Okay, I am having the hardest time finding (liking) a collar that fits Tootsie correctly.  Every collar we try on will slip over her head unless I put it so tight that I feel uncomfortable with the fit.  A choke collar works fine as she cannot "escape" from this while we are on our walks (she loves to chase the squirrels so I have a retractable leash to allow for this...).  Any suggestions?

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Have you tried a nylon collar? I wish I had more suggestions on different collars for you. Hope you are able to find one that fits her!!

As your pup gets older it might be harder to train her not to chase squirrels, if you decide you dont want her chasing squirrels when she is older. Some things seem cute when they are younger but as they get older end up not being as cute. :) I know myself, that I wish I knew then what I know now!!! I thought it was the greatest thing going and saying hello to every dog we saw while out on a walk, well now my corgi thinks walk means social hour :O I dont mind him being social but now, I see why a walk should be a walk, cause he just gets so darn excitable while out on a walk. Well, I will know this for the next time around. :)
A martingale collar is perfect for dogs who can slip a regular collar. The double loop keeps it from tightening the way a choke collar does.

One of mine is an escape artist and will actively try to slip if she startles OR she is excited and not happy we are holding her back. For that reason, I always use a martingale when we are walking near traffic, going to the vet, training class etc. For walks in the park I use a collar with a safety release. She has a good recall so running off isn't a concern if she's in a safe area.

We have the variety without a chain, like this (but this is not where we got it, and obviously the size listed is not the size we used).


They have ones with a partial chain at the top, and also ones with a safety-release clip. I could not find one in any of the big-box pet stores; you may need to order one online if you decide you want one.
Can they wear a martingale collar all the time or is it just for walking? I would love to have one collar that she can keep on at all times.
My pup wears her martingale all the time (except when it gets wet/dirty). I haven't had any issues, although I know there are some people who are vehemently opposed to dogs wearing their collars while unsupervised.
The martingale would not slide tight enough to choke them, but any collar can get twisted if a dog is hung up on something. I prefer not to leave collars on except when we are walking, but if I wanted to do so for some reason I would only ever use a true safety collar that has a break-strip on it. I've heard of dogs hanging themselves.
The martingale is not to be worn all the time. It is recommended for walking only.

We used a harness at first on both Soffie and Griffyn. Then we switched to the martingales for fun walks, ie: when we are using the retractable leashes allowing them more freedom on the walk. The martingale easy slips right off and we leave it attached to their retractable leashes for easy on and off at walk time.

Both went thru beginners obedience and learned to heel. So... when we are out in a public area ie: at dog friendly events, we use the choke collar and 6ft leash and they both heel quite well. And we have nylon quick release buckle collars with their tags that we use when we're at the beach or any other area where they are allowed to run off leash and might, might, might get away from us.

We do not leave a collar on them when they are in the house or when they go outside in the fenced in yard. (by the way ... we never leave them unattended in the yard either)
That is pretty much how we handle it!
"The martingale is not to be worn all the time. It is recommended for walking only."

Exactly. In the same vein is the warning on every dog toy and chew that says "Do not allow dog to play/chew/eat unsupervised."

Yet how many of us have toys accessible to their dogs at any given time without supervision? I suspect most of us do.

In my opinion, it's a weighing of the risks and benefits and what you’re comfortable with for your dog. Now before you think I'm heartless (which I am, but for reasons other than this) I will admit that when Casey was a young pup, she did not wear the collar when she was unsupervised; only when I was in the same room and monitoring her. As I grew confident that she could safely wear the collar, it stayed on more and more. Now, she wears it 24/7.

The first time I gave her a dog biscuit, she tried to swallow it whole without chewing, and almost choked to death. Fortunately, I was standing there and managed to get it out. Did I stop feeding her dog biscuits? No. Are dog biscuits dangerous? Not really. Did she learn not to be an idiot and chew things before swallowing them? Yes. I suspect if she was going to choke herself on the collar, she would have done so by now and either learnt her lesson, or died. Since she has done neither, I am personally comfortable with leaving her collar on all the time. Others, obviously, have different views.

As I say, weigh the risks and benefits and then decide whatever you're comfortable with.
I agree with Beth, the Martingale is the collar we use for Sidney. He wears a lightweight nylon one all the time with his tags on it, and the martingale is attached to his leash. When we go on walks, we just slip the martingale over his head and away we go! he's not bothered by the double collar set-up on walks.
Have a look at my modified Martingales in the collar FAQ. I like the Matingales, but not the rattling chain.
I eliminate the adjustment buckles, stitch the D rings permanently, and make fine adjustments with the fisherman's know on the perlond loop.
As long as you can slip two fingers under the collar than it isn't to tight. I find the martingale collar is better than the choke collar.
Personally I would use a nylon collar for everyday. A martingale is great for walks but I would never recommend a choke collar, the martingale keeps the dog from slipping out but a choker (to me) can be dangerous. Like someone said 2 fingers is all you need for a good fit and their heads are large enough that they can't slip out!


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