Collar (animal)

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Tie up collar correctly used with a headcollar on a stallion
Nylon quick-release buckle collar on a dog with identification and medical tags.
Wooden neck cradle

An animal collar is a device that attached to the neck of an animal to allow it to be harnessed, tied up or for various other reasons.

  • Pet collar. A piece of material put around the neck of certain pet animals, such as dogs, cats or pigs, for control, identification, or other purposes. Identification tags and medical information is often placed on collars. Collars are also useful for controlling the animal, as they provide a handle for grabbing or means of leading. Similar collars are used with non-pet animals, such as zoo animals and livestock. Pet collars can be made of leather, nylon or metal. Metal collars are normally used for larger and dangerous dogs. They can come with traditional or quick-release buckles. Collars are sometimes used for fashion purposes.
  • Cat collar. Similar to dog collars, but often include a bell to warn fauna of the cat's presence. Collars used on cats are smaller and thinner. They can be made of leather, nylon or other types of materials. Some of the cat collars have a solution impregnated which is helpful in fighting against flea, tick and mosquitoes.
  • Anti-bark dog collar, or bark control collar. These collars are predominantly used as a training mechanism. There are a few different types of mechanisms which can be incorporated into Anti-Bark Collars:
    • Citronella - The citronella collar shoots a spray of citronella-scented liquid out when your dog barks. Most dogs find this scent unpleasant and will resist further barking.[1]
    • Static Shock - This collar is the traditional method which sends out a shock through two metal prongs that touch his/her neck. The shock will increase in intensity if the barking continues. This kind of collar is illegal to sell in the UK but is popular in the USA.[1]
    • Sonic - Many dogs can hear much higher pitches than the human ear. This collar sends an unpleasant pitch when the dog barks. This collar is tested for your dog to ensure that the pitch is perfectly tuned. [1]
    • Vibration - These collars often feature both sound & vibration. Instead of using sonic they will use a normal low pitched beep when barking begins, this is soon followed by a vibration if barking continues. The vibration is similar to a mobile phone and quite harmless. [1]
  • The majority of dog collars contain two prongs which rest on the throat of the dog, this identifies when the dog is barking, alongside a chip which listens for the dogs voice. Some collars do not contain the prong version which are a little more comfortable for ease of use. Some pet owners criticize these devices, seeing in them a method of torture. As a result, it is recommended[who?] that all the other options such as training, trying to understand the communication or seeking professional advice should be considered before choosing these bark control collars.
  • Training collar or shock collar. These (usually for dogs) use an electric shock to improve animal training, reinforce commands and eliminate any bad habits. It may be combined with an "invisible fence", a signal wire surrounding the dog's permitted area, the dog receiving a shock if it strays too near it.
  • Choke collars are also a type of training collars. They are made of different materials with high resistance such as metal or various composites. This type of collar is suitable for obedience training as it tightens around the neck of the dog if it goes further than the owner allows it to.[2] It is mainly used on dogs.
  • Insect collar or flea collar. Impregnated with chemicals that repel or kill external parasites. They are usually a supplementary collar, worn in addition to the conventional buckle collar on a dog. They are also used on horses. The effectiveness of flea collars is arguable. Although they are convenient because of their cost and of their accessibility as well as the comfort they provide for the pet, they only protect them from fleas that could be found around the neck. Flea collars are considered to be more effective in preventing infestation with external parasites rather than fighting against them. Flea collars are best used when a proper disinfestation has been performed, both indoor and outdoor. These collars are primarily worn by cats and dogs. A number of the insecticides used in these flea collars are toxic.[3] Although they are usually safely secured around the neck, remember that the poison can easily be transferred from one pet to another if you have a couple animals in the home. Beware of flea collars that are promoted as being "natural" as they often contain essential oils and herbs that are dangerous to certain pets (like cats) as their bodies cannot metabolize it.[citation needed]
  • Pig hunting dog collar. This collar integrates a wide collar and a breastplate for dogs that hunt pigs. They are made from multiple layers of extra tough fabric or leather to protect the vital carotid artery and jugular vein of pig hunting dogs should they be attacked. Some of the pig hunting dog collars come in the form of a full-body protection collar. These collars provide good protection for the dog's chest, neck and rib cage.[4]
