View Full Version : Collar causing ear matting?

Daisy's Mom
25th June 2007, 03:07 AM
Hi All,

We just got back from a week's vacation. Daisy was taken care of by a house/dog sitter who stayed at our house with her while we were gone. Although we talked nearly every day and I know she took really good care of Daisy, I'm pretty sure she never really brushed her. (I told her she didn't have to unless she just wanted to -- I didn't think it would be a problem for one week.) When we got back, Daisy had two fairly significant mats in the back of her ears that I ended up cutting out.

I had put Daisy's collar on her when we left, just in case she got out of the fence (it has her name tag and ID on it). I have always thought that she got worse tangles in the back of her ears when she wears her collar continually. I always brush her nearly every day, so I pay special attention to that area and generally catch tangles before they turn into mats.

I recently changed her collar to a larger one without any sort of decoration on it. Her old one was on the last notch and had rhinestones on it, but they were kind of within the leather, not applied on top of it, so I don't think they were the real cause of the problem. A lot of the cute collars I looked at had lots of decorations that looked like they would really snag her hair.

What kind of collars do you use? The new one she had on this week when we were gone is just a basic canvas one with a squeeze-close type of plastic buckle. Would a very thin collar be better at not causing this ear-matting? Thin ones are very hard to find in her size, but I could look online. She is wearing a Medium in the regular dog collars. She's not that big, but she has a huge neck. (My almost 7 year old daughter put Daisy's new collar around her own neck and it not only fit -- it was huge on her!)

How about a rolled leather one -- anyone use those? Show collars are basically choke collars aren't they? I know they are very thin, but I definitely wouldn't leave her in a choke collar.

I had a Puppia harness, but was not happy with it and recently threw it away. The buckle kept popping open and so I was scared to death to walk her with it. Plus, it seems like the extra material would make her hotter in the summer. She gets hot very easy as it is.

I would appreciate hearing any of your thoughts or experiences with different collar types.


25th June 2007, 04:36 AM
I just use a very plain nylon-webbing collar for when we go for walks. As I almost lost a dog that had managed to hang herself on her collar, I now will not leave collars on my dogs except for walks. I've never had any problem with matting, but I guess as they have the collars only on for a very short time, and they get brushed daily then I guess it is unlikely knots would form.

25th June 2007, 10:10 AM
At home my lot don't wear collars at all, too great a chance of someone getting hooked up or worse still being towed around by one of the other dogs! :yikes: When walked I use what is called a "half choker" which is a nylon collar with a choke chain on it, it acts like an ordinary collar until you need more control, I always make sure that the metal loops holding the choke chain part meet together on the top of the dogs neck, there is no need for a short choke chain, my lot rarely pull anyway! This is what they look like anyway!!


25th June 2007, 12:07 PM
If your dog(s) chew, watch ouy for the nylon ones. Elvis and Beau can make short work of destroying a nylon collar. We don't leave them on either. They both know what drawer the 'necklaces' and leads are in... and they go NUTS when we touch that knob. :dogwlk:

Bruce H
25th June 2007, 01:03 PM
We also don't use collars on our dogs while they are in the house or fenced back yard. Like others, we are afraid of the collar getting caught on something or a dog foot getting caught in the collar. We have heard of it happening before.

So, nows my big chance ;) . You mentioned you wanted the collar on for identification. That's good for instant identification, but if you haven't microchipped Daisy, I would recommend you do it. That is a permanent identification. I've probably said it 100 times, but I feel that it's very important for some type of permanent identification to be on a dog.

25th June 2007, 01:57 PM
On the matting: my dogs regularly would matt if unbrushed for a week. The most common place is behind their ears. I don't think the collar has much to do with it. My dog minder doesn;t brush the dogs either and they always have a few matts all over after about a week and need a brushing session to sort them all out! It isnlt much work to do this. Also if Daisy is just getting her adult coat in you will likely find matts are a new regular part of life -- the longer their coat, the merrier the matts! :lol:

On collars -- personally I always recommend harnesses for walking and home all my rescues with a simple step-in harness. I would avoid anything that tightens in any way on the neck, or could pinch. One of the lead researcher neurologists on the recent U. of North Carolina SM/cine-MRI study (which looked at CSF flow) told a friend with a participant dog that she feels any pressure placed on the neck by walking on collars has the potential of causing or contributing to the formation of syrinxes and recommends avoiding this unless absolutely necessary (eg show leads when in the ring). That said a few SM dogs are more comfortable on collars than harnesses because of the location of syrinxes, Clare Rusbridge says, but collars tend to be the culprit for discomfort most often. To me, it makes sense that tugging around the neck could exacerbate an existing syrinx or encourage one to develop in some dogs; I know pulling on collars make both Leo and Lily very uncomfortable now. Just a consideration.

Daisy's Mom
25th June 2007, 02:24 PM
Daisy's definitely microchipped. She was microchipped by the breeder before we got her. And our vet checked it with his scanner just to make sure. I just think that people in the neighborhood who might find her if she gets out of the gate are more likely to call the phone number and we would get her back more quicklly and reliably if our phone numbers are on her tag.

25th June 2007, 05:11 PM
Daisy's mom,
The collar we use is a slip collar from Mes Amis. They were recommended at a dog show by a breeder friend and I love them (3Cs sells them at shows). They are super silky (see picture) and do not in anyway rub on the fir. Also, we use the one that goes over the head and then slips together to a defined end (not a traditional slip collar) that way it will never get too tight and will not rub.


The brand is Mes Amis, made in Seattle Washington. This is the only website that I found you can really see how nice they are. They are not super expensive, and the colors are beautiful! Oh - and Teddy who is 14.5 lbs is just at the end of the extra small and Colin who is 17 lbs wears the small.

Daisy's Mom
25th June 2007, 09:58 PM
Thanks for the info on the Mes Amis collars -- I really like the way they look. They look like they would be very comfortable and non-bulky. I think I will order one. I plan on going to the Cavaliers of the Midwest Cavalier show in Indianapolis on July 20. Maybe someone will be selling them there and I can fit her in person and see the colors.

26th June 2007, 01:49 AM
Daisy's mom - The company that sells them is 3C (3C's dog show and grooming supplies) and they actually have them on their website too. I just found them there after I posted the other site. You can see what they look like there better too.

27th June 2007, 12:43 AM
Daisy's mom - they also make a collar that will release on it's own if your dog becomes tangled in something to prevent strangulation. This is a good idea for anyone who leaves their dog in collar all of the time, especially when crated.

27th June 2007, 01:12 AM
Teri that looks like a great design. Here in Au it is mandatory that all dogs wear collars even when they are on your own property. Being in a rural spot we ignore that law, but in theory we can be fined because of it. I might look into those collars. I wonder what weight/force is requred for the collar to break away.

29th June 2007, 04:38 AM
Caraline - I do have one of these collars. I'm not sure technically how much force it takes for it to break away, but I can tell you it doesn't take a great deal of force. I can pull it apart fairly easily - it is a lot like the breakaway collars that they make for cats. They also designed the collar with a leash hook on either side of the break-away portion, so that you can walk the dog without fear that the collar will break away if the dog puts forward force on it.