By Tamara McRill
Putting on a dog collar should be an easy task, right? Pick one that fits your dog’s unique personality, slip it around his neck (not too tight), fasten, give your woofer an affectionate head rub and you’re good to go. At least that’s what I always thought, but it turns out there’s more that goes into making sure your dog’s collar is on nice and secure.
I found this out the hard and heart-stopping way, with my chocolate Labrador, Wuppy. We were all geared up to take a walk in our new neighborhood, which is super exciting when you’re a dog that loves the adventure of new locations. When Wuppy and I set off, he bounced right out of his collar!
See, Wuppy has a generous waddle – the loose skin around a dog’s neck – which, combined with his bouncy behavior makes keeping him in his dog collar a little tricky. Luckily for me, our older dog, Cody, was also in the yard with Mike. So Wuppy bolted straight to the two objects of his hero worship.
Go By Feel, Not Sight
The first thing I learned when I started researching how to properly make sure my dog’s collar was secure was that I was doing it wrong. No shocker there – he did escape. I was looking at Wuppy’s collar to see if it looked like it was loose enough, when I should have been feeling it.
A good rule of thumb for flat collars, which are the most common, is to make sure you can get two fingers underneath it. You simply slide your fingers in between the collar and your dog’s neck. If there is more space than that, try tightening it up a notch until it is tight enough to comfortably allow your fingers underneath. If you can’t get two fingers under the collar, then loosen it up because you could be accidentally hurting your dog’s throat.
By Linda Cole
I have yet to find a dog who doesn’t enjoy going on walks. However, the problem is that not all dogs are leash trained, nor are they all friendly. Sometimes, a meeting between two dogs doesn’t go as well as both owners expected. I recently heard about a new idea in collars, leashes and harnesses, with messages that can help make dog walking safer for dogs, their owners and other people.
A company in the United Kingdom has come up with a simple way to send a clear signal to people approaching with their dog or someone just walking that tells them if a dog is friendly, isn’t interested in making a new friend, or needs space to stay calm. Dexil’s Friendly Dog Collars were designed to let strangers know what a dog’s temperament is like before they are near him. The purpose of the collars is to hopefully cut down on dog-on-dog encounters and dogs biting people who simply want to pet them. It’s a system based on a traffic light.
You can get a collar, lead or harness with a simple message embroidered in black on them. A green collar with the word “Friendly” means that the dog is good with adults, kids and other dogs. Orange with “No Dogs” means he’s happy to meet people, but he’s not good with other dogs. Red with “Caution” means to stay away, and do not approach this dog. He needs his space and doesn’t want you to pet him.
Other messages are available, including two for special needs pets. A gold color signifies a “Nervous” dog that may be unpredictable if approached. White is for a “Blind Dog” that may be limited in his sight or completely blind. White is also used for “Deaf Dog,” which means he’s hard of hearing or completely deaf. Blue says “Training,” for dogs being trained by their owner, so please do not disturb. Yellow is a good one for shelters and rescue groups; it says “Adopt Me.”