An animal collar is a device that attached to the neck of an animal to allow it to be harnessed, tied up or for various other reasons. Pet collar. A piece of material put around the neck of certain pet animals, such as dogs or cats, for control, identification, or other purposes. Identification tags and medical information is often placed on collars. Collars are also useful for controlling the animal, as they provide a handle for grabbing or means of leading. Similar collars are used with non-pet animals such as zoo animals and domestic animals including calves, goats and sheep etc. Pet collars can be made of leather, nylon or metal. Metal collars are normally used for larger and dangerous dogs. They can come with traditional or quick-release buckles. Collars are sometimes used for fashion purposes. Pet collars also include collars especially designed for raccoons, ferrets and other such pets. Cat collar. Similar to dog collars, but often include a bell to warn fauna of the cat’s presence. Collars used on cats are smaller and thinner. They can be made of leather, nylon or other types of materials. Some of the cat collars have a solution impregnated which is helpful in fighting against flea, tick and mosquitoes. Anti-bark dog collar, or bark control collar. Produces a citronella spray or a high pitched sound in response to loud noise, to distract and deter a dog from barking. Bark control collars come in different designs and with various modalities to keep a dog quiet. Other than citronella bark collars, there are the sonic or ultrasonic collars which also use vibration to stop a dog barking. These collars produce a very high resonance tone which cannot be heard by humans and which comes as a response to barking. Once a dog has worn the collar for a while, the sound or the vibration will cause it distress which will eventually lead to deterring it barking. Other bark control collars include devices that produce a mild electrical sensation whenever the dog barks. These types of collars must have a failsafe mechanism incorporated to make sure that the device is automatically turned off after a certain period of time. Many designs come with a combination of the bark collars mentioned above. Another type of bark control collar is the escalation one, a device that produces quiet sounds which keep increasing in intensity if the dog does not cease barking. They have proven to be more effective than the other types of bark control collars because the dog may get used to stop barking before the device produces sounds of high levels of output. However, the use of such collars is controversial. Many do not see these options as safe and viable, especially considering the electrical ones. Some pet owners criticize these devices, seeing in them a method of torture. As a result, it is recommended that all the other options such as training, trying to understand the communication or seeking professional advice should be considered before choosing these bark control collars. Training collar or shock collar. These (usually for dogs) use an electric shock to improve animal training, reinforce commands and eliminate any bad habits. It may be combined with an “invisible fence”, a signal wire surrounding the dog’s permitted area, the dog receiving a shock if it strays too near it. Choke collars are also a type of training collars. They are made of different materials with high resistance such as metal or various composites. This type of collar is suitable for obedience training as it tightens around the neck of the dog if it goes further than the owner allows it to. It is mainly used on dogs. Insect collar or flea collar. Impregnated with chemicals that repel or kill external parasites. They are usually a supplementary collar, worn in addition to the conventional buckle collar on a dog. They are also used on horses. Flea collars’ effectiveness is arguable. Although they are convenient because of their cost and of their accessibility as well as the comfort they provide for the pet, they only protect them from fleas that could be found around the neck. Flea collars are considered to be more effective in preventing infestation with external parasites rather than fighting against them. Flea collars are best used when a proper dis-infestation has been performed, both indoor and outdoor. These collars are primarily worn by cats and dogs. A number of the insecticides used in these flea collars are highly dangerous and although they are usually safely secured around the neck, remember that the poison can easily be transferred from one pet to another if you have a couple animals in the home. Beware of flea collars that are promoted as being “natural” as they often contain essential oils and herbs that are dangerous to certain pets (like cats) as their bodies cannot metabolize it. Pig hunting dog collar, This collar integrates a wide collar and a breastplate for pig dogs. They are made from multiple layers of extra tough fabric or leather to protect the vital carotid artery and jugular vein of pig hunting dogs should they be attacked. Some of the pig hunting dog collars come in the form of a full-body protection collar. These collars provide good protection for the dog’s chest, neck and rib cage. Elizabethan collar. Shaped like a lamp shade to prevent an animal from licking something on their body, such as a wound. Tie-up collar. Used for bulls and other cattle, these may be a chain (sometimes covered in plastic hose), or a collar of heavy leather or synthetic material fastened with a heavy duty buckle. Animal tracking collar. Used for tracking animal migration, or to locate lost pets. In its simplest form contains a radio beacon to allow the location of the animal. More sophisticated devices may contain a GPS tracking unit to record the animal’s track, other sensors to record water depth or other environmental information, and a mobile phone or other radio transmitter to report location and other data. May have a timed or remotely controlled release device. Horse collars. Full collar or Horse Collar. Used for horses or other draught animals, this consists of a robustly constructed leather device stuffed with straw or other material, that sits comfortably on the animal’s shoulders around its lower neck, supporting a set of hames that transfer the draught forces from the animal to the traces. Breast collar or breastplate. Two forms: One is a simpler type of draught collar for lighter loads, consisting of a padded strap around the chest of the animal. The other is similar, but is attached to a saddle and used when riding a horse to prevent the saddle from sliding back. Horse tie-up collar. A collar designed to teach horses to tie up and to tie stallions at public events. It is constructed from double-stitched wide leather (sometimes fleece lined), with heavy duty dees sewn into each end. The collar is placed on a horse just behind the poll strap of a headcollar (headstall) which is used in conjunction, and a strong rope passes through the headcollar to secure the two dees so that the horse’s wind is not impaired in any way. This manner of application will reduce the likelihood of the collar slipping and injuring or choking the horse. Sometimes used for tethering horses, they are expensive and are potentially dangerous if the horse should become entangled in the tether or frightened etc. Mare collar. A simple buckled neck strap that has a plastic ID tag attached. Headcollar or halter. Not strictly a collar, this consists of straps around the head for tethering, tying or leading horses or other livestock. Cribbing or wind-sucking collar. The “Nutcracker” collar is an adjustable strap with a lightweight aluminium ‘nutcracker’. It is placed around a horse’s neck to help prevent windsucking by stopping the flexing of the neck muscles whenever it tries to suck in air. Other varieties are also available, too. Cornell Collar A device developed for use on racehorses to prevent dorsal displacement of the soft palate during racing. Neck cradle. Used on horses to prevent them chewing at injuries and dressings. Neck strap. A simple narrow leather strap buckled around a horse’s neck to give security to jockeys and other riders. Up until several years it was only used by beginner riders, but has now become popular with jockeys who ride with a very short stirrup leather. Another form of neck strap (or rope) is the one used by cowboys when roping. This style is shorter and placed closer to the horse’s head with the lariat passing through it, in order to keep the horse facing the calf after it has been roped. It also refers to the part of a martingale, which buckles around the horse’s neck. A loose neck collar is also used on harness racing horses when the reins are passed through it. Collars can be dangerous for pets that live in crates or which might get stuck in tree branches and that is why safety collars have been developed. There is a particular type of safety collar which is intended for both dogs and cats. Breakaway collars are especially designed to prevent the pet from choking or getting stuck because of their collar. They feature a clever design that releases quickly when a small amount of pressure is applied, such as the cat hanging from a tree branch. The clasp will release, which quickly gets the pet out of a possibly desperate situation. However, it is recommended that pets have their collar removed before sleeping in a wired crate.