Dog Training Collars and Chain

Training, last updated 25th, Apr 2013, Amrita Bandopadhyay

Training Collars and Chains:

dog collar

Every dog parent buys a leash when he gets a new pup. Sometimes we need the leash to take him out on a stroll,sometimes to restrain him when guests are visiting.
We all realise that they form an essential part of the training process for your puppy.

However we often forget,wearing a leash is not a dog’s nature, he does not like to be restrained.So you have to train him thoroughly and use the leash only when required.
There are several varieties of leashes and collars. The basic ones and the training ones.The basic collars include:

  • Buckle collars, also called flat collars: these are the normal collars and come in leather and nylon material
  • Flea collars:these have chemicals within them and keep the parasites away
  • Elizabethan collars these are cone shaped and keep the dog from wounding its head,licking a wound,biting
  • Break-away collars these break loose when extra pressure is applied
  • Stud collars, Safety stretch collars etc

These basic collars attached to a leash can help you in the basic training of your dog and are useful in the regular evening walk.

There are another set of collars which are used for more extensive training.They help your pet learn where not to venture, address barking issues and are essential in professional training of your dog for the shows.


Choke chains:

These are are a length of chain or nylon rope with rings at either end such that the collar can be formed into a loop around the top of the dog's neck, just behind the ears. The ring that connects to the leash goes over the top of the dog's neck, not under.

When the leash is attached to the dead ring the collar does not constrict on the dog's neck. When the dog leash is attached to the live ring the chain slips (adjusts) tighter when pulled and slips looser when tension is released. A quick jerk with an immediate release, euphemistically called a leash pop, snap, or correction, is used to correct the dog into a 'heel' position.

A full choke chain is used to prevent the dog from slipping its collar. However it should never be used just to control behavior of dogs.Regular usage causes constriction of the wind pipe, especially in smaller breeds e.g. Yorkshire Terriers.

When using a choke chain be careful to release instantly after pulling.Never put it backwards for it may constrict the dog’s neck. Do not use a choke chain on a regular basis,opt for a leather or nylon collar.

Prong collar:

They are a series of chain links with blunted open ends turned towards the dog's neck. The design of the prong collar is such that it has a limited circumference unlike check chains which do not have a limit on how far they can constrict on a dog's neck. The limited traction of the martingale chain combined with the angle of the prongs prevents the prongs moving close enough to pinch. The collar is designed to prevent the dog from pulling by applying pressure at each point against the dog's neck .

prong collarThese like the Choke Chain should be used very carefully.You must always check that the prongs do not puncture the skin around the neck and never make your dog wear the collar backwards.

This collar should be strictly used for training if used at all and never chosen for regular usage.

Martingale collar: Their no-slip feature has made them a safety standard at many kennels and animal shelters.These are used mainly for dogs with smaller heads and restless nature specially the sight hounds who tend to slip out of the regular collars.

A martingale collar has 2 loops; the smaller loop is the "control loop" that tightens the larger loop when pulled to prevent dogs from slipping out of the collar. It applies even pressure and doest not constrict the dog much.

Head halters:

sold under the brand names Halti or Gentle Leader or Snoot Loop, these are similar in design to a halter for a horse. This device fastens around the back of the neck and over the top of the muzzle, giving more control over a dog's direction and the intensity of pulling on a leash than collars that fit strictly around the neck. Pressure on this type of dog collar pulls the dog's head towards the handler.head halters

Make sure the head halter is fitted properly.  It should be snug around your dog’s neck and high behind his ears, but loose enough around his nose so that the nose strap can slide easily down to the fleshy part of his nose.

A head halter is not a muzzle – the dog can still eat, drink, pant, bark and bite.

NEVER use a hard jerk with the head halter.Do not use the head halter with a retractable lead. It not only teaches your dog to pull, but if your dog runs quickly to the end of the lead, he may give himself a hard jerk.

Your dog should wear his head halter only during on-leash walks with you and/or when you’re directly supervising him.

Lighted collar:

These are relatively new in fashion but very useful. They emit a light and make the dog more visible to their owners and more importantly to nearby motorists. These are in now way devised to help the dog see better.

Anti Barking collars:

Barking is one of the most natural responses for a dog but sometimes this noisy activity can get a little out of hand. At times like this owners often turn to an anti-barking collar to help them teach their dogs to keep that barking in check.

There are currently 3 types of dog bark collars that are available.

Electronic Dog Collars (Shock Collars):

The electronic anti-bark dog collar is also called a shock collar for dogs. This is a battery operated device that attaches to a training collar. When a dog begins to bark this device will emit a shock equivalent to a static charge. This negative reinforcement will get the dog’s attention and break the cycle of unrelenting barking. After several shocks the dog is going to realize that the barking is what triggers the shock and this will cause him to stop barking so that he can avoid the small jolt of static electricity.

Ultrasonic Anti-Barking Collars:

The ultrasonic barking collars are best used in outdoor settings. When your dog begins to bark these collars will begin to send out a very high pitched tone that is supposed to distract your noisy pet to the point where he will cease those barking sounds.

Spray Collars for Dogs:

There are also some spray collars with anti bark collar capabilities. These anti-barking collars are designed to release a spray of citronella whenever a dog begins that undesirable barking. Citronella is harmless but it is distracting and unpleasant to the sensitive noses of dogs.

The best choice of action for any dog owner is to try positive reinforcement as their first method of training. Collars and leashes should always be second choice.Always remember to treat your dog for his good behavior and let him off the special collars and leashes once you are confident he has learned well!

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