If you’ve heard the term “martingale” in conjunction with a dog collar, you may be wondering what a martingale collar is. Maybe a friend advised you to buy one for your dog, touting is as the best thing since sliced bread for walking your dog. Or a dog trainer has sent you on a mission to get one for your sessions. The more people you find yourself talking to about dog collars, the more confusing it can get. We’ve provided a brief definition of each type of collar commonly used for training and control.
Choke Collar (also called a slip collar)
The Choke collar is the predecessor to the martingale collar, used to either gain control over, or train, a dog. More than likely you have seen one, or used one yourself, 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.
Martingale Dog Collar (also limited slip collar, no slip collar)
The most popular form or choke collar in use today, the martingale collar was initially developed for sighthounds (greyhounds, salukis, whippets, etc). Sighthounds 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 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 s certain point, and then can not tighten any further. Martingales 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.
Check Dog Collar (also called a half-check collar)
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. 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. However the constriction of the choke action is limited, just as the martingale is, thus 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 The Artful Canine’s selection of martingale collars in colors and styles to suit all tastes.
This post originally appeared on The Artful Canine’s Blog Site. If you’re not reading this via email or RSS feed from The Artful Canine’s Blog Site, it may have been stolen.