A martingale collar is traditionally used on greyhounds and whippets. The martingale collar offers more support and more control in certain situations. If a dog is prone to slipping out of its current dog collar, then a martingale collar may be recommended. Importantly if you have been recommended a martingale collar then it is very important you know the facts particularly related to safety of this style of collar. We answer some of the major questions related to martingale collars below.
How can a martingale collar help in dog training?
The fundamental difference between a martingale dog collar and a traditional dog collar is that is has two loops. One is for adjusting size around your dog’s neck, whilst the other acts to offer extra control when a lead is attached.
If you dog starts to pull, then the collar will tighten around your dog’s neck without choking. Once your dog stops pulling the tension is released and the collar will slacken. This offers a more humane alternative then choke collars or prong collars, both of which should never be used in our opinion as they have the potential to cause harm alongside working as a negative training technique.
You can quickly see that the mechanism means it will be harder for your dog to slip free. This does then help with any owner whose dog is constantly backing out of its dog collar. This is particularly important if you live near busy roads! This does explain why a martingale collar can be seen more often on greyhounds and similar who have a much narrower head and can slip their collar easily.
As with all advice relating to training we don’t believe tools should be the first port of call. In other words try positive training techniques if your dog pulls before deciding to change your dog’s collar. Most dogs should be able to comfortably walk with a normal collar and lead with adequate training.
Are martingale collars safe?
Lots of dog trainers are now recommending martingale collars as a useful tool in the armoury and used correctly they should provide a safe alternative to others such as choke collars. If you have decided to use a martingale collar it is imperative you understand how to adjust it. If the adjustment is good then when it tightens it will only contract to the size of your dog’s neck and no further, this ensures your dog isn’t choked in the process. Before you start using the martingale collar make sure you have thoroughly checked the adjustment.
Because of the way martingale collars are used (to prevent dogs slipping they’re collars and to help in training) it is really important to note that a dog should never be left unsupervised wearing a martingale collar. When used without a lead there is the potential for the metal elements to slips down. This gives your dog the perfect opportunity to chew and worse still damage their teeth. Again, if a lead isn’t attached and your dog ventures outside it could easily get caught on a branch, fence or anything else sticking out, this clearly presents a danger to your dog.
Finally, if you find your dog doesn’t take to the martingale collar then you should stop using. Constant pressure on your dog’s neck from the tightening of a martingale collar could cause harm. Always consult with a professional accredited trainer or vet to see what recommendations and alternatives there might be.
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