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Martingale Collar? What is it and What are the Benefits of Martingale Dog Collars

photo of dog wearing traditional flat collar
Dog wearing traditional flat collar

Lately, some dog owners may be seeing more dogs sporting more than one collar when they are out walking. Most often rescue dogs and foster dogs are outfitted with two collars. While one collar looks like any ordinary dog collar, the other has two loops and looks different.

Have you ever wondering why or what the second dog collar is? Well can help answer that question.

The two collar method uses the standard flat collar with dog id tags. But the second collar is a usually a Martingale collar.

The reason for the two collars is to provide extra safety and security. In particular it’s used with rescues and foster dogs who often have anxiety issues or have suffered trauma and may bolt if they get the chance.

What is a Martingale Collar?

Martingale dog collars are sometimes referred to as no-slip collars. They are specifically designed to not choke when a dog pulls. They have two loops. The larger loop is the collar that goes over your dog’s head. It’s the flat collar part and has two D rings on each end. photo of a Collection of Martingale Collars
Collection of Martingale Collars

These two D-rings connect to a smaller loop usually made of the same material as the large loop collar. However, some use a chain for the smaller loop (see photo). When a dog pulls on the leash, the tension created causes the smaller loop to tighten, but not the big loop or main collar. The big loop or main collar slightly tightens but does not tighten to cause choking. It cannot tighten more than the width of the dog’s neck.

When a Martingale collar is correctly made and properly fitted it does not tighten to the point of choking when a dog pulls against it. It’s designed to avoid choking. Giving Martingale collars the ability to provide security and comfort without harming your dog.

What are the benefits of using a Martingale dog collar?

1. Martingale collars are humane dog collars. They prevent choking. When your dog gets excited and sees a squirrel or is sniffing up a storm they can pull. It’s only natural. When this happens with a regular flat dog collar, the collar tightens as the dog pulls and their flat collar pushes against their throat.

The result of your dog pulling hard against their flat collar is they can hurt their throat and choke. Sometimes a dog can pull so hard against their flat collar, and depending on the material it’s made of, they can break it.

With a properly fitted Martingale collar, your dog doesn’t choke. The design of a Martingale collar stops your dog from choking or hurting their throat when they pull. Unlike a traditional flat collar. As mentioned above, Martingale collars cannot tighten more than the width of the dog’s neck. They may slightly tighten but they cannot and should not choke.

2. Martingale collars are a safe effective training tool to help train your dog not to pull. When your dog is learning to walk on leash and pulls, the Martingale collar slightly tightens without choking. On your end of the leash, you feel the tension of your dog’s pull. On your dog’s end the leash they feel slight tightening.

When your dog stops pulling, they feel the release. This lets your dog know that difference between pulling and relaxed non-pulling. This is what also makes the Martingale collar an effective training tool. When paired with fear free positive reinforcement training, a Martingale collar is an effective and humane training tool.

3. Martingale collars are great for helping minimize the risk of your dog slipping or backing out of their collar and for increasing safety. Martingale collars are great for dogs who are able to back out or slip their traditional flat collar. They are also great for any dog who is fearful or has anxiety, canine PTSD or is easily frightened.

But they are also great for pretty much any dog. When you are out walking your dog can be overcome with happy excitement over pretty much anything. Their excitement causes them to pull against their regular collar, and you hear the choke and cough. Overtime this can cause damage and also lead to your dog not enjoying their walks as much.

Instead, with a Martingale collar as your walking collar, of your dog harming their throats through repeated choking and coughs, they can get excited but in a safe controlled way.

Also, if your dog is a dog collar escape artist, you can also attach a safety strap to your flat dog collar to minimize of your Houdini hound slipping their leash.

When to use a Martingale collar

Martingale collars are not a replacement for your everyday flat collar holding your dog’s id tag and pet license tag. They are best used only when walking your dog as way to increase their safety and as a humane training tool.

Since the Martingale collar hangs loosely around your dog’s neck, there’s more chances it can get caught on things around the house or yard.

So, never leave a dog wearing a Martingale collar unsupervised. Your dog relies on you to keep them safe. That includes at home and in their yard. Avoid any foreseeable issues like having a loose dangling collar catch on a heating vent. Once you're done walking, remove the Martingale collar.

Now you know. If you see a dog with two collars, it’s likely their dog owners are using a Martingale collar as part of their training and dog safety system.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general overview to the subject matter. Specialist advice from licensed specialists should be sought about you and your dog’s specific circumstances.


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