Summer is here and so are prime dog walking days! Now that you are out exploring with your best friend, are you sure you have the right collar for them?
Finding the right collar for your pooch is an important first step to having a pleasant walk. It’s the difference between a peaceful stroll and having a stressful time – be it with a dog who is choking and gasping the whole time, to chase another dog.
There are a variety of collars these days, each with their pros and cons. There’s not a one size fits all, and what may work for one dog may not work for yours. Without further ado, let’s explore the different types to see which works best with your pup!
Standard Flat collar:
This is the most common type of collar, usually made of nylon or leather, and has a plastic clip (quick release) or buckle. The buckle type is more durable.
The collar shouldn’t be too loose so that they could slip out of it, nor be too tight to choke them. It should be comfortably tight, and you should be able to get two fingers underneath the collar.
- Good to leave on and have identification tags.
- Most common and easy to get.
- Not good for dogs who are hard pullers, due to the pressure it puts on the trachea.
- Not effective with dogs who can slip the collar, such as whippets and escape artists.
The Martingale collar has a double loop design, and tightens and loosens depending on the tension on the leash. It tightens when a dog pulls, but not to the point of choking them if fitted correctly.
- Great for dogs who have a head smaller than their necks, such as whippets and greyhounds, and other dogs who can slip the collar.
- Shouldn’t be left on 24/7, in case it gets caught on something.
- Can’t be used on extremely small dogs.
Back Clip Harnesses
A common design, where it fits across a dog’s chest and clips on the back.
- Great for small or short nosed dogs, such as pugs or boston terriers, who have a risk of their eyes protruding from their sockets if there is too much pressure around their neck.
- Great for dogs prone to trachea collapse, since it puts no pressure on the neck
- Can encourage pulling in some dogs
Front clip harness
It is the same setup as a back clip harness, the only difference is that is clips in from the front.
- Good to help correct minor pulling and helps steer the dog
- Can be uncomfortable for the dog if the connecting straps end right in their “armpit”.
Head halters for dogs work the same as they do for horses. It allows you control over their head. This can’t be used as a muzzle.
- Speeds up the leash training process by discouraging pulling
- Can be used to correct pulling
- Can harm the dog if used improperly such as yanking them. It can harm their neck.
- Can’t be used on a long leash in case the dog runs, reaches the end, and gets snapped around.
- Dogs can find them uncomfortable, and it will take time and encouragement for your dog to get used to it.
According to the Humane Society, these collars are used to train dogs by introducing discomfort or even pain. They can be used to train “difficult” dogs, however, there are more effective ways to train a dog without having to resort to these collars.These collars have many cons, especially if used by someone who doesn’t know how to use them. If you still want to use one of these, you must have guidance from a professional. And remember, with great power comes great responsibility.
A chain that tightens whenever you or the dog pulls. Used by trainers and people who show certain breeds of dogs. If you’re not showing a dog, there’s no good reason to use this.
- If used correctly, can communicate quickly and effectively (such as “turn” and “stop”).
- Can seriously injure or even kill a dog if used incorrectly. Injuries range from neck sprains to trachea damage.
- Easy to misuse
- Can’t be left on a dog unsupervised, since it can get caught on something and choke them.
Similar to the Martingale collar, but made of metal with blunt prongs.
- Can be used to prevent pulling.
- Can cause aggression or fear in some dogs
- Can seriously harm a dog. These can hurt. A lot.
- Can’t be left on a dog unsupervised
- Receive dirty looks from other dog owners
Those are the basic types of collars. Each dog will have different needs, so pick the best collar for your pooch and get walking!