At Bark City, we have a "No Collar Rule" while the dogs are in the daycare. The reason we do this is because when two dogs are playing and have collars on, they can quickly become entangled. Teeth can get caught, jaws can get caught and feet can get caught. This causes a safety issue for both dogs involved. Once the entanglement happens, things can escalate pretty quickly from the dogs panicking to get free. They start to twist, turn and pull. The body part that is caught can get pretty injured--- broken, dislocated... ect. But, what's worse is that the dog wearing the tangled collar can quickly become asphyxiated and die from the twisted collar cutting off their oxygen supply.
I'm bringing up this rule, because I thought it would be a good idea to talk about collar safety. There are three basic types of collars and each collar serves a different purpose and should be used at the appropriate time. I am using examples found on 2 Hounds Design, because...well... they had images of the three types of collars I am going to discuss:
This type of collar is called a Martingale Collar and is often used with dogs that have a smaller head than neck. Owners often use them when walking a dog, because the dog cannot slip out of the collar and run away (which is also a safety risk). It is recommended that these collars only be used when an owner is walking their dog with a leash. Martingale collars have no quick release and cause the biggest threat for entanglement. If you need a martingale collar for walking your dog, you should also purchase a quick release collar for supervised off-leash play.
while supervised. The buckle provides a quick way for the owner to release an entangled collar.
And last, but not least, the harness. A harness is a great solution for the dog that is "still learning". There is nothing around the dog's neck that could cause potential suffocation. BUT, another dog could still get entangled which can still cause injury. A harness also needs to fit properly, otherwise the dog could still slip out. When buying a harness for your dog, you should do some research on what kind of harness to buy and how it should fit. You should also "ask an expert" to help you initially fit the harness to your dog.
All in all, the general rules when it comes to collars are:
- If your dog is going to doggy daycare, make sure they take collars off! If they don't, your dog should not go to that daycare.
- Double up on your collars-- use the appropriate collar for the situation.
- If your dog is unsupervised with another dog, "no collars" is best. If your dog is not trained well enough to handle no collar, they should always be supervised while wearing a quick release collar.
- Learn the power of recall training.