How a Martingale Collar Works
A martingale collar is a special type of dog collar that helps a dog stay comfortable
while being completely secure on their leash.
How it Works
A martingale collar is made with
two loops. The large loop is placed around the dogs 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 taut, which makes the large loop smaller and tighter on the neck-- preventing escape.
When adjusted properly the dog is never choked, but the collar stays snug around the dog's neck (just behind the ears) until the pressure is released.
This illustration shows how the two loops on a martingale collar work.
The advantages of Martingale Collars over standard collars:
The problem with standard buckle collars is that for the collar to
be tight enough that it can't slip over the ears when pulled forward by a dog backing up, it must
be uncomfortably tight all the time. The martingale collar allows the
dog to wear a comfortably loose collar that is only tight when it needs
to be tight.
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. CollarGirl/BigDogBoutique does not endorse either policy but we do stress that a martingale 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.
What types of dogs are martingale collars good for?
Almost all breeds can benefit from a martingale collar. Martingale collars were originally designed for greyhounds and whippets- because of their thin face and small ears standard buckle collars slip off easily. All breeds with necks larger than their heads (bulldogs, some labrador retrivers) should wear a martingale when on a leash. Dogs of any breed can learn how to slip a collar though, and owners and trainers of every size and type of dog appreciate the gentle correction of a martingale over more harsh training collars like choke collars and prong collars.
To further illustrate how a martingale collar works, here are pictures of martingales both with leashes taut and worn with no leashes.