Houston PetTalk April 2011 : Page 34

Keeping Control Choosing The Correct Collar Dog painting dog is jerked suddenly by the leash attached to the head collar, the dog’s neck is pulled sharply to the side, which could result in neck injury. Consequently, a head collar should never be com-bined with a retractable leash. HARNESSES -Good for toy Example of Flat Buckle collar. B uckles, halters, and prongs... Ohmy!With somany op-tions, choosing the right collar for your dog can be quite daunting. If staring down the collar aisle of your local pet storemakes your head spin, then read on: FLAT BUCKLE COLLAR -Every dog should have a regular buckle collar to hold their identification and tags. Buckle collars are not correc-tion collars,meaning they do not tighten when the leash is pulled. Thismay be the only collar some dogs ever need for training. MARTINGALE COLLARS -Good for dogs that are susceptible to slip-ping out of a regular buckle collar and is a good choice for everyday training. Adjusted properly, a martingale collar never chokes, but constructs snugly to prevent escape. Amartingale collar ismade with two loops. The large loop is placed around the dog’s neck and adjusted to fit loosely. The leash is then clipped to the D ring on the smaller loop.When the dog tries to pull their head out of the collar, the tension on the leash pulls the small loop taut, whichmakes the large loop smaller and tighter on the neck--preventing escape. HEAD COLLAR -Good for dogs that are forceful pullers, dogs with high prey drive, and/or dogs that are highly leash reactive. Sold under the brand namesHalti, Gentle Leader or Snoot Loop, these collars are similar in design to a halter for a horse. The idea being that where the head goes, the body will follow. A head collar fastens around the back of the neck and over the top of the muzzle, givingmore control over a dog’s di-rection and the intensity of pulling. Most dogs need an adjustment time to get used to the feeling of the thin strap across the bridge of their nose. Although head collars are a very hu-mane training tool, it is important to follow all instructions carefully. If a 36 www.houstonpettalk.com breeds or dogs thatmay have spe-cific health issues such as a sensitive throat and/or trachea.Harnesses are also recommended for safety reasons when teaching dog activi-ties such as running on the treadmill or running next to a bike. Otherwise, a harness is typically not a great training choice. When the leash attachment is on the top of the back, there is little control to be had by the handler and can often lead to the dog pulling significantly. SENSE-ATION HARNESS -This harness offers muchmore control as the leash attachment is located on the chest. It is also a good choice for dogs that are strong pullers, but LIFESTYLE

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