Like clothing for humans, dog collars are distinctive. They come in many different colors and sizes, even the material may vary by manufacturer. When you go shopping for a new collar for your best friend, you want to keep some things in mind to get one that is safe and comfortable. Go to the pet store with a proper measurement of the dog’s neck in hand.
What You Want in a Dog Collar
- Proper fit
- Easy clean up
- Something that lasts
- Safety for your dog
- Nylon and leather are both comfortable and safe given they have the right closure. Look for something with either a buckle or snap.
- Be sure to test the collar thoroughly. Take it out of the package and check the closure to make sure it is strong.
- You want something that adjusts without hassle that will upset the dog, especially if he is still a puppy with some growing to do.
- Reflective material is a bonus on a collar.
- Look for a way to add contact information such as address and phone number.
- For dogs that are chewers or spend time around other dogs, leather might not be right choice. If you do opt for a leather collar, check it often for chew marks that might make it unsafe. A worn collar should be replaced immediately to avoid breakage.
The proper way to check the collar to see if it fits comfortably and safely is to slide your fingers between the it and dog’s neck. The number of fingers depends on the size of the dog.
- For larger dogs, the correct fit is three fingers between the collar and dogs neck.
- For medium dogs, the collar fits it you can slide two fingers between the neck and material.
- Dogs under 20 lbs. require a tighter fit, one finger width is sufficient.
What About Slip or Choke Collars
You can recognize a slip or choke collar by the rings on the end. This form of collar is a training device that corrects the dog with punishment. If your dog walks too far ahead, the collar pulls tight as a reminder to stay close. Modern training works more on a reward system. You should consider a choke collar strictly for training. They are not for everyday use for any dog. You should never use this type collar on toy dogs or any dog less than 20 lbs.
Other Types of Collars
The pinch style, or prong training, collar is a harsh device and controversial. Some trainers recommend them for large dogs with strength and power. Pinch collars are not appropriate for every day use, even for dogs that may seem to warrant one.
Electric, or shock, collars are specialized devices in field training for professionals. For example, this tool may fit into a training program for police or gun dogs. Only experienced handlers should consider a shock collar. These collars are not meant for home use to train dogs as pets. They can dangerous and cause damage if you do not know what you are doing.
Harnesses are collars that cover the body. These are an ideal choice for tiny or toy dogs. The tension on these collars focuses on the chest of the dog instead of the thin neck. Applying pressure to the neck or back of a tiny dog can cause injury. For a small dog with little body weight and a small neck, opt for a harness.