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Dog Collar and Leash

Choosing the right dog collar and leash for your small dog is important and imperative in keeping your dog safe, healthy, and comfortable. There are many options out there and choosing the best option will allow you do to these things. If your small dog enjoys a good walk as much as you do, look for a leash that allows your pet more freedom while still being under your command, a retractable leash will allow you to do this. As far as a comfortable collar, make sure there is about a two finger space between the collar and your dogs neck, so that your pet is not choked, yet there is no room for the collar to slip off.

1. Leash

Leashes come in an assortment of styles, materials, widths, and lengths. The following are the best choices to use during training:

Cotton web: Cotton web leashes are readily available in pet stores and through catalogs and websites, and they come in a variety of colors.

A good training leash is a 6-foot cotton web leash — it’s easy on the hands, easily manipulated, and just the right length. It’s also the most economical. For the average-size or larger dog, use a cotton web leash that’s 1/2-inch wide. For toy dogs, use a leash that’s 1/4-inch wide.

Nylon: Looking a lot like the cotton web leash, the nylon leash can be easily manipulated. However, nylon isn’t as easy on your hands as cotton web, especially with larger dogs.

2. Collar

Collars come in a dazzling assortment of styles, colors, and materials. When training your dog, you need two types of collars:

A training collar: The purpose of a training collar is for you to be able to guide your dog when he’s on-leash and, if necessary, to check your dog. (A check is a crisp snap on the leash, followed by an immediate release of tension.) A check is used mainly for abstention training, which is when you want your dog to stop doing something that he wants to do but you don’t want him to do, such as chasing a squirrel. The check creates an unpleasant experience for the dog, which he can avoid by stopping the unwanted behavior.

A buckle collar: When not training, your dog should wear a buckle collar with ID tags attached. The collar can be leather, nylon, or cotton web. Buckle collars come in an assortment of colors and styles and are made of fabric or leather. Collars made of fabric usually have plastic clasps; the leather ones have metal clasps. If your dog weighs more than 50 pounds and hasn’t yet been trained, you’re better off using a leather collar with a metal clasp — a plastic clasp may break when your dog tries to go after a moving object.

You must use the two types of collars — training collars and buckle collars — correctly. Remove the training collar when you aren’t training your dog or when you can’t supervise him. And don’t try to use a buckle collar to train. For the untrained dog, buckle collars are virtually useless.

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