When to Use the Pinch Collar

SHARON WRITES: I have a prong collar / pinch collar, I’m just not sure how to use it. Do I leave it on him at all times or only when I take him out?

ADAM REPLIES: I cover this pretty extensively in my book, as it’s a pretty common question that comes up frequently for new dog owners. Here’s the deal:

We don’t want your dog to become collar-smart and learn that he can get away with nonsense behavior when the collar is off. So, the trick is to keep the pinch collar on your dog, anytime you’re with the dog, until he is conditioned and understands the rules of the house. When do you take the pinch collar off?

When you put the dog in his crate or kennel run.

Basically, the pinch collar is akin to using your mouth (if you were the mother dog) and nipping the dog on the neck. ]I don’t like to get hair in my teeth, so I use the dog training collar. There is nothing wrong with continuing to use the pinch collar for the life of the dog. It is a device that helps you to better communicate with your dog& and this is a good thing! Some dog owners — once the dog is conditioned — will switch to a flat collar, and only use the pinch collar once every three or four months to (in the words of writer E.B. White) tighten, brighten and sharpen the dog’s response to commands.