Martingale dog collars were originally created for use with sight hounds. Because this breeds head is smaller than their neck, they are able to “slip out” of a regular collar. Today, more and more dog owners chose this collar for leash walking for the very same reasons, and and as such is also referred to as a “safety collar.” There a many different types of martingale collars. Below we have summarized the different types, and how each differs from the others.
The Choke collar is the predecessor to the martingale dog collar, used to either gain control over, or train, a dog. More than likely you have seen one used with a dog. Made of a metal chain, the choke collar works by tightening around a dogs neck when it is pulled. A choke collar is inexpensive, and can be an effective training tool when used in conjunction with voice commands. While it is probably one of the most common collars used today, when used improperly it can cause pain, or worse, injure a dog, as there is no limit to how tightly the collar can be constricted around the neck.
The most popular form of martingale dog collar in use today, it was initially developed for sight hounds (greyhounds, salukis, whippets, etc). Sight hounds have a head that is smaller than their neck and, because of this, are able to back out of a tradition buckle collar easily. The action of the martingale is like a choke collar in that it tightens evenly around the dogs neck when pulled, but the choke action is “limited” by a fixed loop.
This “limited” choke action prevents the collar from continuing to constrict around the neck, preventing damage to the esophagus. It tightens up to a certain point, and then can not tighten any further. Martingale dog collars are usually made of nylon or other strong fabric, so it does not cut into the neck like a choke or slip collar does. This is why the martingale is often referred to as a ‘humane” choke collar. A martingale dog collar is also very effective in preventing a dog from backing out their collar (a characteristic of fearful dogs, or dogs that pull back ) when leashed.
A half check is a variation, or combination of metal choke and martingale collar. Half of the collar is made of chain, and the rest of fabric. This makes them a bit more durable with regard to wear around the “loop” of a fabric martingale. These collars are a favorite of many dog trainers because the choke action is accompanied by the sound of the chain, which often aides in getting the dogs attention when giving a command. Like the fabric martingale, the constriction of the choke action is limited, giving trainers a humane and effective training tool.
Of the three collar types, the martingale collar is probably to most popular and broadly used. They can be difficult to find in your local pet store, but there are many collar shops online that offer martingale collars. Be sure to check out TheArtfulCanine.com for a great selection of Martingale Dog Collars in colors and styles to suit all tastes.
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