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To collar or not to collar

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micro chips are OK but then you have to have someone willing and nice enough to take the animal into a vet office where they read the chip.

 

I think I put this on another thread but I just attach all of the dogs tags to a good, strong key ring and then attach the key ring to the metal loop and their collar. It's much stronger that way and the tags don't fall off.

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I just attach all of the dogs tags to a good, strong key ring and then attach the key ring to the metal loop and their collar. It's much stronger that way and the tags don't fall off.

 

 

That's what I do, as well, although I don't want the key ring (or smaller key ring type ring that sometimes comes with tags). I figure that if they get caught, the dog's more likely to be able to pull that off than if the tags are securely fastened with an S hook.

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GentleLake, Sorry if I'm being stupid, but what's a s-hook? For now I think I will go with some good quality leather collars. Unfortunately no Gundogsupply here in RSA, but found some good ones at the vets. Will keep looking I like the look of those collars with the central rings. I found some military style dog tags with two holes, one on each side, so they can be riveted to the collars. Round here it's farms all the way, most people know each others dogs, so most of the time when a dog turns up somewhere you know who to call. But, some of the farmers can be a little reactive, a loose collarless dog can easily get shot on sight. At least if they're wearing collars chances of that happening is greatly diminished. And should one ever get loose in town, not that they visit town very often we can be reunited easily and quickly.

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Not GentleLake but an s-hook is just what it says, a hook that is s-shaped. You put one loop around the ring in the collar and use a pliers to squeeze it shut, and put the tags on the other look and squeeze that shut with pliers. You do need to be careful to shut each loop tightly. S-hooks should be found in hardware stores in different sizes. Properly-sized and applied, they tend to be very long-lasting, in my experience.

 

When all is said and done, I think that in general, a riveted-on tag is safest. Nothing dangles, it doesn't make noise, and it is not likely to catch on most anything, but it may not be the best alternative for everyone or their dog. Of course, since it's less visible and makes no noise, a person finding your pet would have to check the collar for the tag, and you would need to check periodically to make sure it is there and secure since you wouldn't be able to just look for the tag dangling or dingling.

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I have had a tag on a dog and it got caught on something, it was pulled off by the cheap ring holding it on...I fear it would of been trouble had it been more solidly anchored.

 

I like the riveted tags that are free with the collar at GDS.

 

My dogs aren't bolters. The ones that stay home are the ones more likely to not have collar on. Since I'm down to 3 dogs that means Mick doesn' t usually have one on cause he's a stay at home dog.

 

Jesse the LGD has one on and the number has been called more than once on hers! But like I said, it is loose so if she hangs up on something she can hopefully get out of it.

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I have always thought that if my dogs get out, a passerby is more likely to stop and help them if they have a collar on. With tags that means they are coming home!

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Not GentleLake but an s-hook is just what it says, a hook that is s-shaped.

 

Thanks, Sue! Your answer was exactly what I was talking about, but so much quicker than I was able to get back to it. ;)

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I have always thought that if my dogs get out, a passerby is more likely to stop and help them if they have a collar on. With tags that means they are coming home!

 

I agree. I think many, many people are more wary of a dog that has no collar, thinking that it's a stray and potentially dangerous than a collared dog with visible tags.

 

I love the idea of the riveted flat tags -- and this discussion has made me think I'd like to get some of them again-- but truth be told the riveted tag wouldn't be readily visible on any of my dogs under their fur. Fortunately, they're all friendly and don't mind strangers handling them, but the riveted flat tags would be good back ups in case they'd loose their other tags.

 

A friend uses huge 2+" tags on her dogs' collars just for the visibility. She believes that people will be more likely to approach a dog because it's very clear that it has ID on it.

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Mostly, no collars. Dogs are microchipped. No guarantee there, but there it is. Dogs are trained to come when called (yes, even chasing deer, rabbits, etc. which they do on occasion). Dogs wear collars when we're traveling, or hiking out of our "normal" local areas (and all manner of other info to ensure their return/safety when traveling). Otherwise, none.

 

I've known two dogs hung and died by collars on fences (blessedly, not mine).

 

I had a larger dog hook his lower jaw under a smaller dog's rolled leather collar when they were playing. Really really stuck. If I hadn't been there at the time....hate to think about this. Smaller dog's collar was not very loose.

 

Same larger dog laid on a wooden bench, with two horizontal boards separated by small gaps. Tag got stuck down in the gap. Dog pulled and pulled and pulled until he straightened out the S-hook. Did not know why his neck was soooo sore for a few days; vet couldn't pinpoint anything. Then we found his tag under the bench, and it became obvious what happened. He rarely wore a collar after that.

