Why No Collar?
Most 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!)