Dog collars are made both for functionality and fashion. There are as many types of dog collars as there are different types of dogs. This listing explains the choices out there and their use. If you are using a collar or harness for a training aide make sure you have an expert show you how it goes on your dog and how to use it to correct.
Metal Prong Collar – (pinch collar)
The metal prong collar is another chain dog collar specifically designed for a training aid only and is designed for larger more stubborn breeds. The collar has metal prongs that go one what. When a correction is applied the prongs pinch into the neck. Any of these correction collars should only be used during supervised training sessions. In addition using all the time gets the dog used to these aids and they become less affective. Never use a corrective collar without learning, from an expert, the proper correction technique first.
Head collar or halter
A head collar wraps around the head and the nose of the dog. When the dog pulls the head is gently pulled to the side which is not a pleasant experience for the dog. The halter is used as a training aide for dogs that pull. It should only be used as a training aide and never left on the dog at any other time.
Woodhouse Collar or Chain Collar
Chain Slip Collar (Woodhouse collar or Choke collar) The slip collar is designed to be used as dog training collar only. The chain dog collar is threaded through itself to form a loop around the dogs neck that can be used for quick corrections. The proper move would be a quick jerk and release as not to injure the dogs neck. Another method, which Barbara Woodhouse suggests is to hook the lead into the two O rings without looping through itself. A correction move would make a quick noise from the chain but will not close on the dog’s neck. These collars, in general, are growing less useful as newer training techniques are being utilized.
This collar usually made of nylon and is designed with an inner loop that closes when a pull pressure is applied. There is a stop mechanism that does not allow it to close on the dog’s neck but stops the collar from coming off the dog’s head. Used mainly for sight hounds (greyhounds, whippets, etc) because of the physiology of the dog’s head but can be used for all dogs.
These are comfortable collars that can be worn most if not all of the time. You need a strong material both nylon and leather although stiff at first soon wear in with some good exercise.
This is a an everyday collar that is usually made of nylon that is equipped with a special buckle that will break apart when the collar gets hung on something. Some of these have two rings where you can hook the lead so the buckle cannot break away while on a walk.
Dog harnesses are usually made from nylon webbing ( a material used by rock climbers to support themselves and their gear …that’s pretty strong). The harness goes around the abdomen and chest. Harnesses are good for dogs with airway or back problems. A harness can give a little better control over dogs that pull although this is a matter of debate amongst trainers. The lead hooks into a ring on the top of the harness at the dogs back.
Designer Dog Collars
You can find just about any variation on the everyday collar that you want. Stamped leather dog collars, personalized dog collars with your dogs name, spiked dog collars, embroidered dog collars and any other bling an owner can think or afford including diamonds.
Show Dog Collars – a nylon rope lead that has an o-ring on the end. The lead threads through the o-ring and operates similarly to the chain slip collar in practice, slipping over the dogs head. My vet uses these at the office.
E Collar or electronic dog collar
Technology goes to the dogs. These collars have a transmitter (trainer) and a receiver (dog) that discharge an electronic pulse when trainer triggers from the transmitter unit. The pulse is very light and on some units are adjustable. These collars can be used to train for obedience or hunting. They are also used in conjunction with hidden fencing systems for containment. Other electronic collars deliver not a pulse but information such as gps locations called tracking collars. Obviously these have special search and rescue use. For hunters there are special electronic collars called beeper collars that signal the state the dog is in even when not able to be seen. These collars beep when the dog is on point and some give different signals when the dog is running. If you are not an expert consult one before using these devices.
The Elizabethan collar or cone collar is used for dog health and are placed on dogs that have skin conditions or after surgery. The collar is normally made of a semi-flexible plastic that fits over the dog’s head, like an ice cream cone with the wide, open end at the muzzle and the thinner end around the neck. The design keeps the dog from being able to reach any areas on the body, legs or tail. The stiff plastic turns a dog into a walking bulldozer as they knock into doors and tables. There are substitutes for the Elizabethan collar that are a very good substitute for these traditional collars. Whether you use the traditional or a newer design the cone collar works for what it was intended for and helps keep your pup safe during times of illness.
Dog collar types are numerous and vary on use and functionality. Be sure you get the right one for you and your dog.