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Which collar is right for my dog?

 by lucy on 06 Jan 2017 |
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Your dog’s collar is one of the most important everyday tools you use with your pet, but choosing the right one can be overwhelming. Selecting a dog collar or harness depends on the individual needs of you and your canine companion. Fortunately, a few simple rules can help simply your decisions.
 
When it comes to controlling Fido, the two main options are harnesses and collars. Harnesses can act as effective training tools for puppies and provide better control over dogs prone to pulling or jumping. They’re also well suited to pets with respiratory issues or neck injuries. Some dogs balk at the feeling of a harness, however, and harnesses that clip at the back can actually draw your dog’s attention away from you, rather than towards you, when you pull on the leash. If you don’t have any tugging or control issues during walks, then, a classic leash-and-collar combination can be the best option for your pet.
 
A traditional, flat collar is the easiest, most convenient neckwear for Fido. Collars are simple to slip on and off and ideal for dogs already trained to walk side-by-side with their owners.  Collars are less useful for training, however, and pulling can increase the likelihood of neck injuries and create eye pressure, which can be especially problematic in breeds such as pugs. A traditional collar can slip over the heads of some breeds like Greyhounds and Whippets, but Martingale collars circumvent this problem by using two attached loops— one around the dog’s neck and the other attached to the leash. When the dog pulls, the larger loop tightens enough to prevent him from slipping his collar, but not enough to choke him. Many trainers recommend this type of collar over choke-chain collars, but still suggest it only be used when you are actively supervising your pet.
 
In addition to traditional collars and harnesses, there are several specialized designs for specific pets’ needs. A slip collar is a great tool for correcting bad behavior, for example, because it allows owners to give a quick tug to one side, throwing a dog slightly off balance and drawing his attention back to his human. A pack lead collar helps keep the slip collar at the top of the dog’s neck, where it is most sensitive, and is ideal for dogs that don’t respond to a traditional slip collar. Head halters incorporate a piece of nylon that loops around a dog’s muzzle, preventing him from keeping his nose to the ground and making it easier for his owner to keep his attention.
 
Whatever type of equipment you choose, your dog’s safety should always be the top priority. Some experts advise removing your dog’s collar when you’re not around or investing in a breakaway collar to reduce choking risks. If your pet has any health issues or you have concerns, consult your veterinarian for advice on choosing the best collar for your pet.

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