The Training Collar: Finding the Perfect One for Your New Puppy

You’ve gone through the steps of purchasing a proper leash and now you’re weighing your options on choosing a training collar. Your puppy should start off with a flat leather or nylon collar that is equipped with a buckle closure. Then, after about a month, replace it with the actual training collar, which should have a perfect fit -- neither loose nor tight around the neck.

Using a large training collar in the hopes that the puppy will grow into it will cause the leash training to be ineffective, since the leash will not “pop” properly with a collar that is too big. Your puppy will feel the leash correction belatedly, and this delayed response will hinder the results you are trying to achieve.

Another disadvantage of using a training collar that is too large for the puppy is that it will be positioned at the part of his neck that is thick with muscles. This part of the puppy’s neck is not very sensitive, so you have to add more force when you pull on the leash in order for him to feel it. If you use a training collar that fits perfectly, you do not have to pull hard on the leash to get the puppy’s attention.

The best training collar to use is one that is made out of soft, braided nylon, making sure that it fits snugly around the upper neck. Nylon collars are often used instead of steel (link) collars because they do not slip down on the neck like steel collars do, making them easier and more accurate for use in leash corrections. They are also adjustable and very light against the puppy’s skin.

This type of collar should not be used on breeds with long-haired breeds such as Old English sheepdogs and bearded collies. The nylon collar will too easily tangle in their long hair. For these long-haired puppies, it is better to use a training collar that is made of steel links, but the links of the steel collar must be small and flat. You also have to make sure that the hair of the puppy is tucked under the collar so that it does not slide down on the neck. To check for the right fit, allow for a 2-inch slack on the collar when it is tightly pulled with the leash.

Image: star5112 / via Flickr

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