Is It Cruel to Put a Collar on a Dog? (Solved!)

Putting a collar on a dog is not cruel in and of itself. What makes it cruel is the type of collar used and how an owner treats the dog while on a leash. The only other time you could construe it as cruel is when the dog has a serious aversion to wearing one and often finds itself choking.

Regardless, using a collar is an essential part of owning a dog. Some states, municipalities, parks and other nature areas require owners to have their dog on a leash. Therefore, it’s not about the cruelty of the collar, it’s getting the right collar most appropriate to your dog, its activity and behavior.

Are Shock Collars Cruel?

Collars that send several volts of electrical current into a dog’s neck is about as cruel as it gets with a collar. Same is true for collars that shoot a painfully loud noise into your dog’s ears. Not only do these contribute to a mean-spirited dog but it will also increase its likelihood of turning on you or someone else.

Never use a shock collar that has powerful volts of electricity or a piercing, high-pitched sound. That said there are some models available that employ a gentle vibration. It doesn’t hurt the dog, shock them or damage their ears. It sends a resonance that makes your dog hold or stop.

Can a Collar Strangle Dogs?

If you don’t use the proper type of collar on your dog or put it on the correct way, a host of terrible things can happen. First, you can strangle your dog and this can occur in a number of ways. If you use a metal choker with prongs and a chain-link leash, you could inadvertently choke your dog just by going for a walk.

Alternatively, if the dog decides to chase a rabbit or a squirrel, it could get caught in branches or get snagged on a protruding object, like a hook. In either case, this has the potential to strangle the dog. Tags hanging from a collar can also get stuck on these things as well as in their crate or other similar objects.

There are even some instances where a dog tethered to the backyard attempts to jump the fence. But, because the line isn’t long enough, they end up hanging themselves in the process. It’s a sad, but completely avoidable.

How Do You Prevent a Dog from Strangling Itself with a Collar?

For backyard situations, you have a couple of options to prevent your dog from strangling itself. First, you can make sure the tie leash isn’t long enough for your dog to reach the fence. However, you could also go for a retractable style tie-down leash. This way your dog may jump the fence, but it won’t choke to death.

Can a Leash Cause Skin Irritation for a Dog?

Yes, leashes are notorious for causing skin irritations in dogs. Metal and pronged leashes will definitely hurt skin on short-haired dogs like Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers. Even with leashes comprising softer materials, the constant rubbing on their fur and skin can result in redness, swelling, rashes and irritation.

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Should Dogs Wear a Collar 24/7?

As long as the dog is within the walls of your home, you don’t have to keep its collar on. The only time your dog will have to wear it is when you take it out for walks, to the doggie park, on hiking excursions and in other public places, like the vet.

Also, if you plan on leaving your dog in the backyard, it’s a good idea to let them wear it. This will be especially true if your dog performs an escape artist act often. But, if you have a laidback kind of dog who doesn’t usually escape and you have a good, tall fence, then you can leave it off.

However, be sure to check with your local laws and regulations. Some areas insist a dog have its collar and tags on even when resting in the backyard. Penalties may include fines, jail time or even confiscation of your dog.

Is It Cruel to Use a Choke Collar on a Dog?

For some bigger, more aggressive dogs, a choke collar may be necessary for training purposes. But even then, it shouldn’t be the dog’s regular collar. It’s just too painful for the dog to wear it all the time. It’s the equivalent of you wearing a weight around your neck all day and someone periodically cutting off your oxygen with it.

For any other dog, it may be cruel to use a choke collar. These can be very dangerous if an owner isn’t careful, especially the pronged kind. The prongs gouge fur and skin which can be excruciatingly painful.

Using something like a choke collar can also have devastating psychological effects on the dog. It constantly cordons off the vocal cords, strains neck muscles and puts pressure on bones. Some of the dangers that arise with using a choke collar are:

  • brain damage
  • bruised esophagus
  • crushed trachea
  • crushed or fractured larynx bones
  • damaged neck skin and tissue
  • dislocation of neck vertebrae
  • fainting
  • paralysis
  • partial or complete asphyxiation
  • prolapsed eyeballs
  • spinal cord injuries
  • whiplash

What Kinds of Injuries Can Dogs Incur from Wearing a Loose Collar?

If the collar is too loose, the dog’s leg could catch in the collar when scratching their neck or ears. In the struggle to get out, the dog could break its leg. Likewise, a dog’s mouth could get stuck in the collar during grooming. Very often this can result in broken teeth, ripped gums and torn mouth corners.

Are Harnesses a Good Alternative to Collars?

Harnesses can be a good alternative to using collars. But, once again, this will heavily impinge on the material of the harness and how comfortable your dog is in it. That said, it does take a considerable amount of pressure off of the dogs neck, thereby reducing injury.