Training provides our four-legged friends with much-needed physical and mental stimulation. It also helps them become house-broken, more behaved, and a joy to have around while teaching discipline.
Dog training collars are often used for this purpose. They allow you to control your dog as they learn basic commands. They also make training easier for you and your pet. As you both undergo training, you’ll find that there are various types of dog training collars that work in various ways. However, some are better and more humane than others.
In this article, we’ll help you understand the different types of dog training collars as well as which ones to use and which ones to stay away from.
Types of Dog Collars
For collar-training dogs, there are three basic types of dog training collars: body harnesses, gentle training collars, and neck collars.
Also known as a gentle leader headcollar, this type of collar gives you complete control over the dog’s head and body. While it looks like a muzzle, it’s not constricting at all unless you pull on the attached leash.
The headcollar prevents unwanted behaviors like excessive barking and boundless jumping and lunging during training. When the dog tries to pull on the leash, its head will be redirected toward you, giving you immediate control.
What kind of collar do you use to train a puppy? The headcollar is the answer. It is a great way to correct bad behavior and replace it with better ones.
Most dogs prefer the body harness over the headcollar because the latter restricts their heads and mouths. The harness goes around the dog’s torso and the leash is attached to a ring on the back. When the dog pulls on the leash, the harness tightens to prevent the behavior.
The main advantage of the body harness is it’s unlikely to cause injury. It’s more comfortable for the dog than a headcollar but less comfortable than a neck collar. One downside is it’s harder to control a dog with a body harness than a neck collar or headcollar.
When it comes to what collars do vets recommend, the harness is a popular choice since it prevents neck problems, restricted airways, and collapsing trachea.
A neck collar is the most popular type of dog collar because of its versatility. It can be used for training and regular dog walking. It is also where you usually put your dog’s identification.
As a training collar, it is used for correcting bad behaviors. Here are the types of neck collars:
Buckle collars are the most popular type of neck collar. For small dogs, the buckle collar can help provide feedback. However, it is less effective among large dogs since it provides less control over their movements.
This type of dog training collar is made up of metal links that tighten around your dog’s neck when it starts pulling. It creates an uncomfortable feeling that prompts dogs to stop what they’re doing. However, as the name suggests, it can choke the dog. You need heightened awareness when using this training collar so you know when the chain becomes too tight.
Similar to the choke collar, the prong collar puts pressure around the dog’s neck when it pulls on the leash with force. It will easily correct unwanted behaviors because it causes a choking sensation.
So, what is the difference between choke and prong collar? Unlike the choke chain, the prong collar features metal spikes that pinch the dog’s neck when it pulls on the leash.
Pull Quote: Choke chains, prong collars, and headcollars teach your dog fear and anxiety because they rely on producing physical discomfort for your dog. Body harnesses, buckle collars, and martingale collars are much kinder and more humane options.
Martingale or slip collars prevent choking because they’re positioned high on the neck and below the dog’s ears. Ideal for hounds, the collar still tightens when the dog pulls on the leash but it doesn’t choke your dog. Plus, the slip collar will gently nudge your dog’s head back into its natural position.
Pull Quote: When selecting training tools and methods, opt for those that you can use with positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement training focuses on rewards. It also enable a dog and its owner to build a stronger relationship during their time together.
Are Dog Training Collars Inhumane?
You might have noticed that some types of dog training collars (such as prong collars and choke chains) can cause significant discomfort and even choking among dogs. These are aversive collars or collars that use pain to prevent unwanted behaviors. Unfortunately, aside from causing discomfort, they don’t teach them the desired behaviors. They may even make dogs anxious, afraid, and lash out aggressively.
Many animal welfare organizations like the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are campaigning against using aversive collars like prong collars.
What You Should Do Instead
Positive reinforcement training methods are kinder and more effective. They allow you to teach your dog while strengthening your relationship without unnecessary risks. This is often performed by praising and petting the dog as well as giving it treats to reward good behavior.
Healthy treats include snack bites for dogs, small pieces of lean meat, xylitol-free peanut butter, and some fruits and vegetables. It thus helps to know which are safe for them to eat, i.e. Can dogs eat plums?
As part of a healthy training routine, opt for dog training collars like body harnesses, buckle collars, and martingale collars to give you the control you need without hurting your pet.