Can My Dog Run With a Prong Collar?

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You may have seen dogs in parks or even on television, running with a prong collar. But is this something you should do as well? Can you run your dog with a prong collar? Is it safe for your canine?

The answer isn’t so simple. There are both benefits and drawbacks to using this type of equipment when out on runs together. Let’s take a closer look at what these effects might be before making any final decisions about whether or not you should use a prong collar during your next run together.

What is a Prong Collar, and How Does it Work?

Prong Collar
Caption: Prong Collar

Prong collars, also known as a pinch collar or a poke, is a training tool typically made of metal chains with spikes designed to pinch or poke your dog’s neck when they pull on the leash. The metal prongs are placed around the dog’s neck and attached directly to a nylon leash that you hold.

The idea behind using a prong collar is that the pressure applied to the neck area causes discomfort when your dog pulls, allowing you to correct your pup more quickly than if they were being corrected with just a standard dog harness for running.

Over time, your four-footed friend will associate negative consequences with pulling on the leash and will be less inclined to do so, ultimately learning to walk calmly alongside you. In short, the purpose of a prong collar is to help reinforce good behavior and instill basic manners into your dog.

The use of prong collars has, however, been very controversial in recent years. And debates rage among dog owners about whether or not their use is cruel. In fact, many animal welfare groups are against prong collars and say that using such tools can pose severe risks to a dog’s health. These collars have also been made illegal in many countries, such as Australia, Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, etc.

However, there are still quite a few dog owners and dog trainers who believe that prong collars can be a great training tool if used correctly, and it is fair to say that they do seem to work for many dogs, although not all of them.

Benefits of Using a Prong Collar on Your Dog While Running

The main benefit of using this type of collar when you head out running together is that you will notice an immediate change in your canine’s behavior as soon as they feel any pressure on their neck.

Your pooch may also exhibit positive changes in its overall demeanor after using this tool consistently while running together. For example, since pulling on the lead is not permitted, they’ll likely be more attentive to your movements and will follow right alongside you with no issues or problems whatsoever.

They might also show reduced reactivity towards other dogs, people, or even other types of animals that may cross your path while out for a run.

Prong collars can be a life-saving tool too! How so? Well, suppose your dog tries to escape in an attempt to run across the road or to whatever has their interest, a prong collar will be able to halt their progress almost immediately, ultimately preventing them from running into potentially dangerous situations.

Runners should also feel a lot safer using prong collars when running with their dogs, as there will likely be less resistance from their pups when trying to keep them from pulling towards any scents or sights that catch their attention along the way.

Drawbacks Associated With Using Prong Collars When Running

Dog on Prong Collar
Caption: A dog is running with a prong collar

There are a number of concerns surrounding the use of prong collars when running together with your four-legged friend.

Prong collars are known to cause a lot of pain (it wouldn’t work otherwise)! The metal spikes are sharp, and they dig into the dog’s neck, pressing on sensitive areas such as their throat. And if your pooch has a thin coat or short fur, these tools may cause bleeding wounds to appear.

Prong collars can also damage a dog’s neck over time since the pressure is applied directly to the trachea region when pulling occurs. In fact, many dog parents have reported that this type of collar has severely damaged their four-legged friend’s trachea, thyroid, and esophagus.

Another drawback associated with using prong collars is that your pup might develop a negative association with going running or walking in general. How?

Well, if they feel pain every time you take them out for a run or walk with the prong collar on, they will get confused as to why they are being hurt at times when they were simply trying to enjoy their daily exercise with you. In other words, they may start to view walking alongside you as a bad thing and will therefore be less likely to want to join you on your daily jogs.

And finally, these collars aren’t as good as you think! Prong collars are an aversive dog training tool, after all. While there’s no denying that this type of collar offers a convenient and easy way to stop your pooch from pulling, they can actually have some very negative impacts on your dog’s behavior and overall health in the long term.

Some pooches may become fearful, anxious, and aggressive. They might also begin to associate you with these negative consequences and thus be warier of you, which is not great for your owner-dog relationship!

Alternatives to Using a Prong Collar While Out for a Run with Your Dog

There are a few other options for controlling pulling while running with your canine companion, for instance, choke collars, flat collars, martingale collars, head halters, and shock collars. However, out of all available alternatives, I recommend using front-attachment dog harnesses, also known as a no-pull harness, front-clip harness, or anti-pull harness.

Unlike prong collars, no-pull harnesses don’t cause pain when your furball pulls on the lead while out on the run together. They will also not damage sensitive tissue in a dog’s neck region like prong collars do since there’s no direct pressure applied to this part of their body.

Instead, a front-attachment harness works by giving your dog’s chest a gentle tug when they pull. This basically redirects your dog’s entire body away from the direction your dog wants to pull in, which is a much safer and humane way of correcting unwanted pulling habits! And since anti-pull harnesses give you full control of your fido in a more positive manner, you’ll both be able to have fun while running together.

Front-clip harnesses also have a better reputation than prong collars as far as pain infliction is concerned. In fact, many dog owners who used both types of gear while running with their canines say that their pups look much more comfortable wearing an anti-pull harness compared to a prong collar!

Final Thoughts

So, back to our main topic, can prong collars be used while running with your pup? Well, it is up to you to decide. But before you make your final decision, consider the pros and cons that have been discussed throughout this article.

I prefer to use positive reinforcement training techniques, and I believe this type of collar can cause more harm than good, so I wouldn’t recommend using it. I mean, why would you want to put your pup through unnecessary pain when there are many different ways you can fix their pulling behavior?

However, if you’re still set on using prong collars despite the fact that there are many concerns surrounding their use, I suggest that you try them out first before you actually use them for running with your pup so you can see how they work in practice.

This way, you’ll be able to assess any potential risks associated with these tools and therefore be able to make an educated decision regarding whether or not you should keep using this type of gear for walking or jogging.

If you still decide to move forward with using a prong collar to run with your pup despite the potential risks involved, use extra caution! Because if your furry running partner pulls toward anything that catches their interest while running at high speed, there’s a higher chance that the collar will inflict a painful pinch that could quickly turn into an injury.