Recently small or toy dog breeds have become very popular. Once a luxury item for the rich and famous, small dogs such as Chihuahua's, toy Poodles, Italian Greyhounds and Bichon Frise's can be found just about everywhere and with the popularity come a lot of dog owners who aren't ready for the problems a small dog can cause. Because of their petit frame and cute faces many people look at small breeds as 'toys', hence the name toy breeds. However, little dogs are far from toys and if you are not careful when choosing a dog collar and leash you could be putting your little friend in harm's way. People who are considering buying a small dog breed should take into consideration a few tips to ensure they get the right collar for their breed.
Small dog breeds tend to be between 1lbs and 5lbs. This means the neck circumference will usually be between 5.5" up to 8". If you know the breed of dog you have and the approximate weight a dog trainer should be able to help you find a collar that will be strong enough to hold the dog when you clutch it and comfortable enough so it does not restrict his breathing. Because small dogs tend to be more fragile than medium or larger breeds it is advised that you choose a softer collar. You can find high quality leather dog collars that are much softer than standard leather and nylon collars that won't cause strain on a small dog's neck.
If you are concerned that your small dog breed will pull to hard on a leash or that you might be too rough in your handling of the leash during a walk you may want to consider using a dog harness instead for a toy breed. Since dog harnesses attach around the chest and rib cage of the dog you don't have to worry about any pulling on the neck. Though little, toy breeds can be very aggressive and may pull quickly without any notice leaving you no choice but to pull back to keep him safe from traffic or other dogs. With a sturdy and comfortable dog harness you can ensure a snug fit that won't cause any undue stress or pain on the dog's neck.
Some dog owners who find their toy breed to be a little terror may consider a choke or shock collar to help train and control their dogs. These types of collars are not really humane and if the dog is having that much trouble behaving itself it usually says more about the owner than the dog. Shock collars should only be used when the pet's life is in danger and choke collars, or prong collars, can be tricky to operate which can cause unnecessary strain on your toy breed's neck. If you are having real trouble training your small dog it may be time to consider a professional dog trainer to lend a hand. Usually, a soft leather or nylon collar is perfect for a small dog breed.