Monday, January 30, 2012

Dog Collars

I learn something new every day.  One of the things I have learned is that dog owners rarely have their dog's collar on properly.  Most often the collar is too loose and if the dog gets startled, his first response is to flee and they back right out of the collar.

So what is a dog owner to do?  A lot of what follows is my preferences from years of observation.
  • A dog should have a collar on at all times.  You never know what can happen.  If your dog gets away from you a collar can help when you need to grab him, and it can help with identification.  I suggest you get a sharpie and write your area code and phone number inside the collar.
  • A martingale collar is an excellent collar.  It slips over the dog's head.  There are no buckles that will come undone or break, and when the dog strains against the leash, it tightens so there is less chance that the dog can back out of it.
  • If you prefer a buckle collar, get a buckle that is made of metal and buckles like a belt.  Plastic buckles break!  There are some very durable ones on the market, but is it worth getting one that breaks?
  • If you need control there are many wonderful products on the market such as easy walk harnesses, regular harnesses, gentle leaders or haltis.  Each has its pluses and minuses.  As a pet owner you need to become informed as to what your needs are and how the product performs.
  •  When sizing a collar, make sure it is the right width for your size dog.  Make it tight enough to slide two fingers under the collar.  If you can get all your fingers under the collar, it is too loose.
  • There is a lot of controversy about prong collars.  I personally dislike them.  I have seen puncture wounds on dog's necks from improper use.  People who advocate their use will site dozens of benefits for their use.  All I can say is-there are too many good products on the market, so why use them?
I can tell you that there are many pet owners who have lost their dogs due to an improper collar.  Don't let your pet become one of them.

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