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What is a Martingale Collar?
Martingale collars, most commonly used with greyhounds and other sighthounds, are explained.
The martingale collar is an essential tool for sighthound owners, but can also be used with other breeds. In sighthounds, the circumference of the dog's head is smaller than that of the neck; therefore, a standard buckle collar that fits at the neck will slide over the head when the dog backs up.
The martingale is the solution to this problem. A martingale has two loops: a large loop that goes around the dog's neck, and a smaller loop that slides to tighten or loosen the collar as tension is placed on it. The small loop has D-ring hardware for attaching a leash. When the dog pulls against the leash, the small loop pulls taut, and the collar tightens around the dog's neck. Martingales are sometimes referred to as "humane choke" collars, since they tighten in response to pulling, but only tighten as much as the small loop allows.
To use a martingale, slip the larger loop over your dog's head. Then, adjust the collar so that it fits comfortably around the neck. Check the fit by sliding the collar up just behind the dog's ears, and pull the small loop taut by tugging on the D-ring. When the collar is fully tightened, there should be only about one inch of the small loop flat against the dog's neck -- the rest should be pulling out towards the D-ring. This prevents the dog from backing out of the collar, but also prevents the collar from choking the dog
Martingales are ideal not only for sighthounds and other dogs with narrow heads, but also for dogs who frequently try to wiggle out of their collars. When adjusted correctly, these collars can prevent escape much more effectively than a traditional collar. Be sure to regularly check the fit of your dog's martingale to prevent any mishaps.