There is quite a large amount of collars. So in this blog post I will show you the most common collars used today.
To start off, there is the Flat Buckle collar.
This collar is, I would say, is the most common dog collar out there. They come in so many colors and sizes that they appeal to a wide audience. *For some owners worried about safety and their dogs wellbeing, this is the obvious, humane, option.
The only time I use a buckle collar is when I take Emma to the dog sitters (some doggie day care places do require that you bring your dog in an easy to use buckle collar) and its only for safety.
→ You actually shouldn’t use any other collar besides the Flat Buckle collar for the first six months of your dogs life because the muscles are still growing and is more receptacle to damage.
The collar I mostly used during my time with South Eastern Guide Dogs is the Choke Chain.
Now, its not as bad as it sounds. It doesn’t actually choke the dog. I mean, it could, but so could a leash.
This collar, if used correctly, should NEVER hurt the dog. It should be loose around the dogs neck and only tighten when you give the slight tug, signaling to your pet that he/she shouldn’t be focused in on the squirrel but on you.
The Choke Chain might look easy enough to slide over a dogs head, but did you know there is a certain way to thread the chain? A lot of people don’t know this and just put it on their dogs and wonder why it doesn’t work.
Now to my favorite Collar. The Martingale.
Its a combination of the Flat Buckle collar and the Choke Chain. This is what I use on Emma. And, for me, it works just like the buckle collar, but it helps with the collar coming off.
My dog, Emma, is skittish of loud sounds (fireworks, etc,) and her first instinct is to run. (She’s gotten better this past year about running when she’s scared, but its a slow process). Since Emma’s head is so thin, a buckle collar will just slip off if she does decide to bolt. Therefore, I use a Martingale!
I do also find it nice that its not as rough as a Choke Chain, but can also have a similar affect.
Next is the Head Halter or Gentle Leader.
This is a great tool to use if your dog is a serious puller. Though it doesn’t solve the issue of an aggressive puller, it just subdues it.
Usually when a dog goes from a Flat Buckle collar to a Head Halter, there’s a lot a resistance. Almost every single dog I’ve met has had a “getting to know the collar” fit and immediately scratched or pawed at it to get it off. If you can promote the Head Halter as a good thing and slowly get the dog used to it, its normally alright.
My dog learned how to take it off within the first month of using it, needless to say, I don’t use it anymore. But I would recommend it for the busy work people who need to still exercise their dogs and have a limited amount of time to do so.
And lastly, the Prong collar.
The Prong is probably the most abused, dangerous, and misunderstood of all the collars.
I had to look up a photo of the Prong because its the only collar I don’t have. But I have done lots of research on this type of collar and know a few people who use it.
The Prong collar is a very valuable training tool and can be a good thing. If used correctly, it will cause no harm to the dog at all, no matter how scary it looks.
The reason behind the threatening looking prongs inside the collar is to basically act as a mother dogs mouth, biting its pup to correct an unwanted behavior. It snaps the dog out of its aggressive or scared mentality and can speed up training immensely. But, at the same time, if used incorrectly, can cause even more issues then before, like aggression or seemingly random fears.
I advise only highly trained professionals use this kind of collar. There is so much to the Prong collar (positioning, size, etc.) that I can only plead that you at least do you research first and then decide on buying this collar.
*Disclaimer: Dogs can also be harmed from Flat Buckle collars, not just Choke Chains and Prongs. I will write another post about that issue soon.
Leave a comment below, which is your favorite collar or share any collars that I did not name in this post. I had an entire list but only picked the top few so I didn’t bore you all to death!
Thanks for reading,