Can a Dog Get Out of a Slip Collar? (Solved & Explained!)

It is very difficult for a dog to get out of a slip collar if it is properly fitted. If your dog backs away, the slip collar tightens around their throat, so their standard mode of escape is not going to be effective.

While this type of collar is hard to escape, we should note that if your dog continues to pull at the collar day after day, then you might want to consider moving to a ‘lead and harness’ style of training.

Dogs that consistently keep pushing against a slip collar are getting pressure regularly applied to the throat – which can damage the trachea over time. That said, many dogs do respond well to slip collar training, just remember to use it carefully because technically this is a ‘choke collar’.

In today’s article, we’ll answer popular questions about slip leads so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to include them in your training. Let’s take a look at the most popular questions trending this week!

Is slip collar good for dogs?

Proponents of the slip collar advise that it is a traditional and quick method for training a dog not to pull at their lead. When pulled, a slip collar is designed to tighten at the neck, and relaxes when the owner is close to the dog again.

While this can quickly train a dog to walk next to you, instead of too far ahead or pulling you around, it does this by constricting the throat. As such, another type of lead is generally considered to be a better option.

What are slip collars used for?

Slip collars are used for training dogs not to pull against their lead, especially with problem dogs. Vets sometimes use them, as well, since they do make dogs much easier to control. Unfortunately, this is because pulling too hard constricts a slip collar on the neck in the same way that a noose would.

With careful use, it can be an excellent tool, but there is a lot of room for an accident if you aren’t familiar with using a slip collar or if a dog bolts away with considerable force – which will then go straight to their neck.

Is a slip collar the same as a choke collar?

While considered to be more socially acceptable, a slip collar is indeed basically a choke collar. Consider how it works — If a dog continues moving away then the rope simply tightens around their neck.

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You could call it something else, of course, and it’s not popular to say it, but if a collar squeezes a dog’s throat then it’s hard to think of it as anything other than a ‘choke collar’.

Do slip collars stop dogs pulling?

Yes, slip collars do stop pulling, though how a dog will react to this depends on the dog. Some will try to fight it and may end up coughing a bit later for their trouble, other dogs will look surprised and instantly become more compliant.

With larger dogs, the effect is less profound, as their larger necks are stronger and it is not as much of a stress. They pull away, feel the rope constricting, and immediately halt or come back to their owner so that the rope will loosen.

Should I use a slip collar on my puppy?

No, you shouldn’t use a slip collar on a puppy. While this is a way to train them quickly, it is better to try teaching a pup before you start relying on a training means that constricts their fragile throats. A better choice is a harness and a lead.

This puts the force onto their backs or on their chest, rather than on their necks, and at a young age they cannot pull away very hard in the first place. With a bit of patience, you can quickly train them this way, negating the need for a harsher training option.


Are slip collars better for training?

They can be, though a lot depends on the dog. Some dogs fight them and a slip collar can give them a negative association with walking. Other dogs quickly realize how they work and then become much more compliant with their owner’s wishes when walking.

For training purposes, they can be quite effective – there is no arguing that – but they must be used to carefully to avoid potential trachea damage or ill-effects from consistent tightening over a period of time.

Can slip collars really damage the trachea?

Repetitive pressure can indeed cause tracheal collapse, however, it is uncommon. Signs that prolonged pressure is having an effect can include things like coughing or suddenly snoring during naps once the slip collar has been removed.

If your dog is showing signs such as these, a quick checkup at the vet is a good idea and you should consider using a harness and a standard lead for walking.

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These will not damage the throat, as pressure is moved from the neck and focused on the back or the chest, depending on the location of the fastening clip.

Why do vets use slip collars?

Yes, Vets will occasionally use slip leads, because they are instantly effective for controlling where a dog goes. While a dog could pull against a harness to try to get away, the slip collar instantly tightens on the throat if a dog tries this.

As such, it is appreciably easier for a vet to control your dog and administer emergency care.

Is a slip collar better than a harness?

Some owners say that it is, while other owners feel that they are unnecessarily cruel. For training, they are definitely effective, though a harness to be the preferred method as it is kinder and does not use constriction around the throat as a means to restrain a dog.

A harness still has caveats, in that if you leave it on all of the time it will put an unnecessary strain on the shoulders, but if you only put it on for walks and take it off immediately afterwards then this potential issue is easily negated.

What is the best harness and lead for my dog?

For dogs with control issues, a standard 6-foot lead of nylon or leather is ideal and should be used with a front-clip style padded harness. The front clip will give you more control than a back clip and the padding on the harness ensures that your dog stays comfortable during their training.