How to Pick a Dog Collar

What is the correct collar to buy for your dog? We need to consider his temperament, physical health, and what we want it for (control or training).


I suggest two collars. The first one is a simple house or yard collar that has the dog’s identification on it. This is a comfortable collar, and it can even be just the right color and style for the fashion conscious.


These collars should have a safety release buckle on them for ease of removal in an emergency.


For sizing a collar, fit it so that it is not set to the maximum tightness or loosest setting. This allows you to tighten the collar as it stretches, or as the dog grows, to loosen it.


The second collar is exclusively for walking and training. This collar should be a flat buckle collar that is comfortable - not too loose or too tight.


Adjust the collar to allow two fingers inside when positioned at the top of the neck. By having the collar adjusted this way, your dog can’t slip out and run away into hazards. This collar should also have safety release buckle for emergencies.


For most dogs and especially unpredictable (think nervous) dogs, I prefer a martingale so the dog cannot slip out of it if it panics and backs up. One with a release buckle can be tightened to fit the neck properly.


Prong collars, in my opinion, are unnecessary. They are supposed to cause pain when pulled tight, but what we see is that dogs don’t notice them, or react fearful because they simulate a bite. They are dangerous. If you ever get a finger caught in one and the dog turns, you can break a finger. Slip collars or choke chains are also ineffective; they do not stay up high enough on the neck to be a helpful steering tool, and they tend to promote collar corrections.


See how to use the correct collar in this webinar.



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