How To Choose A Dog Training Collar

Narrated from: Dog Collars

A warning

No matter what type of a training collar you choose for your dog, there are two things you have to keep in mind:

1) The collar has to be fitted to your dog’s size. It shouldn’t be too loose, or too tight; also, the longer the collar, the more skill and experience you need to use it properly!

2) Training collars must only be worn during a training session and under constant supervision. Training collars, if left on the dog, can pose a severe danger to your dog’s health and could even kill it.

Types of training collars

Choke chains (slip collars): A choke chain is a length of chain or nylon rope with rings at either end that can be formed into a loop around the top of the dog's neck, just behind the ears. The ring which connects to the leash must go over the back of the dog's neck, not under. With a quick jerk, followed by an immediate release, you can briefly choke the dog. However, some people argue that this is not an effective tool, since the dog wouldn’t understand the meaning of the choke – in a dog pack the dog would be reprimanded by a nip on the neck. Still, choke chains can be an effective tool, especially if you just want to force the dog to heel – but have it in mind that if you do not learn how to use it properly, you could damage your dog’s neck!

Prong collar: these collars look quite nasty, but they are considered a must for strong, stubborn dogs, especially if they are leash-pullers. At first glance, a prong collar might look like a deadly contraption, but the prongs actually only pinch the dog. The prongs must be pointed towards the dog’s neck – you must never put a prong collar on with the prongs pointing outwards, because you will endanger the dog! Also, never buy a low-quality  collar, since it could pierce the dog’s skin. Prong collars are quite effective, but some dogs are known to be able to shake them off!

Martingale collar: these collars are designed to stop dogs from slipping out. Martingale collars are especially designed for dogs whose heads are smaller than their necks, but can be used on any breed. The martingale collar can be tightened by a pull of the leash, just like a choke chain, and it applies pressure to the neck as a prong collar does; however, it has the benefit of a safety mechanism, so you won’t be able to strangle your dog by accident.

Head halters: these collars are used on dogs that cannot be directed. They give the handler control over the dog’s head – and if you control the head, you control the dog! This collar has a muzzle-like addition, which goes over your dog’s muzzle – it allows you to turn the dog’s head in the chosen direction when the dog insists on going in the wrong way. However, head halters, though more humane than choke chains, also pose a threat to your dog’s health – especially if you do not use the collar properly! The Gentle leader is the most proven brand on the market.

Shock collars: shock collars are a highly controversial issue. They can be used to stop excessive barking; together with an “invisible fence”, a shock collar will also keep the dog in the yard. Generally, the handler applies an electric shock when he wants to correct the dog’s behavior; these collars can also be automatic and react to barking. Many people consider shock collars inhumane, since most types send an electric shock through the dog’s body. Still, there are shock collar alternatives that just spray your dog’s nose – spray collars use citronella, water or just air. These collars are considered an effective tool in all cases, but it would be best to use them with caution to make sure you are not hurting your dog!

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