How to Choose the Right Collar for Your Dog

Puppy University
January 18, 2021

Choosing the right accessory for your pup can be overwhelming. There is an abundance of choices and options out there with very little guidance to choose the safest and the most appropriate collar for your pup. Although the collar is a generalized term, the type of collar required for each dog varies based on its breed, size, and weight.

Here is a starter guide to choosing the right collar for your dog. 

The Right Collar

A good starter collar would be a nylon buckle collar. Nylon collars are made of woven nylon material with an adjustable clasp, which makes for the most comfortable and affordable beginner collar for your puppy. It has a vast selection of colors and sizes to meet every puppy’s need.

Choosing The Right Fit

The collar should fit snug behind the ears and beneath the jaw. There should be enough space for a vertical index finger to go all around. 

When to Introduce a Collar

Ideally, a puppy should be introduced to a collar at about 10 weeks as this allows your puppy to experiment with the concept of a collar safely. Most puppies are curious and rebellious, therefore they are sure to give you some pushback. Initially, they may attempt to scratch themselves in an effort to relieve the collar which may cause an infection if the puppy does not have the appropriate vaccinations. However, by 10 weeks your pup should be up to date with their vaccinations which eliminates the risk. They may also try to chew their way to liberation, so it is important to always keep them under supervision for the first few weeks to avoid any choking hazards. 

Additionally, from 10 weeks to four months, if you’re introducing a collar for the first time, it is important to introduce the collar at small intervals and use positive reinforcement such as treats to make your puppy feel excited about wearing a collar. 

When Not to Use Collars

Though collars are a great tool, there are some breeds like a Pekingese, pug, bulldog, and even french bulldogs that are not the ideal candidates for a collar due to their weak necks and genetic breathing problems. For such breeds, we recommend a harness that offers more support and reduces strain on their fragile necks. 

If the puppy is over six months and is a heavy puller or chokes themselves like a German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Husky, Pitbull, etc, then we recommend using a Martingale training collar or a Sprenger Prong collar with the supervision of a trainer or behaviorist.

If your puppy demonstrates signs of any behavior problems such as resource guarding or lack of socialization, we highly recommend the Mini Educator from E-Collar Technologies. This collar should only be used under the supervision of a trainer who is familiar with and is experienced in working with such advanced technology. 

We hope these tips help you with choosing the most appropriate collar for your dog. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to chat.

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