An introduction to the different dog collars and their functions

There are many different types of dog collars available for all dogs of all sizes. Not every collar is appropriate for every function and activities. Dog owners should take the responsibility to examine the different types before choosing and buying a collar for their dog.

Below is a list of common dog collars and their function:

1. Traditional Collars – Traditional collars are the most popular and can be made of many different materials and in many different styles. They fit around the animal’s neck and should have a loop to connect a leash and add identification tags and medical tags.

2. Harnesses – Many small dog owners prefer using a pet harness because it does not tug on the dog’s neck. A harness is generally a better choice for more energetic animals because they cannot wriggle out of it as they can with a traditional collar. Harnesses are also used on sled dogs to pull sleds and often used by owners who jog or roller blade with their dog.

3. Choke/Slip Collars – A choke collar is used both to remind your dog you need his attention and to correct the dog. Your dog should only wear the collar during training sessions. Use the collar only when you plan to enforce commands.

4. Self-Adjusted Collars – These slipknot style collars are convenient because they have the leash already attached and can be adjusted to different pets’ sizes. If the dog tends to pull on the leash, however, a self-adjusted collar is not as favorable because it can easily become too tight.

5. Prong Collars – These collars are used exclusively for training, and have blunt metal prongs attached to the inside edge to discourage a dog from resisting a trainer’s commands or pulling on the leash. Prong collars can be hazardous, and should never be left on an unattended animal or used for disciplinary purposes.

6. Electric Collars – These specialized collars are popular with trainers, particularly for hunting dogs. They use small electric shocks to correct misbehavior but should never be used by inexperienced owners or for casual household training.

7. Head Collars & Halti Collars – These unique collars suffer from their unfortunate appearance: because they attach around the animal’s muzzle and the back of the head, they are often mistaken for protective muzzles.

In reality, they operate on the simple philosophy of leading the animal by the head rather than the neck. A dog’s natural instinct is to resist being pulled by the neck, which is why many dogs fight leashes and traditional collars. Head collars work on different principles and are more comfortable for both the animal and the owner, despite a startling resemblance to muzzles.

The collars listed above are some of the common collars available in the market. Do note that some of the dog collars would require some knowledge to use them correctly, for example the electric, prong and head collars. Make sure you understand the basic concept before you start using them.