Martingale Collars Explained: What is a Martingale Collar & How Do They Work?
Tired of chasing after your dog every time he or she manages to give their leash the slip? Sick of being walked by your dog who pulls on the leash? A martingale collar could be the solution. Below, we’ll explore the benefits of a martingale collar, plus some other useful tips on which breeds are best-suited for this restraint.
In addition to the term martingale collar, you may have heard it referred to as a "no-slip" or "limited-slip" collar in the past. It is similar to what those names suggest, but they are far more effective than traditional collars in terms of keeping your dog securely on a leash.
It's no secret that dogs can be free-spirited animals, and we all know that. They are so free-spirited in fact that they will soon work out how to break free of their traditional leash and take off galloping off into the distance without a second thought.
However, a martingale collar prevents this common canine tactic, keeping your dog firmly attached to their lead, but without hurting them.
How Do Martingale Collars Work?
In terms of the design, the beautiful feature of this collar resides in the double-looped fabric that makes it up. There is a D-ring that is attached to the collar in order to prevent the collar from moving when your dog pulls against it or tries to slip out of the collar with their classic Houdini technique.
Don't be alarmed, though! There's nothing to worry about! As long as the martingale collar is fitted properly, it won't harm your dog in any way; it's adjustable and is designed to tighten only up to the width of the dog's neck.
What are Martingale Collars Used For?
Martingale collars are typically chosen by people who own a specific type of dog, or those who want to train their dog to pull against the leash less often.
For leash training, this can work with both younger and older dogs. Puppies haven't learned their manners yet, so training with a martingale collar can teach them to stop pulling so hard. Equally, for older and larger dogs who underestimate their sizable strength, a martingale collar will help to adjust their behavior, as the collar – safely – tightens around their neck without choking.
How Does The Martingale Dog Collar Work?
This type of collar is usually made up of a few parts - the flat nylon collar band, a two larger loops, a smaller loop and the chain/band. The band or chain goes through the loops to tighten around your dog's neck when your dog pulls. The two loops allow it to be loose but get tight when tension is put on the collar.
Martingale dog collars are similar to other walking collars in the way that when they become tight, it becomes easier to control and prevent dogs from pulling. If the martingale dog collar is properly fitted around the dog's neck, your pet will not choke. The lead should be sitting behind your dog's head.
The flat nylon collar band sits against your dog's neck and that is where the tension is applied. The chain does not sit against the neck on the front of your dog. In older choke collars, it would sit against the necks of dogs and would cause them to start choking.
Many trainers have turned away from using a choke collar during their lead training as it can be dangerous to a dog and put their safety at risk.
Because there is a loop system on the martingale collar, there is usually no buckle. The martingale slips over your dog's head instead of fastening with a buckle.
Of course, there are some martingale collars, that have a buckle but the martingale collar usually does not. They can still work similar in that they allow you to control your dog when they are pulling because the collar begins to tighten while on a walk. This will usually cause your dog to stop pulling because they find it uncomfortable.
What Dog Breeds Should Wear a Martingale Collar?
While a martingale collar is a great tool for owners and trainers to choose for no-pull training, it won't suit all breeds. Crucially, the width of their heads needs to be no greater than the width of their necks. As such, these collars work best when used with dogs belonging to the Sighthound breeds, so greyhounds, whippets, Borzoi, and so on:
As a very slender breed, greyhounds are perfectly suited to the martingale collar. Given their lightning-fast speed and tendency to bolt away quickly, you may notice more pulling behavior with this breed. But while they’re very slight, the martingale collar is designed to inflict no discomfort or damage on your pup while preventing them from slipping out.
The Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound has the same type of body structure of the full size version, just much smaller. They also have narrow heads like the much bigger version as well. They also tend to be a bit more skittish than their bigger versions.
Salukis are natural hunters, so they can tend to pull on their leash when they spot a critter in the brush. When you use a martingale collar, their escape tactics won’t work. A simple tug on the leash will activate the loop to tighten the mechanism on their neck, preventing that frustrating slip and run maneuver. Saving you from any type of search and rescue situation.
Much like the greyhound, and often mistake for one, whippets are incredibly slim, narrow dogs. This makes them the perfect candidate for a martingale collar. They’re also fiercely intelligent creatures, so a little training on a no-pull martingale dog collar should help you to stamp out that behavior gently.
These are just few of the breeds that should use the collar. If you are unsure if your dog can use a martingale, you can certainly search the internet. There are often blog articles that break it down further for your breed.
Safety With Martingale Dog Collars
Martingale dog collars should be removed from your dog or pet when you are not on a walk. They should only be around your dog's neck when you are walking and your dog is supervised. If the collar is on while unwatched, your dog's safety is at risk.
If your dog or pet is left wearing the collar, they could potentially get stuck on something or even catch on a crate. The martingale dog collar chain and loops could slip over something and your dog would be caught.
They may try and pull but the collar will begin tightening up. Then they may not be able to free themselves because the collar is tight around the pet.
The martingale collar is a tool and not a normal collar for wearing everyday. Martingales should come off at night, when in a crate, and any time the pet is unsupervised.
3 Fi Compatible Martingale Collars
As the creators of the Fi collar, we thought it was important to share with you our three favorite martingale collar bands that are compatible with our device. Because of our endlink system, you can switch out collar bands easily. Your Fi GPS Smart collar can really become a reflection of your dog's style.
The Fi Martingale Collar
The Fi Martingale collar comes in gray and features the scribble design behind the band. Unlike other martingales, there is no chain on this collar. It does use a loop system to allow the fabric band to tighten to stop slipping off your dog's neck. The Fi Martingale collar is currently only sold separately from the Series 2 collar kit. It can be found here.
Beau & Nora
These Fi compatible collars are made from biothane which is a great leather alternative. They are waterproof, easy to clean and durable. These offer plenty of different colors and styles that you can select. You can see the options here.
Offering a ton of different styling options, Harbor Hound makes it very easy to make your Fi compatible martingale all your own. You can even select the type of hardware on the band. You can charge your Fi tracker without removing the device from the collar by simply sliding the Fi charging base between the tracker and the collar webbing.
Does Your Dog Need a Martingale Collar?
The question is more about whether you feel that you need a martingale collar. As discussed, this piece of canine equipment can help to cancel out frustrating behaviors that threaten to spoil your walk together, attempts at trying to slip out of a loose nylon dog collar, or when your dog pulls you along the sidewalk at an uncomfortable pace.
As long as your breed is suited to use a martingale collar, there’s no drawback to using it as a training aid. The design ensures that your dog will suffer no discomfort or pain when your dog starts to pull as the collar starts to tighten. The only potential damage is likely to be their ego when they realize that they can no longer make a run for it.
For more helpful articles about pet-parenting tips, check out the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com.
Want to know more about TryFi.com? The Fi Dog Collar is a GPS tracking collar that not only keeps track of your dog’s location, activity levels, and sleep patterns, but it also alerts you if your dog escapes your backyard. This is the fastest way to find your dog after an escape. Try the Fi Dog Collar today!