Is the Command Collar Meant to Stay in Place, Rotate, or Sit High on the Dog’s Neck?

The Command Collar is not meant to stay in one place. Rather, it swivels around the dog’s neck to accommodate the training needs. This is why I instruct (in the “Equipment” section on Perfect Dog DVD #1) people to adjust the collar so there’s a two-finger space between the dog’s neck and the collar. (However, more space than this will be too much, so take your time when removing or adding links to adjust the sizing.)

When training, you’ll need to operate the Command Collar in different directions depending on the situation. For example, to correct during the “Down” command, it needs to operate sideways. To correct when your dog jumps on someone else, it’s from the top and back. To correct for trying to bolt away from you during a “Come” command, it will be underneath and forward. So, that’s why the Command Collar is meant to freely rotate, to accommodate all of the different types of corrections that match the misbehavior.

Never listen to dog trainers and/or dog owners that promote the need for dog training collars to remain high up on the dog’s neck. This is not necessary, it’s inconvenient for the person handling the dog, and it’s uncomfortable for the dog. Watch my demonstrations and you’ll see how my Command Collar fits comfortably when properly adjusted.

Many people – whether dog owners, or professionals in the dog industry – develop this “high on the neck” misconception from what they see in the world of show dogs – The Westminster Dog Show and the like. They see the handlers prancing around with their dogs – all with super tight, super short leashes. The collar (usually a flat collar which is useless for the purpose of training and keeping dogs under control) sits right up near the dog’s ears, each handler vigilantly obsessed with keeping the dog’s head upright and straight for perfect pose. It’s all about looks rather than obedience, but the dogs are seemingly “good” because of the tight restraint. So, the moral of the story is this: Don’t be influenced by what others do.

When applying my Nature-Based Discipline, Praise & Play Method, the ultimate goal is to have your dog – mutt or purebred – learn to self-govern within the established rules and boundaries. This means eventually needing no training equipment or restraints at all. The dog happily complies and self-regulates, meeting his owner’s expectations because he wants to and not because he’s forced to.

– Don Sullivan, “The DogFather”

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