Shih Tzu - The Basic Training Collar

By: Connie Limon

The basic dog training collar goes by many names, including choke collar, choke chain, training collar, correction collar and slip collar. These training collars are among the most popular and most commonly used tools with both amateur and professional shih tzu and dog trainers.

While a training collar is an effective tool, like any tool it must be used properly in order to be effective for you and safe for the shih tzu. Among the most important considerations when using a training collar are:

How the collar fits the shih tzu. It is essential that the training collar be properly fitted to the shih tzu. A properly fitted training collar is easier to use and safer for the shih tzu.

Putting the training collar on properly. 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.

Using the collar properly. A training collar should be used as a sharp reminder to the shih tzu, not as punishment. It is important that constant pressure be avoided when using a training collar.

The weight of the chain and the size of the links on the training collar. It is important that the weight of the chain be appropriate to the size and weight of the shih tzu.

The placement of the collar on the shih tzu. It is important to properly place the collar on the shih tzu.

The importance of a properly fitted training collar
Determining if the training collar is the right size is relatively easy. The ideal size training collar should fit snugly, yet comfortably over the shih tzuís 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 shih tzuís head when it lowers its head.

It is also important to know that a training collar that is too long for the shih tzu 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.

Properly sizing and measure the shih tzu for a training collar
It is best to measure the shih tzuís neck with a tape measure, then add 2 to 3 inches to that measurement. So if your shih tzu has a neck 12Ē in diameter, you would want to buy a training collar that is 14Ē in length. Chain slip collars are generally sized in two inch increments.

Fitting the collar properly
When fitting a training collar, the part of the chain which is connected to the leash should be on the top of the shih tzuís neck. With this type of arrangement, the collar releases the instant the leash is loosened. Training collars work by making the collar tight and loose in a fast manner. Tightening the collar is the first part of the correction, and making it loose is the second part of the correction.

If the part of the training collar that is attached to the leash is not on the top of the shih tzuís neck, the collar can still be made tight, but it will not release back to a loose state easily. This constant pressure on the shih tzuís neck initiates a counter response on the part of the animal, and the shih tzu will quickly learn to pull and strain against the leash.

Finally, it is important to purchase a training collar that is well made and strong. Buying a high quality training collar, slip collar or choke collar is vital to the safety of yourself and your shih tzu.

If the worst happens, and your shih tzuís training collar does break, it is important not to panic. Most shih tzu will be unaware that they have broken the collar, at least for a few minutes. In most cases, if you act as if the leash is still connected, you can probably get control of your shih tzu back quickly.

When securing a loose shih tzu, the best strategy is to make a quick slip lead by running the snap on the leash through its handle and then slipping it over the shih tzuís head. It may not be the best arrangement, but it will certainly do in a pinch.

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Connie Limon is a professional shih tzu breeder in Indiana. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts on shih tzu puppies are offered to subscribers. Sign up at:

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