There are many names that fall under the umbrella of “training collar”. You may see this training tool referred to as a choke collar, training collar, choke chain, correction collar or slip collar. All of these are types of training collars and are used by amateur and professional trainers alike.
Training collars can be effective tools when used properly. Consider the following:
Fit – A properly fitted collar is easier to use and much safer for the dog. It’s relatively easy to determine if a training collar fits correctly. An ideal sized training collar should fit comfortably, yet snugly, over the canine’s head. It is important that the training collar is neither too tight or too loose. If the collar is too tight, it will be difficult to place both on and off. Conversely, a training collar which fits too loosely may fall off of the dog’s head when lowered. In addition, make sure the collar is not too long.
The best way to measure the dog’s neck is with a tape measure. Next, add 2 to 3 inches to the measurement to calculate ideal length. Thus, if your dog’s neck is 12″ in diameter, you will require a training of around 14″ in length. Chain slip collars generally come in two-inch increments.
Safety – If a training collar is put on correctly, it will be more effective and less dangerous.
Proper Use – Never attempt to use the collar as an accessory or as punishment. Training devices should be used only as a sharp reminder to the dog of desired or proper behavior. With short, sharp jerks to the collar, rather than constant pressure, you can send a firm but safe message. The use of constant pressure could be potentially dangerous to the canine.
Proper Weight – The size of the links, as well as the weight, should be appropriate for your dog’s build.
Proper Placement – It is important to properly place a training collar on your dog. When fitting the special collar, the part of the chain which connects to the leash should remain at the top of the neck. Such an arrangement will allow the collar to release the moment the leash is loosened. This is they way training collars work – by loosening and tightening quickly. The first aspect of correction is tightening the collar, and the second part is making it loose.
If the training or choke collar is not properly placed, ie with the part attached to the leash located at the top of the animal’s neck, the collar will not release or loosen easily, although it can still be tightened. This pressure on the neck will initiate a counter response from the dog, who will quickly learn to strain and pull against the leash.
Be sure you purchase a well made and strong collar, as this is a vital step for preserving the safety of your dog and yourself. In the event that the collar breaks, don’t panic! For the first few minutes, your pet will not even realize their unexpected freedom. If you continue to act as if the collar is still attached, you can usually regain control of the dog without a struggle.
If your training collar should happen to break, you can make a quick replacement by crafting something called a “slip lead”. Simply grasp the closure of the leash, loop it through the handle, and finally slip the loop over the dog’s head. It’s an imperfect, but functional temporary fix to the problem.
Above all, please use caution, care, and your best judgment when using a training collar or choke collar with your animal. We all love our pets, and we hope you’ll see great results.