Louise Pilgaard

Getting the Perfect Collar Fit

The Importance of Collar Fit

In order for your electric dog fence system to operate properly, the collar must fit correctly. If it doesn’t fit right, the system may fail to contain your dog. It could also irritate your dog’s neck. Some systems, such as the Innotek UltraSmart system has a ReadyTest™ feature that lets you know if the collar is fitting correctly after each time it is charged. However, with other systems you will need to make sure for yourself that the collar is fitting correctly.

Collar Placement 

It is important that the electric fence receiver collar is worn high on the dog’s neck, just below the jaw. The receiver box and contact points should be situated under the dog’s head, rather than behind his neck.

Tightness

The collar should be tight enough that the contact points are constantly touching the dog’s neck. In addition to this, it should not spin around. In general, you should be able to fit one finger in between your dog’s neck and the contact points. You should be able to fit two fingers in between the collar band and your dog’s neck. A too tight collar will cause your dog to be uncomfortable. One that is too loose will cause the contact points to not deliver the stimulation on a consistent basis.

Contact Points

The contact points on the collar need to always be touching the skin on your dog’s neck. You will find that some manufacturers include a longer set of contact points with the system while others don’t. This just means that you would need to purchase longer points separately if your dog has longer hair. The longer your dog’s hair is, the more difficult it may be for it to fit well. With some dogs, you may be able to part the hair around the contact points. With other dogs, you may have to trim the hair around the contact points to make sure they are making contact with the dog’s skin.

Monitoring the Fit of the Collar

It is an ongoing task to make sure that your dog’s electric fence collar fits properly. The fit should be checked on a regular basis to make sure he is contained safely and is fully comfortable. Electric dog fence collars are completely safe when they are used correctly, however they should never be left on for a long period of time. The dog fence collar should never be worn for more than 8 continuous hours at a time. The collar should be taken off of the dog when he is not outside using it. This will give his neck a rest.

If you have a young dog that is still growing, check the fit on the collar every time you put it on him. This is because puppies have growth spurts and their neck size can change overnight.

Pressure Necrosis

Should the collar fit too tightly and be left on for extended periods of time, a condition called pressure necrosis may develop. It is much like wearing shoes that are too small. A combined effect of the pressure from the tight shoes and the rubbing from walking in them would eventually cause a sore to develop on your foot. A collar that is too tight on a dog’s neck works much the same way. It is absolutely imperative that the collar fits properly and is removed on a regular basis to make sure there is no discomfort or harm to your dog. You should check your dog’s neck periodically to make sure that the collar has not caused irritation. Should you notice any redness or sores, stop using the collar right away. Cleanse the area well with soap and water. Do not use the collar again until the sores have healed completely. When you are ready to use the collar again, double check the fit.

These sores are NOT BURNS! A collar that is used for an electric dog fence only produces 2% of the heat that would be needed to create a burn.

Photo by Louise Pilgaard on Unsplash