My puppy Lilu has some trouble walking on a leash. She usually does alright in the parking lot of my apartment when there are no distractions around, but of course if there are any distractions or interesting smells... then it all kind of goes out the window. We had just a regular flat collar, and I was afraid of her choking herself or collapsing her trachea, so I got her a harness, but I think she actually pulls more with that - maybe because it doesn't hurt as much. A friend that fosters dogs (usually large breeds like mastiffs) suggested a martingale collar for training. I don't really like the idea of using a choke collar on her, but a martingale is supposed to be "more humane' than a regular choke collar.


I wanted to solicit some opinions if any of y'all are familiar with these collars and recommend them or don't.

Views: 3434

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I prefer martingale collars but it won't help pulling, as others have said. A chain or cloth loop shouldn't make a difference as they are meant to be sized so as to not choke the dog when tightened. I buy mine on etsy.


The easy walk harness keeps them from pulling because the leash is hooked to the front of the harness instead of the back. If the dog pulls it just turns them around. I had a trainer try one on Luke but he absolutely hated it so opted not to buy one. I've heard of people having issues fitting them on a corgi as well but haven't tried one long term myself.

I couldn't get one of those easy walks to fit right and my trainer seems to think they wont work for our short legged friends?

We've used a martingale ever since we got Sidney, and for us they are great! You adjust them so they cannot tighten enough to choke, but they feel the sensation of the correction, and they can't back out of the collar.

Sidney wears a regular flat collar all the time with his ID tags, and we keep the martingale attached to the leash for quick use.

We do the same as Geri!
We have a martingale, it teaches the dog to listen for "clicks", however, you must adjust and re-adjust the collar everytime you go for a walk, make sure it is directly below the jaw, the top should be behind the ears, pull up.

Pulling up is the hardest part for us humans to learn!   I used to pull back and of course the dogs just brace against it.


A few weeks ago, we were at my parents' for Labor Day and a stray Husky showed up.  Her tags showed she lived about ten blocks away, so we grabbed a leash and took her.  She started out pulling, but after a few blocks with me correcting by pulling straight up, she was walking nicely enough.  It really does make a difference.

The martingale is not supposed to be used as a choker. You adjust it so, when tightened, it fits the neck snugly and, when not tightened, it lays loose on the neck.  The purpose is to allow a loose collar, but not one the dog could back out of when on leash (puppies often will back up when scared or not wanting to walk and so back right out of loose collars.  That is a safety hazard) I like them and use them in the intended manner.  Martingales  are safe to leave on a dog, unlike chokers that should never be left on.
martingales ARE NOT safe to leave on a dog!!  sorry....... no disrespect meant to you Anna.  then can get caught on anything.  and my soffie caught her front paw in the dangling loop when she was very young.  btw .... soffie, who is now almost 6 years old, knows exactly how to slip out of a martingale!!  we still use this collar on a "fun" walk ... but i NEVER let her get behind me!  that's when she can slip out!!

I never thought of that!  I removed the chain and metal O-ring on our martingales to save weight and noise (sacrificing the chain-rattle audible cue), replacing it with perlon kernmantle rope.  Perhaps this makes it less prone to dangle and trap a paw.  This has never happened... yet.  If your dog can back out of it, it may be too wide.  Ours have never been able to back out.  The collars slip snugly but easily over the head.  They never wear the collars indoors.  When I got the size right, I also removed the adjustment buckles and stitched it down.  Final adjustments are made by changing the length of the loop with the knot.  Use a fisherman's knot or water knot (see FAQ link below).  

NOTE:  I just replaced Gwynnie's nylon kernmantle rope; the sheath had worn through after 8-9 years.  Inspect your gear.

See the FAQ.  I posted photos of my modified Martingales. I removed the chain and steel ring to save weight and noise -- although the rattle of the chain is supposed to be an auditory cue that the leash/collar is tightening.  I like the way they slip on/off easily.  Once I got the size established, I removed all adjustment buckles, stitched it down permanently.  Only hardware is 2 stainless steel D rings.

The dog has to carry it everywhere, so I think it's a good idea to eliminate all unnecessary weight.  Most collars are much more massive than necessary.

I replaced the chain with perlon -- high-quality nylon kernmantle rope -- fisherman's knot -- check regularly for wear.

For what it's worth, Ragnar is a distracted pulling machine when we go for walks--he wants to see everything NOW! and so he starts wheezing and coughing very early in and doesn't stop for a while after we return.  I got him a Halti harness, since I didn't want any pull on his neck, but everyone said a regular harness just gives the dog all of the control. He is a different angelic dog on that harness.  He doesn't pull, he walks like he actually paid attention to all of the training I tried to give him when he was little, and he doesn't really squeal at people or other dogs now.  It's a miracle harness :)


Rescue Store

Stay Connected


FDA Recall

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Recall

We support...



© 2023   Created by Sam Tsang.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report a boo boo  |  Terms of Service