If you have never owned a dog before, you may not even realize that there are a number of different collar types to choose from. Some collars are particularly recommended for training, while others are good for all-purpose use. Before you select a collar for your dog, take the time to familiarize yourself with the different types so you can make an informed decision.
- Traditional nylon collars. Traditional, all-purpose collars typically consist of a nylon strap that can be adjusted to fit around your dog’s neck. When using these collars, it is important not to tighten them too much around your dog’s neck.
- Martingale collars. Also called limited slip collars or Greyhound collars, these collars are designed to prevent your dog from slipping out of the collar.
- Chain-slip collars. Often referred to as choke chains, chain-slip collars are designed to tighten when your dog pulls on the leash. This type of collar is recommended for training use only.
- Metal prong collars. Metal prong collars are similar to chain-slip collars, but they have metal prongs that make contact with the dog’s neck. These collars are only for training purposes, and they are generally only recommended for particularly strong or stubborn dogs.
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- Head collar. This type of collar closely resembles a muzzle, but it does not prevent your dog from opening his mouth. These collars are often used when training a dog to walk on the leash.Breakaway collars. This type of collar is designed to break when it becomes snagged to prevent your dog from choking.
- A harness loops around the dog’s back and under his belly, rather than looping around the nose and behind the head. This type of collar distributes the force from the leash evenly along the dog’s back, rather than putting strain and pressure on his neck and throat.
- Gentle-lead-head harness. This type of harness is very popular, and it is a type of halter that goes around the head. These halters provide the owner with increased control over the dog in a safe manner.
- A type of head halter designed especially for dogs with short muzzles, a snoot loop has straps that go around the nose, connecting to the loop around the neck. This prevents the halter from slipping off while keeping a loose hold around the nose in short-faced dogs.
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The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that there are many different types of collars to choose from, so there is no “right” or “wrong” choice for your dog. The type of collar you choose may depend on the breed, age and size of your dog, as well as whether or not he is in training.