It’s time to buy a collar for your new puppy, so you head off to the pet store in search of one that fits your new ball of canine fur. You think it won’t take long to snag one off of the shelf and check out.
Get ready because it is probably going to take longer than you think. There are a wide variety of collar materials, many of which are nothing more than a fashion statement for your puppy. Not only do you have to decide on the fabric and design, you need to choose a style that will best suit your puppy’s lifestyle.
Make sure you put a puppy identification tag on the collar you choose. Include the dog’s name, your name, address and telephone number.
The following are types of collars that you will find at the pet store:
1. Everyday collars refer to those that are safe for around-the-clock use. They come in many color and fabric choices. These fasten with a simple metal or quick release plastic buckle. The metal buckles tend to be a little stronger than the plastic versions.
2. Chain slip collars, which are also known as choker chains, should only be used for training sessions. This style collar is good for training a puppy to walk on a leash and to heel by your side. Knowing how to properly use a chain slip collar is vital to your puppy’s well being. Never jerk the collar because it can harm the puppy’s neck, throat and trachea. A gentle tug will do the trick. Chain slip collars should never be worn for everyday use because a puppy could easily strangle him or herself.
3. Martingale collars, which are also known as limited slip collars or Greyhound collars, work well to prevent a puppy from being able to slip his or her collar when walking on a leash. This type of collar is safer to use than a chain slip collar because there is a stopping mechanism that will prevent full closure of the puppy’s neck. This is not the best collar for everyday use, but it is safer than a choker chain.
4. Metal prong collars, which are also known as pinch collars, are effective for headstrong puppies that have a lot of power to pull on the leash. A pull of the leash will cause this type of collar to put pressure on the puppy’s neck. Caution should be used with this style of collar. It is not a collar for everyday use and should be used only when the puppy is under your supervision.
5. Breakaway collars are okay for everyday use because they have a safety feature that prevents the puppy from choking. They will withstand the pressure of a puppy tugging on a leash if you hook the leash onto both loops of the collar. The collars are designed to break away if they become entangled.
6. Head collars, which are also known as halters, look like muzzles. These function like a harness for the head so that you can train the puppy to walk on a leash or to heel. The collar works because it causes the puppy’s head to turn whenever they tug on the leash and the feeling is unnatural to the dog. These should not be worn full time.
7. While harnesses are not really collars, they are a good means of controlling a puppy. The harness fits around a puppy’s chest and abdomen and crosses over the back. Leashes attach to the top of the harness. While these collars are good for puppies with weak necks or problems with their airways, they may not be the best option for everyday use. Harnesses are probably best used for older, well-behaved dogs.
As you can see, your puppy may be best served by having more than one type of collar. Don’t skimp. Using the wrong collar can be a big source of frustration for both you and the puppy.