Tools of the Trade - Info about Dog Collars

Buckle or martingale collar

Every dog should have a basic collar for everyday use with either a regular buckle, or one that secures with a quick-release type plastic clasp.  The martingale collar slips on and off over the dog’s head and is another excellent choice.  The martingale collar Is designed to prevent dogs from backing out of it by tightening up gently when the leash is pulled.  This is not to be confused with a choke or slip collar.
Identification, rabies and license tags should be on these collars.  Some dogs can be trained easily on these collars, especially if they have motivated (and motivating) owners.


This collar is much like a halter for a horse and gives control of the head of the dog.  The headcollar of choice at DOGTRAIN is the Gentle Leader.  Where the nose goes, the body follows.  The pressure points of this collar are on the top of the muzzle (much like momma dog would grab her errant puppy’s muzzle) and at the scruff (much like a dominant dog).  Most dogs readily recognize these natural control zones and respond quickly to the leadership messages given.  Not all dogs accept the headcollar, and not all can be properly fitted in one.

Prong or pinch collar

This collar is somewhat frightening in appearance, but is actually quite humane.  It is a collection of blunt hooks that, when activated, gather the skin around the dog’s neck and create a pinching effect.  It is much safer than a choke collar and easier for novice trainers to use effectively.  The pinch collar helps your dog learn to accept responsibility for his behavior choices.

Remote or E-collar

This collar is similar in concept to the invisible fence type collar, except that the handler sets the boundaries with a hand held transmitter rather than a preset fence line.  It should be thought of as an “invisible leash” and provides reliable off leash control at a distance.  It is not a substitute for training, nor does it excuse the trainer from rewarding the dog.  This type of collar is used a great deal in the training of hunting dogs, particularly retrievers.  It also has terrific benefits for very physical dogs paired with not-s-physical owners.

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