There are dozens of collar options available for our Whippet buddies but it’s important to remember that Whippets need special collars. Something that works well for many owners are martingale Whippet collars.
Whippets are sighthounds… they have a natural tendency to chase things. For many Whippet owners this can be a problem when walking their little sighthound with a leash.
Many people prefer to use Whippet collars that are simple and adequate for average day-to-day needs. Fishtail collars can be fine for Whippets… I use them myself. Others swear by Whippet harnesses for the all round restraint they provide.
However, if your don’t like the idea of a harness and find your Whippet can get free from traditional collar, a martingale collar might be a better option for you.
In this article, I’m going to explain why some owners find traditional collars difficult and how martingale collars can be more practical.
Table of Contents
- What are Martingale Whippet Collars?
- The Difference Between Martingale Collars and Traditional Dog Collars?
- How do Martingale Collars Work?
- Are Martingale Collars Suitable for Whippets?
- How to Fit / Size Martingale Whippet Collars
What are Martingale Collars?
Martingale collars, also called no-slip or limited-slip collars are an alternative to a flat collar. They are primarily used as a training tool but are also good for everyday use when fitted and utilised properly.
A martingale collar is simply a strip of fabric similar to a flat collar, but it also includes a smaller second loop.
Generally, about 1/3 of the length of a martingale collar is a smaller loop of fabric with an attached D-ring. This smaller loop also called the “control loop” tightens the larger loop when there’s tension, such as when a Whippet pulls.
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On some martingale collars, the smaller loop is made of chain rather than fabric, but overall they work the same way.
The Difference Between Martingale and Traditional Dog Collars?
Although they look similar, martingale collars are different from traditional “flat” collars in a couple of ways.
The primary difference is the second loop on a martingale collar which allows it to tighten. This provides a number of advantages that aren’t guaranteed with a traditional flat collar.
Firstly, martingale collars can be extremely helpful when training a dog. The gentle tightening encourages a dog to pull less and ultimately learn better leash manners.
Secondly, because the collar tightens, it’s difficult for Whippets to slip out of. Sometimes, a determined escape artist can back up until a flat collar slips over their head… and away they go!
But with a martingale collar this escape trick is much less likely to occur.
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How do Martingale Collars Work?
Martingale Whippet collars have mixed reviews, typically because people don’t understand the way they work.
When tension on the leash is created by either the Whippet or owner, a martingale collar will tighten. Typically, tightening collars have a bad reputation. Some people imaging that martingale collars are like “choke chains” or other similar types of collar that can choke or otherwise injure a dog’s sensitive neck area.
Unlike choke collars, which have no limit on how tight they can become, martingale collars are constructed to only tighten to a certain degree and are thus a far safer alternative.
As long as they are properly fitted, a martingale collar will only tighten to the size of your Whippet’s neck, preventing it from escaping or losing its harness, without choking them.
Are Martingale Collars Suitable for Whippets?
Not only are martingale collars suitable for Whippets… but they’re actually designed specifically for Whippets and other sighthounds.
Martingale collars were created for dogs whose heads are smaller than their necks but they also work well for talented escape artists. The no-slip function allows the collar to tighten only to the size of the dog’s neck, keeping the collar in place and allowing for control of the dog without harming them.
When properly fitted, martingale collars should not be uncomfortable or harmful to your Whippet.
Find out more about the Whippet dog breed.
How to Fit / Size Martingale Whippet Collars
Sizing your Whippet for a martingale collar is as easy as any other collar.
To start, you should measure around their neck where the collar should sit. Once you have the collar, adjust it to its widest measurement to slide it over your dog’s head.
Once around their neck, readjust it to fit comfortably around their neck as you would with any other collar. Ideally, there should be 2-3 finger-widths of space between their neck and the collar.
Summary of the Benefits of Martingale Collars for Whippets
- The loop mechanism of martingale collars prevent them from slipping off dogs whose heads are narrower than their necks.
- Since they only tighten to the diameter of a Whippet’s neck they do not over-tighten and thus cause potential damage to the sensitive throat area like choke chains can.
- Martingale Whippet collars tend to keep their position on the neck more effectively than traditional collars.
- Some owners find them better for leash walking and training a Whippet not to pull.
- If your Whippet struggles and tries to back out of a martingale collar when they’re frightened or their hunt drive activates, they can’t back out of it and free themselves.
Do you presently use a martingale Whippet collar or are thinking about buying one? Please share your experiences or leave a question in the comments section below.