Ruffwear Knot-a-Collar – 2 Sizes, 4 Colors - Matching Lead Available
Knot Time! Knot To Be Overlooked...
The Ruffwear Knot-a-Collar really caught our eye for its unique look and functionality - great design! We love the use of the fisherman's knots to adjust the collar size and the original lock-plate that holds the rope tension in place. It is a beautiful use of high-angle climbing basics to create a true outdoor worthy collar for great canine adventures sporting rugged wear!
Available in 4 classic climbing rope colors, make sure to check out the matching lead too. The back connection plate makes it easy to hook up the lead without having to reach under the dog's neck. The secure tag holder really rocks. This is a slip over the head style and then adjust to fit by sliding the knots on the rope to the desired location and adjusting the rope tension through the plate. The good news with this is there is no connection to malfunction, such as a clasp or buckle. The downside is that it has to be adjusted on the dog to the right tightness so it cannot be slipped. This collar is especially durable - heck, its made from climbing rope! This collar has all-round performance an style.
Please take time to read before purchasing a collar -
Delinda's Basic Facts about Dogs and Collars:
Some deem the collar as an item of "slavery". Honestly, I used to feel that way too and refused to put a collar of any kind on my dog. However, the collar can as easliy be viewed as an item of adornment for your dog. So, if your hock hairs are already standing on end, just please hang with me for a little on this as I discuss what I have come to understand as the pros and cons of collarship.
The collar is a tool. It all depends on how you use the collar as to whether it is "good" or "bad", harmful, unharmful, or even a life-saver. If used humanely for keeping your dog safe, along with a good heel and other obedience, then the collar is truly the best equipment for identification out there at this time. Personally, my dog loves his collar and is always eager to have me put it back on after a bath. He comes to me and offers his head for his collar, so I know I have made the collar a good thing for him and he enjoys its use. I know he does not view it as an object of servitude and ownership, but as an important connection between us.
Of course, there are hazzards that can occur with improper use of the collar. Even the "safer" harness has some hazzards associated with it. Like everything in life there is risk & danger, such as driving down the street, riding a bike, etc. No one can foresee and present all the potential hazzards possibly out there for any one thing. As with everything, one must use these tools with awareness, responsibility, and knowledge. Therefore, in these pages I am presenting a rather lengthy discussion on a seemingly simple tool or piece of equipment: the collar. There are discussions for harnesses and training collars on their prospective pages - pages that feature harnesses and training collars.
I cannot express enough the importance of a good, secure collar. This report contains some pretty basic information that most know. But it is surprising still how many cases of misuse of standard equipment, such as the collar, do come about - sometimes through accident, but more often through lack of knowledge, just not paying attention or even gross neglect. The results of misuse can end in injury to the dog, so it is worthy of reading the text here in complete detail, no matter how basic, no matter your experience level. You may or may not see something new, but hopefully, it will provoke thought and awareness. This is also presented to help you consider or reconsider and select the right, safest choice for you and your dog.
The collar serves several purposes: 1. indentification, 2. emergency control, and 3. connection. In our busy lives, we can overlook the basics. We don't always reflect on the actual job details the collar needs to perform and continue to perform over a long period of time, through wear, tear and weather. We can easily take it for granted.
The first function is identification. The description of a collar itself, e.g. "blue collar with paw prints", can be an identifying tool, however, it goes a very short way to providing complete, adequate identificaion in the case of a lost friend. Every collar should have attached identification information, a communication your dog cannot provide for itself, the very minimum being a dog's name and your current, most reliable phone. This can come in the form of a tag, an engraved plate or an embroidery/engraving to the fabric of the collar itself. We use the collar for this, as the collar is the most unabtrusive, reliable mechanism through which to attach identification. Now, providing identification seems general knowledge for most of us, but have you ever noticed how many dogs are not equipped with this basic identification? And how many dogs do not get an update when a phone or address changes? While unthinkable to many, it is more the norm than we might suspect.
