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FAQs - Collars

Collars

Your rehoming group will probably give you some guidelines, and will certainly be able to advise if you have any particular problems.

There are some special considerations you need to be aware of when you're choosing a collar for your greyhound or lurcher:

  • Issue - his neck is probably bigger than his head
    Greyhounds (especially the boys) generally have thick muscley necks and little pointy heads, with ears that can lie flat. So, if he is scared by something and panics while out for a walk, he may back out of a normal collar.

  • Issue - he can accelerate fast enough to injure his neck
    I've heard it quoted that Greyhounds can accelerate from 0 to 40mph in 3 seconds. A dog that's cat/rabbit/etc keen might attempt this while out for a walk. Assuming that he doesn't tow you behind him, he will come to a abrupt halt at the end of the lead. To protect his neck/back from injury a collar should span two vertebrae.

Unfortunately, no one collar is great at everything, you'll need to weigh up the pros and cons for your own situation. For a lurcher your choice will need to be based on how greyhoundy he is.

Triple 'O' ring collars

These are shaped like a ring, with 3/4 of the ring being an adjustable length of webbing with an 'O' ring on each end. The two rings are joined by a loop of chain or webbing, with a third 'O' ring on the loop that attaches to the lead. These collars don't open out flat so need to be threaded over the dogs nose.

These are the best collars for stopping dogs backing out. They can be adjusted so that if the dog tries to back out the collar will tighten to a size that won't go over his head - but no smaller, so no chance of throttling him. In normal circumstances the collar hangs loosely around his neck. The down side is that these collars are only about an inch wide. For a long haired dog I'd always go for one with a webbing loop as I suspect that long hairs can get pulled by the chain links occasionally. These need to be adjusted so that when the 2 rings on the flat section come together, the webbing fits exactly around his neck immediately behind his ears with no space under it.

Traditional Greyhound collars

The traditional greyhound fish shaped collars are nice and wide to give him a more comfy stop on the rare occasions he bolts at the end of the lead. To get the benefit of this the collar needs to be worn with the wide side at the front. The down side of these is that they are relatively easy for a dog to back out of even when quite tight. When new these collars are quite stiff.

'Tight enough' means with the collar right up behind his ears you should only just be able to insert 2 fingers under it.

Flat collars

Normal flat collars (the ones like little belts) are OK, but have the down sides of both of the types described above. However if your dog doesn't spook, and isn't keen to chase, one of these could suit him provided you do it up securely before going out for a walk.

'Tight enough' means with the collar right up behind his ears you should only just be able to insert 2 fingers under it.

Many of the charities have a range of collars on their merchandise sites. Refer to the UK Links page.

Some comments from the Speakeasy:

  • As I find this (triple 'O' ring) collar far safer once adjusted properly than the ordinary greyhound fixed collar, it is also far more comfortable for the dog and does not wear away his coat at that point on his neck.

  • The one (triple 'O' ring) I have works very well as long as you have the adjustment right.
  • I have tried the normal sighthound collar but find it tends to rub away their coat under the neck. I have tried the very smart collar that gin sells in 1", 1 1/2" and 2" wide but found due to the rather large metal fixers on it the grey can get out of the collar if the lead is attached to it. So at the present time I am using the triple o-ring self adjusting collar that works very well, but after 19 months it is getting a little bit grubby and worn.

Information provided by contributors to the SpeakEasy, and summarised by Jill


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