Lindsay Pinapfel on Choosing the Right Dog Collar Hi, my name is Lindsay Pinapfel. I’m a Las Vegas businesswoman and the proud owner of 8 dogs. I love animals and wanted to share this article I found written by Andrew Strachan on how to choose the right collar for your dog. As there are so many different types of collars, it can be confusing as to what is appropriate for your dog’s size and weight. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did. Do You Know the Dangers? Any responsible dog owner will inevitably want to buy a dog collar for their dog. Getting the right dog collar is something that is very important for the well being of your dog but also something that is often overlooked and not considered properly. Remember, your dog will probably spend most of its life wearing a collar and choosing the right one for your dog is essential. The collar must first and foremost be safe and comfortable, and for the fashion conscious amongst you why not get one that is good looking as well? Finding the best dog collar for your dog will depend on the types of dog you have and what the main function of the collar will be. What is a Dog Collar Used For? There are several uses for a dog collar. The most important of which is the ability to control your dog. When used in combination with a leash it provides you with the control needed to prevent our dog from straying too far from you or into the road and traffic. They are also great for training purposes and also you can put all your dogs identity details in the collar in the event your dog gets lost. Make Sure You Get the Right Size It is essential that you make sure your dog has the correct size collar. You may harm your dog using too small a collar or at best, may leave him with potential breathing difficulties and feeling uncomfortable. The flip side to this is having a collar that is too large and this can be dangerous as your dog may be able to slip out of the collar. Another consideration is what the collar is made of and whether it suits your dog. There is little point in getting a heavy studded leather collar for a small house dog like a Chihuahua and similarly you wouldn't get a light nylon collar for a Great Dane or Rottweiler. A simple test is as follows. When your dog is wearing its collar, if you can slip two fingers between your dogs throat and the collar then you have ensured that there is enough breathing room. Make sure the collar cannot be pulled over the dogs head and ears. Be careful as some larger dogs have very wide necks and too loose a fit may enable the collar to slip over the dogs ears. What are the Different Types Available? There a several different types available but these are the main groups. The Standard Collar The Training Collar The Electric or Shock Collar Your standard dog collar comes in several different types of material and will be worn every day by your dog. Very common ones are Nylon and can come in a variety of different colors, sizes and designs. They are very cheap and very durable as they are pretty much weather resistant and waterproof. A higher quality version is the leather collar. A good quality leather dog collar may last the lifetime of the dog and has a natural appeal; often more expensive but usually worth that extra investment. You should always make sure that whichever type you choose, your dog is comfortable in it as he will be wearing it for a long time. Never choose fashion over comfort as it's your dogs' needs that should be your first priority. The training collar is used mainly as a tool to assist in behavior training. The type of collar used during training will be dependent upon what the training schedule is. For basic obedience training, you may well get best results from a choke collar or 'choke chain'. This collar is usually a light chain that loops through itself. If your dog tries to pull on his leash, the chain constricts slightly and makes your dog feel uncomfortable. When he stops pulling, it loosens off. It is imperative that you only ever use this kind of collar when the dog is supervised. NEVER leave your dog alone with a choke collar on. He could easily become entangled on something and end up asphyxiated! Electric or 'Dog Shock Collars', also known as 'Anti Bark Collars' are designed to deliver an electric shock to your dog every time he barks. Some models come with a perimeter fence that when crossed, causes the collar to deliver a shock as well. This type of collar is designed to discourage your dog from certain behaviors; either running away, barking etc. Although in principle they look like a good idea, I would discourage you form using them for the following reason. It has been shown that positive reinforcement is the best way to train a dog. Punishing your dog for bad behavior will yield far less results than praising for good behavior. Electric dog collars are a 'punishing mechanism' and do little to train your dog adequately. Barking and chewing, running away are all systematic symptoms of a wider problem and it is this that should be addressed through professional training. It is for this reason that I do not condone the use of electric dog collars. So, whatever your needs make sure you select a collar that is safe, comfortable and just what your favorite pooch needs.