Why You Should Consider a Martingale Collar for Your Dog
The majority of my dogs have come from shelters or rescues so a few years ago, when I came across a pretty collar with a cute rescue saying on it, I didn't hesitate to purchase it for my dog. And since I didn't want the other dog in the house to be left out, I also grabbed him a cute collar from the same place. Little did I realize that these collars were only functional as a cute accessory for them. Both of the collars would constantly extend out, getting more loose on the dogs day by day, just by regular activity such as walking them on their leashes.
This didn't seem to be an issue or bother me much until we had an incident where the dogs were able to slip out of their collars. The incident could have been avoided by lots of different factors and it made me rethink several things that I did with my dogs.
Come to find out, many buckle collars that you find at stores will slowly extend out from everyday wear and tear so that they no longer properly fit the dog, allowing them to slip their head out. They are not reliable if you ever need to grab your dog and get it to safety and you can't rely on verbal commands for some reason or another.
I had NO idea! And I have a lot of dog experience (although definitely no expert) so if I didn't know this, how many well meaning dog owners aren't aware of this?
Yes, should I have worked with my dogs on impulse control, not running out an open door, or listening to recall? Absolutely! But let's be honest, the majority of pet owners sadly don't take the time to train their dogs - me included. However, that's another blog post for another dog.
So what did I settle on and what kind of collar will I always use that could have prevented a whole terrible chain of events?
What is a martingale collar? According to wikipedia, a martingale collar is a type of dog collar that provides more control over the animal without the choking effect of a slip collar. A martingale collar is made with two loops. The larger loop is slipped onto the dog's neck and a lead is then clipped to the smaller loop.
When the dog tries to pull, the tension on the lead pulls the small loop taut, which makes the larger loop smaller and tighter on the neck, thus preventing escape. Properly fitted, the collar will be comfortably loose whenever the dog is not pulling against the leash.
Why use a martingale collar?
Dogs can't slip their head out of a martingale collar - this works no matter the shape of the dog's neck, size of the dog's head or their fur. I've had friends whose dogs have large necks and small heads making it near impossible to keep the dog on a buckle collar without slipping out of it.
When tension is applied on a martingale collar, the pressure is evenly dispersed to prevent choking or injury. This makes it a better choice than other collars that tighten
A martingale collar can help with leash walking. The dog will learn to associate the tightening and discomfort with pulling against the leash