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It’s Not a Necklace: Why proper collar fit really really matters

As dog groomers, we take off and put collars back on every single day. And we every single day, we see dogs wearing collars that, more often than not, are too loose. Why does this matter so much? Because the collar is what you hook your leash to. All of the control you have over your dog, and the safety of your dog depend on the collar being snug enough to stay on (and not allowing your dog to pull out of it.)

Too many times we have heard of and even seen dogs slip out of collars and go running. In worst case scenarios, they can and do get hit and injured or even killed by cars. In other cases, they run and are never caught or spend several days missing before being found. What’s more, collars that are too loose also have the added hazard of becoming looped over something when your dog is alone, and this leaves them trapped or in a situation where they may panic and hurt themselves trying to get loose.

At SGBG, the safety of your pet is first on our minds, and we have a hard and fast shop rule to check all collars for an appropriate fit on the dogs before walking them out to their parents after a grooming. Some of you know first hand that we will advise you of an improper fit.

So just what is a proper fit? For a regular collar (not a training collar like a pinch), you need only to be able to get two fingers side by side under it. Yep. Two ( 2) fingers. That’s it. For training collars like pinch collars, you should consult a professional trainer for proper fit to achieve the results you want, but we can say more often than not, all the pinch collars we see are way way too tight and most dogs wear links that are too big and thus ineffective in behavior modification. But back to plain old regular collars…please please remember…it’s a collar, not a necklace.