Dog leashes

Choosing the best dog training collar for your dog

One of the first things to buy before you can start training your dog is a decent dog training collar. There are different types of dog collars available on the market and can be roughly divided into three different categories: Buckle collars, Slip collars and Specialized collars.

Buckle collars

Buckle collars go around the dog’s neck and clip with either a regular buckle or a snap on closing.
They are adjustable to the size of your dog, but once set, you shouldn’t change size when the collar is attached to your dog’s neck; you first take the collar off, adjust and re-attach.
Buckle collars are good for holding identification tags and for general walks.
As a dog training collar, they are however not the very best choice as they don’t allow to quickly correct your dog.

Slip collars

Slip collars come in either metal, nylon or rolled leather and have a ring at both ends. When doubled back through one ring, a loop is formed that slips over the dog’s head. When one ring is pulled the collar tightens up on the neck.
The benefit of these collars when used as dog training collars are they won’t come off the pup’s head, even when he scoots backwards, and a quick snap of the leash makes the collar mimic the nip of an alpha dog as a correction.
Most dog trainers recommend this type of collar, preferably in leather.

Specialized dog collars

The Illusion Collar, by Cesar Millan

Different professional dog trainers have created their own specialized dog collars based on their experiences handling thousands of dogs. One such specialized collar is the Illusion Collar by Cesar Millan.

This collar is basically a slip collar attached to two buckle collars that keep the first collar neatly in place.

It allows the dog owner to use the main loop as a slip collar behind the ears, rather than down at the base of the neck where most collars rest. The area behind a dog’s ears are more sensitive, especially for breeds with heavy neck muscles like bull terriers, so this collar keeps it higher where the correction is better felt.

The Illusion Collar should only be used when walking and training and should thus not be left attached to your dog all the time.

Head collars

Other specialized collars include head collars that fit the dog much like a halter fits a horse. A strap goes over the dog’s nose, making it easier to control the head.