Lori Waters is the author and voice behind Thee Inside Poop as well as the owner and operator of The Litter Sitter, a local dog walking and pet sitting company in Miami Beach, FL. When she's not busy blogging and taking care of clients' pets you can find her running around with her german shepherd Zoey or having in-depth conversations with her two fur balls, Michi and Oakley!
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Collars! They come in all different shapes, sizes, styles, colors and then some! Every pet, especially dogs, needs a collar mainly because it holds our furry friends’ ID tag as well as their Rabies tag which is usually required in most if not all states. Your dog also needs a collar so you can attach their leash and keep them under control but with so many different types of collars out on the market these days it’s hard to know which one is the best fit for your pup!
So here’s my list of the different types collars out on the market today:
Flat collars are your day-to-day collars. These are the collars you can get in different colors, patterns and designs and can either be the buckle type or quick release. The difference between these two types of collars is the way they are secured onto your dog, whether it’s buckled on snapped into place around their neck. Some people prefer to have quick release collars in case their pet gets tangled or caught in something that way they can easily break away whereas others prefer the buckle ones. It really just depends on the pet parents preference and what’s most comfortable for your pet. If you have a dog that pulls a lot this may not be the best collar for them.
Also known as greyhound collars these are specifically for those pets that are escape artists and like to back out of their collars. The way it works is that it tightens at the tug of the leash but doesn’t completely close and/or choke the pet, hence the reason why there is another loop of material.
Choke Chain Collars (Chain Slip)
As the name would suggest these collars are designed to CHOKE your dog. Most people who use these types of collars use them for dogs who pull when walking. The theory behind these collars is when your dog pulls the collar tightens essentially “choking” the pet which in turn should make your dog stop pulling. This isn’t always the case, some dogs may not respond to this type of collar and may choke/strangle themselves to death or unconsciousness or if used for long periods of time may cause damage to the dogs trachea or esophagus (throat). This type of collar can be very dangerous and should only be used by someone who knows what they are doing i.e hiring a professional and experienced dog trainer.
Prong or pinch collars are similar to choke collars with the addition of steel/metal prongs. The theory behind this collar is also similar to the choke collar in that when your dog pulls the collar tightens creating an uncomfortable sensation around the neck thus causing the dog to stop pulling. Again this doesn’t always work, some dogs may not respond to this type of collar and can instead be severely injured. This is another type of collar that should be used with caution and under the supervision of a trained professional.
I personally wouldn’t recommend choke or prong collars as they can be very dangerous if not used correctly. There are so many other types of collars out there that can get the job done that I just feel that these types are just unnecessary and inhumane.
These shock collars use an electrical current passing from the two contact points on the device to deliver a signal to your dog. This signal can range in intensity from mild, moderate to severe. A very controversial tool in the industry as many people consider this tool to be inhumane and can easily be manipulated as a form of abuse. Another collar that should also be used under the supervision of a trained professional. These types of collars are typically used in training and/or with dogs who are unruly and uncontrollable.
Similar to horse halters, these collars are secured at the back of the skull and over the dogs muzzle. A great tool to use if your dog is the type that likes to pull during walks. I personally have used a head collar for my german shepherd and it worked great in the beginning but she didn’t tolerate it very well after the first few walks. So this would be great if your dog is ok with having things over their muzzle otherwise you may need to find something else that fits them more comfortably.
There are a variety of harnesses on the market these days, some of which attach at the front of the chest and others with the attachment on the back. Depending on your dog and how much pulling they do you can choose which one will work best for them. I find that for dogs that love to jump and lunge while walking using a harness with an attachment on the front works best, you can use their momentum to gain better control of them whereas with the harnesses attached on the back it just encourages pulling even more and gives them better leverage to pull.
A few things to think about before choosing a collar are:
– Is my dog a puller/lunger?
– Will my dog respond well to this type of collar?
– Will it be comfortable for my dog?
– Will this tool physically injure/harm my dog?
– Is my dog reactive on walks?
– Does my dog like to wander and sniff things?
Once you decide what kind of “walker” your dog is you can get a better sense of what collar would be best for them. You obviously wouldn’t want to put a choke collar on a dog that is a good walker as it would be unnecessary but then you wouldn’t want to put a flat collar on a dog who loves backing out of collars whenever he sees a squirrel or another dog during walks. The goal is to find a collar that works best not only for your pup but for you as well so that both of you can have an enjoyable walk every time!