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Extolling the Virtues of a Martingale Collar

March 28, 2013 53 comments
Martingale collar from Pink Puppy Designs

Martingale collar from Pink Puppy Designs

The first time I ever saw a Martingale collar was at the dog park. It was worn by a Greyhound that was new to the park.

I probably never even would have noticed the mechanics of the collar if I hadn’t noticed the beautiful coloring of it first. The collar was made of a bright and colorful fabric mixed with a swirl of blues and green and purple. It stood out.

I remember asking the dog’s mom where she had gotten it and her telling me all about the collar, where she had purchased it and why she had it. I was fascinated. Having a dog who regularly slipped her collar (Daisy), I loved the idea that I could purchase a collar that she couldn’t slip out of.

If you have never seen one before, a Martingale collar has two loops instead of one. Most dog collars you see these days are the simple ones that go around the dog’s neck (and hopefully, stay on them) and clip into a buckle. The Martingale collar is different. It is designed to prevent dogs from easily slipping out of their collars.  The beauty of the design is that it does this without cutting off dog’s airflow, as those old choker chains did when I was a kid.

The Martingale is often seen on Greyhounds because a regular collar does not work on them. Why? Because, like Shelties, a Greyhound’s head is smaller than their neck, which means a regular collar can easily slip off their neck, over their head, and they can be off and running before you can catch them. A Martingale allows the collar to tighten around the dogs’ neck without hurting them. The idea here is to keep your dog safe and in your control.

So why am I extolling the virtues of a Martingale collar today? Because I want dog owners to be aware of what is available to them, especially if they have a fearful or skittish dog (or just a dog who regularly slips their collar). Is your dog frightened by loud noises and looks for a place to run and hide? Get a Martingale collar. Does your dog like to chase runners like Jasper does? Get a Martingale collar.

Over the past few months, I have seen WAY too many Lost Sheltie signs and I have seen WAY too many dogs lost because they slipped their collar or weren’t properly leashed. I know it’s selfish, but I am tired of crying over someone’s dog who died because they slipped their collar and got hit by a car. If you have a dog that slips their collar, please consider getting a Martingale (and a harness wouldn’t be a bad idea either). Let’s keep them safe and in our control. I don’t want to read about another dead dog. I’m sure you don’t either.

If you are looking for some great Martingale collars, check out Pink Puppy Designs. They are colorful and fun and safe.

Also check out Classic Hound! They have some really stylish and cool collars for your hound, like the one pictured below. Seriously cool stuff!

Martingale collar

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My vote for the best new dog product of 2012

September 26, 2012 25 comments

Friendly Dog Harness

I always like to share a great dog idea or product when I see one. This past weekend I saw a dog product that I really loved. To be honest, it’s hard to believe it took this long for an idea like this. It’s long overdue. I have a feeling that many of you will feel the same way.

The dog product? Friendly Dog Collars and Harnesses out of Australia and New Zealand.

What I love about this product is what it does for dog owners who struggle with the well-meaning, but very much misinformed, people who say “All dogs love me” and approach your fearful dog in all the wrong ways. And, what it does for the dog owner who encounters other dog people who assume that because their dog is friendly with other dogs yours must be as well. And, what it does for the dog owner who has a big dog or a much-maligned breed of dog that most people often assume is not friendly because of their looks or breed.

Friendly Dog Collar and Lead

What this product does so effectively for all these dog owners is communicate a message in a quick but very effective way to people who approach when maybe they shouldn’t or veer away when there is no reason to do so.

Friendly collars and harnesses are color-coded (red, orange, green, white, yellow, etc.) and each contains a message or word (Friendly, Caution, No Dogs, Adopt Me, Nervous, Deaf, etc.) that is in bold lettering. It makes it easy to see and the message is clear from a distance.

Friendly Dog Harness and Lead

The collars and harnesses (and other products) are now available to Australia and New Zealand customers via their website: Friendly Dog Collars Australia and in the United Kingdom and United States via their U.K. website: Friendly Dog Collars Store.

The company has been extremely responsive to customer inquiries on their Facebook page as well. In fact, in response to several inquiries they have already begun to create a collar and lead for owners of blind dogs and dogs in training. How’s that for service?

