How To Size a Pinch Collar

A prong collar should fit directly below a dog's ears.
A prong collar should fit directly below a dog's ears. (Image: Doberman image by Stana from

When used properly, fewer training tools produce the dramatic results that a pinch collar does. While they look a bit scary, pinch collars are actually far more humane than the benign-looking "choke" collar. A choke collar is difficult to size and is dangerous to use without proper instruction. An improperly used choke collar can do irreversible damage to your dog. A pinch collar's correction is far more controlled. It's also "instinctive" for your dog. The "pinch" mimics that of a nip from a mother to puppy or an alpha wolf to a subordinate. In order to give any benefit, a prong collar must be properly sized and fitted.

Determine the size of prong or "pinch" collar your dog will need. Prong collars typically come in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra large. Small dogs are under 30 pounds, medium dogs up to 50, large dogs up to 70 and extra large dogs over 70.

Buy the size of prong collar you need. The length of prong collars is standardized. You achieve proper fit by removing links.

Unhook one of the links in the middle of the collar. Place the unhooked collar directly below your dog's jawbone and wrap it around his neck. Close the gap and remove the links that overlap the other end.

Link the collar back together. A properly fitted pinch collar sits directly below your dog's ears and jawbone. It will be very snug. You should only be able to get the tip of your finger between a prong and your dog's neck.

Twist the collar so that the ring lays on the right side of your dog's neck. This provides easy access to the ring to attach your leash.

Tips & Warnings

  • If a prong collar is too loose its effectiveness will decrease.

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