Martingale Dog Collars: Questions and Answers
All About Martingale Dog Collars
What is the purpose of a martingale dog collar?
Martingale collars aim to help allay the risk of dogs slipping out of their collars. This is especially risky and purportedly common in large dog breeds that that have thin or narrow necks, such as sighthounds, and when collars are not properly sized or not durable.
In a nutshell, a martingale is a type of dog collar that provides more control over a dog with the aim of minimal choking risk. Though they may be referred to as 'limited slip collars,' martingale collars are a more gentle, ethical approach when compared to conventional slip collars, which tighten chokingly around a dog's neck with every pull.
Martingale collars are popular for training dogs because they are comfortable and safer to use than alternatives such as traditional slip collars. This martingale collar tightens only a specific amount when a dog pulls too far ahead of you but adjusts to a comfortable circumference when the dog returns to the desired position. The potential tightening of the color is metered so that, unlike the conventional slip collar, the tightening reminder to your dog is not supposed to be excessive.
What breeds need a martingale collar?
Martingale collars are designed for dogs with narrow heads such as Greyhounds and other sighthounds and breeds with heads that are quite narrow compared to their neck size. It is also useful for a dog of any breed who is adept at slipping out of their collar or for fearful dogs who may try to 'back out' of a collar.
Are martingale collars good for dogs?
While caveats exist, Martingale collars are gentle alternatives to slip collars. Martingale collars are ideal if you need control over your hound and to further train him or her.
Do martingale collars actually work?
Martingale collars are ideal for training and maintaining control, but, like any pet-training and safety device, Martingale collars are a tool, and, like all tools, it can be used in a positive or negative way. Additionally, quality can differ from one supplier to another. Degradation of material can occur over time. Quality, durable materials and proper storage and handling help ascertain a long-lasting product while properly fitting the collar and utilizing it when needed helps ensure the likeliness of the Martingale collar being used safely.
Can dogs escape from martingale collar?
The metered tightening in reaction to a dog's pulling forward or reacting abruptly in a certain direction is to ensure it likely that a dog doesn't escape the Martingale collar. However, no product is absolutely perfect, and anomalies can always exit.
What about the safety and risks associated with martingale collars?
While pet collars can be a reflection of a pet's and your personality, some even glamorous, artistic, and personalized, most professionals suggest collars and harnesses be removed when appropriate, that they not be worn at all times. Removal allows for air flow and renewed fur growth, helping mitigate irritation and infection risk. If a collar gets wet, especially repeatedly, and is left on the dog, fungal growth and 'hot spots' can occur, which can lead to infection and complications. It's also advised by most professionals that you do not leave a collar on when a dog is in a crate, pen, or area in which they could get caught on something and run the risk of choking.
And, again, a Martingale collar is a tool: like any and every tool, it can be used in a positive or a negative way.
How tight should a martingale collar be?
A martingale should be snug around your dog's neck but enable you to fit two fingers comfortably between the collar and your dog. Under normal conditions, the collar should be comfortable, and when it temporarily tightens, the dog will learn to associate a cause-effect reaction with the undesired behavior.
Are there alternatives to Martingale collars?
While Martingale collars certainly offer perks, a durable harness can be a favorite go-to for many, professionals and pet owners alike. Harnesses help distribute the tugs and control a leash exerts without putting as much risk on the trachea as collars do. Please see our recommended harness collection:
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