View Full Version : Opinions on Collars in the House

28th May 2008, 12:00 AM
How does everyone feel about wearing collars/tags in the house? Latley it seems there has been some discussion about awful stories dealing with pups getting their collars caught on things in the house/crate/x-pen/yard and no one was around to rescue them, and they strangled.

What do y'all do when they are in the house? I always took their collars off if I crated them, or put them in the x-pen, but lately I haven't been keeping their collars on at all in the house. But, then you run the risk of them slipping out the door with no id. They are chipped, but would everyone be good enough to check on that??

This topic came up this weekend at a Cavalier picnic I went to. I also heard about a pup who had chewed the piping cord off his bed that was in his crate and strangled. So many things to be careful about!! Things you don't even think of sometimes!

Opinions on collars???

Bruce H
28th May 2008, 12:12 AM
We never have collars on our dogs unless we are taking them out for a walk. The city we live in does not have a requirement for a license any more; all they require is a tag with a rabies number. However that seems to be one of they laws they don't enforce. All our dogs are microchipped for identification should something happen that they get out of the fenced yard. I walk the fenceline every few days to be sure they aren't digging, even though there is wire fencing burried at the fence line.

You're right, anything can happen and you just have to do your best to try to anticipate things that can hurt them. We almost lost a girl once that somehow got a tie cord from a gas grill cover wrapped around her throat. The lesson we learned from that was: watch them.

28th May 2008, 12:14 AM
Generally speaking, my dogs don't wear collars at all.

Specifically speaking, Rosie does so we can grab her, as she does dash for the door at times.
She's still a pup though, when she settles a bit, she won't wear any.

We use seat-belt harnesses for walking them or going anywhere other than the garden.
They don't have any ID on when in the garden either.
They are chipped, that's it.

I can't imagine the pain of losing a pet in a terrible household accident.

Hope this helps, Holly. :)

28th May 2008, 12:23 AM
It's really a scary thing - Having lost a dog that never was returned to me, however, has made me paranoid about ever leaving my dogs without a tag. The chance of them catching has really scared me, though - My solution is quite simple really. I started making their tag collars - I take a piece of elastic, make a casing out of fabric (usually cotton), and then sew it together with a D-ring to attach the tags to. Either that, or I'll make tag necklaces out of a leather string I can get that doesn't have alot of strength - If it gets caught on something and the dog struggles very hard, the necklace will break. That way I can keep tags on my dogs without as many safety worries about it. I know they also have break away collars for dogs on the market, but I've never used them.

28th May 2008, 01:12 AM
At least with these tags, they can't get caught in anything as the don't dangle.


28th May 2008, 01:35 AM
Well, I guess I am in the minority here, but I keep collars on my dogs 24/7.

Accidents happen. But it doesn't stop us from driving, flying in planes, or letting our kids run around outside. I think the chance of them strangling themselves is less than the chance they could accidentally run out the door accidentally. Just my opinion. You can't protect them from everything.

shell nyc
28th May 2008, 02:02 AM
We go naked (um, er, collarless) here. I don't like what it does to their coats, not to mention the possibility of it getting caught on something while I'm gone all day. But, to be fair, we live in an apartment on the 4th floor of a small building...there's no where for them to go if they run out the door!

28th May 2008, 02:24 AM
Well, I guess I am in the minority here, but I keep collars on my dogs 24/7.

Accidents happen. But it doesn't stop us from driving, flying in planes, or letting our kids run around outside. I think the chance of them strangling themselves is less than the chance they could accidentally run out the door accidentally. Just my opinion. You can't protect them from everything.

I agree with chloe92us. The benefit outweighs the risk in my opinion. I keep a collar with a tag on my baby (will do for Lola as I'm trying to get her used to a collar) at all times. I don't know what I would do if they ran out the door without tags and have them never returned to me.:(

28th May 2008, 02:59 AM
My guys go naked when at home. Years ago we had two really nasty incidents with collars, that came very close to tragedy.

28th May 2008, 03:09 AM
remember people use to tattoo their dogs?
sometimes i wish i can do that in a painless way.
my dog is chipped. but ive read its common that drs. dont scan them.
sorry to go off topic.
my dogs go naked at the house too.

28th May 2008, 03:35 AM
Every vet I have been to in my area have scanners, the pound has scanners... :) My dogs are chipped.

They do not wear collars in the house and wear harnesses to walk. I don't like what it does to their coats either! That's my main arguement against them. I'm so vain. LOL....

28th May 2008, 04:17 AM
Our neighbors lost a dog to collar strangulation, and my mom's pup got his jaw stuck for who knows how long until someone got home!

I have a Breakaway Collar (http://www.breakawaycollar.com/) which seems like a great compromise for both issues.

