Every day you see people wearing their dogs on chains or leashes. But why would anyone want to chain up such sweet creatures and confine them with a leash? A lot has changed since those times when your average dog was simply allowed loose in his surroundings without any kind of restraint. Today there are many different reasons that we use collars — some more common than others. And even though most owners don’t think about it much, they’ve probably worn one themselves! Read on to find out what our canine companions have been trying to tell us through this ancient piece of clothing.
Why do dogs wear collars at all?
Dogs were originally domesticated thousands of years ago from wolves by humans who wanted to keep track of them. Early man needed help identifying which wolf belonged to whom so he could hunt down other members of its pack. The same goes today — if you own multiple pets like cats or dogs, you need something to distinguish each individual animal. In addition, dogs can be trained to perform certain tasks (such as pulling carts), but you’ll need an easy way to identify them.
Today, dogs still wear collars because they’re used primarily to control animals. However, although people once wore uniforms and hats to work, they now dress casually. This means that most of us no longer feel compelled to put a collar around our pet’s neck.
While we may not consider ourselves to be strict taskmasters, we certainly make sure our dogs behave properly. For instance, let’s say you go on vacation and leave your new puppy home alone. You know that having him outside is dangerous and potentially fatal, especially during hot weather months. If you didn’t take him inside before leaving town, he’d run off into traffic or accidentally get hit by a car.
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone came along just after your departure and found your poor pup wandering aimlessly? That’s exactly how a tracking device works. It uses radio waves to locate lost objects. These devices come in two primary varieties: GPS location systems that require batteries and solar panels, or passive transponder chips that operate on AC power.
How Dogs Become Worn-Down and Tired
When dogs become tired they tend to lie down. When they fall asleep, they usually sleep deeply and rest their heads against solid surfaces. Because dogs’ bodies are made to withstand cold temperatures, their natural resting position tends to be lying down with their head tucked under their front paws. Unfortunately, when dogs sleep like this, their necks often become compressed. Over time, this becomes painful and causes damage to the vertebrae. Fortunately, there are special collars available designed specifically for this reason. They allow your pooch to relax while keeping his neck healthy. Although these types of collars aren’t necessary for every breed, they should always be considered if your dog shows signs of discomfort.
In case you’re wondering whether dogs actually enjoy being chained up or confined, read on to learn why we bother putting collars on them.
One type of collar called a choke chain restricts airflow to your dog’s throat, making breathing difficult. Other forms include metal bands that wrap around a dog’s muzzle, causing pain and injury. Even “humane” choker designs pose danger to dogs because they restrict airways and cause serious health problems over long periods of time.
The Purpose of Dog Collar Styles
Now that we understand the basic function behind a collar, let’s look at the various styles of collars that exist. There are several different categories including training aids, identification tags, fashion accessories and protection gear. Regardless of the specific purpose, however, almost all collars share similar features. Most collars consist of either leather or nylon webbing wrapped in fabric. At the end of the strip sits a plastic buckle. Some models also feature rubber edging that prevents biting. Another popular feature is reflective strips that flash in the dark, helping walkers or joggers spot dogs running alongside them. Finally, some collars contain small knobs that serve as handles. Owners can pull back on them to easily tighten the straps.
While all these different parts seem pretty technical, they’re really quite simple. Leather collars provide strength and durability, whereas nylon ones offer flexibility and comfort. Webbed material provides additional grip for walking and running. Plastic buckles prevent accidental loosening and give owners complete adjustability. Reflective strips alert walkers or runners to approaching pups, and knotted handles add extra security.
Since collars serve such varied purposes and range in price from inexpensive to pricey, finding the right style for your needs isn’t always easy. To determine which particular design best suits your lifestyle, visit local retailers and talk to experienced trainers. Ask lots of questions about sizing, weight limits and potential hazards. Then try wearing a variety of options until you settle on the perfect fit. Don’t forget to check the tag — manufacturers sometimes change the size of collars based on consumer feedback.
If you ever notice your dog growling or snapping at people, chances are good that he’s already familiar with the concept of aggression. Many breeds possess naturally protective instincts because they’ve evolved to survive attacks from wild predators. As a result, they react aggressively toward anything perceived as threatening, including human beings. Of course, aggressive behavior doesn’t necessarily mean hostility. Rather, it signifies fear and anxiety. So if you suspect your dog might attack another person, immediately remove yourself between them and your pet. Never force your pet to confront another animal or object — letting nature take its course will likely produce better results.