Martingale dog collars are designed to provide control over a dog without initiating the choking affect of the slip collar. The origin of the design and name comes from a type of horse tack that gives the rider control over the horse through manipulating the head of the horse.
A dog Martingale collar is sometimes referred to as a greyhound collar because they were originally designed for sighthounds. Sighthounds (greyhounds, whippets, Irish wolfhound, Borzoi, Afghan Hounds, etc) have larger necks than heads and can easily pull out of a conventional collar.
The mechanism of the collar works like a slip collar in that pressure from the dog or the handler causes the collar to close over the neck of the dog. The design is such that main part of the collar is in a U-shape with an o-ring at each end. Then a loop of chain, cloth or leather loops through the two o-rings and the lead attaches to the outer loop. When pressure is applied the outer loop pulls to close the main collar tightly around the dog’s neck. Some designs have stoppers so that they can stop the collar, when it tightens, at a particular point.
The martingale collar is being recommended more and more by trainers to replace the slip collar. It is training and handling collar. It can be used on all breeds but the main loop of the collar must be adjusted to a taught but not tight fit. As with all collars it should not be worn 24 hours a day. There is a slim chance of accidents happening. Never leave any collar on a dog in a crate.
The martingale dog collar may just be the ticket to more productive training sessions and less stressful walks. Use it properly and take the proper precautions. Like any other training device it is just a tool to help with the handling of your dog. It will not replace proper training.