Collies’ necks are larger than their heads. As a result, they can easily back out of regular buckle-type collars. If you are outside with your dog when this happens, they can run free and without any identification. For this reason, it is recommended that you use a martingale or choker collar with proper identification affixed whenever outside.
What is a martingale collar?
A martingale collar is a special type of dog collar that helps a dog stay comfortable while being completely secure on their leash. It is not a metal link choker collar. Those are not recommended.
A martingale collar is made with two loops. The large loop is placed around the dog’s neck and adjusted to fit loosely. The leash is then clipped to the D ring on the small loop. When the dog tries to pull their head out of the collar, the tension on the leash pulls the small loop taunt, which makes the large loop smaller and tighter on the neck and preventing escape.
When the collar is properly adjusted, the dog is never choked, but the collar stays snug around the dog’s neck (just behind the ears) until the pressure is released.
Here is an illustration of how a martingale collar works and tightens:
Should I leave a martingale collar on my dog all the time?
All collars can be potentially unsafe and a martingale style collar carries a slightly greater risk of injury if left on 24/7. However, you should evaluate whether the risk of choking or getting a collar caught is greater than the risk that you’ll find yourself, without warning, in a situation where you’ll need to be able to grab a collar that will not slip off.
A martingale that is left on all the time MUST be adjusted so that it cannot choke the dog when the smaller loop is tightened. No collar should ever be left on a crated dog.
The information about the martingale collar comes from http://www.collargirl.com/how_martingale_work.htm
Click on the link to see photos of the collar on dogs and different designs of the collar.
Note: AHDRO does not endorse particular online suppliers. This information is provided for reference only.