Puppy Collars: Choosing a Collar for Your Puppy

Choosing a Collar for Your New Dog

There are many puppy collars on the market; therefore, you will need to familiarize yourself with the different styles and purposes, so you can choose the right one for your puppy. Collars include training collars, reflective collars, fashion collars, and breed-specific collars. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, and the one you choose depends, in part, on your puppy’s age and size.

Aside from training collars, some of which are controversial, you should purchase two collars for your puppy. Puppy collars are meant to keep your pet safe. One of those collars should function as your puppy’s everyday collar.

The everyday collar is the one on which you affix the puppy ID tags and vaccination information (unless you have a GPS puppy collar, which contains all vital info). Some puppies are more playful and mischievous than others and you might have one that enjoys chewing on stuff, collars included. Consequently, your puppy’s everyday collar should be sturdy enough to withstand any abuse your puppy puts it through.

The everyday collar should always remain on your puppy, so it will be the one to sustain the most wear and tear and will need to be replaced more frequently than the other collar. Never attach your puppy’s leash to the everyday collar. In the event of your puppy breaking loose from their leash or in the event they’re lost, they will still have the everyday collar with identification tags or puppy tracker collar, thus improving your chances of finding them.

Sturdy everyday puppy collars can have snap fasteners or can be buckled. Buckled collars are sturdier than ones with snap fasteners, especially if your puppy is strong and high energy. Collars that snap shut can come off easily if larger puppies lunge or engage in rambunctious play. Everyday collars can be made of nylon or leather. Nylon puppy collars are cheaper and tend to be adjustable, which is especially handy when you have a growing puppy.

Customizing Your Dog’s Collar

Some puppy owners prefer purchasing customized puppy collars that have all pertinent identification information embroidered on them. These customized collars do away with the need to have multiple metal tags hanging from your puppy’s neck; however, keep in mind that this type of collar can get dirty or worn away and defeat its own purpose if your puppy’s information becomes illegible.

The collar to which you affix your puppy’s leash should likewise be sturdy. While the everyday collar can certainly have snap fasteners, the collar on which you affix your puppy’s leash should have a buckle or stronger fasteners, such as the ones commonly found on nylon collars. Assuming your puppy will pull on their leash until you train them, the collar must withstand the puppy’s pulling in a manner that doesn’t strain the puppy’s neck or allow them to slip out of it and run off.

Choosing a Collar Based on Your Dog’s Breed

Some smaller breeds of dogs, such as Chihuahuas, are prone to collapsing trachea, so even slightly pulling on their leash and collar prompts them to retch or exhibit a hacking cough that sounds like kennel cough. Puppy owners should feel free to discuss any coughing or hacking that seems to be a likely result of pulling on a collar with their veterinarians. If you’re concerned about vet costs related to these visits, learn more about how pet insurance may be able to help.

Your dog may have to switch to a harness, and you may feel that your small breed puppy is more secure with one. Although slipping out of a harness is not impossible, chances are a restless pup will slip out of a collar easier than it will out of a harness.

Harnesses are not ideal for larger breed puppies, especially as they begin growing to full size. A dog’s power is in their chest, precisely where the harness holds them. Subsequently, if you have a large breed puppy that pulls and is wearing a harness, you will be hard-pressed to control the puppy, assuming they are not already trained to heel.

Training Collars

Training collars are specially designed for training purposes. Although you do want to start training your puppy as early as possible, you should be aware of the different types of training collars available on the market. Some of the more controversial training collars include choke chains, pinch collars, and shock collars. Avoid the use of controversial training collars on all dogs, not just puppies.

Shock collars allow dog owners to deliver an electric shock to their dogs every time they engage in behavior the owner finds questionable, namely, barking and pulling. Many people feel these collars are inhumane because they are painful. There is also concern about how impatient dog owners might misuse the collar and end up harming their dogs. Furthermore, shock collars can cause permanent damage to young puppies. Never use choke chains on puppies, especially if they weigh under 20 pounds. You can damage the puppy’s spine.

Ensure Your Dog’s Collar Fits Properly

As far as puppy collars are concerned, fit is essential. Your puppy’s collar should neither be too heavy nor too light. Therefore, the collar’s width and weight must be in proportion to the puppy’s size. The collar should fit snugly so that it does not come off your puppy’s neck easily, but it must not be too tight, either. The rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your puppy’s neck. Make it one finger for smaller breeds under 10 pounds and three fingers for larger breeds over 80 pounds.

Check your puppy’s collars, both their everyday collar and the one you use to walk them, at least once a month. Puppies grow fast and grow out of their puppy collars quickly. Even if it doesn’t look worn out or chewed up, it may be tightening up. Prevent major mishaps, such as embedded collars, where the collar becomes embedded in your dog’s skin because your dog has outgrown it, which could lead to a medical emergency requiring veterinary intervention and probable treatment for infection.