A lot of people with aggressive dogs use pronged collars for their dogs. It’s a tool for people who have strong, aggressive dogs and who just don’t know how else to control their dogs. Many people walk into pet stores and buy pronged collars without proper fitting, training, or education on how to properly use a pronged collar. We’ve heard that pronged collars are cruel and brutal because they cause the dogs pain. If you want to know how a pronged collar feels for your dog, try one on and give it a jerk — your dog feels the same pain you feel when a pronged collar is jerked against your human neck. It’s no different for them. The prongs poke right through the fur and into the flesh. Still, some dog owner feel that they have no other way to control their dogs. I have a lot of friends who believe in the pronged collars but a lot of people don’t realize that the pronged collar is not a fix-all for your aggressive dog problems, they need to be used in combination with a proper training plan, a muzzle, and a second collar and leash because the truth is that pronged collars can and do pop open. They pop open when you least expect it and at very inopportune times. I know because it happened to me. I don’t own any pronged collars but my neighbor does. Her dog is a large, muscular dog who loves people and yet also has a strong prey drive and a dislike for other dogs.
Imagine her shock when she was walking across the street from me and my four rescue dogs and her dog’s pronged collar popped open and went flying. Her dog ran at us and attacked my smallest dogs. Shaking one and then the other in his mouth. I tried to pull him off of my dogs but I was powerless. My larger dog Joe attacked her dog to defend his pack, and now the two larger males were locked at the throat. We finally got everyone separated. My dog Molly had a punctured lung — air and blood gurgling up out of her side. My dog Gertie had her stomach ripped open and her insides were literally coming out and poor Joe, my largest dog who had so valiantly defended his pack had his throat ripped open. The dog had gone for his jugular and almost gotten it.
This all happened in 25 seconds. My neighbor got her dog back under control pretty quickly but a lot of people don’t realize that a strong, aggressive dog is like a loaded gun. It only takes moments, seconds for the carnage to reach catastrophic proportions. In 25 seconds my world was changed, my dogs were laying in the street dying and we were all injured and covered in blood — humans and dogs alike.
I rushed my dogs to the vet where they all had to undergo emergency surgery to save their lives. I really thought Gertie was a goner. I can’t believe all three of my dogs survived. I thank God every day that my babies are all with me to tell the story and spread the word about pronged collars. Living testaments to the damage that can be done in a matter of seconds.
I want to get the story out because so many people, like my neighbor, have no idea that pronged collars can pop open. These are not bad people, nor are they bad dog owners. It’s not their fault that their dogs have a prey drive or don’t like other dogs. They are people, like you and me, who are doing their best and they just don’t have the information they need to know how dangerous a pronged collar can be. I want to change that. If you are using a pronged collar you really need to always keep a second collar and leash on your dog in public. You should invest in a proper muzzle because there is a chance your dog could get free from that pronged collar and if that happens you need to do what you can to stop the carnage and a muzzle will be a big help in minimizing carnage. Hopefully you are working with a professional trainer like K9 Logic in Southern California who is now helping the dog who attacked my dogs. If you have a large, aggressive dog, you need to find a trainer who specializes in dealing with large aggressive dogs. Don’t mess around. Find a professional and fix the problem. The problem can be fixed. Don’t put your dog in danger of being put to sleep for attacking another dog or a human. You need to fix the aggression problem before someone, like me and my dogs, gets hurt or killed.
When a dog attacks, you don’t always get to hear what happens to the victims. For my dog family it’s been weeks of medications, pain, crying out in the middle of the night in pain, nipping at my hands when I try to help adjust a bandage, vet visits and more. Not to mention my gashes to my own body, stitches to my hand and skinned knees in the attack. I love all dogs. I don’t want dogs injured or put to sleep. I want to save the lives of dogs including the aggressive dogs because they don’t know any better. It’s not their fault. That is why I want to get the word out that if you are attempting to solve your aggressive dog problems with a pronged collar, you need to do more. A pronged collar is a ticking time bomb that can pop open at any time leaving blood, pain and carnage in its wake.
(I share my story in more detail on DogTime.com so please read and share with anyone you know who uses a pronged collar.)
After the attack I started googling pronged collars and found many comment threads on various message boards with people complaining that their pronged collars have popped open. Some say this is due to improper training or an inferior product but some people claim that they have had proper training and are using the collar approved by their trainers. Is it worth taking the risk?
I want to save dogs and humans from being attacked by dogs who break free from their pronged collars and I want to save aggressive dogs from being put to sleep because they get free from their pronged collars and attack people and other animals. When your dog attacks me or my dogs, we all lose. As pet parents we need to work together to keep everyone safe and to help get the word out when something isn’t working or isn’t working right and these pronged collars are out there in the world. They are on lots of aggressive dogs who are being walked by humans who have no idea that their pronged collars can pop open without notice, when you least expect it.