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Training Tools


Flat Collars:


Flat collars are great collars to keep on your dogs at all times with their ID tag, rabies tag, etc. however, these collars are not safe for leash walking.  Dogs can easily slip out of flat collars and they are not helpful for leash training. 








Martingale Collars:


Martingale collars are the safest and lowest intensity collar to leash train a dog in.  They are non-slip collars and come with a chain loop and a nylon loop.  Properly fitted, they tighten on the dogs neck when pressure is applied, but do not choke them like a choke chain.  They are great for mild corrections and most dogs can be properly leash trained with this tool. 














Halti’s/Gentle Leaders:


These are collars that slip over the dogs muzzle.  These tools are great for dogs that pull heavily when walked or for dogs that lunge unpredictably on walks.  Personally, I prefer Halti’s (first picture) to Gentle Leaders.  They are more loosely fitted on the dog’s face, have thicker straps, and are sturdier.  I find that dogs generally react much more positively to Halti’s.  Please consult with a trainer on how to properly use these leads.  As with all training tools, when used incorrectly you may injure your pet.



















Prong Collars:


Prong collars HURT! And in turn, they hurt your relationship. Studies show that dog owners that use aversive equipment such as prong collars have diminished bonds with their dogs, and are less satisfied with their dogs’ behavior.

Prong collar-related injuries are quite common. The skin on dogs’ necks is significantly thinner than human skin. Prong collar injuries range from skin punctures to spinal cord problems and even crushed tracheas. Prong collars are designed to inflict pain and cause discomfort. Numerous studies have shown the harmful effects of correction-based training methods such as prong collars.

If pain is experienced every time your dog attempts to greet another dog or move toward something while out on a walk, soon your dog will associate the presence of dogs or other stimuli with pain and discomfort, leading to increased fear, reactivity and aggression. Furthermore, these collars do nothing to train your dog what behaviors to perform, they only tell him what not to do, using pain and fear.

Despite what some trainers or pet store employees might say, prong collars are not safe or humane. There’s no good reason to use them when many humane, effective alternative walking equipment options exist.  - SPCA




There are many types of harnesses, from standard flat harnesses, to front clip no-pull harnesses.  Generally I am not a huge fan of harnesses because they do not give you control of a dog’s head and neck.  Also remember that harnesses are designed to allow for pulling, that is why they are used on sled dogs, police dogs, tracking dogs, etc.  If you are going to use a harness, the front clip style is the most effective in correcting pulling, and should be used in combination with a martingale so you have some control of the dog’s head. 
















Choke Chains:


These are dangerous collars which are known to cause tracheal scarring.  I do not recommend choke chains for any dog, aside from use in a show ring.  


Meryl Cohen

B.S. Animal Science

AKC CGC Certified Evaluator, Selected Mentor Trainer for Animal Behavior College, APDT Full Member


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