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What Training Collar is Right for My Dog?

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

For many first time pet owners, the challenge of picking the right dog collar during their dog’s training is not always an easy one. Many people mistakenly assume that dog collars are all alike—after all, “a collar is a collar!” However, there are actually different types of dog collars; some of these are made with specific types of training or behavior in mind, while others may simply be up to the dog owner’s preference. Let’s take a look at the types of dog training collars to help you choose the right kind of collar for your dog-in-training.

Traditional Collars

Types_of_Training_Collars_for_DogsSome dog owners choose to use traditional collars during training. Traditional dog collars are usually made of a thick nylon material which should be fitted comfortably around the dog’s neck–snug enough to fit two fingers between the neck and the collar is usually a good rule of thumb. Traditional collars should not be too loose, which can cause them to become snagged and possibly choke the dog; but they should not be tight enough to cause coughing or restrict breathing. If you are training a puppy, you may need to loosen the collar frequently as they grow or purchase a new collar for safety.

Traditional collars, for many dog owners, are a perfectly acceptable type of training collar. If the dog has an agreeable disposition and is not experiencing much difficulty being trained, then a basic collar combined with a traditional leash and other training methods–such as a clicker and treats–may be all that they require.

Pronged Collars

Prongedcollars, which are sometimes referred to as pinch collars, contain blunt prongs on the inside of the collar. The pronged collar is designed to be used as a temporary collar for dogs which are very stubborn or difficult to train, especially when it comes to proper walking behavior. When a pronged collar is gently pulled, the prongs will cause the dog discomfort.

Pronged collars are only recommended as a last resort for dogs that have proven to be very stubborn or difficult to train. Physical correction–in this case through the use of prongs–is generally considered to be a last resort as well.

Chain Slip Collars

Chain slip collars, more commonly referred to as choke collars, and are commonly used for dogs that are persistent leash pullers, strong-willed or are not responding to training using a traditional dog collar. A choke collar uses a pull-and-release action, which will let the dog know that their behavior is not acceptable and that you desire a different type of behavior. Like pronged collars, choke collars are considered to be best used for stronger, stubborn breeds who do not respond as easily to traditional collar training as other dog breeds.

Choke collars should only be worn during training sessions, and should not be used for dogs that have delicate throats or tracheas, such as smaller breeds. If you intend to use a choke collar, you should have a professional dog trainer demonstrate the proper and safe way to use it before using it yourself.