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Selecting the Right Dog Collar

What is the best dog collar? The simple answer is the collar that makes your beloved pet happy and you too. The best question to ask is exactly what do you expect in the right collar for your pet. Let’s first assume we are talking about pets that have reached maturity.

As puppies grow, the size of collars will change so most anything will work especially if you are not going to be investing a lot of money changing collars over the next year or two.

The main thing for puppies is to have something to attach your vet and identification tags as well as getting your pet used to wearing a collar. If you choose to begin obedience training or just basic good walking or heeling training, I suggest talking with your training professional for the best training collar.

Most training professionals as well as myself highly recommend the head leader for basic heeling or walking training. You are still going to need some kind of dog collar to attach your vet and identification tags. Most head leaders allow for use of a traditional collar in conjunction with the head leader.

These work great and do not require negative correction while walking. Just make sure you have correctly placed the head leader on your pet. Once your pet has graduated to proper heeling or walking behavior and you are ready for a really great dog collar, your next step is to decide whether you want a collar that is more utilitarian in function or a combination of function and fashion.

A well made dog collar will last for years if not for the entire lifetime of your beloved pet. Your pet supply store will have a basic selection generally comprised of mostly synthetic or nylon collars with a few traditional hard or vegetable tanned leather collars.

If your primary decision in the selection of a collar is more utilitarian, then whatever the pet supply store offers will be fine. Just make sure you get the proper size and width. Don’t choose a collar that will not be wide enough as you don’t want your collar to become a garrote when you have your dog leashed.

This, of course, will depend on the size of your pet. However, if you are looking for a dog collar that combines both function with some aesthetic value, then you will need to expand your horizons a bit.

Let’s first consider what collar is comfortable to your pet. Well, what material is comfortable to you? If you are honest in answering this question, then nylon or some other synthetic material is eliminated. Nylon, though strong and durable, is quite abrasive and will rub the fur off your pet’s neck.

If you are like most pet owners once you put a collar on your pet it stays put. Eventually, nylon and other synthetic dog collars will rub off your pet’s fur to bare skin and then begin to irritate your pets neck to a point of infection in some cases. The most comfortable material for your pet is going to be a collar made of a natural material such as leather.

Traditional hard leather or vegetable tanned leather has been used for dog collars for centuries. Unfortunately, the selection of hard leather collars in the local pet supply stores tend to be rather limited and not very fashionable unless you are wanting spikes and studs. In reference to the above question, would a hard leather collar be comfortable around your own neck? There is another choice but will take some more research on your part to find it.

Most leather products we wear are made from soft, chrome tanned leather. Soft leather is just as durable as its cousin and much more fashionable.

However, soft leather is not used much for dog collars for one important factor. Chrome tanned or soft leather tends to stretch and if you have a pet that pulls, your soft leather collar will eventually stretch beyond a safe size as well as distort.

To compensate for this, most soft leather collars are made like a rope where the sides are brought up and sewn together. While this style makes a most durable collar, it lacks the ability to add fashionable additions to the collar. Also, you don’t want a collar that will garrote your pet when correction or restraint is needed. Does this limit us to hard leather selections? Not necessarily.

With the incorporation on a non-stretchable material into the crafting of your soft leather dog collar, you will have a most superior unique collar that is not only durable and comfortable but allows the creation of many fashionable designs that will satisfy the aesthetic desires you want for your pet.

Of course any leather dog collar is going to be more costly than one made of a synthetic material but as mentioned earlier these collars will last for years.

If you want to preserve your investment of a quality, soft leather custom dog collar you can always purchase an inexpensive collar at your local pet supply store for everyday use and use your special unique collar for those special occasions such as a trip to the park, to the vet, or when you just want to show-off your dog.

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