 

To each his/her own....

diane

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Collars on when we leave the house, inside or going out to play in the pasture, they're off. my dogs stick around, and I'm with them when they're outaide.

 

Speaking of safety, I'm curious of everyone's preference on having either quick release or belt buckle style, and why?

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If you use the smallest quick release that will fit on your dog, they are break away collars and *may* break if your dog gets hung up on something. But they may not.

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Flat nylon collar with boomerang collar tag on my city dog. Easy to read, will not come off unless the collar does. My dog is never without a collar. S**t happens. Fire, earthquakes, burglars. My dog is chipped, but unless something has changed in the last several years, all chip readers don't read all chips. She is never outdoors without supervision so she won't hang herself. I don't crate, so there's no excuse to let her go naked.

 

Dangle tags are a pain. Clanging against the side of the water bowl, jingling all the time. split-ring (keyring) or s-hook - both will tear off a toenail on a scratching dog. (Though, knock wood, it's never happened to any of mine.) She has one, because she has to wear her license tag when she's out with the dog walker - Animal Control does spot-checks where I live. If she's not wearing the tag I get a ticket and so does the dog-walker.

 

I prefer a tattoo, but tattoo clinics are few and far between these days. A tattooed dog cannot be sold to a research facility. People steal dogs in the city for sale to dealers who sell to research facilities.

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My current 2 and my last border collie never wear collars unless we are going somewhere unfamiliar. None of them are bolters...in fact I try to hide from them out in the trails and its quite difficult to do. I bring a leash with a collar attached and if I have the need, I put it on my dog. They generally don't get left outside if I'm not home and if I do, there are 2 gates between them any any route of escape. My first dog was never without a collar because she would bolt or take off after squirrels etc, or even just bolt going from the house to the car to go exploring around the neighbours. She also had a horrible recall unless she felt like it (she was also a chow/spaniel mix, not a border collie)

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Thanks guys, I admit I didn't even know there existed such a thing as breakaway collars for dogs. Cats, hell yeah, that's how Lucky lost his last collar. Scary part is he's not even chipped. But he's just a little striped farm cat who gets scared when the dogs bark a little aggressively. Cars - He came to me needing TLC because of having been hit by a car - so he's mortally scared of those. Thankfully he always runs home. If\ when we do ever leave the farm, I will have him chipped immediately. I looked into breakaway collars for the safety, but had to let go of that idea when I learned that they will also give way if you grab your dog by his collar. Unfortunately that has been necessary too often. Having a collar go loose on me when i"m hanging on for dear life while he's straining to chase the workers' kid could land me in a world of trouble.

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My 3 wear their collars when outside and when I am home in the house with them. I remove collars when I am gone from the house - like when I am gone at work. 2 are loose and 1 is crated. They are all chipped.

 

They normally wear Bison brand nylon break away collars with tags. When I go to trials or to train they have the center ring collars with the riveted name plates from GDS.

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If you use the smallest quick release that will fit on your dog, they are break away collars and *may* break if your dog gets hung up on something. But they may not.

 

Agree about the *may* and *may not*. I had two copies of an identical "quick release" collar. One broke nicely when that was not our intention (stepping on a long line to stop a dog, greatly pleasing the dog in question by setting it FREEEEE!). One didn't break when collar was caught on crate, nearly strangling the dog. YMMV. I've learned not to count on the "may" break part.

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Mine wear collars all the time. In and out. No tags. But I do have several sets of tags that are made out of rabies tag, St. Francis prayer tag and microchip tag that I put on anytime they leave the property with me. As most of them have the GunDogSupply collars they do have the riveted plates. All of them are chipped.

The need for me to be able to grab a collar for a quick restraint is too big. They are not our of sight or in a very large run.

Hate wire crates.

 

One thing that I would like to add as to my way of thinking is also that a dog that wears a collar...gives more the impression that it is owned. NO, I am not saying a dog without a collar is less loved! Not one bit. But, whenever I pick up a stray, if they have a collar I hold out at least some hope that maybe, someone had them chipped or owns them. Yes, I have been proven wrong. If the collar is a worn out, half falling off type contraption...then yeah...not so much. But the ones around here that wear home and custom made leather collars should very much convey the impression that these dogs are well loved and hopefully inspire someone, in case of emergency, to try to look for an owner.

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Yeah, I have had people take the 'scared- no collar- muddy- possibly injured therefore abandoned' tack before. No point looking for an owner when it's 'obviously' not an owned dog, or the owner doesn't care or was abusing it.

