Which collar is right for you?

Top trainers discuss the pros and cons of common collars.

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Choosing a training collar from the available array is a difficult task for novice owners and canine experts alike. People feel strongly about these tools because there’s such a wide variety. In addition, each individual dog can react in different ways to each tool. To shed light on different collars and training techniques, six experts discuss their training principles and their opinions on different kinds of collars.

Training tools
Trainers use special tools for unique situations. These tools can provide assistance so the owner can control the dog, communicate with the dog and even speed up the training process. Our experts explained what they believe a truly trained dog is.

Ian Dunbar, Ph.D., M.R.C.V.S.: Training tools are anything used to train a dog: lures, rewards, clickers, treats, leashes, collars, head halters and harnesses, prong collars, and electronic collars.

The dog cannot be considered trained if the training tool is still being actively used. Training tools should become management tools. A trained dog is a dog under good verbal, off-leash control, even when distracted and at a distance.

Jan Gribble, certified dog trainer: Relying on equipment as management devices causes me great concern. Equipment can fail and such failures run the potential risk of injury or death if the owner does not have control over his dog without that management device. (For example, if a collar breaks and the owner cannot control his dog by voice commands, the dog could dash out in the street and get hit by a car.)

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