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Dog Collars 101

In today’s market, dog collars come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. The trick for the dog owner is to pick the right collar for their particular pet. To get the best collar for your pet, you should consider the size and weight of your pet, the nature and activity level of your pet, as well as any training needs.
 

Types of Collars

Buckle collars are a traditional style of dog collar and are a great choice for most dogs in most situations. They are less likely to come undone on the active dog and perfect for the growing puppy.. It also has a ring for you to attach your dog’s tags.
 
Nylon collars are an excellent choice for dogs that are in the water a lot. These collars are color fast so the color won’t fade onto your pet’s fur when wet. Because the nylon is so durable, it is easy to clean by putting the nylon collar into the washing machine. The smaller nylon collars are great for puppies and small dogs, while nylon webbed collars is a better choice for larger dogs.
 

Image Source: (c)iStockPhoto/Mur-Al

Leather collars are available in a wide variety of widths and colors in today’s market. These colored leather collars will not discolor or fade into your pet’s fur. Some advantages to a leather collar are that they are very durable and wear extremely well. Leather makes them stronger and more durable than some other materials choices. The natural oils in your pet’s skin will soften the leather of the collar as they wear it. The leather will not wear well on a dog that likes to spend a great deal of time in the water. A rolled leather collar is especially designed to keep the hair from lying flat on the coats of longhaired dogs.
 
There are some collars that are used for training purposes only. Your pet should not be wearing these every day, but only during times of training. Choke chains or pinch collars are designed to briefly tighten and apply pressure when the owner or trainer applies correction to a dog. Head collars put light pressure on a dog’s muzzle and the back of their neck, mimicking the way a mother corrects her pups. Most head collars are made of nylon for strength and durability. Head collars are a good choice for training dogs that tend to pull while walking. Dogs should never be put on a tie-out chain while wearing a choke chain or pinch collar. Choke chains or pinch collars should never be used on puppies, as there are gentler and more effective training collars for puppies.
 
While not a traditional collar, another type of restraint is the dog harness. Harnesses are placed around a dog’s chest and ribcage to allow for better control of the dog without choking the dog with a traditional collar. Most harnesses are made from nylon for strength and durability. Harnesses are a popular collar alternative for dogs with neck problems or for dogs that tend to pull while being walked.
 
Finally, some collars, such as those offered by companies like PetHub [PetHub collars], come with built in QR-coded tags. The tag helps identify your pet through a link to a free online profile in the event that your pet escapes. These collars are offered in the nylon style with buckle as mentioned earlier, as well as rubber which is great for dogs that love to get wet. PetHub also offers collars with a reflective strip sewn in which is perfect for walking your dog at night as it can reflect a car’s headlight beams providing an extra level of safety when out.
 

Fit of Collars

Puppies and small dogs need nylon or a thin leather collar, while larger dogs need nylon webbed or thicker leather collars. A good fitting collar should fit snugly so it will not slip over a dog’s head but not too tight as that would be uncomfortable and possibly choke the dog. A rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck on a good fitting collar. If you have extra strap left on the end of the collar, it is a good idea to cut the excess collar off so that the dog cannot chew on the extra material. Collars now come with a snap type plastic fastener in place of a buckle. These snap type fasteners are a good choice, but if your dog is an outdoor dog, you should ensure that the collar has a quick release fastener in case your dog gets the collar hooked or hung up on an object while outdoors.