Pet Collar Types and When to Use Them

A traditional pet collar is available in multiple sizes, colors, widths and materials. The pet collar should fit high on the neck, not so loose that it slides to the shoulder, but attention should be paid to having it loose enough that your pet can be comfortable walking, playing and resting. Typically, a traditional pet collar should allow room for two fingers between the pet and the collar. To fit a pet collar, measure the pet’s neck and add two inches. With a large, wide leather collar, add four inches. Traditional collars should fit the size and weight of the pet, lighter for puppies and small dogs and heavier for the larger ones. The name tag and registration tags should be worn on the collar at all times. Bling collars can be fun. Spiked collars are necessary for herding dogs who have to keep wolves away, but not necessary for most dogs and can be harmful to other dogs when playing together. That said, a statement can be made either in reality for a bull mastiff or ironic for a Maltese.

Training collars come in two basic styles: choke collar and prong (pinch) collar. The debate between choke collars and prong collars rages in the dog training world, with both sides passionate about their arguments. Choke collars are more common, and used properly can be effective. Improper use, sizing and placement can easily lead to trachea and neck damage. Prong collars with their long spikes produce a “pinch or poke” feeling. They are especially good training with a small owner and a big dog, or a person with weaker hands. All training collars must be removed after training.

The third type is the harness. The leash attachment should be closer to the neck. The harness spreads the weight and, if properly fitted, can be very comfortable. Fitting should involve both neck size and girth measurements. For older dogs, a lift harness, where the pet can be picked up by handles at the neck and close to the tail may be very helpful.

The last pet collar is the halter. The halter type gives the best head control since it typically contains a muzzle-type piece. The leash is connected under the chin so that a pull on the leash will pull the dog’s head to the side, prohibiting pulling the owner forward. Since it looks more like a collar, the pet owner may find it helpful to educate others on the value of halter training. All training must be done properly. First time pet owners may want to learn proper training techniques realizing that proper training can lead to a very successful pet-owner relationship.

Selecting The Right Pet Collar For Your Dog

There are tons of supplies and products out there for pets, but there is one accessory that any pet owner cannot do without. The pet collar is an extremely important part of owning a pet as it gives you the ability to control your pet and keep them away from dangers. Most people grab the collar to keep a pet from going after something or from getting into something dangerous. Without these collars, the protection that you can offer to your pet is diminished which can be dangerous and life threatening.

In order to keep your pet safe, it is important to pick out the right kind of pet collar for them. The two things that determine what size of collar to get is the animal’s size and weight. If the animal is heavy, then you need to get a thick collar that can withstand severe pressure. If the pet is very small, then you will not need as big of a collar. The collar size can be much smaller if the pet is not very large or heavy.

Another thing to consider is the material the collar is made from. Leather collars are much stronger than cotton collars, but finding a collar that can take a beating and survive all of the things an animal does is important. Otherwise you will be going through collars at a very rapid pace. In order to make sure your collar lasts, make sure to pick out one with a solid construction foundation.

Sizing Your Dog’s Collar

The collar you decide to purchase for your dog needs to fit him properly for his safety and comfort. The following tips will help you determine just the right size for your BEST friend.

It is best to use a cloth tape measure to measure the neck of your dog, however a piece of string will also do if you do not have a cloth tape measure. If you are using a string to measure, just lay it down on a flat ruler to obtain your measurement.

You will obtain the best measurement if you measure around the neck just behind the ears. Another option is to find the shoulder bones, move up the back of the neck a couple of finger widths, and measure at that point. Circle the neck of your dog and add two inches to your figure to give you the correct length of collar you will need. Of course, if you just need to replace an old worn collar, the simplest way to measure is to just measure the old collar.

Do not pull the tape too tightly since you do not want your dog to be choking most of the time. Leave a little bit of slack, but not too much since you do not want your dog to pull out of his collar either. Your dog should be standing at attention with his head up to obtain an accurate measurement. For a new twist on an old adage, “measure twice and cut once”, measure twice and choose once. As a final step, it is a very good idea to write down your results.

Adjustable collars are offered in length ranges such as 8-12 inches, 10-14 inches, and so on. If you are buying a pet collar for a puppy, you will need to check the fit of the collar weekly. An adjustable collar will suit your pup just right through his growth spurts his first year. The same is true for an older pet. Older pets tend to put on weight and an adjustable collar will expand as they expand.

The width of the pet collar will be a factor also. Smaller dogs should wear a narrower pet collar. Standard width sizes of pet collars are 3/8 inch, 5/8 inch, or 1 inch. Some owners think that if they outfit their friend with a big, wide collar, it will make him more impressive. For the comfort of your pet, make sure the collar does not chafe or pinch any part of the neck. The “choker” look may look “cool”, however it is not worth your dogs discomfort to achieve that look.

Once you place the collar on your dog, you should be able to easily slide two fingers between the collar and his neck. This ensures you chose the right collar for your dogs safety and comfort.

As with almost any purchase you make, you will need to check and maintain that purchase. Depending upon the material, the dog collar may shrink or expand when it becomes wet. Just everyday romping or playing can produce rips or tears in the fabric. Check your dogs throat and neck area for any chafing, sores, or loss of hair around the collar. A good neck scratch under the pet collar will be very much appreciated by your friend. Not only will you be able to check his neck area with the scratching, you will increase that loving bond you have with your BEST friend!