Does Your Dog Keep Slipping Out of Their Collar? Here’s Why

If your dog keeps slipping out of its collar, the first thing you should do is check the fit. You should be able to fit two thumbs underneath the collar. If you can fit anything else, it’s too loose. If the collar fits properly, your next option is to use a martingale collar.

Does it feel like your dog may be part — Houdini? Are you left wondering if it’s time to purchase a new collar? It can be frustrating and even concerning when your dog keeps slipping out of the collar. 

A collar serves many purposes, but the main purpose is to keep your dog well-identified in case of an emergency.

If your dog keeps slipping out of the collar, we will go over some of the top tips and tricks to make sure the collar stays snug but is still comfortable. 

Is it Your Dog or The Collar?

The first question to ask: is your dog a certified collar-slipper, or is it just not the right collar? 

Some dogs have a knack for slipping out of just about any collar when a squirrel makes an appearance. But in most cases, the problem isn’t the dog, it’s the collar. 

Making Sure The Collar is Properly Fit

When sizing the dog’s collar, the literal rule of thumb is: you should be able to fit two thumbs underneath the collar. This will keep the collar secure without choking your dog.

What if The Collar Fits Well But Your Dog Continues to Slip

Like anything in life – sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs before getting to the perfect match. There are a variety of collar types to try. It may take a few purchases before finding one that works for your dog.

Be sure to ask your fellow dog owners, read reviews, and research online to make an educated and confident decision. 

But What if None of The Collars Work?

What if you’ve tried a few collars and your dog continues to slip out of each one? 

Then you’ve come to the right place. Keep on scrolling for some sound advice from experts and dog owners who have tackled this same dilemma. 

Remember: you’re not alone. It’s essential to dive into why your dog may slip out of his collar. Once you figure out why, it’s easier to develop a plan to combat this behavior.

Start with WHY

As we all know, dogs have an instinct to run. Their desire to run is the primary reason they try to slip out of their collar. 

If you want this behavior to end, you need to figure out what’s causing your dogs desire to run. This is sometimes caused by perceived danger or an exciting stimulus such as a bird down the street. 

Once you understand the why, it’s time to tackle the how. Understanding what is causing your dog to bolt makes it a more manageable problem to solve. 

Preventing Your Dog From Slipping Out of Their Collar

Get Behind Them

The first strategy to prevent your dog from slipping out of the collar is to physically place yourself behind your dog when you notice they’re about to bolt. 

Dogs typically escape the collar by moving backward out of the collar. This works particularly well for dogs with small heads, but big dogs use this tactic as well.

By putting your body behind your dog as they attempt to escape, you may be able to prohibit your dog from escaping or stifle the urge to bolt altogether. 

It could lead to confusion as they bump into you, which makes them question where they were running off to anyway. 

It will take excellent observation skills to remain alert and identify when your dog is going to run. Still, it is an effective method to tackle the problem before your dog is left collarless.

Avoid Stimuli That Cause Your Dog to Run

If you’re able to spot your dog’s change in behavior before they slip their collar, there are additional preventative measures you can take. 

Start by trying to identify the stimuli that seem to trigger your dog (maybe it’s a neighborhood poodle he doesn’t like or a kid on a skateboard); ideally, you will notice these triggers before you take your dog on a walk. 

You can take this opportunity to reframe this situation. This might mean diverting your dog’s attention with a command or physically directing your dog away from the potential trigger. 

You may want to turn onto a quieter street or ask your dog to sit and focus on your commands rather than the stimuli ahead. 

Embrace What Your Dog Wants to Do

This last trick may sound counterintuitive, but you can try embracing what your dog wants to do. 

Let’s say your dog wants to chase after a bike, instead of trying to stop and hold them back, you can jog alongside your dog. After a few strides, your dog may get the urge to chase out of its system. 

This will likely keep your dog on the leash and make it feel like they no longer need to break free to do what they initially were trying to do. 

This method should be used as a last resort if you aren’t able to divert attention or block your dog with your body, as mentioned above. 

The Best Collar To Prevent Escapes

The most recommended collar for dogs who easily break free is called the Martingale. 

This collar tightens behind your dog’s ears when s/he tries to pull away from the collar, securing him/her even further to the collar. 

Like any collar, it’s important to monitor your dog’s behavior and make sure that they are comfortable, but Martingales work incredibly well on those Houdini type dogs. 

Using Two Collars

Using two collars won’t prevent slipping, but it will ensure your dog still has their tags if they do escape.

One collar will be attached to the leash. This will be the collar your dog slips out of. However the second collar will remain on the dog. This means your dog will still be well-identified via dog tags in case of emergencies. 

This should make any dog owner feel a little less worried about losing their dog to a pesky squirrel. 

Walk Your Dog With a Well Behaved Dog

If you are working with a young dog, it could be helpful to walk your younger, collar-slipping dog alongside an older, more docile dog. 

Young dogs tend to emulate older dogs. They They will be less likely to break free when walking aside a companion who doesn’t share the same impulses to escape.

Be sure to do what you believe is best for your dog and only try the above methods you are comfortable with. Whenever you have a concern, bring it up with your veterinarian at your next appointment. 

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