Sunday, September 21, 2008

What Kind of Dog Collar Do I Need?

Today’s subject is dog collars!

Hey everyone, today we will talk about all of the basic kinds of dog collars. There are many different dog collar types. Choosing a dog collar is relative to your needs and the solution you are seeking. Types of collars; show collars (also known as slip collars), training collars, identification collars, electronic and decorative - look at me collars, not to mention all the color options available. The collars listed here are basic dog collars and more about the types and less about the style.

These are some examples of a fancy, designer dog collars. The collars can be made up of a variety of materials such as; pearls (authentic or faux), jeweled, beaded, studded, leather, a sewn in design, metal, chain, plastic, synthetic (nylon) or even hemp for the eco friendly buyer! Usually, the beaded and pearl type collars are decorative in nature only and not intended to withstand a leash or securing a dog.

Show collars are in reference to dog show competitions. Training collars can be for a young pup in training or an adult dog that needs leash training, identification collars are basic collars that have information tags attached, slip collars are essentially for walking and also used in dog competitions and showings. If you want your dog to look like a strong guard dog you can get a chain collar, sometimes known as a choke collar. A choke collar can be made of a smooth material, made of chain or can be a pinch type with prongs.

If a collar isn’t what you and your furry friend desire, there is another option - time to introduce the harness! The harness is something that is kind of like a collar only it painlessly wraps around your dogs chest and neck, it looks quite fashionable too!

Dog Collar Glossary:
Dog Show Collar - The Martingale leads are highly used for dog shows. They have a collar portion that slips over the head and tightens when the leash is pulled. These collars can be made of different types of materials that include plastic, metal and metal with a plastic casing surrounding the metal wire. Never leave a dog unattended when using a slip collar, as it could get caught on a fence or get caught on an object and choke the dog.

Martingale Collar - Also known as limited slip collars, they help prevent dogs from slipping out of the collars while on a leash. A slight tug will tighten the collar without complete closure of the neck. Also performs well to position the head perfectly during showmanship. Never leave a dog unattended when using a slip collar, as it could get caught on a fence or get caught on an object and choke the dog.

Chain Slip Collar - Also called choke chains these are generally reserved for training only. Light tug will increase the tension around the neck while walking or during obedience training. Never leave a dog unattended when using a slip collar, as it could get caught on a fence or get caught on an object and choke the dog.

Metal Prong Collar - Highly effective for strong, stubborn dogs with a tendency to tug at the leash, these collars do look ungainly. They are also known as pinch collars and are very useful during training. When used correctly, prong studies and research have concluded there is no injury to dogs when a prong collar is used correctly. The prongs simply pinch when the leash is pulled. Never leave a dog unattended when using a slip collar, as it could get caught on a fence or get caught on an object and choke the dog.

Studded Collar - These collars are available in many fabric types, but typically are shown in leather. There are smooth studded and sharp studded collars. The sharp studded can be very dangerous and are mostly found on guard dogs. Howevere, there are many collar types labeled as "studded". Here is an example of a smooth studded collar, better know for it's saftey.

Head Collar - Head collars look like much like a muzzle. It can cover the complete nose with an opening in the end for breathing or less restrictive and have straps or strands of material that attaches around the nose. This type of collar is best used in leash training for dogs that try to pull the owner around. The halter works like a harness for the head and is intended to help train a dog to walk on a leash and heel. If the dog pulls on the leash the halter will cause the head to turn and leaves the dog feeling a bit unnatural and thus deter the tugging behavior.

Break Away Collar - These collars have a special feature that can prevent choking. These can be used for with a leash and for walking. If the leash becomes caught on something the collar breaks away instead of choking the dog. The collar will not unfasten when attached to a leash.

Daily Collar or Identification Collar - Collars with metal buckles or quick release clasps are available in a variety of materials, colors, and styles. Many people prefer buckle collars for stronger dogs, as the quick release clasps are generally less sturdy. Rounded rolled leather collars are durable and less likely to pull the hair and help prevent hair loss. These collars will have the name and a phone number in case the pet is lost.

