First off you need to watch your pet's behavior before deciding which style of dog collar to buy.
The dog collar market has a whole multitude of dog collars available, from the normal to the very specialized. Before you make a decision which type of collar to buy you need to know what each does and which dogs it suits.
The Dog Collar Types and Uses
To ensure that you are using the best collar as a training aid for your dog, you should seek the advice of a professional dog trainer.
The buckle collar has a ring for you to attach the city dog license and other identification tags. Should your dog accidentally get lost, this collar and the attached tags will help him get back home.
If you do not like the sound of clinking dog tags or if you worry that the metal tags will discolor your dog's fur, then you can use a special tag pouch, available at most pet stores.
A muzzle is a basically a mesh cup that slips completely over your best friend's mouth and nose. It is attached to your pet's head with a strap behind the ears.
A head collar is not the same as a muzzle! A normal collar encourages your dog to pull against the pressure on his neck. A head collar is the opposite; it exerts steady and firm pressure on the scruff of your pet's neck.
This mimics the behavior of a mother dog who is disciplining her puppies. Slight pressure around the muzzle and on the scruff of the neck is correctional behavior that your dog can understand instinctively from the human holding the leash.
The initial training using a head collar should be done under the supervision of a qualified trainer, even though a head collar is considered to be more humane than a pinch or slip collar.
The action of the leash when correcting your best friend is very different with a head collar verses any of the other training devices. So it's important that you receive proper instruction on its use from a qualified trainer. While wearing a head collar, your a hound can still pant, bark, drink and eat, even bite.
While some trainers will use flat buckle type collars, especially on puppies, these collars do not always provide the ideal control for more unruly dogs.
Choke chains are metal chain links of various sizes with a ring on each. These collars should only be used while actively training or walking your dog. This type of collar is usually sold by length, so ask for assistance when purchasing a slip collar.
Used by many people to control hard to handle dogs, the prong or pinch collar lies flat on your dog's neck until you need to give some correction or he pulls on the leash. The pressure on the leash will cause the blunt metal prongs to pinch your dog's neck.
There is even a fancy collar that could be useful for an older pooch. Have you seen those spiked collars that make a hound look like a punk rock star? If you get your older canine one of these it will not harm him. In fact, it can serve as your best friend's protection from bigger and more aggressive dogs. Or from the overly boisterous younger dog.
Dog Collar Tips
Finally pick a pet collar that suits your dog's personality and size. A giant black leather collar with studs may not suit a toy poodle, or a pink ribbon style collar a British Bulldog. After all it is part of your dog's image so pick a canine collar that fits!
With all collars a proper fit is of vital importance. Non-slip collars should be loose enough to allow you to easily fit two fingers between the collar and the neck of the pet. Prong / pinch collars, slip / choke collars, head halters and harnesses should be fitted with the help of someone who is experienced in their use.
The incorrect fitting of one of these collars will result in improper use and can cause pain and discomfort for your pet. Please note that the sales clerk at the pet store is not usually qualified to fit these collars.