Seeing a large dog wearing a gold chain collar is now commonplace on social media, as these pieces of dog jewelry have become all the rage in canine fashion. But are they really a good option for big dog breeds?
When you have a large dog, choosing the right dog collar is critical not just because of their size but also their power. To find the best dog collar for your pup, you should first consider the benefits and drawbacks of the options available to you. Only then will you be able to choose the best option.
Types of Dog Collars Available for Large Dogs
There are a wide variety of dog collars often used on big dog breeds. Consider each one to make the best choice for you and your pup:
1) Flat Collar
A Vizsla wearing the Miami Vice dog collar
The flat collar is the most common and most basic type of dog collar. All dogs will have this since it’s the most basic type and there isn’t a pet shop that won’t have it. These are generally favored because they easily hold identification and attach to a lead but don’t get in the way, so it’s easy for dogs to get used to wearing them.
Flat collars are often made with either nylon or leather. Both materials are fairly durable and safe to use. Additionally, many of these collars are fitted with quick-release buckles, which make them easy to put on and take off.
2) Choke Chain Collar
A French Mastiff wearing a choke chain collar.
Often used as pit bull collars, the choke chain is a type of dog collar mainly used to gain control over powerful pullers or those being trained for behavior correction. These are basically small metal nooses that sit loosely on your dog’s neck. However, if they pull on the lead or you jerk on it, the noose will tighten.
Theoretically, these help train dogs because they learn to avoid repeating behaviors that lead to the brief choking that this collar causes. However, they bring up many concerns regarding safety and even its effectiveness as a training tool for the untrained handler.
3) Martingale Collar
A greyhound wearing a Martingale dog collar.
The Martingale collar is typically used on big dogs with narrow heads that could easily slip off a typical flat collar. These include Dobermans, Greyhounds, and Salukis. Nevertheless, they are also used on brawny dogs like American Staffordshire Terriers (Stafford Terriers) because they work much like the choker.
What makes the Martingale superior to a choke chain is that it has a limit as to how tightly it can squeeze around your dog’s neck. So, for as long as it fits properly, there’s no risk of asphyxiation. Nevertheless, these types of dog collars are controversial, and while they might actually be useful in some situations, they should only be used with the guidance of an experienced dog behaviorist.
4) Prong Collar
A big dog wearing a prong collar.
Also commonly referred to as a “pinch collar,” the prong collar is training aid that is the subject of much controversy. It is composed of a series of links with “prongs” that protrude against your dog’s neck. When pulled or tugged on, it delivers pressure around the dog’s neck.
Many behaviorists swear by the prong collar, especially when training powerful and large dogs. However, it requires thorough knowledge of how to use it effectively, safely, and as humanely as possible. Without proper instruction, using it could cause more harm than good on your dog.
5) Electric Collar
A large dog wearing an electric collar
Electric collars, also known as shock collars, are devices that deliver a current using a remote control. The current is never strong enough to actually shock or electrocute an animal, but it is uncomfortable enough to make an impact. This is most often used on big breeds or powerful ones with seemingly unmanageable behavior.
The tricky part about using an electric collar is that it’s not meant to be used as punishment, but a deterrent for unwanted behavior. To use it effectively, you need to have excellent dog behavior management skills at the level of experienced animal behaviorists.
6) Cuban Link Dog Chain Collar
The Cuban dog collar is called such because it features the iconic Cuban links of the popular streetwear culture. They work like flat collars but are made of metal and are crafted to look like jewelry. They’re made to sit right at the base of the neck, hold identification (which is oftentimes blinged up as well), and attach to an equally stylish leash.
When selecting this type of collar, avoid cheaper plastic imitations. Be sure to find a well-crafted one that is made with stainless steel so it won’t rust or break. Otherwise, all you’ll get is a large dog necklace that won’t hold up to the pulling pressure of your big dog.
Best Type of Dog Collar for Big or Large Dog Breeds
A strong, large dog wearing the Cuban link collar and pendant set.
With all dogs, but most especially with big breeds, it’s essential to control them through behavior training rather than through tools, gadgets, and accessories. Leave the electric, prong, Martingale, and choke chain collars to experienced behaviorists trained to use them properly. The best types of dog collars for you to use on your large dog are either flat or Cuban dog collars, and the reasons are pretty obvious:
Flat collars are the most basic dog accessories you will ever need. They’re stylish in their own right, especially when you find them in your favorite colors or patterns. But most importantly, they’re convenient, fuss-free options that are easy to find and comfortable to wear.
Cuban link dog chains are just as easy to wear but they are also hypoallergenic, won’t attract dust or nut and will not frey like most textile based collars. These are better options for cosmopolitan dog owners that want their dogs to look as good as they do (or even better!). Beyond the style factor, however, these accessories function beyond fashion as they tend to be more durable than their nylon counterparts.
Whether you want a gold dog chain or something else entirely, choosing the best dog collar for large breeds involves much more than finding one that fits well. Collars should be durable and enable you to have full control despite having a big, powerful dog. Naturally, you’ll also want something that complements your pet’s apparent good looks and even keep up with the latest fashion trends on social media.