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Dog Obedience Training Collars

Aug 17, 2007
The basic dog obedience training collar goes by many names, including choker, choke chain, training collar, correction collar and slip collar. These training devices are among the most popular and most commonly used tools with both amateur and professional dog trainers.

While a training collar is a widely used tool, as with any tool it must be used properly in order to be effective and safe for your dog. Among the most important considerations when using this equipment are:

- How well the devise fits your dog. It's essential that it properly fits your dog. If it doesn't fit correctly you risk losing control in dangerous situations.

- Putting the equipment on the right way. There's a right way and a wrong way to fit a collar, and putting it on incorrectly will make it both ineffective and potentially dangerous.

- Using the devise properly. It should be used as a sharp reminder to your dog, not as punishment. Avoid applying constant pressure on the choke chain.

- The weight of the chain and the size of the links. The weight of the chain should always be appropriate to the size and weight of your dog.

- The placement on your dog.

Sizing And Measuring

Determining if the dog obedience training collar is the right size is relatively easy. Ideally, it should fit snugly, yet comfortably over your dog's head. Like my father used to say about tightening a bolt, it shouldn't be too tight, but it shouldn't be too loose either. Too tight and it'll be difficult to get on and off. On the other hand, too loose and it can potentially slip off when your dog lowers his head.

Measure your dog's neck with a tape measure, then add 2 to 3 inches. For example, if your dog has a neck 12" in diameter, you would want to buy a collar that's 14" in length. Chain slip collars are generally sized in two inch increments.

Proper Fitting

When fitting a correction collar, the part of the chain which is connected to the leash should be on the top of the dog's neck. With this arrangement, it releases the instant the leash is loosened. Training collars are only effective when they tighten or loosen easily and quickly. Tightening is the first step of any correction, loosening is the second step.

If the part of the correction collar that's attached to the leash is not on the top of the dog's neck, it can still become taunt, but it generally won't become loose again. This constant pressure on your dog's neck initiates a counter response on the part of the animal, and your dog will quickly learn to pull and strain against the leash.

Also, if the accompanying lead is too long it can require a great deal of skill on your part to use correctly. So make sure you use a length that gives you comfortable control.

Finally, it's important to purchase a dog obedience training collar that's well made and strong. The extra expense will easily pay for itself by keeping both you and your dog safer.
About the Author
Dog obedience training collars are essential equipment. But they're useless if you don't know what you're doing. Train your dog like a pro: Dog Training Reviewed
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