Dog Training Newbie

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Training Collars

The Right Training Collar Makes Dog Training Easier!

The vast array of training collars available for the dog training newbie can be overwhelming, so we created this dog collar guide to find the best type of collar for various applications. From standard flat collars to slip collars, rolled collars to e-collars, we list our recommended, best-rated products to train your dog anywhere. Use the buttons below to jump to the section you want to investigate or scroll down to learn more about how to choose the best collar for your pup.

Why Is Choosing the Right Training Collar Important?

Well-fitting collars are a must-have for all dogs because they can:   

Most importantly, the right training collar can help you and your dog enjoy a more relaxed, harmonious life together.

What to Consider in a Dog Training Collar

Size

To find the best training collar for your dog, take two easy measurements:

Start with your dog sitting in front of you. Use a soft tape measure (or non-stretchy string) to loosely measure the neck where the collar normally sits (this is the neck circumference). Record the measurement, as you’ll need this information when you’re ready to check out. Depending on the breed size, add 1-3 inches to the neck circumference to get the minimum collar size: 

dog collar fit two finger rule
Photo from Petmate.com Demonstrating Two-Finger Rule of Collar Fit. This is NOT too tight!

How do you know a collar’s fit is correct for your dog?  Use the two-finger rule: Slide two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. If two fingers fit without stress on the collar, the collar is neither too tight nor too loose. However, if only one finger fits between the collar and your dog’s neck, the collar may be too tight (depending on the collar type) and might require adjustment.

Cost

Are you shopping within a particular budget or is money no object when it comes to pampering your pooch? Whether you’re looking for something cute, stylish, waterproof, or durable, many great training collars are available at every price point ($15-300), both in stores and online.

Material

Are you looking for a collar that is strong and durable, or is the focus on your personal style and aesthetic?  Does your dog have sensitive skin that requires a hypoallergenic material? Do you enjoy walking your dog early in the morning or late at night (many collars now include reflective fabric)?

Most dog training collars are made from nylon, leather, or metal. Nylon and leather tend to be highly durable materials and may even be waterproof, while metal collars eventually corrode and rust. Many durable nylon collars can even be tossed in the washing machine for a quick clean!

Your Dog's Training Goals

Consider what your dog needs to work on in their training and find a collar that supports the necessary behavior modification. After all, the best collar for training an incessantly barking Chihuahua probably won’t be an appropriate option for a Goldendoodle that struggles with pulling while walking on a leash.

NOTE: Animal behavior research supports Positive Reinforcement as the best way to train your pup. In our guide, we describe some collars (like e-collars and slip collars) that can be used with older, outdated methods — these training methods are best reserved for experienced trainers or under the supervision of a certified dog trainer.

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