Dog Equipment Tips – Collar Width And Collar Fitting

Right here’s a quick tip on collar width and collar fitting.  This is because I see lots of dogs out walking whose collars are way too thin for their neck or badly fitted so they could easily pull out. 

Bad collars

Now whoever thought choke chains were a good idea?  Or thin rope collars, or thin leather rope collars?  These are terrible for anything larger than a toy sized dog.  And by toy I mean about 12lbs or less.

The reason they are terrible is that they put too much force on the dog’s neck in a small space.  When the dog pulls, it can easily damage its windpipe and neck muscles with these collars.  If the dog yanks at the collar quickly the force can actually pull the bones in the dog’s neck out of place.  For example if it’s seen a cat, set off at top speed then got to the end of the flexi lead…..

(Flexi leads are also not a good idea for dogs that are fast runners for the same reason.)

Good collars

So your dog collar should be the width of at least two of the dog’s vertebrae.  Vertebrae are the bones in the spine which extend into your dog’s neck.  For dogs over about 20 kilos (44 lbs) an inch wide collar is preferred.  For dogs over 30 kilos see if you can find 1.5 inches.  Or even more for the giant breeds.  Padded collars are also useful for larger breeds.

If that means having a collar made to order, why not?  It could be one of the best investments in your dog’s health you ever make.

That’s why greyhound collars are wide – because the greyhound is a large dog with a long neck.  The special leather ‘fishtail’ shaped collar is entirely functional, not fashionable!

Fitting the collar

Remember a badly fitted collar is almost as bad as no collar at all.  Dogs regularly slip free and then are into the road causing accidents, or off causing nuisances with other dogs or livestock.

You should be able to comfortably get 2 fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.  Any more and the collar is too loose.  If you have to force your two fingers underneath the collar is too tight.

Hope this has made sure you’ve got your good collars on securely.

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