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Works especially well for large dogs that tend to pull hard on the leash. Can purchase replacement links to easily change the size of the collar. Secure connection with metal materials throughout. Prongs have blunt ends so they don't puncture the dog's skin.
Not an everyday collar. Prongs can become tangled in the fur of dogs with long hair.
Works nicely for dogs that need more of a gentle style of correction. Makes use of a polymer in the collar's materials to deliver a high level of durability. Available in 2 sizes, and you can add more links as needed to perfectly resize the collar. Effective for those just starting obedience classes.
Not intended to be used as a primary collar. Design not as effective as others for heavy pullers.
Style of nylon collar that can be used both as an everyday collar and as a beginner-level obedience collar. Offered in multiple sizes and colors. Offers reflective stitching in the material for use at night. Made more for puppies and light pullers rather than for those that need heavy corrections.
Has a plastic quick-release buckle, so it's not as sturdy as some others.
Works nicely for dogs of multiple sizes. Has 2 connection options for dealing with dogs who need minimal or extensive correction. Uses blunt prongs so they won't puncture the dog's skin during obedience training sessions. Can add extra links as needed to increase the size of the collar.
Not made for wearing all day. Prongs can tangle in long fur.
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Dogs are smart, intuitive creatures capable of taking in a lot of information from their human companions to adjust to the world around them. There are different ways to train a dog, but above all it requires patience, dedication, and the right tools. A good training collar is one of those tools.
Dog training collars are used to teach dogs the commands they need to know to be confident and safe in different environments. There are a couple of types of these collars that are safe and effective and won’t harm your dog. One of these should be paired with humane training methods in order to achieve the results you seek.
The right training collar is an important component of properly educating your dog. The wrong collar can instill fear and anxiety in a dog and make it negatively associate training or walks with punishment. Our buying guide outlines the options, which collars should be avoided, and how to train your dog so it can live a happy, safe life.
There are two main types of training collars that are most effective: the martingale and the head collar.
Martingale collars are designed with a loop that prevents the dog from pulling or slipping out of the collar. The loop is set to a certain length, and when the dog pulls, the loop slowly tightens. You can set how much the loop tightens so it doesn’t hurt or put pressure on your dog’s neck.
Head collars, or gentle leaders, wrap around the dog’s neck and snout and act like a front clip harness. If the dog tries to pull, the movement redirects the dog’s attention back to the person holding the leash. Pulling simply turns the dog around, deterring the pulling behavior.
A gentle leader is comfortable and safe for dogs. The front strap doesn’t cover the dog's mouth but instead rests at the top of the snout, below the eyes. The dog can still open its mouth. The back strap sits higher up on the neck without putting pressure on the vulnerable part of the throat.
The most successful, healthy, and humane dog training is done with positive reinforcement. However, decades ago it was believed that to train a dog you needed to establish dominance while disciplining the dog through uncomfortable and even painful means, including aversive collars. While this method of training is now largely rejected, there are still some people who use them.
Aversive collars include metal choke collars that tighten around the dog’s neck, which is especially dangerous for smaller dogs; metal prong collars that have points that press into a dog’s neck when it pulls; and bark and shock collars that hurt the dog when it performs an undesirable action. All of these are harmful to the dog and should not be used.
A common side effect of using an aversive collar is the dog becomes fearful and anxious, with the dog repressing a behavior instead of learning to not do it. The dog could begin to fear going outside at all, and while it might understand what not to do, it won’t necessarily know what it should do. Most importantly, aversive collars present a high risk of pain, trauma, and serious injury to the dog.
Training collars come with a size guide so you can get the right fit for your dog. You’ll need to measure the circumstance of your dog’s neck using a flexible measuring tape or a piece of string or rope that you can then measure with a ruler.
You can tell the training collar fits properly if you can slide two fingers between the collar and the neck. This means the fit is snug and comfortable but also allows for control. The dog should have full range of motion without the collar pinching, but the collar should not be so loose that it can slide off easily.
Dog training collars are offered in a range of colors, patterns, and other fun designs. In most cases, you’ll have a choice of various solid colors, which you can match to the color of your dog’s coat or favorite leash. Some options come in various patterns or pop culture motifs.
Some training collars have a reflective lining that helps your dog be more visible in the dark. The lining shows up when lights shine on it, such as headlights. While this feature is helpful, if you regularly walk your dog at night, especially if the dog is black, it’s advised that you use a brighter LED collar or a reflective vest or harness for better visibility.
For active dogs, some training collars are waterproof by design and won’t wear out or retain odors when submerged in water. Most dog training collars can hold up when exposed to rain or snow.
Dog leash: Frisco Dog Leash
The ideal leash for walking a dog is 6 feet long, like this nylon option by Frisco. It allows you to control your dog and provides room for your pet to explore. This collar comes in four colors too.
Dog training treats: Blue Buffalo Bits
The treats you use for training should be high value and different from the regular treats you give your dog at home. These chicken, salmon, or beef soft treats by Blue Buffalo are healthy and delicious.
The Humane Society of the United States says that aversive collars are not humane. There are better collars to use for effective training and positive reinforcement.
Inexpensive: You can find small martingale collars in a variety of colors and patterns for under $10.
Mid-range: Most dog training collars, including martingale and gentle leader options, cost between $10 and $20 for small and medium dogs.
Expensive: Large training collars cost over $20.
A. Positive reinforcement and creating positive associations with training are necessary to successfully train your dog to walk by your side and listen to your commands. The goal is for your dog to not pull or react to stimuli like other people or animals. It should also make eye contact with you so it knows what you want it to do. You can also use a clicker, which conditions your dog to look at you when it hears the noise.
It’s helpful to bring tasty dog treats on your walk and reward your dog with treats and praise when it responds correctly, especially early in the training process. Over time, you can reward your dog with just praise. Be consistent with your commands so your dog doesn’t get confused.
A. A gentle leader is designed for walking and should only be used when your dog is on a leash outside. A martingale collar can be kept on at home, but most owners remove collars when their dogs are indoors so their pets are more comfortable. A dog wearing a collar shouldn’t be left unsupervised, especially a younger dog that may explore the house or try to escape a crate. The collar could catch on something and injure the dog.
A. A harness generally provides more control for the owner and more comfort for the dog during walks. The harness spreads the pressure more evenly across the chest instead of applying pressure to the vulnerable area around the neck. However, training collars are designed to relieve that pressure while also increasing the ability of the owner to guide their dog in the right direction.
Once your dog is trained to go on walks, it may do well with a regular collar provided it doesn’t pull and isn’t excitable. In most cases, it’s recommended that you use a harness so that the dog doesn’t risk injury to the neck or have an opportunity to escape.
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