This is definitely my most favorite dog product of the year. What do you think?

How did you choose your dog’s collar?

April 29, 2012 17 comments

I suppose for some people, a dog collar is a just that, a dog collar, but to me it is something much more. It’s a part of my dogs’ identity. It’s a representation of who they are and my memories of them.

When I first adopted Daisy she had this bright red collar that had been given her by the animal shelter. It was very pretty and contrasted beautifully with her white coat, but I really wanted one that would match her name. I wanted a collar that was a symbol of Daisy. One that would be hers alone.

The one I envisioned in my mind was periwinkle blue and had white daisies on it. I tell you, I searched high and low for that collar. Every store, every website, every pet expo – I was a woman obsessed. Unfortunately, I could never find one that exactly matched the one I had in my mind. The closest I got was a light purple with daisies on it, so I bought it. It has been Daisy’s collar ever since. Now it’s a part of who she is – her name, her sweet personality, etc. She is so like that delicate flower. Hardy and strong, but delicate too.

When my friend Jerry got his Rottweiler, Brutus, he made sure that he got him a nice leather dog collar with the Harley-Davidson emblem on it. Since Jerry rides a Harley, it only made sense that Brutus would wear a collar made by the same company. But the collar also fit Brutus’ personality. He is strong, adventurous, edgy and cool, just like the Harley-Davidson brand.

Our friend Clover, an Irish Setter, has a beautiful collar with bright green clovers on it. It contrasts so beautifully with her radiant red fur. Her mom chose it for many reasons – it matched her name, it was in keeping with the Irish in Irish Setter and it looked beautiful on her.

I know so many people who chose their dog’s collar because it matched their dog’s name, their personality or had some symbolic meaning behind it. So how about you? How did you choose your dog’s collar?

Dog Collars, Nostalgia and New Beginnings

July 12, 2011 13 comments

I was so excited when I opened the mailbox today. Inside was a little brown padded envelope. “Could it be?” I thought. I couldn’t wait to find out. There was no waiting until I got inside to open my package. Nope! I tore open that package right then and there.

“Yay!!! They’re here! They’re here!”

Inside that little brown package were the two items I had been waiting for – Daisy and Jasper’s new dog collars, a special gift from our friend Karen from Doggie Stylish. I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to try them on Daisy and Jasper.

New Dog Collars from Doggie Stylish

Old Dog Collars

Jasper has had the same dog collar since I first fostered him (nearly two and a half years ago!) and Daisy’s collar (the one I bought her nearly 3 years ago) has begun to look old and faded. Yet, I have resisted buying them new ones. Why? Because I am somewhat nostalgic about them. Not because they had some special meaning when I bought them or that they had some special significance because of their color or style, but because I am kind of a keeper of dog collars. When I say goodbye to one of my dogs and send them over that rainbow bridge, I keep their collar as a way to remember them. Each collar carries a lot of memories for me – the day they first came to live with me, the days we played in the park or cuddled on the couch or took a trip to visit a friend. All of my memories are wrapped up in that one little collar.

That’s why when Karen offered to send them new collars I was a little bit tentative, despite the fact that they really needed some new ones. Could I give up their old ones and put on some new ones?

Then it occurred to me that it was all about perspective. These new collars could be even more special and have more meaning than the ones Daisy and Jasper were wearing now – if I chose to look at them with a new perspective.

These collars were coming from someone I respect a great deal. Someone who is smart, kind, humorous, and generous to a fault. Don’t believe me? Just check out what she did for Edie Jarolim and her dog, Frankie,. Or, the new collars she sent to our fellow blogger and friends in Denmark, Leo, Kenzo and Viva, to recognize them for their work in fighting Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). (Did you know Denmark bans and kills up to 13 dog breeds right now?)

That’s why I was so excited when Karen’s gift arrived. These collars will be a fresh start, but they also come with memories already attached to them, because they are a gift from a friend. These are the new ones that I will attach my memories to, the ones that I will look on with not only memories of my dogs, but memories of the person who gave them. What could be more special than that?

Now, I just have to look at her site for new dog leashes to match! I’m off to Doggie Stylish to see what I can find!

Before I go, here are Daisy and Jasper in their new collars!

Daisy in her new collar

Jasper in his new collar

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