Have you ever had something you did come back and bite you in the neck? You’re probably saying that’s normal right? Karma and such. What of having something good you did turn around and bring terrible results? You feel there is no justification for that because you did something good. Unless doing good is no longer right.
The thing is, we kinda agree with you on the no justification thing. However, you might have been at fault a little, just a little (you should have seen this coming, we said kinda). Now hold your horses!
We are not saying that you did anything on purpose. All we are saying is maybe you didn’t have full information before doing the good that you did (we knew you’d agree, however grudgingly).
One of those ‘good things’ you might have done is get your dog a dog pet collar. A dog pet collar is absolutely necessary. You really can’t do without it.
However buying a collar can come back to bite you in the neck (or your dog in this case) if you buy the wrong kind. There are so many dog collars in the market that it is quite easy to pick the wrong kind.
You have to be careful when picking a collar for your dog because some of those collars are just punishment chains. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s show you what a dog collar is usually used for (we know you know but please humor us)…
What exactly is A Dog Collar?
A dog pet collar is that thing you place around your dog’s neck for a myriad of reasons. This should not be confused for a dog harness which is fastened around the dog’s body. A leash is usually attached to the collar and used to direct the dog or be directed by the dog, whatever the case may be.
A Dog pet collar could either be made of nylon or leather. Although there are some other less popular materials a dog pet collar can be made from including polyester and metal.
Does My Dog Need A Dog Collar?
You answered it, yes. As we’ve said before a dog pet collar is absolutely necessary. A dog collar is majorly used for control. It is where the leash is attached when you want to take your dog out on a walk or something.
You can also attach a dog tag to his collar (you should actually) for identification sake. You know how dogs like to wander. Attaching a tag to his collar (with his name and your address on it of course) ensures that wherever he goes, someone can always help him find his way home.
Collars can also be used for medical purposes. Some of them are used to repel fleas while some others prevent the dog from inflicting more harm on himself.
Another important thing that collars are used for is training. Collars used for training are usually left on only as long as the training lasts. However, whether a collar will be used while training or not depends on the kind of training the dog has to undergo.
Unfortunately, there are some collars used for punishment and ‘correction’. These collars apply force and inflict pain and discomfort on the dog in order to make him mind. This shouldn’t be thought about. There are positive ways of making even the most seemingly ’difficult’ dogs mind.
Now that we have discussed what a dog collar is used for, let’s look at the different dog collars available so you know which one to go for. Ready? Let’s go!
Types Of Dog Collar
There is a dog collar to cater to all of your collar needs. So, whether it is for walking your dog or for training him, there is a collar for your dog. There have been many categorizations of collars but we like The Humane Society of the United States’ categorization. Let’s explore!
Regular Dog Collar
These are basic everyday collars. They are the ones you attach a tag to or use to walk your dog. You can also use some of these collars to train your dogs. They include:
- Flat Collar: It is the everyday collar of everyday collars. It is sometimes called Buckle Collar because of the buckle attached to it. The buckle is like the one attached to a belt so unbuckling it is as easy as unbuckling your belt.
It comes in different designs and colors. Be sure that the collar fits comfortably. It should neither be too tight (that your dog’s neck chaffs or he chokes) nor too loose(that he can easily slip his head out).
- Martingale: Martingale is specially designed for the smaller dogs whose heads are proportionate to their bodies like Greyhounds. However, if your dog keeps slipping off his flat collar you could consider this too.
The collar is made in such a way that it constricts to a point when too much pressure (like your dog tugging on it) is applied. It doesn’t constrict indefinitely like a choke chain. It constricts to the point where you’ve set it. So it’s basically up to you.
- Head Collar: This looks like the halter a horse wears and it works the same way too. There are two straps to the thing. One is meant to sit around the neck and high upon the head. The other is meant as a loop for your dog’s muzzle.
If you have a big dog that is quite energetic and loves nothing more than to jump as high as he can, you should consider this collar. Because it fits around your dog’s face, it restricts how high he can jump.
However, you might want to be careful with how hard you tug. You don’t want to end up inflicting injuries on your dog.
Special Dog Collar
These are collars that are used for, well, special purposes like:
- Medical Collars: These are used for medical purposes. For example, there is the Elizabethan collar or E-collar. It is shaped like a cone and is used to prevent your dog from inflicting more harm on himself. It keeps your dog from aggravating a neck injury or from licking an infected wound on his body.
