Going for a regular walk with your dog? Leashes and collars are a great help to keep your dog behaved and secured while roaming around outside with you. Many dog owners use collars and leashes when spending time with their four-legged buddy in the outdoors. But although there are many types of leashes and collars available in the market today, pet owners see them all as one and the same. Unfortunately, a pet owner’s lack of idea about the differences among leashes and collars may make his dog feel uncomfortable, and may even cause him harm at times.
It is therefore always important to know the kinds of collars and leashes that would be most appropriate for your buddy. There are so many ways on how to identify collars and leashes, the most convenient would be to categorize whether the equipment are used to train, guide, or treat dogs.
Training leashes and collars
Training collars are generally used to ‘correct’ your buddy whenever he misbehaves. On the other hand, training leashes are oftentimes longer than ordinary guiding leashes to provide you and your dog adequate distance whenever you are training him to move, stand by, or come. Here are the most common types of dog training leashes and collars:
- Choke chains – A very few dog owners use choke chains to discipline their pet while walking by tugging the chain whenever the dog tries to pull away from them. Because choke chains tighten around the dog’s neck whenever the owner yanks it, using it can actually be aversive to your dog and may even harm him, and so it is generally not recommended for use. To train your dog not to pull away from you during your regular walk, it is best to just provide him tasty treats whenever he’s doing the right thing. As you may have noticed, the reward type of training is almost always more effective and dog-friendly than punishment
- Longline leashes – Longline leashes usually come in length between 10 and 30 feet. Unlike typical leashes with length ranging from 5 to 7 feet, longline leashes would give enough room for your dog to perform the activities that you are trying to teach him. However, because of longline’s length, using this type of leash during walks would pose the risk of your dog being strangled around objects. There are even some instances when longline leashes wound up around the owner’s legs. There are many styles and types of longlines to choose from, from braided nylon to woven cotton, to ensure owner’s comfort when training their dog
Guiding leashes and collars
Guiding leashes and collars are generally used to keep your dog within your reach during your regular moments in the outdoors together. They are designed to help you manage your dog without ‘correcting’ or hurting them. There are different types of guiding leashes and collars:
- Head halters – Similar with how horse head halters are worn, dog head halters provide pet owners direct control over their buddy’s head. This device wraps around the dog’s face and over the top of his nozzle just below his eyes, giving the owner the capability to control the dog’s direction. Furthermore, controlling your dog’s head also minimizes his pulling capacity, making him more manageable especially when excited. When improperly fastened and used, however, skin, cranial and eye injuries are possible
- Martingale collars – Martingale collars are made of two loops: a larger one to secure the dog’s neck and a smaller one to tighten the larger loop whenever the dog tries to pull. This is a perfect fit for dogs with smaller heads and for those who always try to get away from their collars. Although it tightens around the dog’s neck, owners may adjust the smaller loop to ensure that the collar would not choke him.
- Buckle collars – Considered the most common type of collar, buckle collars come in different materials, such as leather, polyester, hemp, or nylon webbing. To be sure that your buddy’s collar perfectly fits him, make sure that two fingers fit underneath the collar.
- Retractable leashes – A retractable leash is made up of cord, usually made of nylon, coiled around inside a plastic handle that perfectly fits human’s hand. It is used to provide your dog freedom to roam around and sniff while not losing control over him. A button in the handle controls the length of the cord, which can extend as much as 26 feet. Due to its thin cord, retractable leashes are not advisable for bigger dogs with greater pulling capacity. Also, it poses the risk of being entangled to different objects.
Health collars are any collar used to address dog’s health issues. Some of the most common examples of dog health collars are:
- Elizabethan collars – Shaped like an inverted lamp shade, this collar is fastened around a dog’s neck to prevent him from scratching wounds in the face, or to avoid him in licking wounds for quick healing.
- Flea collars – Flea collars are medicated collars used to repel fleas. This type of collar is used in addition to a buckle collar
Different types of buckles and collars have their respective uses. As such, it is important for you to know the buckles and collars that would be most appropriate not just for your buddy, but for your comfort as well.