Dogs have long been known as man’s best friend, but these days they’re basically part of the family. When you adopt a dog, it’s only natural for you to feel the need to help your new family member feel comfortable in your home. They also need to learn the rules both inside and outside of the home.
One of the best ways for you to bond with your dog and help them learn the ropes is through training. This, of course, requires special tools like clickers, training treats, and in many cases, collars. What are the best dog training collars for your needs?
Read on to find out!
Why Are Dog Training Collars Necessary?
The truth is, dog training collars are not always a required component for a successfully trained dog. That said, a lot of dogs just need a little extra guidance when they’re learning their manners.
This is especially true for large breed dogs. Dogs that weigh five pounds probably won’t put a lot of stress on you if they pull or get riled up around other dogs. Dogs that weigh 50 or 100 pounds can injure you and others during the training process if you don’t use tools like training collars.
In addition to that, dog training collars can be super helpful when it comes to directing dogs and make the training process smoother.
- Slip Lead
The most traditional form of collar used in dog training is not a collar at all. The slip lead is also referred to as a training lead, and it is just a single rope leash that loops around to form a collar that you slip over the dog’s head.
When your dog pulls, the collar portion of the lead tightens around their neck. This helps your dog understand that pulling is uncomfortable, and it can help them naturally learn to walk without pulling.
It’s also a fantastic option for people who have dogs that are escape artists. Many dogs pull out of their collars and run away, thinking they’re playing a game. This is dangerous for your dog and scary for you, so if you’re struggling with an escape artist, then a slip lead is a great way to go.
- Pinch Collars
Pinch collars are a somewhat controversial dog training tool, but it is very effective in specific circumstances. A pinch collar, also known as a prong collar, is a connected set of links with ends that face your dog’s neck. If your dog pulls, then pressure is applied all the way around the neck, making the dog uncomfortable.
This discomfort allows you to make necessary corrections when your dog pulls or lunges. Pinch collars are most commonly used in larger breed dogs, like Great Danes. Large breed dogs have a massive amount of strength, and it may take more than human strength to stop them when they want to go.
To prevent injury to the dog, you should place the prong collar high on your dog’s neck. Ideally, it will be fitted just behind the ears and loop around below the jawline. Make sure it is snug, but not too tight.
- Shock Collars
Shock collars are the most controversial entry on this list, but they can be a powerful tool when used properly.
Most people who turn to shock collars have hit a plateau in their dog training experience, and they want to find a more effective training method. Shock collars have low settings that you can use to get started. When your dog exhibits troubling behaviors, you hit a button on the remote and the collar will vibrate, or, at higher levels, send a small shock.
The vibration from the collar diverts your dog’s attention and helps you to get them to refocus on a desired behavior. For instance, if you’re walking your dog and your dog reacts to another dog, you hit the button and the vibration should break their focus. Make sure to reward good behavior with positive reinforcement.
If you’re concerned about using a tool like this, enlist the help of professionals like those at Union Lake Pet Services. They can help you decide whether this tool will be effective for your dog.
- Martingale Collars
Martingale collars are another useful tool to use for dogs who tend to slip out of their collars. They look like a regular collar except for a smaller loop of fabric equipped with a D-ring. When your dog pulls, the length of the collar shortens and limits your dog’s ability to pull or back out of the collar.
In general, Martingale collars work similarly to a slip lead, but they are more comfortable because they can only tighten a certain amount.
- Gentle Leader
The Gentle Leader is a fantastic tool for dogs that pull too much when you’re out for a walk.
It consists of two interconnected loops, one that fits around your dog’s snout, and one that wraps around the back of the neck. They meet under your dog’s chin, and that is where the D-ring is for the leash. When your dog pulls, it will make his head turn and help him learn to heel more effectively.
The Gentle Leader does not cause your dog discomfort, but it may feel awkward for them in the beginning. Utilize positive reinforcement training to help your dog adapt to it before taking them outside for a walk on it.
Consistency Is Key!
There are a wide variety of dog training collars on the market, and each one of them helps fulfill a certain purpose. The most important thing to remember when you’re training your new furry friend is to stay patient and consistent. It might not seem like you’re making progress, but the more consistent you are, the better things will get!
You love all of your furry family members, so you probably want to learn more about how you can be the best pet parent around. Well, you’re in luck! Check out the rest of our blog for tons of content that’ll keep you and your pets happy!