What is the best collar for my dog? Well, for the majority of dogs, a traditional nylon or leather dog collar is enough. There are so many styles of dog collars to choose from. This depends on the size and disposition of a dog as well as your training need. There are dog collars for specific situations and these are as follows:
Traditional Dog Collars should ride high on a dog’s neck; not loose so that it slides down near the top of his shoulder blades. The collar should not be too loose since it will slip over the dog’s head. It should also not be tight as this restricts breathing and may cause coughing or choking. A collar should be snug with enough room to fit two fingers between the dog's neck and his collar. The collar size on growing puppies should be checked regularly. Use a tape measure to measure your dog’s neck, and then add on two to three inches for safety. Collar and lead width should match your dog’s size. Smaller leads are for small dogs and puppies, and wider, more durable styles are for bigger dogs.
Dog Harnesses go around the neck and around the shoulders behind the front legs. These are recommended for dogs that have upper respiratory disease or diseases of the throat or trachea, such as a collapsed trachea. A dog with respiratory problems would pull on the collar and on the leash and this would place pressure on the throat and trachea. Irritation and coughing would result. Therefore, harnesses relieve that pressure.
Halter-type Dog Collars will give you the best control over your dog since it gives you control of your dog’s head. These collars look more like a horse's halter, with a band going around the back of the head, and another around the nose. The leash snaps onto the collar under the chin. When you pull on the leash, the dog's head will either be pulled down or to the side - this makes it virtually impossible for the dog to pull you forward.
Chain-slip Dog Collars, also called check chain or 'choke collars,' provide effective training when used correctly and on appropriate dogs. These collars are used for dominant dogs. If you plan to use a choke collar on your dog, have a trainer show you how to use it correctly. Correct usage involves a quick 'tug-and-release' action. These collars should only be worn during training sessions, never in a crate, and avoided in pets with delicate builds and tracheas, such as Yorkshire Terriers. For correct sizing, measure your pet's neck and add 2-1/2"- 3". There is a right and wrong way to put a slip collar on a dog. To correctly place a collar on a dog, the top ring on a properly-looped collar forms a letter P when you stand in front of the dog and pull it snug. If it forms the number 9, it is on backward and may not release immediately as designed, which may cause discomfort or gagging.
Pronged Collars, also called pinch collars, contain blunt prongs that protrude inward from the links. Designed for only the most stubborn pullers, they are temporary training tools used to change behavior on dogs that do not respond to any other collar. Halter-type collars give you more control and are much less likely to harm your dog.
Last but not least every collar you own should have a current nametag attached to it at all times!