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Collar sizing

635 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Kensi
First of all, I know the two finger rule. The trouble is my dog's neck size changes considerably depending on what position she's in. When she's laying or sitting, her neck is broad, but if she's walking (particularly if she's sniffing with her nose to the ground), her neck stretches out long and skinny.

So if I adjust her collar for the at-rest position, there are several inches of gap when she's sniffing. But if I adjust it for walks, it's too tight at rest, with her skin folding over the collar.

What should I do? Thanks.
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Do you use a harness? If you do, you can leave the collar loose enough for use at rest, and use it just for ID while on walks. Another option is to use a harness always, instead of a collar, and attach the tags to the harness.
However, because of the potential for bacterial build-up, or for the collar getting caught on things (choking hazard), or for the dog to get their foot stuck in the collar (yes, this happens, sometimes they loose nails or have other injuries)- because of that, it's usually recommended that your dog not wear the collar inside- eliminating the issue where it's too tight when she's lying down. And of course, NEVER let her wear it in the crate.
I have a tag holder and a walking collar. Tag holder collars are thin and loose while walking callers are 1.5 inches wide or more and snug to fit a standing dog.
Buy a martingale collar and use that. The loop should pull the collar tight so when she pulls the collar has NO gaps but is loose other times when not pulling. It should be adjusted so that when she pulls it is tight enough not to come over her head so she cannot escape.

Stay away from harnesses. Dogs slip them and you are unable to clearly communicate to the dog by means of the leash.

Once a dog is completely trained and obedient and will walk next to you on a loose leash and not strain to sniff, chase squirrels, run up to other dogs and people you can use a harness but keep that collar on the dog in case things go wonky and you need the extra security.
Stay away from harnesses. Dogs slip them and you are unable to clearly communicate to the dog by means of the leash.
Just adding my two cents- since it's probably case-specific, I'm not claiming this is "right"- but with my dogs (for some reason, the pit bull more than the BC) I found harness communication more effective- I guess it was just my dogs' personal preference. And because of head sizes, I had more trouble with her slipping collars than harnesses- but anyway- I'm sure it really depends on the handler's- and more importantly the dog's- preferences. perhaps breed plays a role? I don't know. The GSD I had ignored harness communication completely.

The martingale is a very good suggestion though. But definitely (as 3GSD4IPO described) be sure to properly adjust it. Too loose defeats the purpose, to tight can become dangerous- or at least unnecessarily uncomfortable, depending on how tight.
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