How To Put A Prong Collar On A Dog

As one of the most difficult collars to put on, the prong collar comes with a learning curve that most people have a hard time getting over. Most dog collars usually come with a clip or a buckle that makes it a breeze to put it on. So how should you place a prong collar on a dog? Follow along and we will take you through a step by step guide that should make it look very simple.

Connecting The Links To Each Other

Knowing how to connect the links is probably the biggest issue for most people. Even to this day, we still get prong collars tangled up a bit and it might take a minute or two to figure out which link isn’t connecting the way it should be. Let me start off by showing you what it looks when you have a prong collar connected incorrectly.

Wrong Ways To Connect A Prong Collar

You need to make sure both prongs are linking properly into the next link. If it isn’t done correctly, the link won’t actually be attached and your dog’s collar can come off at any time. This also has the potential to hurt your dog since prong collars have the potential to cause harm and should be used properly every time.

Wrong Ways To Connect A Prong Collar both links
Only one prong is actually connected to the next link.

This is the most common mistake we’ve seen. Both links are “connected” but only one is properly attached. This usually happens when someone has tried to attach the link without applying enough pressure on the sides of the link to make it small enough to fit both prongs into the next link. From the picture above, it looks like the collar is connected pretty well, but as soon as the collar has a little extra slack it will come apart and your dog won’t be on its leash anymore.

Wrong Ways To Connect A Prong Collar one link
Better visualization of why having only one prong connected won’t work.

Here is a better visualization of what the collar actually looks like when both prongs aren’t connected fully. You can see that a single prong simply isn’t enough. You need both prongs to go through the link to establish the connection. It is easy to see now why this wouldn’t work, especially if your dog moves or pulls a lot.

The Right Way To Connect A Prong Collar

top side correct prong collar placement
Top side view of proper connection.
bottom side correct prong collar placement
Bottom side view of proper connection.

Facing The Prong Collar The Right Way

Facing The Prong Collar The Right Way
Prong collar linked together, prongs facing inward.

Remember to face the prongs of the collar inwards. The prongs should be against your dog’s neck. I know it looks pointy and mean, but your dog has lots of fat tissue along it’s neck and it can take the gentle poking. The key to using a prong collar is not force, it’s about allowing your dog to control its own pulling strength.

How Many Links To Add or Remove

By now you have realized the links in your prong collar can be removed and attached. This may leave you asking “how long should my dog’s prong collar be?”. The answer depends on your dog. Ideally, a proper collar length should be enough that you can fit two fingers between your dog’s collar and his neck.

Too Tight – Add Links

Having the prong collar too tight and you’re putting your dog in danger. As with any choke collar, you need to allow your dog to control how much “choke” there is in the collar. By having it tight, they will always have the feeling of the collar being pulled. This also takes away from the purpose of the collar. Your dog should only really feel the choke of the collar when he is pulling. By having a constant choke, they will never learn the difference. If you feel this is the case with your dog, add a link to the prong collar and try again. Keep adding links until your dog is comfortable and the collar rests gently.

How Should You Place a Prong Collar On a Dog
Proper Prong Collar Placement & Position

Too Loose – Remove Links

Add too many links and the collar will be loose. Make sure the collar isn’t so loose that it can slip over their head. The biggest issue with a loose prong collar is the position of the collar along your dog’s neck will be compromised the second you relax on the lead. If you think your dog requires a loose enough prong collar, make sure to keep the leash close to you in order to maintain the position of the collar on your dog’s neck. The moment the position is compromised, the effect of a prong collar is compromised as well. You don’t want the collar sitting along his shoulders, but rather just under his ears and chin.

Prong Collar For Leash Training
  • Collar for Training Large Dogs: Ideal for walking or obedience training large, strong dogs; practical and easy-to-use dog collar
  • Secure Dog Training Collar: Patented center plate construction and symmetrical prong placement provides natural contact for optimal communication
  • Gentle Pinch Dog Collar: Designed to gently pinch your dog’s neck, mimicking the pinch a mother dog gives her puppies

How Should You Place a Prong Collar On a Dog

Follow this photo walkthrough for how you should place a prong collar on a dog. This small series of photos should be able to show you what it looks like to properly attach a prong collar.

How To Put A Prong Collar On A Dog
Start by wrapping the collar around your dog’s neck.

Start by wrapping the collar around your dog’s neck, making sure the prongs are facing inward. Close the loop by moving the links closer together. Next, we will look at how to squeeze the prongs of one link to fit the next link that it will be attaching to.

How To Put A Prong Collar On A Dog
Move the links closer together.

Bring the links closer together, lining up the prongs with the holes of the next link. You will notice how the prongs are too wide to fit into the next link. Next comes the toughest part. Having to squeeze one link while holding it steady. This will make the link smaller, allowing you to insert the prongs into the accepting link.

How To Put A Prong Collar On A Dog
Squeeze the link to push the prongs together.

Squeeze the links to push the prongs together. This will make the first link smaller, allow you to insert both prongs into the next link. If you’ve never used a prong collar before, this will be fairly difficult. After you’ve done it a few times, it will become easier and easier. The first few times are tough because your fingers may not be used to applying this much pressure to such a tiny space. It might be frustrating at first, but don’t give up. It takes a few tries but is worth it in the end.

Looking for different types of prong collars and safety tips?

Thanks for checking us out. For more information about safe prong collar use as well as different types of prong collars, check out our prong collar guide.