When choosing a collar for your dog, measure the widest part of your dog's neck and add two inches. A correctly fitting collar should easily allow you to put two fingers between the collar and your dog's neck.
Check carefully under the collar on a regular basis for redness or hair loss caused by an ill-fitting collar. Remember that puppies and kittens grow fast and their collars will need adjusting or replacing regularly.
Lightweight nylon collars are good for cats, puppies and small dogs. Braided nylon collars are more durable and can be worn by larger dogs. Leather collars are comfortable and long lasting.
The collar should be selected for the right type, size and age of your dog. Puppies should normally wear soft collars for short periods everyday, so that they can become accustomed to wearing it. As puppies grow it is essential that the collar is neither too loose nor too tight. Every dog must have some means of identification attached to the collar when outside the home. Micro chipping is also widely available for pets and can help to identify your dog should it get lost.
Choke or check chains should be used only as training tools under supervision and not as a regular collar. It is important that these are fitted correctly, so always ask your dog trainer for advice.
You may require several leads of different lengths; traffic lead (18-24"); everyday lead (48"); training lead (72"). Flexi or Flipi leads are good for long country walks and allow you to set the length of the lead for other situations. These should not however be used along roads or pavements. If you want to put your dog outside without him running off, longer leads or ropes can be attached to metal stakes (tie - outs), which can be sunk into grass.
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Harnesses & Muzzles
Harnesses are better than collars for very small dog breeds such as Yorkies or Chihauhuas and are also good to use for specific training exercises. Haltis are like pony's headcollars. The lead is attached to the halti to give greater control over larger, stronger dogs who pull excessively when being led using an ordinary collar.
Travel harnesses attach to car seat belts to control and protect your dog during journeys.
Muzzles are used to prevent dogs biting other dogs. You may also want to use one for your own protection if your dog objects to grooming, nail clipping or other such activities. You should however never leave a dog unattended in a muzzle.
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Unfortunately every year thousands of dogs go missing, so providing your dog with some form of identification is extremely important to ensure it is returned as quickly as possible.
The most common form of identification is a tag for its collar. All of our stores house a Quick Tag machine which carries 6 tag designs and will engrave in less than 2 minutes. It is now illegal under the 'Control of Dog Order' for your dog to leave the house without a tag:
"Every dog while in a highway or in a place of public resort, shall wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached thereto".
In addition to wearing a tag, many owners are also providing their puppy with a more permanent form of identification - a micro chip. A small chip (about the size of a grain of rice) that holds a unique number is inserted under your dog's skin (usually the neck) by a simple procedure. This number can then be read by a hand held scanner usually found in rescue centres, vets and police stations and checked against a central database where the owner's details are held, ensuring your dog is returned home safely as soon as possible.