Dogs make good pets, but to be the best possible companions, they must be properly trained. You can do the instruction yourself, but to begin training, you will need the proper equipment. That will include a training collar, which will help keep your pet under control while you teach it to obey your commands.
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A pet owner has lots of collars to choose from. They can be broken down in two categories: those for training your dog the traditional way, which involves correcting the dog with a sharp pull on a leash, and training using positive re-enforcement. Various collars for both methods are available. For the conventional way, you can choose from choke collars which, when pulled, tighten around the dog’s neck for control; slip collars, which are choke collars; a Martindale collar, which is like a choke collar only more gentle; and prong collars, which, like the name suggests, poke at the dog. Also available are electric collars that shock the pet if it does something wrong. The method built on positive re-enforcement is a kinder, gentler way and has special collars designed for it. Those include what are called half collars, also called half-choke or half-check collars. The half-choke collar is useful in training but not designed to be left on the dog for long periods of time. Many models are made of fabric, with a short length of chain.
The half-choke collar is a more humane version of a choke collar. This collar works as a choke collar, but with a more limited effect through its special design. It has two loops that allow it to tighten on the dog’s neck when it is fighting against the leash or trying to pull its head out of the collar. The collar loosens when the dog stops struggling. The half-check collar can be effective with dogs that can quickly slip out of a conventional dog collar and for big dogs that could pull down an owner.
Half-choke collars come in different designs and are made of different materials. One kind has a fabric covering a nylon mesh. The chain can be made of different metals. The collar can also be made of leather, or other materials.
The training collar–including the half-check variety–should fit snugly but comfortably over your pet’s head. If it’s too loose, it may accidentally slip off; too tight and it may be difficult to put on and take off. However, a perfect fit is not necessary for these collars to work effectively. Measure your dog’s neck with a tape or string measure and add 2 or 3 inches.
Should you decide to train your new dog, don’t waste time listening to amateur dog trainers or animal behaviourists or part-time pet shop trainers or owners. They can steer you to the wrong equipment. Check with your veterinarian before choosing a collar for your dog’s training. .
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