As your pup's grandfather might say, back in the day, canines didn't have much choice when it came to collars. Now you can obtain your pal's coordinates from a handheld device, outfit him with blinking lights and choose from a variety of collars. The times, they are a-changin'.
Types of Collars
Most collars you'll see are buckle collars or martingale collars made of nylon or leather. Both materials are fine, although nylon is easier to clean. If your pup doesn't channel Houdini and slip out of his collar, a buckle collar will do the trick. Martingale collars prevent your pup from escaping his collar by tightening slightly when he tries to slip out. Breakaway collars also exist and are excellent choices for when your pup's inside the house. If he gets caught on something, the collar breaks off his neck so he doesn't choke himself. If your pup pulls while walking you might want to try a head collar, which directs his head back to you if he pulls. It is not a negative reinforcer like a choke collar.
Collar Appearance and Customization
Peeing on telephone poles won't get all the other neighborhood canines to notice your pup, but your fixing him up with an awesome collar might. The possibilities for collar customization go on and on. You can choose anything from the simplistic, such as a basic leather collar, to the bright and beautiful—rhinestones and custom embroidery. You could also choose to create or order a bandana that slides over his collar. Some bandanas tie onto the collar, but you can buy or make ones that slide onto the collar so they're easy to take off and put on.
Tracking and Identification
Some collar accessories are more of a fashion statement, such as bandanas, but others allow you to keep tabs on your pup or make it more likely he'll be returned if he gets lost. You can outfit your pup with a GPS collar, which goes right above his normal collar, so you always know where your pup's at in case he gets separated from you. Most GPS systems have a handheld device that shows your pup's location on an LCD screen. Others require you to call a number to learn your canine's location. Whether you opt for a GPS device or not, dog tags are a must. The usually metal tags clip right onto the metal ring of your pup's collar and should feature your pal's name, your address and your phone number. Clipping on his rabies vaccination tag is a good idea too. And you don't have to settle for boring tags: lots of pet and retail stores offer customizable tags in a bewildering variety of shapes and colors.
Your pup's health is of utmost importance and a few collar accessories can ensure he stays safe while out and about. Lighted collars, reflective lights and blinking lights can help other people, from hunters to drivers, spot your pup so they can avoid him. You can use a lighted collar as your pup's primary collar or as a secondary collar for walks. Reflective lights and blinking lights often clip right onto your little guy's collar.
Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.