Monday, April 1, 2013

The Canine Consultant - Choosing The Right Collar

"What do you mean this
isn't a collar?"
Dog Collars a Quick Glance

Choices choices choices, wow! What size? What type is best for MY dog? I hear these questions constantly. So I decided to give a brief description of the most common dog collars available. Each dog may react differently to any one type of collar; there is not a style that works best for all. When in doubt contact a reputable dog trainer to guide you before your next purchase. Also feel free to send me your query, after all that is why I am here, to help.

Harness:

These are your regular ‘step in’ or ‘vest’ type Harness’. Great for smaller breed dogs, no stress on the neck and trachea. Very hard for your dog to escape from, however not recommended for an everyday collar. The Harness’ if left on can cause chaffing. On a down side these types of collars promote pulling the leash. Think of sled dogs they are harnessed in to maximize their pulling power.

Heal Harness/ Halti:

This type of Harness attaches the leash to the Chest of even Mouth area of the
dog. This Harness makes it almost impossible for your dog to pull on the leash, with zero pressure on the throat. They can look like muzzles but not to worry they give full range of mouth for the dog. They can drink, pant, and even take treats while wearing. This type although works great on aggressively pulling dogs is very, very hard to get some dogs adjusted to wearing it. Owners who chose to implement this device will have to take an active role in acclimatizing your dog to this Harness. They tend to look like a horse harness, the leash attaches at the front of the dog.

Flat/Clip/Belt Loop Collars:

This is your safest bet for everyday use; they are widely available, washable, affordable and best for attaching ID tags. It is never a bad idea to have one of these as your base collar and use another type for training purposes. These are not recommended for training, they can cause tracheal problems if used with too much force, or if your dog is an aggressive puller. If you have ever had an escape artist dog, you’ll know these are very easy to back pedal out of. I once saw a dogs tooth get caught in the belt loop of another dog’s collar, this was very scary and dangerous, and the dogs were both at risk of injury. I strongly caution the use of belt loop collars.

Prong/Pinch Collars:

Good results can be had if used correctly. Great for training the stubborn dog, the prongs work like an alpha dog bite. These look awful to the eye, but with proper usage can be a more humane way of training than the training collar or choke chain. Never to be used on puppies and they are not meant to leave on while unattended. Please also remove the prong collar before a entering a dog park, or at any time your dog is in a play setting, can be harmful to the other dogs playing.

NOTE this collar needs a professional’s help to ensure you know exactly how to use it properly. Improper use of this type can cause serious harm to a dog.

Chain/Choke/Martingale Collars:

There are three types of these collars, the Alaskan Collar, the Martingale and Limited Slip Leads. The Martingale and Slip leads are very similar, for a Martingale they consist of half material and half chain. For the Slip leads the normally consist of 2 loops one smaller to attach at the leash and the other to slip over the head of your dog. The all Chain or Choke Collars are just that, 100% chain. The concept for all of these collars is the same. If your dog pulls they will choke themselves, these types also give you the power to apply a ‘pop’ correction. Any of these will work superb for a dog that backs out of their flat collar, they are recommended for dogs with larger necks than heads. Like the prong collar I highly suggest contacting a professional to teach you the human the correct usage of these collars. My opinion these are the best collars for training but with anything there are pros and cons for all.

Shock Collar: 

Never, that was easy. Why do we not perform shock therapy on humans anymore, because it is not humane!

Forward your questions and concerns we are your Canine Consultants, looking forward to serving your needs, one step at a time, be it 2 legs or 4

Matthew Belvedere aka the Canine Consultant

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