  • Elizabethan collar. Shaped like a lamp shade to prevent an animal from licking something on their body, such as a wound.
  • Tie-up collar. Used for bulls and other cattle, these may be a chain (sometimes covered in plastic hose), or a collar of heavy leather or synthetic material fastened with a heavy duty buckle.
  • Animal tracking collar. Used for tracking animal migration, or to locate lost pets. In its simplest form contains a radio beacon to allow the location of the animal. More sophisticated devices may contain a GPS tracking unit to record the animal's track, other sensors to record water depth or other environmental information, and a mobile phone or other radio transmitter to report location and other data. May have a timed or remotely controlled release device.
  • Horse collars.
    • Full collar or Horse Collar. Used for horses or other draught animals, this consists of a robustly constructed leather device stuffed with straw or other material, that sits comfortably on the animal's shoulders around its lower neck, supporting a set of hames that transfer the draught forces from the animal to the traces.
    • Breast collar or breastplate. Two forms: One is a simpler type of draught collar for lighter loads, consisting of a padded strap around the chest of the animal. The other is similar, but is attached to a saddle and used when riding a horse to prevent the saddle from sliding back.
    • Horse tie-up collar. A collar designed to teach horses to tie up and to tie stallions at public events. It is constructed from double-stitched wide leather (sometimes fleece lined), with heavy duty dees sewn into each end. The collar is placed on a horse just behind the poll strap of a headcollar (headstall) which is used in conjunction, and a strong rope passes through the headcollar to secure the two dees so that the horse's wind is not impaired in any way. This manner of application will reduce the likelihood of the collar slipping and injuring or choking the horse. Sometimes used for tethering horses, they are expensive and are potentially dangerous if the horse should become entangled in the tether or frightened etc.[5]
    • Mare collar. A simple buckled neck strap that has a plastic ID tag attached.
    • Headcollar or halter. Not strictly a collar, this consists of straps around the head for tethering, tying or leading horses or other livestock.
    • Cribbing or wind-sucking collar. The "Nutcracker" collar is an adjustable strap with a lightweight aluminium 'nutcracker'. It is placed around a horse's neck to help prevent windsucking by stopping the flexing of the neck muscles whenever it tries to suck in air. Other varieties are also available, too.
    • Cornell Collar A device developed for use on racehorses to prevent dorsal displacement of the soft palate during racing.[6]
    • Neck cradle. Used on horses to prevent them chewing at injuries and dressings.
A yellow neck strap on a racehorse.
    • Neck strap. A simple narrow leather strap buckled around a horse's neck to give security to jockeys and other riders. Up until several years it was only used by beginner riders, but has now become popular with jockeys who ride with a very short stirrup leather. Another form of neck strap (or rope) is the one used by cowboys when roping. This style is shorter and placed closer to the horse's head with the lariat passing through it, in order to keep the horse facing the calf after it has been roped. It also refers to the part of a martingale, which buckles around the horse's neck.[7] A loose neck collar is also used on harness racing horses when the reins are passed through it.

Collars can be dangerous for pets that live in crates or which might get stuck in tree branches and that is why safety collars have been developed. There is a particular type of safety collar which is intended for both dogs and cats. Breakaway collars are especially designed to prevent the pet from choking or getting stuck because of their collar. They feature a clever design that releases quickly when a small amount of pressure is applied, such as the cat hanging from a tree branch. The clasp will release, which quickly gets the pet out of a possibly desperate situation.[8] However, it is recommended that pets have their collar removed before sleeping in a wired crate.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "The Beginner's Guide to Using an Anti Bark Collar for Dogs - Pet's Finest". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Silent Training Choke Collar". Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  3. ^ Flea Collar – Do They Work or Endanger Your Pet? - The Bug Squad, Updated 2012
  4. ^ "Duncan's Full Body Collar". Archived from the original on 7 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  5. ^ Code of Practice for Tethering Equines[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Cornell Collar Archived 19 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Bucklin, Gincy Self. "How Your Horse Wants You to Ride: Starting Out, Starting Over". Google Books. Howell Book House. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Safe Pet Collars Deals". Archived from the original on 9 May 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.