The second function is emergency control. The collar allows us to have something to firmly grab onto when needing to control the dog in an emergency. This helps us in our everday life in protecting our dog, but also can aid someone whom might need to rescue a lost dog. The collar can be an emergency handle of sorts, but be aware! As you will read later, grabbing any living thing by something around the neck is not an optimum solution. However, the collar still makes the most sense for identification, so it is the tool that is most common and one that we use daily. A harness is not ususally left on as readily as a collar for obvious reasons.
The third is connection. The collar provides a way for us to "hook up: or "lead up" our dog. While the slip lead is very handy for simple, short-term use, it should never be used to replace a real collar and lead system for your dog. The slip lead is not the most healthy choice for long-term use and is a temporary or emergency style of lead only. Therefore, the collar or harness becomes imperative, standard equipment for connection to us. But a word of caution - a dog must be trained to walk well on a collar and lead, as if not, injury may occur.
Back to identification for a moment... If you really want to protect your dog, I absolutely suggest microchipping, but a collar and tag system is still needed even when your dog is microchipped. Why? Because your dog could be more quickly returned to you with a collar and tag system than with a microchip. Not all vets and shelters have chip readers and even the ones that do, do not have readers that are able to pick up all chip types. While the chip is a great second line of defense, it should never be looked upon as the primary. A lost dog may never get to a shelter to be "read" or may not find its way to a vet for a long time if in good health or if picked up by someone who does not give regular vet care. So, think about it carefully! Identifying your dog properly with collar and tag system, a microchip, and even a tattoo is really not over the top. It gives the most possible avenues for your dog to get help returning home should the unthinkable or unimaginable happen.
Serving with search & rescue, I have a lot of experience with how importnat closure is for families. Not ever knowing, always wondering what has happened to a loved family member, human or pet, is one of the worse possible scenarios. Identification is ever so important for those without a voice as well as for those who love them.
Collar Selection Considerations: There are several important details to consider when choosing a collar. The first is the collar's securing device. Whether your dog is with you out in public on lead (connected to the collar) or happens to be lost, the first and foremost thing you want is for the collar to stay on. So, let's talk about clasp systems first.
The quick-release clasp is very popular because the collar quickly goes on and off with a simple squeeze of the clasp. If choosing a quick release collar, you need to regularly check the clasp's condition: Has the clasp chipped or split? Do you have to completely depress the side buttons and give a nice pull or does the clasp release too easily when squeezed? If the clasp has become faulty or too easily relased over time, it is time to replace the collar.
A properly fitted buckle system can be more secure than the clasp if properly fit. With wear, leather collars with buckles are usually more secure than nylon. The leather better conforms and shapes, curving through the buckle system. The conformed leather along with its grain and tooth helps hold the collar in place through the buckle. Nylon webbing also conforms a little over time, but ususally not as well as leather and the slickness and sleekness of the nylon webbing makes it less secure than a good, thick leather. If choosing a buckle system, the collar tail that remains after the buckle is fastened needs to be long enough to fit under a second ring (the tag ring) with enough tail where the tip cannot slide back under the ring. Cut the collar past this ring if it is too long. If the tail of the collar does not adequately make it past the tag ring, then it can easily come unbuckled and the collar is too small for your dog. The proper length collar keeps the tail more flat against the collar and decreases the chance of the buckle coming undone.
In any case, the security of both clasp and buckle systems do vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so make sure the collar you get is reliable and the hardware used is top quality. It is just not wise to skimp a few bucks. Even if you need to ditch the first collar and purchase a second collar, it is certainly worth the small investment to get this equipment right, as a lost or injured dog can cost you much more in terms of money, emotion, and time.
Every dog family needs one back-up collar/tag system that fits the dog well. Anything can happen with the current collar and you will find yourself thus not inconvenienced by it when you have another on hand and ready to go. Once I find a collar I really like, I get another just like it. This gives the dog a collar while one is in the wash (if nylon) or while you are reconditioning the other (if leather). It also gives you a collar to photograph in case your dog gets lost, as a photograph of the dog and another of the collar details are helpful in relocating your best bud.
