Flat Buckle Collar
This is all you need if you train early and communicate well. However, most clients come to us with a collar that is too loose to function properly. Tighten it up! Use the two finger rule as your guide, and place the collar “high and tight” on your dog’s neck. High up on the neck is the “soft spot” that makes turning and getting your dogs attention easier. It’s also the place where your dog is less likely to get injured.
A collar placed down, low on the neck and fit like a necklace has no real value and will come off easily as well as make it easier for your dog to pull. A simple collar does not mask pulling and forces the owner to change the behavior and TEACH the dog. The lesson: pulling doesn’t work but looseness is available and will get you what you want.
I say just don’t use them! They are dangerous, often too heavy for the sizes that are available in and work against opposition reflex! The very thing that makes a dog pull!
Don’t forget they are called choke chains for a reason. Any dog will stop pulling if its air supply is cut off and no dog should have to learn through pain! Using positive reinforcement for a loose lead shows the dog what IS correct and how to get the tightness of a leash to go away.
Another one I say, just don’t use. Take a look at the weight and size of your pinch. Most owners are not taught how to correctly fit a pinch and they weigh a ton! Weight and thickness have nothing to do with effectiveness with these collars. In fact, the smaller and lighter they are the better they work. These collars can and do cause damage if used incorrectly. Don’t forget the pinch is the punishment! But, if the punishment never goes away. What does your dog learn?
Some of you rescue a dog that is poorly trained or a dog that doesn’t care if it pulls you. So there are times when a pinch collar may be used to keep you safe while you train. But this collar needs to be fit professionally and again used correctly. Most dogs won’t pull if they know there is a way to avoid the pinch and still go forward. Remember, slapping on a correction collar without training is simply unfair! Ask me how to use it, fit it and for an alternative!
Smart Collar Or Plastic Pinch
This is lightweight, plastic version of the pinch to transition owners away from the heavy metal pinch. Used properly this collar is kinder, gentler and teaches consequences to a dog that does not care about pulling. It will keep you safe too if your dog is bigger or stronger than you.
The gentle leader is a great tool to help keep your dog in control while you train. But it fits into the “restraint” category of training equipment, therefore it does not teach anything. It simply restrains your dog so he cannot pull. The goal should be as a transitional tool to work towards walking without it. Have it fitted by a professional or get one with a training video.
Harnesses make pulling worse and should be avoided for large dogs. The best use for them is for smaller breeds or dogs with a weak trachea, medical issues surrounding breathing or brachiocephalic (pushed in the face). Dogs like Pugs, and Bulldogs. Often their head is smaller than their neck and collars come off easily. Also, I can be used with very tiny dogs, as a great way to scoop them up and off the ground quickly (safe from other dogs).
In most cases, a harness supports and assists in the development of the very pulling you don’t want. Also, dogs feel more confident when they can put their entire body weight into pulling and any correction used is just not felt.