There a great deal of training collars available for sale. These collars are training tools with a purpose for their use. Knowing what collar is best for your training needs can be confusing, but we aim to clarify the main types of training collars, what they are used for and how to use them. Any tool can be used improperly, and so we strive to provide you with choices through education.
Read on to find the best training collar for your dog!
1. Flat buckle collar
Fits snugly and securely to help prevent escape with either a metal or plastic clip. Fit snugly on the neck allowing 2 fingers space under. Does not help to decease pulling and you cannot give a leash correction for pulling with this style collar. This collar is a staple though for tags and identification purposes and can be worn by virtually any dog safely 24/7. Can also be a fashion statement!
2. Martingale or Slip collar
Like the flat buckle collar but has an additional loop that tightens when the dog pulls on the leash. Great for skinny necked dogs or for dogs who are experienced slipping their collars. To fit, slide the collar over the dog’s head and adjust the strap so that the collar is snug on the neck, allowing 2 fingers to fit under. This collar will not stop your dog from pulling and is not designed to be used with corrections.
These collars have become very popular but can be unsafe if left on without the leash attached and you supervising because they do tighten. Never leave this collar on when you are not holding the other end of the leash.
3. Metal choke collar
A single straight chain that becomes a collar when you pull it through one of the two “O” rings. This must be slipped over the dog’s head so the smallest length size that still slides easily over the ears is the correct fit. When the dog is wearing the collar, it should look like a sideways letter “P” with your leash attached to the tail of the “P”. This allows the chain to easily glide when corrections are given and when the dog is walking on a loose leash.
If your collar is on upside down with the “P” facing up rather than down, it will stay stuck and will not release keeping tension on the dog. You do not want that. This is a training collar to be used with corrections; allowing the dog to keep constant tension does not train him and can damage the neck and throat area. This correction is a quick pop and release, the sound of the chain gliding being the punishment.
These collars are difficult to use because you must be familiar and comfortable with the pop and release correction and even when you are, the collar constantly slides down the neck. Corrections are ineffective when the collar is not high on the neck. Never leave this collar on when you are not holding the other end of the leash.
4. Prong collar
Metal collar with prongs or can be a plastic style collar with plastic prongs. The collar is fitted high on the neck just behind the ears. It should be snug and not slip or twist around the neck during use. Lengthen or shorten the collar by adding or removing links to get a snug fit high on the neck. The best and only brand we recommend is Herm Springer. Other brands have difficult to use clips, faulty clasps, and rough edges on the prongs.
The Herm Springer comes in 3 gauges: fine, medium, heavy. The size of the dog does not determine the gauge to use. The correction needed is how you determine the gauge to use. Fine offers the greatest correction and control while medium works for most all dogs. If a dog needs correction but less than what the medium gauge provides, use a plastic prong collar. Starmak is a quality choice. Consult a qualified and experienced dog trainer to help determine whether to use a plastic or metal collar.
This collar is easy to use improperly, and with any tool we need to use it responsibly. This collar will give you great control immediately. The way it works is by giving a quick pop and release style correction in the direction you are correcting. There must not be continued tension on the leash. We highly recommend consulting an experienced trainer to learn how to properly use this training tool. Never leave this collar on when you are not holding the other end of the leash.
The best training collar fits your dog and is used properly allowing your to reach your training goals. Armed with his knowledge you will be better able to identify types of training collars, know what their purpose is, how to fit them, and most importantly, the proper way to use them. Go train!
Katie Weibel, Master Dog Trainer. Providing training for companion, service and working dogs, sharing knowledge and expertise.