Daisy's Mom
28th May 2008, 04:35 AM
I do some of each -- sometimes I leave her collar on, and other times I take it off. That's because, like you, I'm kind of torn as to which risk is the worst. I do feel she is more comfortable without it, and it's often after I brush her that I end up leaving it off of her a day or two or three.

In general, I feel better if she has a collar on, as someone who caught her right away would have immediate access to our address and phone number without having to commit to taking her to a vet or shelter where she could be scanned (She is microchipped.). We have the collar tags similar to what someone posted above that don't dangle at all, but fit tight against the collar. That makes me feel better, and it makes Daisy happier that she doesn't have a dangling tag clanging against her water dish when she drinks.

She probably should be wearing her rabies tags, but again, that's a dangler, so I'm not that comfortable having her wear it all the time.

It's a hard call, but I think the risk of her bolting out the door or getting out of an inadvertently left open gate is higher than her somehow getting her collar caught on something when I'm not around.

28th May 2008, 10:00 AM
Collars 24/7 here too, for cats and dogs. I recently had a cat returned to me after 8 months thanks to his collar and tag ;)

28th May 2008, 10:43 AM
Sparky wears his 24/7 but Cass only wears hers when we leave the house, mainly because for some reason wearing a collar makes her neck sore & I have tried so many different collars of differant weights, material & loose/tight but they allways so they same thing to her - also Sparky likes to swing off her tag if I leave her collar on when we're at home - they are both microchipped.

I am away for my honeymoon for 2 weeks in August & my family from England are staying in the house to look after the pups & I will insist that their collars are left on 24/7 then - just for my piece of mind in case a door was left open, I'm pretty sure Cass wouldn't go anywhere but Sparky is so dizzy he'd go off with anyone or anything that moved in the street.

When I worked in kennels in England I did hear of an afgan that hung itself in a kennel (not where I worked!) which frightened me into taking all collars off at the time.

28th May 2008, 10:51 AM
My own feeling is that the chance that a dog would escape and not be returned due to lack of a collar and tags is massively higher than the very, very rare accidents at home involving a collar. Just going on pounds and shelter statistics alone -- the vast majority of dogs, probably at least 85-95% (in Ireland more like 98%!), in pounds are strays, not owner surrenders. The vast majority of strays that come in arrive as happy, healthy dogs and clearly belong to someone. The majority do not even have a collar on. The vast majority of those, die. In Ireland, it's 40 dogs a day killed in pounds, for a population of about 4 million. In the US, you are talking several MILLION dogs dying annually. Most people have no idea that most strays in the UK, Ireland and US get a maximum of 5 days to be reclaimed then are put down. They may only ever check their closest pound whereas a stolen and dumped dog, or a roving dog in heat or a male smelling a dog in heat, may travel miles away and go to a different pound.

As anyone who has used a scanner can confirm, it is very easy to miss a chip, and in the US, not all pounds/shelters even have the universal scanners to pick up any other chip except Avid, who has a monopoly on the market. Not all vets, vet techs or pound and shelter staff take the time needed to search for a chip, or know how to use a scanner properly. Sometimes they forget to scan or don't bother. I've seen plenty of comments by former vet and pound staff who will see this is the case and know it from experience myself. Most pounds are very busy and it is also very easy to overlook scanning by accident.

The single best factor to get your dog returned to you is a collar and tags. A chip is very important too but many people who find a straying dog will never even take it to the pound or know to scan for a chip and may just keep it or rehome.

How many dogs, in contrast, die from collar mishaps at home?

I'd remove the collar from a crated dog but not from dogs kept inside. I think problems sometimes arise because many people do not fit collars (or harnesses) correctly -- they are too tight or more often, way too loose. A single finger should fit comfortably under the collar. It should not be loose, and it shouldn't ever be tight against the dog's neck.

When my cat went missing, the only reason I got her back two weeks later is someone found her (being stoned by children!! :mad:) and brought her to me based on her tags. She was only a few streets away but daily and nightly searches by me had all failed. Eight years later I have her still, because of her tags.

Ps Keep in mind that the list of mishaps you were reading about -- assuming it is the same thread -- was where someone specifically asked for as many examples as possible as part of a lobby effort on a bill. You have to ask, how many problems is that related to the entire dog population wearing collars 24/7? And by contrast, how many dogs died in shelters and pounds when lost without any collar or tags?

Breakaway collars are an option though if someone were trying to hang on to a dog the collar might simply break away (though at least they'd have the tags then to call!).

28th May 2008, 11:02 AM
I agree with you totaly Karlin, the benefit most certainly outweighs the risk. Although I can totaly understand peoples fears - as I was exactly the same when I heard about that dog that hung himself.

