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Collars

by nipper


Wearing a collar is a huge part of dog behavior. A pup just needs to have a collar! What else is a Master/Owner/Trainer going to attach a leash too? Aside from the physical aspects of being collared, there is a great amount of mental stimuli to collars.

The choice of what type of collar to wear is as varied as the choices available. i will briefly touch on the various general types available, and provide some practical and/or personal insight on each.

CHAIN

There are two basic options with chain collars. One is a real chain dog collar available in any pet store, and the other is the basic chain collar you can purchase in any leather shop, or BDSM catalog. Actual chain dog collars come in various styles. Some are merely a chain, with a ring on either end, while others have a snap hook or trigger clip closure system. There is also a particularly nasty looking training collar, if your dog tends not to heel properly. This has lots of pointy spikes inside, and i can only imagine what one’s neck would look like after a session with this one. Some may find this type of collar a considerable turn-on. Most chain dog collars run about $9.00 - 14.00

The other option is a chain collar purchased from a leather shop or BDSM catalog. Checking out one of the major catalogs in the United States, i found the option for a 20 inch collar, with padlock, in nickel chrome plate, in either a regular weight or a lightweight chain. Cruise the web, and you will find thousands of pics with people wearing one of these. These cost around $10.00 - 12.00 or so, and sometimes the padlock is included in the price.

If wearing a chain collar actually made for a dog is important to you, then a visit to a pet shop is essential. Otherwise the chain collar made for humans works just fine. i personally have both.

LEATHER

A visit to a leather shop, or catalog, will show unlimited variety here. One option is an actual leather dog collar made for a dog. These are available in any pet shop or online pet supply company such as Petopia.com or Petsmart.com. They are generally ¾” to 1” wide, and come in a multitude of shapes, designs and colors, some with studs, or other decoration. These generally cost about $10.00 - 25.00.

Leather collars made for humans, come in almost as many choices. Usually black leather, they have a variety of options, beside the plain models, such as studded, in a single row, or with multiple rows. The number of rings attached to the collar can vary as well from one small ring, to 3 or more larger rings, and the closure system may be buckle only, buckle and padlock, or slotted padlock only styles. Generally, these are available in 1 ¼” to 2” in width. Prices on leather human collars vary greatly, but normally run anywhere from $30.00 - 75.00.

RUBBER

If your preference is for rubber gear, human collars are generally available in rubber in the same styles as i mentioned for leather.

The costs are generally comparable to leather collars.

POSTURE COLLARS

A variation on the human leather collar is the “posture collar”. Much more substantial that those described above, posture collars can be anywhere from 3 1/2” to 4 ½” wide, or more. Stiff, high, rigid…these force the head and chin into an upright position, thus the posture name. Some even have built-in chin rests and metal support bracing! Posture collars can range anywhere from $75.00 - 300.00.

 

METAL COLLARS

Some SM catalogs have a selection of collars made from various kinds of solid metal, which usually close by locks, or hex screws. Some are fairly light, while others can be rather substantial in weight. If this type of collar sounds appealing, by all means, try it out.

i happen to like leather collars and own several. i have an actual leather dog collar, and a few human leather collars as well.

 

SIZING

A number of personal factors and situations come into play here. One of the key issues is range of motion of the neck. If you are collared, but need to perform a variety of human tasks you will need to take that into account when wearing a collar in a non-play situation.

The second key issue is neck length, defined as the distance from the underside of the chin, to the collarbone. If you have a short neck, your needs and preferences may be different than someone with a longer neck. For instance, a person with a short neck may find a two inch collar to be highly restrictive. Secondary to this is the length of the neck across the back of the head. While sitting upright, place several fingers, or your entire hand on the back of the neck, and then tilt your head backwards a bit, raising your chin upwards. As soon as you feel a “pinching” or crowding, remove one finger. When you have you head lifted to the degree where you might need to look up often during the day, and the fingers remaining across the back of the neck feel comfortable, measure the width of the fingers and this is the size collar you can wear during a long period without irritation or worse. Continual pinching can restrict blood flow to the brain, and result in a headache. In addition, there are a number of nerves which run up the back of the neck, and constant pinching can cause temporary numbness. Keep in mind, when you are in dog/pup mode and on all fours, unless you plan to stare at the floor a lot, your head and neck will be at a tilted angle for long periods of time.

If you are truly a 7/24 pup/dog, then you may not care about range of motion of the neck.

Chain collars need to be sized a bit differently. Neck “height” isn’t an issue here. Circumference of the neck is. Measure the neck just above the collarbone. You should be able to fit two fingers held flat under the chain collar, when being worn. i have a 17 1/2 inch neck when measuring for a shirt size but using the collarbone measurement adds about 1 ¾ inches for me. i have found a 20 inch chain collar rests comfortably around my neck, without any rubbing or discomfort.

PLAY COLLARS VS. EVERYDAY COLLARS

In this discussion, play time is not when the dog/pup participates in a lively game of fetch, or sniff the jockstraps. Play time here is when the “leather” in “leatherDOG” really comes out. As in BDSM activity.

For play time, virtually any collar can be used, and it really becomes a matter of personal preference and the type of activities you tend to do during play time. Here is where wider collars with more rings may be used, and posture or metal collars would also be suitable.

Personally, i dislike a collar that is too tight or too substantial for “everyday” use. If i am going to be in pup mode for a number of hours, or have decided to spend the whole day or night in a collar, i tend to prefer one that is no wider that 1 ¼” - 1 ½”. i usually will wear a collar worn during the day, or while sleeping, that is set a bit more loose, as well. i'll buckle it one or two holes further out than i would if it were playtime. Again, for me personally, wearing a collar too tight while performing normal everyday tasks becomes to restrictive for general range of motion. For bondage or SM play, i do tend to prefer more substantial collars, like the 2” models, and, no surprise here, i generally like a more tight fitting collar.

WEARING A COLLAR IN PUBLIC OR AT WORK

For some people this topic just isn’t an issue, and they have no problem at all sporting a chain collar or even a leather or metal collar in very public situations. For others, this may require a substantial amount of “nerve” or may simply be beyond their present mental limits. And if you work anywhere except an sm leather shop, or a gay bar, a leather collar locked around your neck, will likely earn you a lecture on proper office apparel, and may limit your chances for career advancement.

For some pups, there may be a desire, or a requirement, to wear a collar at all times, which will mean being collared at the grocery store, the barber shop, and most importantly, at work.

Unless you wear a chain collar choker style, as in tight around the neck, wearing a crew neck t-shirt may hide your collar in public. It depends on the type of t-shirt. A loose fitting, oversized t-shirt will have a more open neck area. However, a regular t-shirt, worn under a shirt, may hide the chain collar just fine. A number of stores carry t-shirts in various colors more designed for fall/winter wearing. These sport slightly higher neck lines and really do the trick.

If you simply can’t push yourself to wear your dog/pup collar during the day, a possible solution could be to wear a simpler neckchain that would simulate the look and feel of a dog collar, and make the switch as soon as you get home.

LOCKED VS. UNLOCKED

my personal opinion here, is that if you are not partnered, and on the prowl for a Master/Owner/Trainer, walking into your favorite leather bar with a locked collar around your neck will get you very little attention. The significance of a locked collar usually indicates ownership, and you will be likely not to be approached. The act of locking a dog collar on a pup is a highly symbolic act of ownership. It is acceptable to lock it yourself when wearing one around the house, or even in public, especially if you are attempting to get used to it. But until you have an owner, i would advise against wearing a locked collar in an environment where potential owners abound.

DOG TAGS

The perfect addition to a dog/pup’s collar is a set of dog tags! Dog tags come in all sizes, colors, and shapes. Some pups prefer tags that resemble human soldier tags, while others prefer the more traditional dog bone shape. Color is a matter of personal preference. If your owner is tagging you as His property, it may be likely that He will pick out the shape and color for you.

If you don’t already own a collar or two, i hope this information will be of help in getting yourself properly dog collared.