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Dog Collar - How to Select the Best Dog Collar

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If you're looking for a dog collar, there are many colors, materials, and styles. Finding the safest and best dog collar should be easy if you stop to consider a few factors before you shop. Remember, measure the diameter of your dog's neck before you shop!

Desirable Features in a Dog Collar

  • Size
  • Ability to clean
  • Durability
  • Safety

    Ideal Choice of a Dog Collar

  • Nylon and leather dog collars with either buckled or snap-together closures are great choices. Test the snap-together sample to ensure that the hold is strong. Depending on the size of your dog, you may need one that adjusts easily as he grows or choose one for him as a puppy and another for him at his adult size. Some dog collars can be woven with your pets name and your contact number in the case his is lost or gets away. Consider reflective materials if you plan to walk your dog at night.

    Shopping Tips for a Dog Collar

  • The ideal fit should allow for one to three fingers to fit between your dog's neck and the collar, depending on the size of your dog.

    - If your dog is very small, (under 20 pounds), leave only one finger's width between the collar and his neck.

    - If you have an average, medium-sized dog, go for a two-finger fit.

    - If your dog is very large, a three-finger fit may be better.

  • “Slip” or “choke” style dog collars consist of a length of leather, nylon or chain link with rings on each end. They are used as training collars and the concept is to “correct” the dog. Choke collars work on the principle of punishment, and many trainers now recommend a purely “reward-based” training. They are not to be used as everyday collars. Choke collars should never be used on toy dogs or dogs less than 20 pounds.

  • “Pinch” or ”prong training” style dog collars are appointed with blunt prongs that face the dog's neck. They are controversial, although some experienced trainers find them useful in dealing with large, powerful dogs. Never use a pinch or prong collar as an everyday collar or because you think it makes your dog look mean or tough.

  • Electric “shock collars” are not recommended for puppies. While useful in specialized training environments (such as field training of gun dogs by experienced handlers), shock collars should never be used by inexperienced or impatient pet owners as a substitute for proper training, discipline, or socialization. Improperly used, they can do way more harm than good.

  • Body harnesses are ideal for small or toy dogs. When you pull back on the leash, the harness tightens around the dog's chest, controlling him without causing pressure on his neck or back.

  • Leather is a good choice for a dog collar; however, many dogs are dedicated leather-chewers. If your dog spends a lot of time around other canines, check the collar frequently for signs of chewing damage and replace right away if necessary.

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