Using a Safety Collar for Dogs

Learn the best ways to use a safety collar for dogs. Traditional collars and choke collars cause many injuries every year. These collars can become embedded in the skin if the pet owner puts them on too tightly. Chain choke collars pull too tightly, causing strangulation and tracheal damage.

Safety collars are designed to reduce the number of injuries caused to dogs that become stuck on tree branches, fences or simply are wearing too tight a collar.

Types of Dog Safety Collars

Most pet owners purchase one of three forms of safety collar to help train their dog:

Breakaway and stretch collars fit around the dog's neck. If your dog is difficult to manage when you're on a walk, avoid these breakaway collars. This form of safety collar is designed to snap apart when the collar is pulled. Your dog will end up getting away from you.

Stretch collars have an elastic insert that stretches when the collar is pulled. In most cases, you can have your dog on a leash and still retain control of him. However, if the dog pulls so that he is facing you, there is a chance that the collar will slip off his head.

Halti collars successfully train dogs not to pull. The collar fits over the muzzle of the dog and attaches behind the ears. As the dog starts to pull while you're walking, the collar forces his head to the side. It's meant to simulate the action a pack leader takes with lower-ranking dogs by grabbing the muzzle.

The problem with Halti head collars or head halters is that they are difficult to put on. For the head halter to train a dog effectively, it must be placed on the dog correctly. Many will fight you the first time you place it on, because it feels unusual. You also must make sure the collar is tight enough without being too tight, or it will cut into the skin.

Proper Use of a Safety Collar

When your dog is safe within your home, he really doesn't need to wear a collar. The only time a collar is necessary is when you're out of the house for a walk, appointment or traveling.

Place the collar around your dog's neck and hold two fingers between the collar and the neck while you fasten it. There should always be enough space between the collar and your dog's neck. If the collar is any tighter than that, throat and neck damage can occur.

Check the fit of the collar every time you put it on your dog. Puppies grow quickly and what fits one week may be far too tight the next.

Consider a Harness for Dogs that Pull

The goal of any pet owner is to work with their dog to eliminate pulling. However, while you train your dog this basic obedience rule, he may pull excessively.

Try using a harness when you take your dog outside. A harness fits over the shoulders and straps around the front legs. The leash attaches to a ring placed over the dog's shoulders, giving you exceptional control of the animal without causing any damage to the trachea.