A collar is much more than a piece of material put around your dog's neck. With so many types on the market nowadays, your head may be spinning by the variety of choices. You don't need to spend a fortune on a collar studded with diamonds nor do you have to purchase the very first collar you see. Making an informed choice is important to ensure your dog is safe and comfortable.
If you are looking for a simple collar your dog can comfortably wear during the day, you must make sure it is comfortable and safe. A leather or nylon buckle collar of the right size can be so comfortable your dog completely forgets he is wearing it. If your dog is allowed to romp around, look for break-away collars that release in case the collar gets snagged somewhere. In order for traditional flat collars to be comfortable, though, they must be lightweight and snug enough that they won't slip off the head, but not so tight that you cannot easily fit two ﬁngers between your pet’s neck and the collar.
While a flat buckle collar can work wonders for many dogs, some are better off with another type. For instance, many toy breeds are prone to a condition known as "tracheal collapse." In this case, switching from a collar to a chest harness is helpful, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Also, dogs with sensitive skin may develop irritation from certain materials or develop hair loss from the constant friction of the collar against the skin. In these cases a rolled rope or rolled leather collar with a smooth lining may be a better choice.
Certain collars are a far cry from being comfortable and may even cause pain. If you want a collar that is comfortable for your dog, avoid choke collars, prong collars, and (obviously) shock collars. These are gradually losing popularity because they are used for punishment-based training, which can cause dogs to become fearful and may negatively affect the relationship between dog and owner, according to J. Roley and C. M. Brady with Purdue's Department of Animal Sciences.
So what's the absolute best collar for your dog? You know you hit the jackpot when a properly ﬁtted collar makes walking, training and interacting with your dog a pleasant experience. No collar should ever hurt a dog or interfere with her natural movement or normal activities. And of course, even the best collar can be misused, so make sure you not only find a collar that comfortably fits your dog but that you know how to use it properly.
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