Depending on what kind of dog you have- his age, his size, his breed, his level of activity, etc.- the collar you pick out for your dog can last you a lifetime, or a couple of hours tops.
By Guest Blogger, Gourav Sharma
A large rottweiler, for example, will definitely look dashing and handsome in a glossy red fabric collar, but you’ll be lucky if he hasn’t chewed it into two pieces before you’ve snapped a picture of him.
Choosing between the variety of dog collars you can find is easier when you know what you’ll need. Combining multiple functionalities lets you find a collar for your dog that does multiple things for you. Now let me cover the different collar types that are available.
Flat Collars are the basic, simple collars made of a strip of material that goes around your dog’s neck, fastened with a plastic or metal buckle. A well-fitting flat collar is neither loose nor tight on your dog’s neck, but fits closely, with two fingers’ worth of space under them.
These are the absolute basic version of a collar, good for small dogs, or medium dogs who don’t strain against the collar and leash. They can also be used for larger dogs who are senior and not very active.
Flat collars also come with a small hook that allows you to hang on a dog license or little address tag, for identifying your dog, just in case he runs loose.
Leather Collars are flat collars made of leather. They are usually durable and longer-lasting than fabric flat collars. Wider collars are also stronger and good for larger dogs. However, collars made of natural leather can get stiff when wet, and a little uncomfortable, if tied tightly.
Nylon Collars are flat collars made of nylon, available in a vast majority of styles, with many buckle, and fastening options. They are ideal for dogs on walks and treks, where control is needed, as well as for puppies and dogs that need to be trained ‘up’ to a permanent collar,
Head Collars are collars designed to go around your dog’s snout, designed like a horse’s halter. It acts as a bare-bones muzzle. The straps around the snout keep your dog’s mouth closed, and the straps behind the ears keep the muzzle in place, even if your dog fidgets.
Headcollars are ideal for dogs that are aggressive and not friendly with strangers or new dogs, or dogs who are still in the training period.
Martingale Collars are designed to be ‘limited slip’ collars. When dogs with slender necks like Greyhounds, Whippets, etc. try to slip out of them (as they easily can with basic buckle collars) the metal loops tighten it just enough to prevent your dog from slipping out.
Training Collars: (using aversion techniques)
Every dog owner and every dog have their own wants and needs so finding the best training dog collar can take a little extra thought because of how each of them works and the ethics of using them too.
‘Choke’ Chain/ Slip Collars are not recommended to be used on dogs not being constantly supervised. They are like Martingale collars but made of chain links. However, there is no limit to how much the collar tightens. So, if your dog keeps tugging it off, the collar can tighten enough to choke your dog.
‘Shock’ Collars/ Electric Collars have metal points on the dog’s collar, through which a low-intensity current flows and zaps the dog for unwanted behaviors. These prevent untrained dogs from being aggressive but are not good for training dogs with positive reinforcement.
Electric collars are similar and are used to keep free-running dogs within a certain radius around the home. When the dog reaches the outer periphery, it gives him a warning zap and forces him to return to his allowed area.
These collars also come in controllable variants, which provide remote-controllable shocks to discourage bad behavior. The size and intensity of the collar must be chosen to suit your dog’s size, so as to not cause him any pain.
Pinch Collars are collars that have spikes and sharp studs on the inside, which make it uncomfortable to pull on their leash. It’s useful while walking dogs who constantly tug at their leash, but is not recommended, because it hurts them and may even cause cuts.
They are also called ‘pinch’ collars, where they pinch a dog’s neck when he pulls on his line.
Flea Collars have special chemicals impregnated in them, to help fight fleas and ticks.
Bark Control Collars use ultrasonic pulses to prevent your dog from barking. Barking collars that release citronella spray as a deterrent are also available, but as the spray can be set off by other dogs barking, they are not very specific.
Vibrating Collars are good for training deaf dogs who cannot respond to clicker training or verbal commands.
GPS tracking Collars have an implanted chip that allows you to track your dog’s location on your phone or laptop. They are great for dogs that run over larger areas, or to keep an eye on your dog when you’re not home.
GPS tracking collars also make finding lost dogs much easier.
Light Safety Collars have LED lights that make sure that your dog is visible at night. Their flashing lights are especially useful for late-night walks, to make sure that people and vehicles see your dog clearly.
Elizabethan Collars or E collars are wide-brimmed, plastic cone-shaped collars. They are used to make sure that dogs don’t scratch at surgery sites, healing wounds, etc. without preventing eating and drinking, which makes them more comfortable to wear.