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I didn't used to collar my dogs all the time, they don't run away so I let it alone. however the rest of my household hated that my dogs were collarless, they were terrified that they would lose one or something would happen and they would not be able to easily grab them. so now my dogs always wear collars and tags lol. I'm not worried about getting hung up...I have seen in happen,and know dogs that have died getting hanged by their collars but I have also had my dogs get hung up while naked so.. lol

 

for collar types, I prefere belt buckle types, I have seen waaaayyyyyy to many quick release buckles fail..usually at the worst possible time. they don't help if your dogs gets hung up either, they just pull tight and don't release at all.

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The only time my dog wears a collar is if we're using a line at herding training.

 

I've know a couple of dogs that have choked to death when they were playing with another dog in their household and the collar got stuck on the jaw of the other dog. This happened to a friend of mine and even though they were right there they could not even cut the collar off fast enough to save their young dog.

 

I suppose a break away collar would be ok, but ours are supervised whenever they're outside.

 

Gina Pizzo

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Yeah, I have had people take the 'scared- no collar- muddy- possibly injured therefore abandoned' tack before. No point looking for an owner when it's 'obviously' not an owned dog, or the owner doesn't care or was abusing it.

 

I'll be honest. Many years ago, I found a painfully thin puppy, about 3 months old, on the side of a well traveled country road on a cold February day. He had a collar with no ID that had a heavy bolt with a frayed bit of rope snapped to it. My first intention was to try to find his owner. He also had four types of worms and I ended up deciding maybe his owner wasn't quite up to providing the care he needed. The vet never blinked when I described how I found him or when I told him I had decided I'd be keeping the pup or looking for someone else to adopt him. And I never felt I did him wrong by not trying to find his owner.

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My issue with the "they only wear collars when they are outside" bit is that I have 3 dogs who escaped and were running loose over the years.

 

One was a Siberian Husky I adopted as an adult who was a known escape artist and was always supervised outside even in a fenced yard. After several years of no attempts to leave, and a great deal of training, I still watched her every time she was outside. One day, she figured out how to open the sliding glass door when it was left open a crack and wandered off when we were in another room.

 

One was Golden who was very thunderphobic and ran off on 2 occasions when she sensed an impeding storm in an other wise sunny day. The first time she broke open the screen door (and we heard the crash but she was gone before we made it to the door, the second she jumped through the screen of an open window.

 

The last was 3 or 4 years ago when my husband forgot to shut the big garage door when he was mowing and my 3 dogs (2 Papillons and a Border Collie) discovered they could open the door between my kitchen and garage and wandered out while he was mowing the back yard. He came around to discover the old Border Collie sitting in our driveway, the old Papillon trotting home and no sign of Swiffer. Turns out she and Harley (the old Pap) wandered across the street, acrss a busier street, down a side road and through a small patch of woods to a school where Harley decided that kids were evil and turned tail for home and Swiffer soaked up her adoring crowd. They called the number on her tag and I had her back in minutes.

 

My point is dogs wander off when you don't expect them to, and you never know what might happen.

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Things can always happen but here's how it goes in our house at this time

 

Dew is horribly thunder phobic. She NEEDS to be in the basement. If a storm comes she'll break into the house to get in her basement.

Mick will lay around all day on the porch even if dogs and people come wandering by. I've seen a troop of turkey's strut right by him, within 2 ft. He totally ignored them while he was doing door duty.

If something is up like someone stops by or thunder rolls in, he'll bark and scratch at the door.

 

Faye...she has a hidey hole in the barn. She sometimes gets forgotten about since she's always in her hidey hole unless watched to keep her out of the barn. It's really not a hidey hole it's a tiny spot she used to go as a puppy to stare at chickens. Now chickens or not it is where you can find her. She was once left out, she dug a hole to china in-between times she spent in her hole. I guess she could wander off to China but I'm hoping the hole doesn't get quite that deep.

 

I don't think I could make them run/wander away if I wanted them to.

 

Worst thing ever happened for Mick is the kids play basket ball down the road. He can't help himself he goes to the ball and the kids. Everyone knows who he is, they walk him home as the game is over if they don't. He gets in trouble but hasn't stopped him yet.

 

 

Other than home I try and keep collars on them and at the moment they all have collars, it's a long walk up the hill to work sheep in the big field. Mick has to come so DS can sleep, he works nights. So once we're all up there I hook the non workers up to the fence. It was a LONNNGGG walk back down to get a collar for Mick when I forgot his collar!

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I have known of 2 dogs killed by getting their collars caught.

 

I have heard of and come across many, many more that have gone missing, some of which never made it home again.

 

I know which is the greater risk.

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The first rule of working with animals is "shit happens" and always when you least expect it.

 

Stuff happens even when you are really, really careful. it's just better to have your name and telephone number on your dog.

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