Dog Collars Used For Training Dogs

There are a variety of dog training collars used in dog training. Some professional dog trainers advocate one type of collar and only use that type of collar for training dogs, while other dog trainers say that type of collar should never be used in dog training. Of course, each dog trainer uses their own method of dog training, and the type of training collar they use reflects the dog training method they use. This article is about the various types of dog training collars, their proper use, and in some cases, how they are properly put on the dog.

The Slip (aka Choke) Collar

The Slip Collar, also known as a Choke Collar, is a length of chain, nylon rope, or other fabric, with rings on both ends. If the collar is made out of chain, it is commonly referred to as a “choke chain”. By pushing the chain or fabric through one of the rings, a loop can be formed which can be put over the dog’s head and around his neck. That leaves the other ring free for attaching the leash.

Putting the Slip Collar on the dog With most training, specifically obedience training, the dog is normally on the left side of the trainer/handler. To put the collar on the dog correctly, with the dog on your left, the part of the collar connected to the free ring should go over the dog’s neck. To check that the collar is on correctly, you can pull on the free ring to tighten the collar, then release it. The collar should be loose. If the collar is not on the dog correctly, even after you release the free ring, he collar will stay snugly around the dog’s neck. When the collar is put on properly and is snug around the dog’s neck the free ring should be about 11/2″ to 3″ from the dog’s neck.

Proper use of the Slip Collar When training with the Slip Collar, the collar should be just behind the dog’s ears. The slip collar is NOT for pulling or choking the dog. It is to give the dog a correction, when it’s needed. The correction is given by applying a sharp jerk to the leash. This means that you quickly pull on the leash to tighten the collar, then immediately release the pressure so that the collar is loose. The strength of the jerk should be just enough to get the dog’s attention and is a function of the size, build and temperament of the dog. Obviously the strength of a correction for a Beagle would be a lot different than one for a German Shepard.

The Martingale Collar

The Martingale Collar is like a slip collar in that it tightens when the leash is pulled. The big difference is that it can only tighten a certain amount so that it won’t choke the dog. It consists of a length of fabric with a ring on both ends. A short piece of fabric or chain goes through both rings and has both its ends connected to one ring, to which the leash can be attached. When the leash is pulled, the collar tightens to where the two rings touch each other. It has an adjustment so that the tightest it can get is just snug around the dog’s neck. Because the Martingale Collar is usually wider than the Slip Collar, it spreads the pressure on the dog’s neck and prevents the collar from getting tangled in the dog’s fur.

Putting the Martingale Collar on the dog The Martingale collar, after it’s properly adjusted, is just slipped over the dog’s head and ears. Some of them have a quick release buckles that can be used, especially if the dog ‘s head is much larger than its neck.

Proper use of the Martingale Collar The Martingale Collar is used in the same way as the Slip Collar. It is less severe than the Slip Collar in the discomfort it gives the dogs, but can be just as effective. Because the Martingale Collar can’t choke the dog, it can be used as an everyday collar as well as a training collar.

The Prong (aka Pinch) Collar

The Prong Collar, also known as a Pinch Collar, is designed to simulate the way the mother dog disciplines the puppies by pinching the skin on the neck. The prongs of the collar are not designed to puncture the skin. Some Prong Collars have rubber or plastic tips that can be put on the ends of the prongs. The collar is made up of interlocking prongs that form a circle around the dog’s neck with a short piece of chain attached to it much the same way as in the Martingale Collar. That way, the collar can only be tightened so that the prongs pinch, but don’t penetrate the skin. The size is adjusted by adding or removing prongs.

Putting the Prong Collar on the dog The Prong Collar is slipped over the dog’s head and ears the same way as the Martingale Collar is. Some Prong Collars have a latch on the short piece of chain that makes it easier to put on the dog.

The proper use of the Prong Collar It is important that the Prong Collar is the right size for the dog. You should be able to put the tip of your little finger between the end of the prong and the dog’s skin when the collar is loose. The Prong Collar looks more severe than it is. It gives the dog a different sensation than the Slip or Martingale Collars. It doesn’t really close in on the dog’s neck as much as it pinches the dog’s skin. As with the Slip Collar, the strength of the jerk should be just enough to get the dog’s attention.

The Head Collar

The Head Collar is usually made out of nylon and has two basic parts. One goes around the dog’s neck and the other is a noseband that goes around his muzzle.