The pulling, the tugging, the strained arm muscles—walking your dog isn’t always easy. Often, when your dog pulls incessantly, it’s not even fun. And it should be fun! That’s why it’s important to train your dog how to walk beside you correctly. Not only does it create a balanced dog, but it’s easier on you.
Some dogs have bad habits that are hard to break. That’s why it can be helpful to use a collar that does more than make your pup look cute. The right collar can give you better control, make your corrections more affective and speed up the training process.
Ready to make walking your dog way easier? Here’s a list of three collars that will change you and your dog’s life:
1. The Choke Chain or Martingale Collar| Price: $6.99 – 11.99 at Petco
A lot of people cringe when they hear the word choke chain, but they shouldn’t. When used correctly, it will not hurt your dog—it’s all about tightening and releasing pressure to teach your dog to obey (which is why it’s important to get the right size for your dog). The “choking” isn’t really choking, it’s just a pressure that’s uncomfortable. It’s super-affective for reminding strong, excited dogs to behave. When you correct or tug on the leash, the choke chain constricts and the chain makes a noise—a great way to maintain his attention. This collar is terrific for reminding a scatter-brained dog, but not as great for teaching from scratch. Martingale Collar work in sort of the same way but are made of collar material but do the same thing as the chain.
The cons: You have to understand how to use the choke chain appropriately and safely. Abusing the chain by tugging too much or too harshly could damage your dog’s neck. It’s all about the firm, gentle tug and release. It is not recommended to leave the choke chain on your dog unsupervised. It is recommended that dogs weighing less than 10 lbs not use this collar.
2. The Gentle Leader | Price: $16.44 on Amazon.com
This collar is great because it’s weird. That’s right: weird. It goes on over your dog’s nose and latches around the neck. Basically you control your dog’s snout—which gives you incredible control over his head. It’s especially affective for hunting breeds who like to sniff everything. With control over your dog’s head, it really alleviates the pulling. This collar is terrific for teaching your dog to heel, but not as convenient because you can’t leave it on all the time.
The cons: If you have a dog that doesn’t have a big snout, like a Pug, or a dog with a tiny face, like a Chihuahua, this leash isn’t going to work for you.
3. Dog Whisperer Training Lead| Price $12.99 on CesarsWay.com
This collar works great because it’s a slip collar—so you don’t need a leash to go with it. Just slip it on and go. Pretty easy. The nylon keeps it in its place on your dog’s neck and gives you superior control over pullers (it tightens when pulled). Just remember to use the same techniques as the choke chain: correction and release. This collar is perfect for training from the get-go and as an everyday tool, but it’s not something you can leave on all the time.
The cons: Some people hate the texture of nylon. That’s OK. Training leads like this come in different varieties. Just like the choke chain, you shouldn’t leave it on your dog unless you’re walking him. It is recommended that dogs weighing less than 10 lbs not use this collar.
Remember: Always consult with a dog professional before using these tools or trying these techniques yourself. Need help training your dog? Fluffs of Luv Pet Sitting now offers dog training! For more information, call 704-421-3492.
By Deanna Morono