I allways make sure when my dogs are left that there is nothing that they can get caught on in the room - of course a paw could still egt stuck under the collar but when we got Sparky I introduced him to his collar the day after we got him & would leave it on every evening when we came home so if he was to scratch at it I would be there & now he's totaly used to it & wears it the whole time - makes me feel better as I'm not totaly sure if he was to run out of the front door that he would come right back, we are working on his recall but he's not perfect, wheras with Cass I can stop her dead with one word.

28th May 2008, 11:18 AM
Cinders & Minnie have had collars on 24/7 since the first day I brought them home as puppies.
My previous cav - Lady - also had collar on with tag, thank goodness as when I moved to a new house she found an escape exit and luckily was brought straight home due to the fact she was wearing her collar.

28th May 2008, 11:47 AM
Mine does not wear collars at home. I used to have them wear collars but after Eljas first visit to the groomer before a show I got the rap about distroying her beautyful coat and walked out blushing with shame :o

they are of course both chipped.
They wear harness for walks but when we go "hiking" and they run free they wear very soft&furry and loose HURTTA collars .

28th May 2008, 02:47 PM
One thing to remember about microchips - They where NEVER ment as a primary source of identification, they where designed to be used as a back up in case a dog got out of a collar/tags. And while vets and shelters generally do have a scanner - If the average Joe who doesn't know much about dogs finds your dog - Chances are that taking it to a vet or shelter to be scanned may not even cross his mind! Microchips are great, don't get me wrong - All of my dogs are microchipped, but I'd never rely on them as the primary source of identification - A tag on a collar is much more affective. If you're worried about strangulation, use a break away collar. If you don't like what it does to the hair, use a round collar, if you have both problems - PM me, I can make you a tag necklace, it's what I use on my cavalier, and it hasn't caused any problems with her hair, and if it does get caught, the strands of the necklace will break - I'm also looking for some magnetic fastners so instead of just breaking it'll come loose at the magnets. But when it comes down to it, I agree that the danger of a dog dashing through an open door, or excaping from a yard and someone not knowing where to return it is much great then the danger of it being strangled. I don't leave tags on my dogs when crated or in exercise pens, but aside from that, my dogs always have tags on.

Brian M
28th May 2008, 04:03 PM
My three girls and two cats are 24/7 collars tags and chips .At work we are working on a new build " Museum Of Liverpool Life " project its a new museum on Liverpool waterfront next to the Liver building but the health and safety
requirements on this development are totally over the top and its a wonder anything ever happens ,so if we all did a risk assessment of our houses i am fairly sure we would never be allowed inside them as they are far to dangerous a place to live in .We can only do a sensible risk assessment for our cavaliers and protect them to the best of our ability and eliminate all obvious dangers , and i do fully agree with Karlin that the risk of escape/loss without collars far outweighs the danger that any normal house or garden presents.

28th May 2008, 10:00 PM
My dogs do not wear collars but they are microchipped. I am at home all day and we have a fully fenced in garden so they are safe. However, I recently picked up a cavalier pup in the Cork area with no collar and when I took him to the vet I found he had no microchip either (correct me if I'm wrong Karlin but I thought all IKC registered dogs have to be microchipped to be registered). Anyway, through trial and error and some door knocking I eventually found the owner and berated him for not putting a collar on the dog - I joked that I was going to keep him! I had spent three hours trying to reunite this pup with his owner and he wasn't even trying to find him, assuming he was stolen. He told me his last cavalier was microchipped, stolen and never recovered so he didn't see the benefit in chipping this one. I said he should at least have a collar and tags in that case. To be honest I've been watching out for the dog ever since. My opinion is if you are not at home during the day and/or your dog has a chance of escaping, put a collar and tag on them because, let's face it, most people are not going to take the time to go to a vet and get them scanned, however, they may make a call if there is a number available on the collar. Lastly, if your dog is stolen the only hope you ever have of seeing them again is the microchip.

28th May 2008, 10:24 PM
I am home full time and I never leave the collar on while in the house or crate. I keep the collar with tags at the front door and it goes on with the harness anytime we leave the house even for a short walk or ride in the car.

28th May 2008, 11:01 PM
Mine don't wear collars at home, but wear their harnesses whenever we go for walks or go out of town; their harnesses have their tags on them. They are chipped, too. I was at a dog park once and saw a dog get it's tooth caught in another dog's collar, and it was yelping in pain and someone had to use a knife to cut the collar off. Having 2 dogs that love to play together, I worry about that happening when we're not home.

