I just used a martingale collar on a balking dog last week. He had learned how to throw his weight backward while ducking his head causing the flat collar to threaten to slip off nearly instantly. I prevented that by moving quickly toward him (a dog needs tension on the leash to slip a collar so keep that leash slack at such moments) and then I switched him over to a martingale.
It’s the right collar for that job because of its clever design. It is a flat strap that goes around the dogs neck. The ends of that strap are connected by a loop with a ring in it. The leash attaches to that ring. When pressure is applied, the loop tightens and snugs the collar up slightly making it impossible to slip (or nearly)*.
It has many other uses, too. Many people like them for both walking and training. They are perfect for dogs whose necks are as big as their skulls making them great greyhound and whippet collars.
Alert: Either remove a martingale (aka “check choke”) during any dog-to-dog play or use a quick-release martingale (listed below).
BASIC MARTINGALE COLLARS
A quick-release buckle makes this collar easy to take on and off big-headed dogs. Otherwise, such dogs need their collars adjusted each time, which is a hassle. With a buckle martingale you can fit it the way you like and then just clip on and off.
Also, these are the only martingales to use during dog playtime—buddies, dog park or play group. Without the buckle option, there is no way to get the collar off if a dog’s jaw gets caught in it. This doesn’t happen often but when it does, it can be a nightmare. Use one of these quick release options or take the collar off during such play.
MARTINGALES FOR SIGHTHOUNDS
With their sleek skulls, muscular necks and often thin skin, sighthounds need wide, soft limited check collars to stay safe. Here are a few to consider.
LUXURY LIMITED-CINCH COLLARS
For those who want the highest quality collar for their companions.
Martingale collars are my go-to collars for many walking situations. They are secure and humane options. Let me know below if you have a favorite you don’t see listed here.
* When a martingale collar is fit properly the two rings from the strap should not touch no matter how snug the collar becomes. That prevents the collar from slipping. If the rings can touch, the collar is too loose. Adjust the collar so those strap rings cannot touch and you’re in business!