Collar Fit: It is so important that the collar have a correct fit. If your dog has slipped its collar once, then you need to reconsider the fit of that collar. For a dog to slip a collar even once is too many times. You can expect that dog to slip its collar again unless you take precuationary measures. You must be safe, not sorry!
I have experienced a number of people that have come to my class and their dog immediately slips its collar. They almost always shrug it off and tell me that it happens sometimes. I find myself going through the standard discourse of why that is not acceptable and showing them their collar really is too loose. They are always worried that the collar is too tight and are concerned to tighten it more. Yes, too tight collars are another issue to absolutely avoid, but if the dog is slipping the collar, looseness is the danger, not tightness.
Here's How: The loosness/tightness of a collar does depend slightly on the shape and size of the dog's head in contrast to their neck, but we will adopt some general rules that should work well to accommodate most varinaces. You will then need to judge if this fit is really working correctly on your individual dog or not. The collar should, of course, never be too tight. We will cover tightness in the next section of safety. When the collar is on, you should be able to get two fingers under the collar to at least the second joint of your fingers, but no more. If you get more than two fingers under, then the collar needs tightening. Sleek-coated dogs usually slip a little more easily than longer-haired or double-coated dogs. It also heavily depends on the personality/temperament of the dog.
If you have a puppy, be prepared to buy a puppy collar, then perhaps even a mid-sized collar (especially if you have a larger breed), and then an adult collar. With puppies, the tightness needs to be checked regularly as they grow, gradually adjusted and then replaced as the collar is outgrown. Always have the next size tagged and ready to go. It is still very important with a puppy that the collar not be too loose. Puppies are not yet obedience trained and do not have recall. Being connected to you is paramount when in any non-contained area and even in contained areas for shaping behavior.
Collar Safety: While a too loose collar is a safety issue when a dog gets loose and fights or flights through instinct, the real ongoing health safety issue is a too tight collar. A collar that is too tight results in hampered eating, drinking and breathing. Long-term damage can result to the throat: larynx, thyroid, and trachea and cause choking, wheezing and coughing. It also may be related to other maladies, as it cuts circulation needed for healthy body function. Further, infection will set in from the continued abrasion of a too tight collar. This is abusive. So, as your dog grows or even if your dog gains a little weight with old age, keep a good eye on the collar fit and condition.
Another serious safety issue is the collar and lead combo. If a dog has not been trained to heal and instead pulls and lunges on the lead, then the collar can damage the neck and throat over time. Repetitive corrective jerking by the handler can also damage the throat area, and so care must be taken with corrective handling. While this is slightly more likely in breeds with slim, long necks and short coats than in others with massive muscular necks and thicker coats, damage can happen to any dog and care must be taken with the use of a collar. If you cannot get your dog to heel properly and have tried multiple training techniques, then use a training collar such as a Haltie or Gentle Leader or a harness or training harness. Harnesses distribute the pull to the dog's body instead of the throat area, which is highly desirable. The above training collars help the dog not pull by maintaining control of the head.
Lastly, but certainly not least: Never attach a dog in a moving vehicle to a collar. Never attach a lead to the collar of a dog near or in water or near a high precipice or ledge. At these times, connect your dog to a harness only!
The Collar Conclusion: If you still do not like the idea of a collar, that is perfectly fine! Halters are a safer device, no question. But I strongly advise that if you are not using a collar, please, please make sure your dog has clear identification on them at all times!
As dilidgent as we may be, we may not always think of what can happen, such as a car accident where your dog could get out and flee from the scene. We may not want to think of such possibilities. Being prepared is as much a part of safety resonsibility as proper selection and use of equipment.
If you have taken the time to read this collar discourse, then you are most likely a responsible, caring provider. And, in that, I am barking up a tree that is already in bloom. So, will you help me spread the word? Would you play a part to help more and more people understand about dogs, equipment and safety? And let's not let ourselves become slack either, taking off identification for even a few hours, as we are taking away the voice we have provided our dog during that time. Nothing probably will, but then, a lot can happen in a few hours. Let's be as diligent as possible in our own care of our best friends.
Thank You...for taking the time to find our more! - Delinda