Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments, and your dog’s unique body and personality type will determine what kind of collar will suit them best. Is your dog a serious puller? There are collars for that. Does your dog have a small head that easily slips out of traditional collars? We’ve got a solution. Take a look at the following collar options to find the best one for your particular pup.
Traditional Flat and Rolled Collars
are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Some are made of nylon
, some are made of leather
, and there are even some earthy-friendly ones made of hemp. Many traditional collars have decorative features too, such as printed graphics or tough-guy spikes
. And you can choose from a wide range of widths; there are small, thin collars for mini dogs
and wide, sturdy collars for large dogs
.Most dogs wear a traditional collar all of the time, and may wear other collars when training time rolls around. Make sure that your dog’s primary collar fits appropriately; it should sit high on the neck and you should be able to fit two fingers between your dog’s neck and the collar. Also make sure that your dog’s collar has their ID tag
attached at all times.RELATED STORY: Cat And Dog Leash Options Your Pet Will Love
Head Halter Head halters
allow you to have great control over your dog, and can be very useful when training your dog to “heel.”
Head halters look similar to a horse’s halter, and indeed they serve the same function. One band goes around the back of your dog’s head and another goes around the nose, snapping into place under the dog’s chin. When you pull on the leash, your dog’s head will go down, to the side, or back to you, but they won’t be able to pull forward. This not only helps your dog to walk nicely, it also trains them to keep their attention on you rather than focusing on other dogs, cars, or whatever else might interest them.There are two potential downsides to using a head halter: for one, most dogs really
don’t like them at first. You’ll need to train your dog to enjoy wearing the halter, and it may take some time. Secondly, you may end up fielding questions from neighbors about why your dog is wearing a muzzle
. Because of the way the halter wraps around a dog’s nose, some people mistake it for a muzzle, but unlike a muzzle, dogs wearing a halter are able to comfortably open their mouths, eat, and drink.
are a popular choice for dogs with upper respiratory or throat disease that can be made worse by traditional collars that put pressure on the trachea.Certains types of harnesses can also help with pulling. Look for ones that evenly distribute weight, attach in the front, or redirect leash tension
to the area behind your dog’s front legs.
Chain Slip Collars
collars, also known as choke collars, are usually used to correct very stubborn dogs. These collars can be safe and effective when used properly, but you should always consult your veterinarian
and a trainer
before trying one out on your own. The key is to use a “yank-and-release” motion, and to only employ this collar during training sessions. If you are uncomfortable using a chain slip collar, you may want to look into the Martingale.RELATED STORY: Products To Improve Your Dog Training
Martingale collars were originally designed for dogs with small heads and necks -- such as Greyhounds
-- who can easily slip out of traditional collars. While they are still commonly used to keep these breeds from escaping, they have also become a popular choice for trainers and pet parents who want to teach their dog not to pull. Martingale collars are made with two loops. The large loop is placed around your dog’s neck and adjusted to fit loosely. The small loop -- sometimes referred to as the control loop -- is attached to the leash. When the dog pulls, the tension on the leash makes both the small and large loops taut and distributes even pressure over your dog’s neck.
, also known as pinch collars, can help with extreme pulling. They may look like torture devices, but the blunt prongs that protrude inward are actually very dull -- try them on your own arm to see how they feel. It’s more of a “pinch” than anything else, and unlike chain collars, prong collars distribute pressure evenly over your dog’s entire neck, which may make them safer. If you wish to use a prong collar on your dog, you should first consult your veterinarian
and a trainer
to learn how to use it properly. Improper use could not only injure your dog, it could also make their problem worse or cause them to become fearful if the “yank-and-release” motion is used at the wrong time.What kind of collar do you use on your dog and why? Leave a comment and let us know, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more. Check it out at PetPlus.com.