There is also the Flea (or tick) collar. This one is a flea (or tick) repellant. Medical collars should obviously only be used on the advice of your veterinarian.
- Reflective and Lighted Collars: These collars emit light. Dog owners use them so that their dogs would be seen by them (the owners) and oncoming vehicles at night.
A number of lighted collars are fitted with light emitting diodes (just one or two) that give off the light. The lights emitted are usually in different colors. It has to be said that these collars do not help dogs to see in the dark, they can do that all on their own.
The collars are outfitted with spikes and points and are used to keep off wolfs and other wild animals from the dogs.
- GPS Collar: This is one awesome collar. Who wouldn’t love a cool tech dog collar? This is cool right? Anyway, aside being cool, it enables you track and locate your doggie if he ever gets lost.
Aversion Dog Collar
These are collars used by some trainers to train dogs they consider difficult. The idea of the collar is to act as some sort of punishment when the dog does something wrong. The different collars inflict pain or discomfort. We have to state here categorically, that we don’t consider these collars the best way to teach proper behavior.
- Choke Chain: First of all, this is a chain which means it is made with metal. We all know that metal is not what you want to put around your dog’s neck.
Secondly, this is the torture version of a martingale. While a martingale allows you control how it tightens, the choke collar doesn’t. It just keeps tightening till your dog stops whatever set it off. That’s very dangerous.
It could set off too many things; your dog could choke, sprain his neck, faint, get paralyzed or worst still die. All in the name of making him ‘more obedient’.
- Prong or Pinch Collars: These collars have dull points that prick your dog’ neck when he pulls too hard or when you pull on it.
These collars are actually not permitted by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.
- Shock Collars: These collars emit electric shock to punish the dog for having done something wrong. They make use of battery packs to create the electric shocks. Shock collars can be inflammatory so if you venture into using them for training be sure not to leave them on for too long a time. These collars are also not permitted by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.
In Choosing a Dog Collar for my Dog – Material Of The Collar
If you were to buy a shirt for yourself would you consider the function of the shirt alone? Of course not. You would also consider the texture of the shirt.
Texture is what we want to discuss now. Remember how we told you that dog pet collars are popularly made of either nylon or leather? We’ll be going over the details of each texture.
- Nylon: Collars made of nylon are usually quite easy to find in any size. It is durable, lightweight and doesn’t break easily. It can withstand humidity and moisture and is very comfortable. A collar made out of nylon is usually not so expensive and is relatively safe. It can be washed if necessary.
However, there are dogs that are allergic. If your dog is, you should consider the alternative.
- Leather: Leather dog collars are way more durable than nylon. It fits comfortably and though it is more expensive, it gives better value for your money in the long run.
However, a leather collar should not be used in water. To wash it, just clean with soap and water; do not submerge the collar in water. Also, leather will break if too much pressure is applied.
One More Thing To Consider in Choosing A Dog Pet Collar
Size is absolutely important. Too loose and the collar is practically useless, too little and you run the risk of choking your dog. So how do you know which collar is size appropriate for your dog?
- It is generally accepted that the appropriate collar will allow for space for two of your fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. Anything more and it is too tight, anything less and your dog is choking.
- Length varies according to use. An Elizabethan collar is typically longer than other collars because it is meant to support the neck (in some cases). Length also varies according to size of dog. We believe you know what to do.
- Before you pick a size you should also take the following factors into consideration:
Growing or Stopped growing? If your dog is still growing you have to be prepared to regularly change his collar because he’ll outgrow it as he grows.
Fluctuating weight? If your dog’s weight fluctuates you should see a vet first. You will also need to alternate collars as often as he alternates weight pending the time that the issue is resolved.
It is quite obvious to us that you agree with us that your dog deserves the best of everything not excluding collars. How do we know that you agree? You are here reading this. Now let’s do a quick recap
- A dog pet collar is used for direction, medical restraint, protection against wild animals and punishment for bad behavior
- There are a myriad of dog pet collars which we categorized into basic, special and aversion.
- Dog collars are popularly made of nylon and leather but could also be made out of polyester and metal
- My dog’s collar is A OK if I can fit two of my fingers in the space between his collar and his neck and finally
- My dog’s collar should grow (change) as he grows.
Now that you’ve garnered enough knowledge on the different types of dog collars and how to choose the right one, we are confident that you are ready. Go ahead and do the right thing by your dog. We’re rooting for you both (or you all)!