28th May 2008, 11:50 PM
Sasha always wears a collar w/ tags during the day. At night I take them off when she goes to sleep for the night. :)

29th May 2008, 05:11 PM
Our dogs never go without their collars. If there was ever a fire or a reason we had to get out of the house fast, I doubt we'd have time to grab their collars, and in all the chaos, they could easily escape w/ out any way to ID them.

29th May 2008, 10:59 PM
My two are tagged 24/7. Im always so paranoid that something might just happen, and they could accidentaly escape from the house. Our garden is totally secure and we have a very rigid regime when somebody knocks at the door (I make sure the dogs are in a closed room before going to answer the front door) Millie used to be very bold for bolting towards the front door if it was open. She is much better now that she's a bit older - but I still have the fear that it could potentially happen!
My sisters dog managed to escape from the house just under two years ago. She had just given her a bath and she hadn't put her collar back on her. Although the dog was microchipped - she never got her back. I always wondered if her collar and tags had have been on, would we have got her back.
I think its better to be safe than sorry....

30th May 2008, 11:44 PM
Mine wear theirs 24/7 now after I found a dog and was able to return him to his frantic owner an hour after he went missing because I called the number on the tag. They were round in 5 minutes to pick him up.

30th May 2008, 11:54 PM
Ruby pretty much wears hers all the time during the day unless she's in her crate. I take it off then because I'm usually not home when she's in there, and I worry about it getting caught on something. She also doesn't sleep in it at night, mainly because she sleeps with us and it makes noises when she moves! I don't worry about it during the day because she's never had any sort of problem before, and she's usually in my line of sight. She only ran out of the house once or twice when she was tiny, and it was one of those times when she just darted out before we could catch her. She's not so big on trying to get out now because that would mean we're not out with her, and she's the ultimate little velcro dog. However, I like to keep it on her just in case because I could grab it much easier if something like that happened and she ran out. She's micro-chipped, but I still feel better knowing our phone number is on her tags should something happen.

31st May 2008, 03:28 AM
Brett always has a collar on, Lucky used to, until I realized Brett was chewing her collar. He's chewed it right off of her 3 times now. So she only wears one when we go for a walk.

Anyways, I recently found an old stray schipperke dog. It was roaming around the streets, running towards cars and everything and no one stopped to help it. They just drove on by dodging him. Eventually I coaxed him into my car and drove around the neighborhood asking people if they knew whose dog I had in my backseat. I even called nearby vets to see if anyone reported a missing dog and went to the nearby apartment complex asking if anyone in the complex owned a schipperke. Nope. Nothing... so I actually drove it down to the vet that is 2 minutes away and asked them what I should do. They told me to bring him in and they could scan him. So they bring out this box and pull out this weird scanner thing, all the while they look like they don't know what they are doing, and eventually the dog is scanned. Nothing. I ended up taking him to a nearby shelter. His life didn't look so bright seeing as though he was obviously an old dog and probably wouldn't get adopted within 5 days.

Luckily late that night I heard someone calling a name, as if they were trying to find something or someone. It was a friend of the people who had lost their dog, the black schipperke. He took me to where the owners lived and I told them where I had taken their dog. They were ready to jump in the car and go get her. I had to remind them that it was 10:30 at night and it most likely wasn't open.

If only that dog had had tags on... I could have returned it within 5 minutes. Instead I had it for almost 4 hours before I finally gave up and took it to a shelter.

Poor doggy.

Cathy T
31st May 2008, 03:40 AM
No collars in the house here. Collars and harnesses when we go out. Just a personal preference. Both are microchipped.

31st May 2008, 01:26 PM
all my dogs wear there collars 24/7 also there collars allow 2 of my fingers to go under there collar my fingers aren't exactly thin lol, This allows for them to pull the collar if they got it caught on something. But i agree the postives out way the risk. I would rather have my dogs with there collars and tags on them if they got out and couldn't find there way home, My dogs are microchipped,registered with the council and also have id tags, Which reminds me i have to get a new one for my golden retriever and chihuahua.

31st May 2008, 03:50 PM
Well, I guess I am in the minority here, but I keep collars on my dogs 24/7.

Accidents happen. But it doesn't stop us from driving, flying in planes, or letting our kids run around outside. I think the chance of them strangling themselves is less than the chance they could accidentally run out the door accidentally. Just my opinion. You can't protect them from everything.

+1 to that!
We have collars (engraved with phone numbers) on all of our guys, even our 16 year old house cat.
You can't be certain that they will never get out.
Sometimes even the best of friends (or their children) will "let the dog out" without thinking.
Why take a chance? We have Charlie micro chipped, but a neighbor 3 blocks away can't read a micro chip (anyone can read a tag, however).
If you are concerned, you could always pick up a "break-a-way" collar. :paw: