Choosing The Perfect Collar

October 14, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Tammye McDuff

Choosing a collar for your canine companion is not as easy as you might think. You should use the same type of standards for purchasing a dog collar as you would a pair of jeans. A loose collar looks terrible and one that is too tight could be harmful.

There are many styles of dog collars to choose from. The size of the pup and its disposition should be paramount in your decision.  “When I wuz a little puppy, I had a little collar, ‘cuz I wuz scared a lot,” recalls Juno Kline, Los Angeles based blue nosed Pit bull, “but know ‘dat I am a big girl, I have a big dog leash and lead. My mama seyz I am a puller.”

Although there are as many style of collars as there are types of blue jeans, veterinarian doctors Fosters and Smith say for the majority of dogs, a traditional nylon or leather dog collar is sufficient. However there are collars for specific situations.

Traditional dog collars are available in a variety of styles, colors, and widths. They should ride high on your pet’s neck, not loose so that it slides down near the top of his shoulder blades. The fit should be snug with enough room to fit two fingers between your dog’s neck and collar. It should not be so loose that it would slip over the pet’s head and not so tight as to restrict breathing or cause coughing. “You should always check the size of the collar, ‘cuz I am now three years old and I have had three collars, ‘cuz I growed,” says Juno. The best way to determine the size of your pet’s neck is to use a tape measure and then add two to three inches.

“The best way to determine the size of your pet’s neck is to use a tape measure and then add two to three inches.”

Lightweight choices are best for small breeds or puppies, and wider, more durable styles for bigger, stronger pets. Always include a current name tag attached to the collar. Tags can be purchased for nominal price at most pet stores. Along with a collar, you should also purchase a harness. A harness fits snugly around the neck, the shoulders and behind the front legs. This helps to train and control your dog.

Halter-type Dog Collars will give you the best management of your pet. They give you control of your dog’s head. When you have control of the dog’s head, you have control of the dog. There are several brands halter-type collars including the Gentle Leader Headcollar. These collars look more like a horse’s halter, with a band going around the back of the head, and another around the nose. The leash snaps onto the collar under the chin. When you pull on the leash, the dog’s head will either be pulled down or to the side – this makes it virtually impossible for the dog to move ahead or pull you forward. If you have a breed that is strong, like a Pit Bull, Rottweiler, German Shepard, etc – these are best when going out in public. You never know how a dog will react to certain stimuli. Being able to control a large breed is paramount to the dog’s safety and to strangers

Juno, trying out a new nylon leash from Kong

If you enjoyed this post, you should read “4 Tips For Leash Training” here.

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