Why No Collar?

chihuahua-with-big-collarMost agility organizations require that a dog run ‘naked’, that is, no collar on course (if a collar is allowed, no tags are allowed). They also require that the dog be leashed after his run is completed. But why?

To put it simply? Safety. If a dog is wearing a collar and it gets caught in, say, a tunnel… imagine what could happen! At the very least your dog would be scared spitless, and at the worst he could suffocate himself or damage his windpipe- and imagine trying to get him out! The rule makes sense, though many people scoff and say ‘but it would never happen!’ I grew up in the era of kids getting caught in pool drains. It’ll happen.

And the leash? Safety, again! I know an agility dog who runs beautifully off course- and is a hells’ angel off course! without a leash it would be bye-bye Emma! So before you exit the ring, the dog has to be on his or her leash, for their safety and your mental well-being.

But how do you get the collar off and on quickly? there’s a variety of ways to do this! Either use a ‘snap’ collar (this may not work for very heavy pullers), or a ‘noose’ collar and leash combo. The noose style can be hard to find, but it’s a favorite of mine! (Sit stay has a great selection! ) It’s soft, pliable, cute, and easy on and off! I keep one in my car for strays, or my dogs getting in and out. It’s perfect. (In dire situations, simply loop the leash- but for an agility competition, I’d suggest a noose leash over a slipped leash!)

2 Comments on “Why No Collar?

  1. Most definitely agreed. I saw an aussie at a trial take a jump real tight and she got her collar caught on the jump cup. It scared her to death and she ran across the ring with the jump following her. Scary business! I won’t even leave my dogs in their crates or alone in the house with a collar on, it’s just scary, they can get caught on so many things, including each other!

    • Oh no! That had to have been traumatizing for her. Think of all the re-training! I personally leave a flat collar on my dogs most of the time- I can’t risk them escaping and not having ID, but if I had them microchipped (or better recalls) I would probably be better about leaving them off.