ABC’s of Leashes and Collars

The notion of dog gear seems pretty simple, but there are some key elements one should be aware of for safety reasons.


A dog’s collar should be a bit loose, but if it is too loose, it cannot adequately contain the dog. The key is two fingers: if you can comfortably fit two fingers between the collar and the neck, you’ve got it set just right.If you’re dog is one whose neck is wider than their skull, use a harness for better security. If your dog has a readily collapsed trachea (some smaller curly breeds are potentially vulnerable to this), harnesses are a great option.

For daycare purposes, always ensure you have a quick-release collar. That means a quick pinch of the closure will undo it immediately. It is vital that if another dog gets caught in your dog’s collar that we can release it in a second to avoid any potential choking hazard.
Also, at Scampers, we have emergency evacuation plans in place to keep your dogs safe in case of fire or earthquake. In order for those systems to be effective, however, your dog’s collar/harness must be well-fitted, so please be sure to check that periodically, particularly if your dog is young and still growing.

They come in various shapes and configurations. While lots of extendable leashes are on the market, we do not recommend them for a variety of reasons. We recommend sticking with a nylon, rope, or leather leash of fixed length – usually about 6’. With this type of leash, you can have a great deal more control over your dog in all kinds of circumstances, providing a safer situation all around.

On the other hand, extendable leashes are not terribly safe for controlling your dog in a tighter environment. If you are handing off your dog via the leash, and the new leash holder does not know exactly how that particular leash operates, you run the risk of having things go wrong very quickly. There are a wider number than you might realize of button configurations.

Dog with red leash
If a dog suddenly pulls forward for some kind of “squirrel” moment, the thin cord can cut or burn human and canine skin rather badly. And, with moving parts contained within, they can also fail, whereas a standard leash is such a simple tool, there is nothing to go wrong at just the wrong moment.

Beyond the Collar/Leash

Both Scampers facilities are located on very busy streets where the cars tend to travel faster than they probably should. We ask that all our clients maintain full control of their dog using a leash. Verbal control is a wonderful thing, but the excitement of the moment, either arriving or going home can make verbal commands less reliable. So, please use a leash at all times. (We have slip leads inside that we can loan.)

Finally, not related to Scampers, but absolutely related to your dog’s safety – please, when you are driving with your dog, be sure to secure your dog within your car. Should there be an accident, with a dog secured in the vehicle, emergency personnel can readily assist. But, if your dog is loose in the car, they could get thrown from the vehicle and get injured, or simply given the shock of the incident, their behavior could limit any assistance that could be there to help you.