he doesn't eat things he's not supposed to as he could die or end up at the vet for blockages. He won't be muzzled all the time, just when we have to step out for a moment and he doesn't have to be crated for that short time. He also gets excited and grabs clothing to play, and doesn't like male dogs so those are also points towards getting him a muzzle.

As for prong collars, we're thinking about that as well. He pulls like an ox, even if he coughs and chokes himself while you try and avoid going after whatever he wanted to chase. He has a harness, and that helps a bit with his breathing (he doesn't choke himself), but that also seems to give him more of a sled-dog motivation if you don't hook the leash to the front of the harness. If you know how to safely use it, I don't see a problem with using something like that.
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Re: Pronged Collars and Muzzles

Postby Brynmala » January 31st, 2020, 2:47:51 pm

HobbitFeet wrote:We've had choke chains in our house, because my dad believed it would be a deterrent for pulling. Quite the contrary. If a dog hasn't been trained against it properly, it's going to keep pulling whether or not it can hardly breathe. I've witnessed it again and again.


Exactly. There's never a substitute for training. Turning around and walking the other way every time a dog starts to pull is probably a much more effective way of stopping them pulling than just about anything else.

WarriorsRock2010 wrote: ...He has a harness, and that helps a bit with his breathing (he doesn't choke himself), but that also seems to give him more of a sled-dog motivation if you don't hook the leash to the front of the harness.


My point precisely - harnesses encourage dogs to pull, and gives them something to push their weight against - exactly the same as a harness horse, but with the opposite desired effect. You can't have it both ways :)
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Re: Pronged Collars and Muzzles

Postby Doglover2509840935 » March 24th, 2020, 3:47:58 pm

I have no problem with muzzles as I feel it is best if the dog is aggressive to prevent the dog from harming others especially as if the dog does bite someone the dog's life is in danger.
Also sometimes it's not bad training that causes the dog to be aggressive, or at least not by the current owner, some rescue dogs can start out rather aggressive due to previous owners so it might be necessary even if the current owner is trying their best.

I am not sure on the prong collar due to conflicting evidence and never seeing one but it seems like something that should be left up to professionals to make sure that it's fitted and used properly due to risk of injury if it's not.
A lot for and against it seem too biased to take seriously.

We had to use a harness for our dog after his dislocated my mom's shoulder to get a rabbit, not sure if it made him pull more (I did walk him sometimes) but he didn't dislocate her shoulder again.
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