Things to Look for in a Dog Collar for Pulling
When you’re looking for the best collar for pulling dogs there are a few things you should keep in mind to help you make the best choice:
The correct fit is crucial for your dog’s safety and comfort, as well as to give you the right amount of control. Look at the size description and measure your dog carefully to ensure you choose the right size. Most collars will be adjustable to allow you to get the exact right fit for your pup.
In general, the collar should be tight enough that your dog can not wiggle out of it. You should always be able to fit 2 fingers between the dog’s collar and their neck, to ensure it’s not too tight.
High-quality materials ensure your dog is getting the best collar possible. A high-quality collar is more likely to be sturdy, durable, and wear well. It’s also likely to be more comfortable for your dog.
Comfortable for Your Dog
As well as high-quality materials and choosing the right size, other aspects can make a collar more comfortable for your dog. Padded materials prevent rubbing and are gentle on sensitive skin. Wider collars may be more suitable for those with thin or delicate necks to reduce the pressure around the neck.
Headcollars can help to reduce pressure on your dog’s neck, lessening choking if your dog pulls which can be useful and increase comfort. Take your time to figure out what’s best for you and your dog.
Control for You
When your dog pulls, the more control a collar can give you the better. Look for collars that apply gentle pressure or allow you to direct your dog’s attention. These features give you more control and allow for gentle correction during training.
It’s important the collar as a clasp or buckle to allow you to remove it from your dog quickly in case of emergency. This also makes getting the collar on and off easier in general.
Why Dogs Pull On Their Lead
In essence, dogs pull on their lead because they believe that’s how they can move forward or get to where they want to go. This is typically due to lack of training, as it’s our job to teach our dogs how to walk correctly on the lead. Some breeds are more predisposed to pulling, perhaps because of genetics, due to the work the breed was bred to do, or simply because they’re more high-energy.
Quite often this behavior is inadvertently rewarded if your dog pulls and then gets to keep walking. This is enforced further if your dog is able to pull and get to their favorite place (such as the dog park), gets to meet other dogs, or even gets treats during a walk. You’re essentially ‘teaching’ your dog that pulling gets them what they want.
Other Ways to Stop Your Dog Pulling
As well as collars, there are a variety of no-pull harnesses available to help you stop your dog pulling on walks. Some produce gentle pressure over the dog’s body when they pull forward, while others allow you to attach the lead to the side or front of the dog to redirect them when they pull.
You can also use a lead with attachments at both ends, allowing you to attach the lead on your dog’s harness as well as a collar. I use this method with my springer spaniel with a gentle leader and a side harness. I find it gives me greater control, while also ensuring the pressure isn’t just on her neck and nose if she does pull.
While the right equipment can help you to stop your dog pulling on the lead, it must be paired with training to get long-lasting results. There are lots of great guides and videos online to help you with leash training, like this 1 from the Dog’s Trust and this guide from Blue Cross.
In essence, training your dog not to pull involves teaching them that they don’t move forward when they’re pulling and that they only move forward when the lead is loose. It’s important to reinforce good behavior with treats and praise. If you need help, training classes or 1 to 1 training with a professional can give you the tools you need to get things back on track.
Collar Safety Advice
Always make sure your dog’s collar fits correctly so that it’s comfortable and safe. It’s crucial you don’t leave your dog’s collar on when they’re in a crate or pen, or during play, as this can be dangerous if their collar gets caught on anything. Ideally, a collar should have a quick release buckle or button to help you remove the collar from your dog’s neck in case of an emergency.
Never pull back quickly on the lead when your dog is wearing a collar, as this can damage their neck. Try to keep any corrections gentle and more verbal than physical, as this is safer and produces better results during training.
Choke chains and prong collars are not recommended, as they can be very harmful both physically and psychologically for your dog. If you are going to use these items, it’s essential you do so under the guidance of an experienced trainer.
Dog Collar for Pulling FAQ
Should dogs wear collars 24/7?
No, it’s not advisable for your dog to wear a collar 24/7 as it can be uncomfortable, and cause rubbing against their fur and skin when worn constantly. It can also be a hazard during playing or when in a crate or pen.
Do collars hurt a dog’s neck?
No, when sized and used correctly a collar won’t hurt your dog’s neck.
Is it ok to pull a dog by their collar?
You should never pull your dog by their collar as this can hurt their neck. Instead, you should use gentle pressure and verbal direction.
With the right collar combined with training, you can stop your dog pulling and both enjoy relaxing adventures together!
Dogs Trust, (2021), “Walking nicely on the lead: How to stop your dog pulling on the lead”.
Blue Cross, (2019), “How to stop your dog pulling on the lead”.