Big dog collars vary in type and function, and there are plenty of different types. With so many choices, what's an owner to do? Here's what you should know about the different types of big dog collars.
1) Flat Collars
Flat, or buckle, collars are one of the most common collar types. They are made from a range of different materials, including leather and nylon.
These collars make a good accessory for hanging your dog's tags, no matter what sort of collar you use for walking. You can use these collars for walking, but you should really only do so if your dog doesn't pull on the lead. Dogs who pull on a flat collar can damage their windpipes.
2) Rolled Collars
Rolled collars are pretty much the same as flat collars, but they are made of leather and rolled, rather than sewn together in a flat strip. Choose such a collar if your dog has a long fur coat or sensitive skin. Rolled collars don't leave a flat spot in your dog's fur.
3) Slip Collars
Slip collars, or choke chains, should only be used to train your dog. When you put a slip collar on your dog, make sure the loop for hooking onto the lead is on the top of your dog's neck. Don't use a slip collar if your dog has any breathing problems. These collars put pressure directly on the windpipe, and using them improperly could harm your dog, so don't attempt to train with a slip collar until you've spoke to a vet or other professional.
4) Prong Collars
Like slip collars, prong or pinch collars can harm your dog if they're used incorrectly. Talk to a vet or other professional before using such a collar on your dog.
A prong collar fits snugly just beneath your dog's ears, and should put pressure all around your dog's neck without applying direct pressure to the windpipe. Don't use a prong collar on puppies, fearful dogs, or aggressive dogs.
Harnesses are a good option to keep your dog securely attached to a lead without putting pressure on his neck or trachea. Harnesses aren't right for all dogs, however; dogs who pull may feel compelled to pull even harder when they are walked in a harness! If your dog doesn't pull on the lead, however, a harness can be a great choice.
6) Martingale Collars
Martingale collars, or soft slip collars, are a good choice for large breed dogs who have more girth around the neck than around the head, and can therefore slip out of buckle and rolled collars. They are a gentle slip collar alternative for any other large dog as well.
Fit the collar so that it matches the girth of your dog's neck exactly when pulled closed, but hangs loose when your dog is not pulling. These collars may not always be effective as training collars, but they can be better than harnesses and buckle collars in everyday situations.