Dog collars, leads, and harnesses are extremely important pieces of kit when caring for a dog, with a need for keeping them identified, safe during walks or car rides, and helping to make dog ownership easier in various other ways. Because of this importance, we here at Pet Food Plus More have decided to put together a three part series on these dog accessories, One part for dog collars, one part for leads, and one part for harnesses. These articles will explain all you need to know about these items, hopefully helping you to pick the products that best suits you and your dog's needs. We have put together part 1 for today, but be sure to keep checking back in the coming weeks to see the future articles on the other equipment.
Without further ado, let us begin with the first part to this trilogy - dog collars! Every dog needs one, making it an important point of consideration for all dog owners. But as is a running theme of our blogs, there's a lot of different choices out there, and we're here to help you know what all of those differences are so that you can pick the dog collar most suitable for your dog and it's needs.
First off for review is the traditional, standard collar. These are the most common kinds of collars seen, and are perfectly functional for most dog owners. They can be made of many different materials, such as leather or nylon, and are usually the most stylish with a range of designs available. One side will feature a buckle and on the other side there will be a series of holes (similar to a belt) giving a certain degree of size availability to each collar, though the fit will not be as perfect as other types of collars. It may also be worth considering whether you want these collars to be padded or not - some dogs may find padded collars more comfortable, though this is a mostly cosmetic choice.
Secondly there is the adjustable collar. These collars are the second most versatile you can find available, harboring a buckle and strap (usually nylon) that can be fed through either way for loosening and tightening the collar. This can provide the benefits of being a more precise fit for your dog than you could get with a standard collar with a buckle and holes, but also lets you adjust the size without removing the collar. This collar is particularly useful for puppies and growing dogs, as it can easily have it's size changed and so can be sure that the collar maintains a perfect fit. It's worth noting, however, that these usually still come in different sizes, as the collar can only be adjusted by a certain amount. For those that wish for a fully adjustable collar that could serve for a lifetime, look below for the paragraph on full chain collars.
Thirdly, there is a type of collar known as rolled collars which are available. These collars are available in a variety of materials, such as leather or nylon, but unlike traditional collars most of the collar is rounded in a way that makes it shaped more like a tube or a large wire. The benefit of this type of collar is that it takes less fur off of the neck of your dog, and a lot of dogs find this type of collar to be much more comfortable. This means that if you have a dog with long fur, this collar may be the most ideal for them.
Next is the half-check (sometimes also called half-choke) chain collar. These collars are made from two different materials - 3/4 of the collar is one material (typically nylon) while the other 1/4 is made out of a metal linked chain. If you have a dog that pulls a lot when you're walking them, this collar may be the most ideal for you. The idea behind the collar is pretty smart - usually the collar is fairly loose on the dog, with the metal chain part covering the front of the dog's neck. However, if you attach your lead to them while you're out walking, if the dog pulls on the lead the chain will cause the collar to choke the dog (though, not too roughly as to cause injury), so that instead of pulling you along, the dog will reflexively stop pulling, and will learn through conditioning to stop trying to pull you while out on walks.
Lastly is the full chain collars. There collars consist of a large length of chain-linked metal rings, with a slightly larger ring on one end and a much larger ring on the other. This type of collar is the most versatile, with the ability to fit any dog and is fully adjustable. Unlike the adjustable collars, these don't come in size ranges, but rather you can set the size yourself by feeding the slightly larger ring at one end through the bigger ring on the other end, and keep feeding it until the collar is appropriately fit. Because of this, it also means that the collar, if well looked after, can possibly last the lifetime of the dog, with the ability to fit it from puppy to fully grown adult, and to cope with any changes in the dog's neck size. This can make it a favourite choice for many people, but of course it comes with one drawback - that it doesn't come with any options in terms of colour or fashion. This means that if you do not like the look of a full chain collar, you may still want to stick with an adjustable collar or standard collar.
And that concludes our tour through the different types of collars available for your dog. If you're wondering how to determine the size of your dog for the purchasing of a collar, the procedure is nice and simple - simply grab a measuring tape, hold one end at the base of your dog's neck, and then (gently!) wrap the tape all the way around until the two ends meet, and then write down or memorise the length shown (it is recommended to do this for the length in both inches and centimetres, as different brands may use different types of measurement).
TIP It is also worth remembering that you need to be able to have enough room between the collar and the neck for the dogs comfort, this can be measured by having 2 of your fingers between the collar and the dog's neck.
We here at Pet Food Plus More hope that this article has helped you to decide on which type of collar(s) suit you most. If you wish to view our collection of dog collars, you can click here, though if you do not see a collar you are looking for be sure to visit one of our stores, where we carry a greater stock, or give us a call by following the 'contact us' linked below and we will be more than happy to help you.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, we will soon release an article about more types of dog accessories, including harnesses or leads, so be sure to keep checking back with us (or follow our Facebook page here) to keep up to date. If you have any more questions or still need any help, feel free to contact us by clicking here or visit one of our shops (bring your dog too!) and we will be more than happy to aid you.
See you in-store again soon!
Henry Jackson, Head for IT at Pet Food Plus More.