Every dog needs a collar and a leash. A dog collar serves several purposes and not all collars are appropriate for dogs. A collar is where the leash is attached; it’s also where the dog’s license, ID, and rabies vaccination tags are hung. Some collars are designed as a tool for dog training, discourage barking, ward off fleas and ticks, or protect injuries. Collars come in so many styles, materials, and colors. There are also collars used to make a fashion statement!
Common Types of Dog Collars
Flat standard collar - This is the most common type of collar around. It is designed with a buckle or ‘quick release’ snap and a ring where the ID tags and leash can be attached.
Martingale collar - Also called ‘the limited-slip’ collar, it’s ideal for dogs with broad necks and narrow heads, like whippets, greyhounds, and Salukis. It’s also great for dogs that can easily slip out of their collars.
Head collar - The collar is designed to work like a horse’s halter. It’s good for dogs that are strong and energetic, and who love to jump and pull at their leash. With the halter around the muzzle of the dog, there won’t be enough leverage to pull hard on his leash.
These collars are used by some dog trainers to train dogs with behavior problems, such as correction. However, these methods of training are frowned upon by many humane groups. For aversive collars to be effective, they have to cause physical discomfort or pain to correct undesirable behavior. The collars suppress unwanted- behavior, however, they don’t teach the dog what’s the desired behavior. There have been cases in which the use of aversive collars in dogs has caused them to become aggressive.
- Choke chain - It is designed with metal links that tighten around the dog’s neck. But unlike the Martingale collar, the pressure exerted on the neck cannot be controlled, thus there is a possibility that the dog can be choked or strangled. The use of a choke chain has also resulted in injuries to the delicate tissues of the neck, such as the trachea and esophagus, neck sprains, and nerve damage. It can also cause injuries to the blood vessels supplying the eyes, fainting, paralysis, and even death.
- Prong or pinch - The collar has fang-shaped metal prongs with blunt edges. When the loop is pulled, the prongs pinch the skin on the dog’s neck.
- Shock collars - Electric current pass on the collar’s metal contact points to signal your dog. It’s often sold as training tools to address barking issues. The sensation from the electric signal can range from a mild tingling sensation to a painful shock.
Bark control - These are collars that are used to control issues of excessive or unwanted barking. These collars may be designed to spray citronella or air when the dog barks, deliver an electric shock when the dog barks or emits an ultrasonic sound that can only be heard by your dog.
Flea and Tick Collars - This type of collar is impregnated with anti-flea and tick medications. It’s worn together with a regular collar and has to be replaced regularly as it is only effective for a short span of time.
Vibrating collar - This is often used to train deaf dogs. It uses vibration to get a dog’s attention.
Elizabethan collar (E-collar) - Often used to prevent a dog from licking or scratching surgical wounds or injuries while they heal. The E-collar is generally designed to be attached to the dog’s regular collar.
GPS collar - The collar utilizes GPS technology to help find lost pets.
Do dogs like their collars off?
Does your dog freak out when you take his collar off? There are many reasons for these seemingly weird behaviors. Some dogs appear happy because of the freedom that he feels without anything restricting him. But for some dogs, it’s a sad feeling because it signals the end of playtime or an outdoor excursion. Some dogs also act weird because they hate the sensation of being touched on the neck.
Why are dogs so bedazzled when you take their collars off?
Observing the accompanying behaviors exhibited by your pet can help identify the underlying cause. Some of the most common causes include:
- Injury caused by a collar that’s too tight causing the neck area to be tender to the touch.
- Intolerance to physical contact because some dogs don’t like being touched as a result of poor socialization or because of a past bad experience.
- Excitement brought about by associating the collar with exciting adventures and freedom.
- Distress as a result of associating the collar with the end of a walk or playtime.
Should I take my dog's collar off at home?
There is no clear-cut answer to this question. The answer will depend to a large extent on the dog’s size, temperament, and personality, body type, breed, and environment.