Choke collar training collars are among the most popular and most commonly used tools by both professional dog trainers and people like you and me. These collars are commonly known as a choke collar, choke chain, training collar, correction collar and slip collar.
As with any dog training tool it must be used responsibly to ensure effectiveness, and safety for your dog.
It’s important to pay attention to how the collar fits the dog. It is essential that the training collar be properly fitted to the dog. A properly fitted training collar is easier to use and safer for the dog.
There is a right way and a wrong way to fit a training collar, and putting it on wrong will make it both ineffective and potentially dangerous.
A training collar should be used as a sharp reminder to the dog, not as punishment. It is important that constant pressure be avoided when using a training collar.
Pay attention to the weight of the chain and the size of the links on the training collar. It is important that the weight and size of the chain be appropriate to the size and weight of the dog.
Determining if the training collar is the right size is relatively easy. The ideal size training collar should fit snugly, yet comfortably over the dog’s head. It is important that the training collar not fit too tightly, but it should not be too loose either. A training collar that is too tight will be too hard to put on and off. On the other hand, a training collar that is too loose can accidentally fall off of the dog’s head when it lowers its head.
It is also important to know that a training collar that is too long for the dog requires a great deal of finesse to use properly. A collar that is too long can still be used, but it will require more skill on the part of the handler.
It is best to measure the dog’s neck with a tape measure, then add 2 to 3 inches to that measurement. So if your dog has a neck 12” in diameter, you would want to buy a training collar that is 14” in length. Chain slip collars are generally sized in two inch increments.
When fitting a training collar, the loop of the chain which is connected to the leash should be on the top of the dog’s neck. This ensures that the collar releases the instant the leash is loosened. Training collars work most effectively when they’re able to tighten and loosen quickly. Tightening the collar is the first part of the correction, and loosening it is the second part of the process, by way of reinforcement for your dog. It is the transient nature of the tightening that really gives the dog the message that the tightening will occur immediately there is an undesired behavior.
If the loop of the training collar that is attached to the leash is not on the top of the dog’s neck, the collar can still be tightened relatively easily, but it will not release back to a loose state as quickly. The more constant pressure on the dog’s neck which results, initiates a counter response on the part of the animal, and your dog will then react by pulling and straining against the leash.
Finally, it is important to use a training collar that is well made and strong. Buying a high quality training collar, slip collar or choke collar can be vital to the safety of yourself and your dog.
If the worst happens, and your dog’s training collar does break, it is important not to panic. Most dogs will be unaware that they have broken the collar, at least for a few seconds. In most cases, if you act as if the leash is still connected, you can usually regain control of your dog perhaps even before the dog realizes he is free.
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Brigitte Smith runs two websites dedicated to dog training, dog care and dog health:
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