It is important for all dog collars to be comfortable and fit correctly. Traditional dog collars are available in a variety of materials, and are usually buckle-type collars, with a buckle similar to a belt buckle, or the quick-release type. Style must be secondary after safety and convenience when it comes to the collar you place on your dog.
There is a far greater chance that your lost dog will be returned if it is wearing a dog collar with a pet ID tag. A properly fitted dog collar is used for control, identification, fashion, identification tags and medical information. A common alternative to a dog collar is a dog harness, best used to sport tags with smaller breeds or in car travel. It’s important that a telephone number and address be on the ID tag and not the dog’s name. Having the pet’s name on the ID tag can give wrongdoers an advantage with your dog. Collars should not be so tight as to restrict breathing or cause coughing. It is important to check the collar size frequently on growing puppies.
A dog collar should be comfortable with enough room to fit two fingers between your pet’s body and the collar. Use a non metal tape measure to measure your dog’s neck and add on two to three inches. If the collar is too loose, your dog can slip out of it and escape in a dangerous environment. Loose collars can snag on objects and subject your dog to the tragedy of accidental hanging, Dog Collars which happens to far too many dogs every year. Break-away collars look similar to buckle collars, but have a safety mechanism installed that allows the dog to break free of the collar if excessive force is applied. These collars are useful in situations where a non-quick-release collar could get snagged and cause injury or death. A collar should never be worn when your dog is in its crate.
Use a training slip collar (also called a choke chain, slip chain, or choke collar) to teach your dog to respond quickly to your commands and walk with you. The ring which connects to the leash goes over the back of the dog’s neck, not under. When the leash is attached to the dead ring the collar does not constrict around the dog’s neck. When the leash is attached to the live ring the chain slips (adjusts) tighter when pulled and slips looser when tension is released. Master the proper use of this type collar with the snap tug release action: a quick gentle jerk with an immediate release. The dog learns by the sound of the action, not the force of tug-a-war. Proper use of this training device does not involve choking (strangling) the dog. Never leave this type of choke training collar on the dog when unattended. When the training to walk on the leash session is over, this collar should be removed.
The martingale dog collar is recommended for sight hounds because their heads are smaller than their necks and they can often slip out of standard collars. The martingale collar has 2 loops. The smaller loop is the control loop — it tightens gently when pulled to prevent dogs from slipping out of the collar. Similar to a prong collar, the martingale collar has limited constriction on the dog’s neck, and applies even pressure. It can be used for any breed of dog if desired. The martingale no-slip feature has made it a safety choice at many kennels and animal shelters.
The prong collar, or pinch collar as it is sometimes called, is a series of blunted open-end chain links turned towards the dog’s body. When the collar is tightened, it pinches the naturally loose skin around the dog’s neck. The design of the prong collar makes it have a limited circumference, unlike slip collars, which do not have a limit on constriction around the dog’s neck. Any pressure from the collar to the dog’s neck is spread out over a larger area. The prong collar should be placed high on the dog’s neck, just behind the ears. Some dogs can learn to free themselves from these collars by shaking their head to make the links pop out, so a second, usually a flat buckle dog collar, in addition to the prong collar is recommended. A plastic version of the prong collar has been termed a “good dog collar” and is considered self-correcting since it requires little strength on your part.