Designer Collar – Essentially, functions like the daily collar, but with more of a fashion statement. Here you will find dog collars also have matching belts for dog and owner fashion coordination.

Eco Friendly Collar - This type of collar is Eco friendly, which means safe for the environment, made of natural material and not of synthetic materials. One example of an Eco friendly material would be “Hemp”. Eco collar refers to a generalized concept of a product, not a formal naming convention for a type of collar.

Electronic Shock Collar – These are mostly used with hunting and field training dogs. The collar has a remote control which is held by the operator, owner or trainer and the remote can emit a short low voltage shock when pressed. This usually response is issued to manage the behavior of the dog. There are various types of these devices. Ouch! Enough said here. Research indicates these are not harmful to an animal, but having said that, it does deliver a shock – OUCH!

Electronic Perimeter Containment Collar – This one works with frequency and the dog collar has an electronic mechanism that reacts by perimeter flags or a centralized electronic box mechanism that emits a short wave which the dog’s ears are sensitive to. This is for containing a dog in a specified area without a fence. The efficacy of this device will vary from dog to dog. Many people report a good result with this technology. Never rely on a device like this if you live on a busy street and always have an identification collar on the dog as well.

Harness - Harnesses are designed for placement around a dog’s chest and abdomen, crossing over the back. Harnesses are great for dog's that are pulling a sled or need good weight distribution. Contrary to what many people believe, the harness was not essentially designed to prevent dog's from tugging and pulling while on a leash. A harness is a good option for dogs that may have a medical condition involving the neck or simply served better being leashed from the mid region. A leash can be attached to a D-ring or type device on the top of the harness.

Hope you enjoyed this article of the dog blog!
From the dog house of ~ Nuni11 and Dad ~

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Winter Pet Safety

The cold winter months are soon to be here and depending on where you live, may already be present. To protect your pet during the cold winter months: Keep an eye on the temperature. When it falls below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it's best to keep your pet indoors. Short-haired dogs, cats and puppies should be kept indoors when the temperature dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep your pet's coat well groomed. Matted fur won't properly protect your pet from the cold. Check your garage and driveway for antifreeze. Antifreeze tastes sweet to pets, but is poisonous if consumed. Years ago, all antifreeze was deadly to animals, however, some antifreeze labels claims safe for the environment in respect to animals, but we suggest treating any antifreeze as you would for human consumption “Don’t allow your pet to drink it either. Should your pet ingest any amount of antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately. Regularly check your pet's water to make sure it's not frozen. When your pet is outside, make sure there is plenty of fresh drinking water available. Animals can't burn calories without a fresh supply of water, and if they can't burn calories, they'll get cold. Also, use a tip-resistant, ceramic or hard plastic water bowl rather than a metal one, as your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to a cold metal. Use a damp towel to wipe your pet's feet and underside. Ice-melting chemicals can irritate and burn the pads of your pet's feet and can cause serious injury if ingested. Another way to protect your dog's feet is to spray the pads of their feet with cooking spray or you can purchase boots for your pet. Provide a dry, draft-free doghouse if you must keep your dog outside for any period of time. It should be large enough to allow your dog to sit and lay down comfortably but small enough to hold in its body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doghouse should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic. Slap the hood of your vehicle before starting it. In their search to keep warm outdoors, cats often take refuge next to a warm car engine or tire. Keep snow from piling high next to your fence. A packed snowdrift will provide a boost for your dog to jump over the fence and escape the safe confines of your yard. Indoors, make sure your pet sleeps away from drafts. Areas near windows or doors that lead outdoors may allow cold air to seep in and keep your pet from staying adequately warm. Consider the amount of exercise your dog receives during colder weather. If your dog stays indoors more, it's probably getting less exercise and may need less food; however, if your pet is outside often it may need more food to burn the calories necessary to produce more body heat. Beyond The Crate has warm cozy dog beds, blankets and pet accessories for winter.