I have a dirty secret….

In my office draw I have a prong collar

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This post is a follow up to Barney, the dog that Changed Everything. In the post about Barney, I talk about my personal journey discovering a different way of training.

Barney had some significant behavioural problems. Considered difficult by any expert. A trainer recommended I use a prong collar on him for his reactivity on the leash. I no longer use the prong collar, I put it away quite some time ago. There are lots of blogs, articles and opinions out there on the use of prong collars. I am with out a doubt convinced of the harm they can cause, both physical and emotional. I might blog about that another day, I’m still grieving the passing of Barney and I’m not ready to take myself on that negative journey out in the open yet.

This post is about the prong collar in my draw. I want to talk about taking it out and putting it on my own neck. I’m not going to dramatise and will certainly take the emotion out of it as much as possible. To start with this is just a factual account of what it feels like to wear one. If you own one, I urge to to do the same. Keep in mind that a dog’s neck anatomy is much the same as ours, with a little extra padding.

At first its not too bad I think… But Oh, I need to take a link out. Now it is different. The prong is fitted snugly, as the recommended by trainers who use prong collars. I checked, this was a photo I found.

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It feels uncomfortable. It is restricting my breathing a small amount. I feel like moving it with my hands, but when I do it digs in more and feels more uncomfortable. I can feel the prongs digging into the front part of my neck around the voice box and thyroid gland the most. I would describe it as really annoying at this point and a little restrictive. When I move my head and/or neck around it digs in more.

OK, about 5 mins have passed now. One prong on the side of my neck under my ear is beginning to hurt. My breathing is still being affected. If I twist my head all the way to the side it digs in and hurts a small amount. The irritation is building and Id really prefer to have it off now. The pressure on my thyroid area is the most uncomfortable.

I just checked it a couple of times with my hand at the back, and everything I just described was about 3 times worse. Pressure on the thyroid area is not pleasant and one prong on the side of my neck hurts. When I check it, part of the martingale chain where the lead attaches pinched my skin and that hurt more than the prong parts.

Its been about 10mins. I’m going to check it more frequently now. It’s almost impossible to stop myself fiddling with it to move the prongs to a new part of skin to avoid the discomfort, despite the fact that moving it around is also uncomfortable. I can feel a small amount of throbbing from what must be increased blood flow to the area. Sitting up straighter help lessens the pressure.

So guys, I’ve had enough now….its coming off. It’s really uncomfortable to take it off, because you have to tighten it to release the link. After 10 mins. Pain was minor, irritation/annoyance high.
ImageI lied, I said I wouldn’t divulge too much emotion, but just a quick thought on my feelings

I really, really wouldn’t like to give control to another person or wear it for any longer. It would make me really pissed off

Nature is cruel but we don’t have to be – Temple Grandin

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