An Introduction to the Martingale

17 days ago   •   2 min read

By Kim Bissing

Knowing where to begin on your behavioral journey with your dog can be challenging. With a range of different tools to choose from it is hard to know what is the best fit for you and your dog. Corrective tools can vastly vary in look and method of correction. Anything from a slip lead to an E collar is corrective but the way the information is conveyed and relayed to the dog is very different. Typically, a more sensitive dog needs less correction. The martingale is a great tool for this kind of dog because the sound the chain of the collar delivers is often enough to get the dog's attention.

So... what is the martingale?

Remember that your dog can see red, yellow and blue. Getting a collar in one of these colors can help your dog to recognize when they are working. 
Take note of the lack of chain in this martingale collar. 

Both of these collars above are considered martingale collars. Though, one I would recommend much more highly than the other.

A martingale should fit snugly on a dog in order to work correctly. When pressure is applied through the leash the collar will tighten and deliver a correction. There are two major differences between the martingale collar and the slip leash. A martingale collar can only correct so much, as short as the chain or cloth material allows. This makes this tool great for an unsure owner who is still learning their dog's behavior because it keeps unnecessary correction at a minimum. The second difference is that the martingale collar has a chain so the correction is audible for the dog. It is always my goal to get a dog more responsive to the sound of the chain rather than the actual correction.

Martingale collars are amazing as a first corrective tool. They are not always effective in correcting severe behaviors as they are minimally corrective compared to a lot of other behavioral tools but are always a great start to training!

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