Obedience Training For Dogs | Ultimate Training Guide

Dog Correction Collars

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dog-correction-collarA collar for correcting your dog is an absolute necessity. In the wild, an Alpha Dog will correct his subordinates with a quick bite on the neck. You could also do this but I don’t think it would be nice to have your mouth full of fur. So, someone invented the dog correction collars.

These collars will allow you to simulate an alpha dog correction to his subordinates. These collars must be used with caution though, they are extremely effective but you should never leave your dog unattended with one of these collars, they might get entangled somewhere and the dog can injure himself severely.

Although they are widely used, these collars are usually not used properly. I’ve seen Rottweilers and American Pit Bulls using prong collars with the “spikes” turned to the outside, as if they were to injure some dog that tries to attack him. This is not the correct way to use a prong collar, and sometimes it’s used by gangs that are prone to dog violence, and other times for pure ignorance. In the picture bellow we can see, the wrong way to use a prong collar:


Dog correction collars available

Let’s see the dog correction collars available, and how to use them properly.


Slip Collar


A slip collar, also known as martingale or choke collar, is especially effective with medium breeds. This collar gives corrections to the dog by allowing short snaps to his neck. It’s quite safe to use as long as the corrections are very short. These collars usually have a stopping mechanism that will prevent the collar to close in too much. When buying such a collar, make sure you buy one with a stopping mechanism, ask the salesman if you’re in doubt.

You have to take caution when you’re walking the dog, you can’t let him gain momentum force by letting him run or gain thrust, this can injure the dog’s neck because it will choke him hard and for some time (more than 1 second is too much). Training with a slip collar must always follow the rule of short corrections. A strong, short pull on the leash is sufficient. We can consider the duration of a short burst to be, about 0,5 seconds, that’s the equivalent of an Alpha Dog correcting a subordinate dog, he would use a very short bite too.

When walking the dog, follow the leash training a dog tips to avoid correcting the dog for more than 1 second each time.

Here’re the golden rules to use this collar:

  • Use only for short bursts (under 1 second)
  • Use choke collars with a stopping mechanism
  • Use only on medium breeds, sometimes on large breeds will work too, but choke collars on large breeds are usually more effective
  • Don’t let your dog gain speed before you correct him, it can cause severe back injuries
  • Correct your dog only when necessary, if he obeys the command “NO” then there’s no need for a correction


Prong Collar


A prong collar is very similar to a slip collar, but its primary goal is to correct the dog by poking him, and not by choking him. As we can see in the picture this collar as some “spikes” turned towards the dogs neck. This can seem too harsh and even cruel to be used on a dog, but actually, it is one of the most effective ways to correct a large breed dog, or a less pain sensitive breed like the American Pit Bull Terrier. Don’t use this collar on medium or small breeds. Common sense is needed here, although this is one of the most effective ways of correcting a dog, it’s also one of the most abused and badly performed ways of correcting them. If you don’t use this collar correctly, you might end up injuring your dog and causing him permanent psychological trauma.

Here’re the golden rules to use this collar:

  • Use only if the slip collar isn’t enough
  • Use only if you have a large breed dog, or a less pain sensitive dog like a Pit Bull
  • Use only for short snaps, like the slip collar
  • Stop using it when you’re sure the dog sees you has the Alpha Leader and never disobeys
  • Correct your dog only when he disobeys the command “NO”

If you start seeing injuries on your dog’s neck, stop using this collar immediately. You must be doing something wrong for sure. Consult a dog trainer or watch some dog training videos to make sure you understand how to use it. Also, if your dog starts panicking as soon as he sees the collar, stop using it too, you’re traumatizing him, go for the slip collar, the prong collar is too “heavy”.

To put this collar on your dog, remove one link from the collar and then place it when it’s on your dog’s neck. Don’t put this collar through your dogs head, it will injure him and might poke him in the eyes.


Shock Collar


A shock collar, also known as electronic collar is one of the most misunderstood and misused collars in the world. It has even been banned in some countries because of people ignorance and associated misuse.

This is one of the best dog training tools you can have, you can correct your dog at a distance, and instantly. You don’t even have to bridge commands to your dog if you’re far away, because you just have to press the button to correct him.




Let’s see some golden rules to use this type of collar:

  • Use adequate levels of intensity
  • It can be used with every breed, but common sense is key to discover the adequate levels of intensity
  • Choose a shock collar based on your use/dog breed:
    • Hunting dogs
    • Indoor dogs
    • Outdoor dogs
    • Small, medium or large breeds
  • Try to hide the remote control, or the dog will eventually associate it with the corrections and will not obey when you’re not using the remote.
  • Leave the collar on at all times so that the dog won’t associate the corrections to the collar but instead to his own disobeying of commands
  • Always use a command word like “NO” to the dog before you correct him
    • Remember to only correct him if he disobeys your command
  • Remember that using the remote is the same as biting the dog in the neck from the Alpha Dog, it may be necessary or not, depending on the dog’s transgression. Common sense is key here.

There's another type of shock collars that don't need supervision. It's the Electronic Dog Fence that uses shock collars like the PIF-300. These fences have the big advantage of never missing a correction when needed. Check my post about the PIF 300 and see if it fits you or not.

And these are the main dog correction collars you can have. If you can afford it go for the shock collar, if not, take caution with the slip collar or prong collar choosing, because it depends on your dog and don’t forget to follow the golden rules.