There are many different types of collars that you can use to train your dog. There are collars that work better on some dogs than others, but there is no one collar that works to train every dog. To find the best collar to train your dog in may take some homework. Be sure you know how to properly use the collar and how to put it on your dog before you start your training.Training collars should be used specifically for training purposes and not left on an unattended dog and you should never leave a collar of any kind on a crated dog.
Chain Slip Collars- These are also commonly called “choke collars” This collar is used strictly for training and should never be left on your dog when unattended because it can pose a strangulation hazard. When training your dog to walk or heel with a slip collar, a correction is made with a quick pull and release. This causes the collar to close somewhat around the dogs neck. This pressure is designed to get the dogs attention. Many trainers believe that these collars can cause trauma to the neck of the dog even when they are used properly. Because of this Over many trainers have gotten away from using this type of collar. If you choose to use a slip collar, make sure to get proper training on how to use it before placing it on your dog.
Martingale Collars- The Martingale collar is made with two loops. The large loop is placed over the dogs head and adjusted to fit loosely. The leash is hooked to a D ring on the smaller loop. When the dog tries to pull on the leash, the tension pulls the small loop taught, which makes the larger loop smaller and tighten around the neck. This works on the same principal as the slip collar. The collar was initially designed for the greyhound and whippet because of their thin faces and small ears. This type of collar also works well for dogs that try to back out of their collars. When adjusted properly, the dog is never chocked, but the collar is snug (right behind the ears) until the pressure is released. The Martingale collar does pose risk of strangulation just as the slip collar, but you need to weigh the risk of possible strangulation with the risk of needing to grab a nonslip collar in an emergency situation.
Head Collars- Also known halters slightly resemble a muzzle, but they are used for a completely different purpose. The head collar acts like a halter for the head and is used to help teach the dog to walk on a leash or heel. When the dog applies pressure to the leash, the halter pulls the head to the side. This is unnatural to the dog and often this will deter the behavior. Head collars should not be left on unattended dogs or dogs on a long lead because they may be able to back out of some types of of these collars.
Prong Collars- Also known as pinch collars, are made up of a series of chain links with open ends towards the dog so that when the collar tightens around the loose skin of the neck it pinches it. When properly adjusted and used, it startles the dog and gives a sharp correction. It is difficult or almost impossible to puncture the dogs skin. This type of collar may look very painful, but it is actually safer than a slip or choke collar. Some dogs are nearly oblivious to many other collar types, but the prong collar may get their attention better than a milder collar. One advantage of a prong collar over a choke collar is that the circumference is limited, so it is impossible to compress a dogs throat. Another advantage is that the pressure of the collar is spread out over the entire neck unlike buckle collars and all choke collars.A prong collar should only be used if a milder collar is just not working and your dog is still not listening to commands. For the most stubborn puller or the dog with “selective hearing”, the prong collar may be the way to go, but be sure to use the mildest collar possible to achieve the results that you want. Most owners are very ill informed about the correct adjustment and use of a prong collar. When used incorrectly, this collar can cause severe throat damage, so be sure you are educated on the use of this collar before you start training your dog.
Harness- The harness is designed to go around the dogs abdomen and chest and cross over the back. A leash is attached to the top of the harness. A harness is preferred for dogs with back and neck problems, or those with airway issues. When the dog pulls, all of the pressure is on his chest, not his airway. Some dog owners prefer the harness for dogs that pull, but some trainers say that the harness actually encourages pulling and you should use leash and collar training.
Everyday Collars- These are made out of various materials such as nylon or leather. They are usually flat and have either a metal buckle or a quick release clasp. Many owners prefer the buckle collars for larger stronger dogs because they are more sturdy than the quick release. Break away collars have a special feature that if the collar gets caught on something, the pressure of the dog pulling will cause the clasp to breakaway. When the leash is hooked to both loops, the collars can also be used for walks without the risk of breaking away.