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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Leather dog collars

I found this interesting article about leather dog collars. Hope you enjoy it, Charlie

My husband and I have a side business of training dogs. We specialize in training retrievers for hunting. When at all possible we train the owners at the same time as the dogs. Through the years I have been surprised how many people have ill fitting collars on their pets. There is a great variety in collars available. We have found that the best type to purchase is leather dog collars. They last a long time and seem to be comfortable for the dogs.

Leather dog collars come in a variety of lengths and widths. It is important to purchase a collar that is wide enough that it will not cut into the skin, but yet not be so wide that the dog is limited in their movements. Many people make the mistake of purchasing leather dog collars in longer lengths than are needed for puppies. They think that the puppy will grow into the collar. The puppy most likely will, however having too long of a tag end can result in the puppy getting caught on things. If people do not have enough money to have proper fitting leather dog collars for the puppy, we suggest buying a cheaper nylon collar for the puppy. Once the puppy has reached its adult size the leather dog collars can be purchased to insure proper fit.

Many people like the option of using a choke collar on their dogs, especially for training to walk on a leash. We recommend using a choke collar only during training and then switching back to the leather dog collars or the collars made of nylon. The reason for this recommendation is that the metal choke collar is cold in the winter and can also discolor the dog’s fur, especially when the fur gets wet. Retrievers spend a great deal of time in the water so their fur is wet often.

The main disadvantage of leather dog collars is that they can develop an odor from the oils in the dog’s coat. Frequently cleaning the collar with leather cleaner helps reduce the odor and also increases the life of the leather. We often remove the collars when our dogs are in the water. This preserves the collar and reduces the risk that they could get snagged on something in the water. When your dog is well trained you do not have to rely on controlling them with their collar. A well trained dog responds to verbal commands. A collar is needed so the dog can be identified if he is lost, and to walk with a leash, it should not be your means to control behaviors.

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The above article about leather dog collars was reprinted with permission of the author.

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