When it comes to choosing a collar for your new furry family member, there are so many choices it can be difficult to know where to begin! Here, you can learn more about the types of collars available, their uses and safety considerations.
Nylon collars are the "traditional" dog collar. They come in many styles, including adjustable with plastic quick release buckles, nonadjustable with metal buckles, and with safety tabs for use in doggie day care or other multi-dog situations. These collars are excellent as ID tag holders and for every day use. They can be easy to slip, though, and nylon collars with plastic buckles can come undone easily.
Leather collars offer a bit more durability and can be a bit less harsh on your puppy's fur, particularly if your pooch has longer hair. Leather collars can range from the very simplistic strap with holes punched in it to the very ornate with hand-carved tooling, multiple layers and customized fitting. Leather collars can be either rolled or flat; rolled collars tend to cause less breakage of fur. Like nylon collars, these can be easy for your pup to slip.
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Martingale collars also are called "greyhound" or "limited slip" collars. They can be made of nylon or leather and the design of the collar, a simple strap with a loop, eliminate concerns of the collar slipping off over your dog's head. Because there is no buckle, you never have to worry about hardware failure or accidentally hitting the quick release and setting your dog free at the most inopportune times. Martingales make excellent, secure everyday collars, and come in a plethora of colors, designs, materials and styles.
Head collars also are known as "head halters." Two very popular name brand head halters are the Gentle Leader and the Newtrix. This type of collar fits around your puppy's muzzle and helps to guide your puppy gently by directing her head. This type of collar is used for walking and training only, and cannot be worn all of the time. Therefore, your puppy still needs to wear another collar with ID information.
Since 2001, Kea Grace has published in "Dog Fancy," "Clean Run," "Front and Finish" and an international Czechoslovakian agility enthusiast magazine. Grace is the head trainer for Gimme Grace Dog Training and holds her CPDT-KA and CTDI certifications. She is a member of the APDT and is a recognized CLASS instructor. She's seeking German certification from the Goethe Institut.