How To Choose The Best Dog Collar

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“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.”Johnny Depp

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How to choose the best dog collar – Here’s the thing: in most places, it’s required by law to have your dog on a leash whenever it’s outside. But, that means you’re the one who has to decide what kind of collar and leash you’re going to use. And that can be very complicated at times, considering the sheer amount of options you have available today. So, how do you choose the best dog collar for your furbaby? Luckily, we’ve come up with a list of several different types of collars in the hopes of making things at least a bit less mind-boggling for you.

1. Flat Collars

These are your everyday, standard dog collars. Flat collars should generally fit your dog’s neck very comfortably, typically boast metal or plastic quick-release closures and are often made from hardy materials such as nylon. When looking to choose the best dog collar in terms of flat collars, you want to be able to fit two fingers under the collar easily. You’ll likely also find a ring attached, designed for your leash and maybe some ID tags.

2. Head Collars

These are rather reminiscent of a horse’s halter, to be honest. Head collars are ideal for headstrong dogs; both those that are overly playful and those that just aren’t aware of their own strength. One of the straps is placed around the neck of your dog (just behind the ears), and the other is fitted around his muzzle. The leash actually attaches to the ring on the muzzle material. The principle of operation here is that these work by focusing on exerting control over the muzzle of your pup, as well as the amount of leverage. In other words, they give you more control over your dog’s pulling power. Only a proper fit should be used here!

3. Martingale Collars

When looking to choose the best dog collar, many owners aren’t aware these even exist. Also called limited-slip collars, these do very well on dogs with slender necks, the likes of Whippet, Saluki, Greyhound etc. The reason for this is that dogs with slender necks can very easily dip out of a flat collar. The design of these collars is characteristic. They consist of a length of material with rings at each end, and then another length of material running through the rings. The leash is actually attached to a ring on the second length of material. That way, when your furbaby tries to slip out of their collar, the martingale prevents them from escaping by tightening only to the size of your dog’s neck (when properly adjusted). 

4. Pinch/Prong Collars

Some call them prong collars, others refer to them as pinch collars; either way, they are metal collars consisting of variously designed links and can be either expanded or shortened by adding/removing additional links. Each of the links is equipped with a set of prongs, which sit against the skin of the pup. When the dog puts tension on the leash, the prongs pinch its neck to cause some displeasure, making the dog aware of his actions. When looking to choose the best dog collar, you should also know that these collars usually boast a small silver ring which sits on the back of the dog’s neck and is designed for attaching the leash.

5. Choke Collars

A choke collar is very similar to pinch/prong collars in that it’s based on the same principle: it tightens according to the tension put on the leash. It generally looks like a thin chain and pretty much functions like a noose or a rope looped through itself. Therefore, the collar pulls tightly around the dog’s neck if you pull the leash, causing the dog to feel some discomfort and relax back into stride in order to loosen the tension. However, as with pinch/prong collars, when hunting to choose the best dog collar, you best mind the fact that choke collars are also generally only used with more aggressive, stronger breeds. Therefore, if you happen to own a fragile-necked breed, you best steer clear of these.

6. Spray Collars

Spray collars are actually a type of no-bark collars that work by spraying your dog’s face with a non-toxic substance when they sense your dog barking. Theoretically, your dog will simply get tired of being sprayed in the face every time it barks and will, consequentially, realize that no barking means no more spraying.

7. Sonic Collars

Also known as ultrasonic collars, these collars boast a device that is positioned against the throat of your dog. Once it detects the vibration caused by the bark, it emits a high-pitched noise that only your furbaby will be able to detect. As a result, your pup should be deterred from barking after a while. Though, trying to choose the best dog collar might also result in the following, more extreme tool.

8. When Looking To Choose The Best Dog Collar, Only Use Shock Collars As A Last Resort

Similarly to the previous type of tool, shock collars also come with a small device designed to sit against the throat of your pup. This device also goes off once it detects the dog has started barking. However, instead of emitting a sound humans can’t detect, it actually sends a shock (zap) to the back of his neck. In case your pup is particularly stubborn, you can even set the collar to several different shock levels. An important consideration here for owners looking to choose the best dog collar is the fact that this tool gives you the option of testing the shock collar against your own skin before actually using it on your furbaby. Choose wisely and don’t be afraid of exploring several options before settling on any one in particular.

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