Is it time to update your dog’s collar? Dog collars are not only decorative, but they are functional too. They old identification, serve as an obedience training device and can even be a safety measure for late evening walks. Learn how to choose the correct dog collar for your pet!
Chainlink Collars for Training
There are two main styles of chain link collars for dogs; plain chains and chains with prongs. Both types are intended to be used only for dog training sessions. During dog obedience classes, the canine education instruction told me that I should use a chain collar to help control my wild puppy. As we did the training exercises, I was instructed to give a little tug on the collar, with the use of a leash, to give corrections to the dog. A plain chain collar worked wonders for my puppy. Even though my dog is now 3-years-old, I still use the chain collar on walks because she is distracted by rabbits and squirrels.***Chain collars are only meant to be worn during supervised activities. NEVER leave your dog on a tie out, or unattended while wearing a chain collar. It is a choking / strangling hazard.***
Nylon Collars for Everyday Use
There are several styles of Nylon collars that can be worn by your dog on a daily basis. Comfort Cushion makes a nylon collar that has a padded lining on the inside of the collar to make the collar more comfortable for day to day wear.
Standard nylon collars also have several color options; some are solid in color and some are patterned. If you tend to walk your dog in the evening, look for a patterned collar with reflective patterns or stripes. This can be an added safety measure for you and your dog on your late night strolls.
Nylon collars also come in standard lengths or adjustable varieties. If you have a young puppy, I recommend an adjustable collar, so the collar can grow with him. If your dog is done growing, or your puppy is very strong, I recommend a non-adjustable standard length collar.
These types of collars come with two styles of closures; plastic clasps and metal belt style buckles. If your dog is strong, and tends to pull a lot while on a leash or tie-out, go for the metal closure. If you have small dog that doesn’t pull against the leash, a plastic closure will be strong enough.
Leather Collars for Everyday Use
Leather collars can also be worn on a daily basis. I have chosen this option for my two large, strong dogs, because of the durability that leather offers.
Leather collars can come in a variety of colors, although black and shades of browns are the most common. Some come with decorative studs, which may look nice, but can be a hazard to your dog. When looking at a studded collar in the pet store, take a moment to turn the collar inside out and look on the backside. If the rivets are unfinished, the sharp edges may rub against your dogs neck causing abrasions and fur loss. A high quality leather collar will have smooth metal pieces over the back of the rivet so that your dog will not be harmed.
Collar Alternates: Harnesses and Head Collars
If you prefer not to go with a traditional collar around your dog’s neck, you can try harnesses and head collars.
Harnesses fit around your dogs torso and chest. This takes the pressure off your dog’s neck and can be very effective for dogs who pull on the leash and are difficult to walk. Your leash attaches to the middle of the harness, which will be between your dogs shoulder blades and middle of his back. So, when your dog pulls, you’re not choking him.
Another alternative collar is a head collar. Gentle Leader makes a variety that looks like a horses halter. It fits over the dogs head and around their nose. When they pull on the leash, this collar makes their whole head turn, which they don’t care for, and will ultimately help train your dog to stop pulling while on a leash. This style is best worn by dogs with longer snouts.