Dog collars – they come in thousands of colours, styles and types, some owners choose to forgo them, some choose to adorn their pets with the most bedazzled and flamboyant styles. Whatever your opinion on dog collars, the law in the UK states that your pooch must wear one in public. In the US, rules are slightly more varied depending on the sate, however most states require pets to wear a collar with an identification tag.

Why Should My Dog Wear a Collar?

The reason dogs are legally required to wear collars in the UK is for purpose of identification. Lost dog cases are extremely common, thankfully however most pets are reunited with their owners in good time, thanks to several successful methods. A study conducted by lost pet research found that 15% of dogs were returned to their owners because of proper identification. If more pets were found wearing identification tasks, perhaps more pets could be reunited with their owners.

Are all Dog Collars the Same?

The short answer is no. While most standard collars are suitable for most dog breeds, some breeds require special collars. Sighthound breeds are a prime example of this: their slim necks and tendency to bolt after things means they need a collar that will not cause them discomfort or harm. Whippets, greyhounds and lurchers require specially designed whippet collars which are thicker at the front and taper towards the back of the neck. This design ensures that the collar sits wider on the neck and therefore will prevent the material from digging into the fur and causing irritation or harm.

Finding the right collar also depends on dog preference; just like humans, some dogs can be pickier than others and what one dog may find irritating, another may find no bother at all! It’s a good idea to get your dog used to wearing a collar as soon as you bring them home, whether that is from an 8 week old puppy or an adult dog. Monitor your dog’s behaviour whilst wearing the collar to see how they react. If they seem uncomfortable, it could be because the collar is too tight or the fabric is irritating. Make sure you can easily fit your thumb under the collar and the fabric is smooth and padded. Some dogs prefer a wider collar that doesn’t dig into the fur. Curly haired breeds like poodles and Bedlingtons may become irritated if the collar traps their fur. The best way to prevent this is to keep fur well-groomed and make sure to take of the collar for regular brushing.

Behaviour Correction Collars

So called ‘behaviour correction’ collars or ‘obedience’ collars that are designed to inflict pain or discomfort on a dog to discourage misbehaviour are seen as unnecessary and cruel by all animal charities. These collars can include electric shock collars, spray collars and pinch collars. Views on other types of obedience collar such as vibration collars and choke collars are less black and white, as these do not cause pain to animals but rather momentary discomfort. It is advisable that if you are experiencing behaviour and training problems with your dog, you turn to the help of a certified dog trainer before going out and purchasing the latest behaviour correction gadget.