Martingale Collar vs Choke Collar

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Martingale CollarMartingale collars are designed specifically for dogs with heads that are smaller than their necks. These collars gently tighten against the dog’s neck if they pull, back up or spin. It is typically worn by greyhounds, whippets, Italian greyhounds, salukis, borzoi and wolfhounds.

A martingale collar is generally made out of fabric or nylon that forms a circle like most collars but also has a crescent shape on the back that is formed by another section of the same material. The larger loop of the collar fits around the dog’s neck and the smaller loop sits at the back of the neck and has a D-ring which attaches to the leash. When relaxed, the martingale collar fits loosely and keeps your dog comfortable. But, when the dog tries to pull, the second loop tightens the fabric around the dog’s neck for a gentle no-pull effect.

Martingale Collar Pros

View the Guardian Gear Martingale Collar on Amazon

  • More Comfortable – Martingale collars work much the same way as a choke collar but without metal against the dog’s skin.  It also tends to incorporate a soft fabric or nylon to create the pull rather than a metal chain.
  • Dogs are much less likely to choke when wearing a martingale collar vs a choke collar.
  • To maintain control of a dog who charges the door or to leave the house whenever a visitor drops by.
  • Reduce leash pulling.

A Few Warnings

Martingale collars are not as effective with bull necked dogs as they have less of an impact on the dog. But, unlike choke collars, martingales can be used on more fragile necked dogs like greyhounds but not recommended for extremely small dogs. Martingale collars should also never be left on twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

Cons For the Martingale Collar

There are significantly less critics of the martingale collar in comparison to the pinch and choke collars. The softer material and lesser force of the martingale collar against a dogs neck is the reason for such a lesser amount of criticism.

  • Increased risk of the dog choking when left unsupervised while wearing a martingale collar. This increased choking risk results from the fact that if the D-ring on the collar catches on something, the collar will tighten and potentially choke the dog. But, when the collar fits correctly and is used only periodically, the martingale collar can be a very appropriate training solution.

The information contained in this article and website is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional safety advice; it is provided for educational purposes only.

About The Author:

Michelle holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University and has worked in marketing at Bank of America, Mattel and Hanes. Her expert advice and opinions have appeared in many outstanding media outlets, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Forbes, People, Reader's Digest and Apartment Therapy, among others.

She is the proud co-founder of Canine Journal and a dog lover through and through. Since the day she was born, she has lived in a home full of dogs. Her adult home is no exception where she and her husband live with Lily and Barley, their two adorable rescue pups.

In addition to her love for snuggling with dogs, she also has enjoyed working professionally in the canine field since 1999 when she started her first dog-related job at a dog bakery.

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Ava Murphy
June 12, 2018 7:27 pm

I like that you talked about how martingale collars can help you to control your dog when it charges the door everytime you have a visitor. I’m expecting my in-laws to visit us next week, and I want to make sure that they won’t get terrified because of our dog who doesn’t want other people entering our house. My husband and I will surely consider buying martingale handmade dog collars.