When it comes to choosing a dog collar and lead, there are a number of things to consider. Is it for training, adventure sports, does your dog pull or spend a lot of time in the water?
Flat collars for day to day wear
For general day wear, a well-made and sturdy flat dog collar is the best choice. Flat Collars have a buckle or clip to fasten and are made of a variety of materials, including leather and a range of synthetic products such as nylon, vinyl, etc. Buckles are generally brass or nickel plated and clips are generally plastic.
Choose one that’s made from durable materials and a quality buckle that isn’t going to snap! Great examples are the Rogz Classic Collar, or the Classic Padded Collar which also has a non-shift pad to distribute pressure evenly giving extra comfort and support. Their RogLoc Buckle is the fort knox of plastic release buckles and can be locked securely in larger sizes.
Both can be worn in water, are quick dry and can be paired with their Classic Lead that has highly reflective stitching for enhanced visibility during those twilight walks. Attach a Rogz Utility Double-Split lead as a simple solution if you walk two dogs at a time.
As a general rule, always try to select the widest collar possible for your dog’s size. The fit should be firm (i.e. you can fit 3 fingers underneath) and the collar should not pull over the dog’s head if pressure is applied, however it should not be so tight that it restricts breathing or the dog’s comfort. If this is difficult due to the dog’s physical structure or conformation, martingale collars, discussed further below, may be a more appropriate choice.
Slow leisurely scenting walks
The Flexi retractable leads are more suited to the slower dogs, or for scenting walks, where it’s all about a leisurely stroll and stopping to sniff and pee.
When it comes to choosing a dog collar and lead for obedience training, I recommend a flat leather collar with a sturdy buckle that sits high up on their neck.
The buckle and leash clasp should be made from high quality brass fittings, as they are generally the strongest and most reliable, however as mentioned, the Rogz RogLoc Buckle is a high quality plastic release buckle that can be locked securely in larger sizes.
For the initial stages of training, a lead that is 1.5 – 2 metres in length is ideal. Leads should have metal / brass fittings and be made of a strong, durable material that is comfortable to hold and leather or a man-made leather equivalent is recommended.
Dogs that pull
Still on the training, if you’re struggling with a dog that pulls the Rogz Utility Stop Pull Harness with a Multi Lead, or a Sporn Head Halter that uses gentle guidance from the withers, not around the face, can help. These must be fitted properly and comfortably.
Standard harnesses are useful for small dogs, brachycephalic breeds or those that have had neck injuries, as well for car travel.
Martingale collars, also known as Double Action Slip Collars, come in many different types. The Rogz Control Collar Web are good for greyhounds and whippets, whose heads are smaller than their necks, as it helps to prevent them from slipping out of their collar.
Martingale Collars should be positioned just behind the dog’s ears, with the lead connected to the full ring on the collar that sits away from the dog’s neck. The two rings sitting against the dog’s neck should NOT touch each other when the collar is at rest.
For adventure loving dogs and owners
When it comes to choosing a dog collar and lead for sports and activities, the Rogz Airtech range is great for active owners and dogs that includes a classic collar, sport harness and four different leads that are perfect outdoor adventure and the beach.
Considerations when choosing a lead
- Leads should have metal / brass fittings and be made of a strong, durable material that is comfortable to hold and leather or a man-made leather equivalent is recommended.
- The fittings (e.g. rivets) and clip are equally as important as the material itself. A good leather lead with a flimsy clip is just as dangerous as a poor quality nylon lead.
- Nylon leads can fray, give the handler ‘rope burn’ and stitching has a tendency to perish. These leads may be acceptable for small dogs, providing the fittings are of good quality and the lead (as well as the stitching) is checked regularly for wear and tear, however is not recommended for large / strong dogs.
- Chain leads are not suitable for training purpose as they have a tendency to hurt the trainer’s hands or can injure the dog if they become wrapped around its legs.
- They are generally of poor quality but if an appropriate alternative is found, they may be useful for tethering dogs for short periods, as they usually cannot chew through them.
- Leads that are made from stretchy material (bungee leads) or have springs inserted, are not appropriate for use in training.
- Always choose a lead that is suitable for the size and strength of the dog.
If you would like some help choosing a dog collar and lead, visit your local PETstock store to check out the Rogz range and get your dog fitted to the one that suits your needs and lifestyle.
Lara Shannon is a certified dog behaviourist and trainer, pet food nutrition specialist, Executive Producer and Host of Pooches at Play on Channel 10 and editor of Poochesatplay.com Lara also runs her own dog training business in Melbourne’s Bayside area and is the Author of World of Dogs and Eat, Play, Love Your Dog