Proper Fit and Positioning of the Martingale Collar or Half Check Collar

Sometimes, one article is not enough to relay all the information pertaining to a subject. That is the case with the recent column about Martingale collars and half check collars. The debate about the different types of choke collars was the subject but there was not space to discuss the proper fit and position of these types of collars, which is a very important aspect of using Martingale and Half Check collars.

In summary, Half check collars and Martingale collars are variations of choke collars that are considered to be more humane that the chain choke collar. These two types of collars were originally designed for sight hounds, such as Greyhounds, Whippets, Italian Greyhounds, Bolzoi, Saluki, etc., which are breeds that have necks larger than their heads, but prevents any dog from backing out of a regular collar.

Half check collars, or half choke collars, are usually made of leather or nylon webbing and chain, while Martingale collars are made totally of nylon webbing. Both of these specialty collars have a two-loop design that works by tightening on the dogs neck when it is trying to remove its head from the collar, but will loosen again when the dog stops struggling against it. The unique, limited closure of the half check collar and the Martingale collar prevents it from becoming too tight. However, the fit and positioning of each of these collars is extremely important.

The Martingale collar, which is usually made of nylon webbing, has two loops. The small loop, also called the control loop, has the dee ring which is the attach point for the leash. The Martingale collar is adjusted with the second loop which allows the collar to be tightened or loosened to fit the dog perfectly. A buckle can be added to the collar so it can be buckled around the dogÂ’s neck.

To properly fit and position the Martingale collar, slip it over the dogÂ’s head and pull the collar up right behind the ears of the dog. The collar is adjusted here because this is the point where a normal collar slips over the head. The control loop should close when the dee ring is pulled. The two hardware pieces attached to the control loop should be a minimum of two inches apart or the standard two-finger allowance. The two pieces should never touch. If the two pieces touch, your collar is too loose.

The Half Check Collar is similar to the Martingale except part of this collar is made with nylon webbing or leather and the other part is chain. It also has two loops that have the same functions as the Martingale collar. The control loop on this collar is the chain which is a circle. The dee ring is in this circle of chain and is also the attach point for the leash. This chain is also attached to the webbing or leather part of the collar with metal rings. The adjustment loop is in the part of the collar that is webbing or nylon.

As with the Martingale collar, the half check collar is positioned and fit in the same manner. When the dog pulls or tries to slip this collar over its head, the chain slides through the rings, tightening the webbing around the dogÂ’s neck. The chain itself never tightens around the neck. The dog only feels the webbing or the leather. The distinctive clinking noise also serves as a training tool as the dog pulls against the Half check collar.

When learning how to properly fit and position these two collars, it becomes apparent how similar the Martingale and the Half check collars to each other. These collars work virtually the same way to control breeds that would normally be able to slip a regular flat collar over its head. Also, it is apparent that these collars are a more humane way to control dogs that the plain chain choke collar or the prong collar. The owner of the dog must be knowledgeable about these collars and how to use them so that no injury comes to the pet.

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