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Understanding Active Collars


When it comes to training dogs, having the right tools can make a world of difference. One category of tools that can be highly effective when used correctly is active collars. This blog post will explore what active collars are, how to use them properly, and discuss three specific types: slip leads, plastic pinch collars, and the Herm Sprenger prong collar.

What are Active Collars?

In short, Active collars are collars with action. They are training tools designed to provide feedback to dogs during training sessions. Unlike passive collars, which remain inert—think a basic flat collar—active collars respond to the movements of both the dog and the handler, allowing for immediate communication and correction that is specific to the behavior being addressed.

Positioning the Collar

For active collars to work effectively, they must be positioned correctly on the dog's neck. This generally means placing the collar high on the neck, behind the ears, and just below the jawline and ensuring it is tight enough that the collar does not slide down but comfortable enough not to choke or strain the dog. The rule of thumb is that two fingers should be able to fit snuggly behind the collar. Correct positioning maximizes sensitivity to corrections, making the training clearer and more effective.

Types of Active Collars

Slip Lead

A slip lead is a simple yet versatile training tool that combines a leash and collar. It tightens when the dog pulls and loosens when it complies with the handler's direction, providing immediate feedback to the dog about its behavior.


We recommend EzyDog Luca.


How to Use

  • Place the slip lead high on the neck, just below the ears.

  • Adjust the lead so it tightens with a tug but is not perpetually tight, allowing the dog to learn from both the tightening and loosening.

Plastic Pinch Collar



Plastic pinch collars are less intense versions of metal prong collars and can be useful for dogs sensitive to harder corrections. The plastic prongs apply pressure around the neck when the dog pulls or when correction is needed.


How to Use

  • Fit the collar snugly to ensure the prongs apply gentle pressure evenly around the neck.

  • Use short, gentle tugs to correct behavior, emphasizing the release of pressure as the reward for compliance.


Herm Sprenger Prong Collar



The Herm Sprenger prong collar is a widely recognized tool for more direct behavior correction. Fun fact the only reason it is called a pinch collar is because you pinch the prongs to remove them from one another. It features metal prongs that apply even pressure around the dog’s neck when pulling or when you need to correct undesired behavior that occurs. Different gauge sizes allow for more contact points or dogs with longer fur to the prongs to touch the skin. It also comes in chrome-plated stainless steel, stainless steel, and Curogan. this is a great tool but can be misused very easily.


We only recommend Herm Sprenger. If yours doesn't come with the tag as seen above, then don't use it. If you don't want to constantly pinch the prongs to release, you can purchase the QuickLock!


How to Use

  • Position the collar right behind the ears and under the jaw.

  • Adjust it to ensure it stays in place but is not overly tight, allowing the prongs to provide clear, effective communication without discomfort.


Active collars, when used correctly, are powerful tools in a balanced dog training program. They can help communicate with your dog effectively, ensuring that training sessions are both humane and productive. As with any training tool, make sure to use active collars under the guidance of a professional to ensure they are used safely and effectively.


Direct links

EzyDog Luca Slip Lead

Off Collar Storefront For more product recommendations from training tools, summer play, home grooming and more!


The links in this article go to Amazon for purchase of the products. Off Collar does earn commission from purchase.

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