By Waylon Harvey
There are a variety of names that go under the broad heading
“training collar”. Some of them are --- choke collar, choke
chain, training collar, correction collar and slip collar.
These are all training collars and are used by professionals
and amateur trainers alike.
Training collars are effective tools if they are used
Here are a few thoughts to apply when using training collars:
Does it fit? A properly fitted collar makes the collar easier
to use and a lot safer for the dog. Determining if the
collar is the right size is relatively easy. The ideal size
training collar should fit snugly, yet comfortably over the
dog’s head. It is important that the training collar not fit
too tightly, but it should not be too loose either. A training
collar that is too tight will be too hard to put on and off.
the other hand, a training collar that is too loose can
accidentally fall off of the dog’s head when it lowers its
head. The collar should also not be too long.
It is best to measure the dog’s neck with a tape measure, then
add 2 to 3 inches to that measurement. So if your dog has a
neck 12” in diameter, you would want to buy a training collar
that is 14” in length. Chain slip collars are generally sized
in two inch increments.
* Has it been put on correctly? Put it on right and it will be
more effective and less dangerous.
* Is it being used correctly? Don’t use the collar as
punishment. Rather, use it only as a sharp reminder to the dog
about their behavior. Use short sharp jerks of the collar, not
constant pressure. Using constant pressure could be dangerous
to the dog.
* Is it the right weight for your dog? In addition to the
weight, the size of the links should also be appropriate for
your dog’s size and weight.
* Is the collar placed correctly? It is important to properly
place the collar on the dog. When fitting a training collar,
the part of the chain which is connected to the leash should
on the top of the dog’s neck. With this type of arrangement,
collar releases the instant the leash is loosened. Training
collars work by making the collar tight and loose in a fast
manner. Tightening the collar is the first part of the
correction, and making it loose is the second part of the
If the part of the training collar that is attached to the
leash is not on the top of the dog’s neck, the collar can
be made tight, but it will not release back to a loose state
easily. This constant pressure on the dog’s neck initiates a
counter response on the part of the animal, and the dog will
quickly learn to pull and strain against the leash.
Make sure you purchase a collar that is both well made and
strong. This is a vital step to the safety of yourself and
What do you do if the collar breaks? First, don’t panic! For
the fist couple of minutes your dog won’t even know they have
an unexpected freedom. If you continue to pretend that the
collar is still attached, you can usually get control of the
If your collar should break, you can usually make a quick
replacement by making a “slip lead”. Just take the snap of the
leash and run it through the handle and then slip the loop you
formed over the dog’s head. Not perfect, but sure solves the
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