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Collar on or off when home alone?


sanford
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Some years ago, I was advised to always leave Ruffy's collar on at home 24/7. The reason being that too often, due to carelessness or in a crisis, (house fire, medical emergency, etc. for example), a dog can escape the premesis and if the dog is not wearing a collar/ID, it could delay or prevent a safe return.

An ad on Good.Barkpost.com for a "KeepSafe Break-away Collar" describes the possible hazards to dogs wearing traditional collars when left home alone. The collars can accidentally snag on heat vents in the floor etc., causing injury or even death by strangulation. Broken teeth or other injuries can also occur to dogs who tussle/play-fight, while wearing their traditional collars. "Break-away Collars" separate and release if they become snagged or are strongly yanked/tugged. (But when attached to a leash, for walking outside, the leash prevents the collar from opening).

So my question is, what is the best policy? Collar on or off at home? The "KeepSafe Break-away Collar" seems effective and simple to use, so perhaps this is a good alternative?

I'd be interested to know if anyone has opinions to offer. Thanks!

Edited by sanford

FEAR THE CAIRN!

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Buffy wears her collar most of the day but goes "au naturel" at bedtime.  (I guess you could say she enjoys sleeping in the nude. :blush: ) 

 

Almost every dog I have owned has gotten his/her collar caught on something once or twice.  They can get tangled in the branches of low shrubs or get looped around just about anything sticking out of the ground.  We  have also had several instances when the metal rings holding dog tags have gotten tangled in afghans. 

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Tanner's collar comes off at night for bedtime.  I just assume it's nice for him to have a bit of a break from it.  It's on a table right by the door, so an easy grab in case of an emergency.  Other than that, it's pretty much always on.  His has never gotten caught on anything. 

Becky & Tanner
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I'm always in two minds about collars.

On the one hand they can help return dog home if they get lost but on the other hand they can get caught on all manner things in the home chairs slats, crates, wires - you name it and this can too easily lead to death.

On the other hand if they escape outside without a collar there's only the microchip which people don't always check for.

I don't like my dogs wearing a collar (even a rolled one) as it wears down the fur and I like to run my hand freely through their coat.

 

Angus used to wear a handmade leather buckle collar when he was younger and had also a lightweight nylon collar with a clip fastening which his doggie day care required. I found the clip hard to undo and prefer a buckle.

 

Now he is older I must admit he doesn't wear a collar at home. I do not open the door to anyone coming in or leaving until I know he is secure somewhere. It's just become a habit over years and years of dog ownership.

 

Regret to say I know nothing about breakaway collars. Might be concerned they'd breakaway too easily.

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My guy wears his collar all the time but it is loose enough he can easily slip his head out of it if it gets snagged. His neck is about the same thickness as his head so I've never been able to keep a collar on him for walking (or harness for that matter. He's figured out how to squeeze out of every harness I've put on him.). The second he balks or backtracks, he's loose. XD. He wears fabric and nylon collars, and wears different harnesses for walks and car rides.

Edited by Lupinegirl
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Just like my horse who never wears her halter unless I am around the barn, neither does Rosie or any of our previous dogs. We have always had them micro chipped, and only have their collars on when we go out for our daily walk. Just to many things they can get tangled in, panic and get strangled....horse and dog!

Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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I have mixed feelings about collars too.  Interesting - I too take their collars off at night and give them a good scratch around the neck.  Oh boy they do love that.  So during the day they have them on and at nighttime they are nude also. :P

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Elsie, Max, Meeko & Lori

 

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We have collars on during the day. While my boys aren't inclined to bolt out the door, if a chipmunk or something was right there, they'd be out right after it. And we have quite a bit of company running in and out during the summer, so I just feel better if they have their identification on. Of course, we do have them chipped.

At night, the collars come off and they sleep nude! They also love the neck scratches that I give them before bed. We do keep them close in the event of an emergency.

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Jandy and my Cairns, Kirby & Phinney 
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I have mixed feelings about collars as well. I usually keep Lola's on all the time, but a recent incident has made me rethink that. She got her ID tag caught on a blanket on the couch and was crying because she couldn't get loose. When I rushed downstairs she had gotten herself loose, but the tag's ring was twisted and the blanket pulled. I don't care about the tag's ring and the blanket but I worried that if she wasn't so headstrong and if we weren't home, she could have been stuck for hours.  This also happened to my Mandy years ago. The ring of her tag got caught on a small Berber throw rug. We weren't home at the time. Luckily, she was an older, very mild-mannered dog and the little darling just stayed stuck to the rug!  We only knew something was off when she didn't run to the door to greet us! :(  It's the *tags* that bug me, not the collar per se. Of course that is the main reason we have the collar - to put on the ID tags. Although all my dogs have been microchipped, I am not convinced that if she were to get out/lost, that whoever found her would take the time (or have a car, etc.) to get her to a vet to be scanned.

 

I plan to get her a collar for Christmas where the ID 'tag' is an engraved plate on the top of the collar, not a hanging tag.

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Thanks for all the input. Having read the varying opinions, I concluded that we can only go with our best guess. Collars off/collars on both have their advantages and disadvantages.

I looked online and and even found an alternative collar to the Breakaway Collar ...A "Stretch Collar.".. It is flexible and stretchable, but all the sites for it say that it has been discontinued. (Perhaps it turned out to be a problem, or was somehow unsafe)?

So after all was said and done, I decided to leave things as they are for the following reasons: It turns out that the tags on Ruffy's collar are wrapped in a little fabric pouch, (a "Quiet Spot" tag silencer). My apt has no heat registers on the floor, and as far as l can tell, no other possible hazards that could snag metal or plastic tags, let alone the plump little pouch enclosing the tags.

I'd like to think that reading all the opinions was as interesting to others as it was to me. Hopefully, this also helped some decide on "collars vs. no collars"!

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FEAR THE CAIRN!

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I'd like to think that reading all the opinions was as interesting to others as it was to me. Hopefully, this also helped some decide on "collars vs. no collars"!

 

Thank you for articulating so well what Cairn Talk was intended for. Cairn folks sharing their thoughts, simple as that.

 

Everyone can and must come to their own conclusions and decisions that are right for them, but it can only help to hear the spectrum of ideas that exist for nearly every possible question. 

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