Tools of the Trade - Info about Dog Collars

Collar choices

There are many different types of collars and training devices available for use; we will discuss the four choices that we recommend and use at DOGTRAIN.  Our ultimate goal is a dog that is responsive to commands given on or off the leash.  Any training collar should be looked at as a form of “training wheels”.  The job of the collar is to enable the dog and handler to work comfortable together and ease the learning process.  Also known as “setting up for success”.

Your instructor will help you decide which collar is best for you and your dog.  There are good and bad points to any training collar and no one collar will prove to be ideal for every dog/handler combination.  The more flexible we allow ourselves to be, the more options we have.  While the Gentle Leader is our first choice for most, experience has taught us that not all dogs will accept the headcollar nor will all owners.  This collar is especially useful for fearful or aggressive dogs.  Fearful dogs discover that the best place for them to be is right beside the owner because the collar pressure disappears in heel position, and sets the dog up for a reward.  Aggressive dogs learn the same things, plus it breaks their eye contact with the object of their aggression.  Some dogs will learn to accept the Gentle Leader, but are never very happy about it, as no matter what they do, or how they behave, the headcollar is still on their face.  Most of the dogs using Gentle Leaders from DOGTRAIN do quite well and eventually no longer need the Gentle Leader.

Certain types of dogs with short or nonexistent muzzles simply cannot wear the Gentle Leader, and if pulling or lunging presents a problem with these dogs, the next choice is the pinch/prong collar.  Dogs quickly come to understand how to avoid the pressure from the pinch collar and readily accept responsibility for their own behaviors.  Many dogs will be quite enthusiastic about putting on the pinch collar, as opposed to the Gentle Leader.

The remote, or E-collar has long been thought of as a “last resort” approach for really bad dogs or strictly for hunting dogs, but advances in both the technology of the E-collar and the methods used to train with it provide yet another option for any family dog, large or small.  Dogs learn efficiently and achieve off leash reliability rapidly.  Ask your instructor for more information.

Whenever you are training with your dog in public he should be wearing his regular collar with his identification tags, no matter which training collar you are employing.  There are times when you may want to reposition your dog by using his regular collar instead of your training collar.  Also, in the event that you and your dog become separated from one another, having identification tags on your dog improves the odds of a speedy reunion.


Click here to find out more information on the following collar choices:

Buckle or martingale collar
Prong or pinch collar
Remote or E-collar

DOGTRAIN • 1038 South Kerr Avenue • Wilmington, NC 28403 • 1 (910) 395-4399 •