Collar-induced repetitive strain injury to the neck

There are many options available when deciding on a collar to choose for your dog. However, one should be aware that when used incorrectly, they have the potential to cause injury. For this reason, it is imperative to become properly acquainted with the correct techniques for the collar you choose. For example, choke collars may cause neck or tracheal injury, or strangle a pet by getting caught on teeth and other objects, especially if the collar is applied backwards. It is for these reasons that the Fergus Veterinary Hospital recommends Gentle Leader Head Halters or Premier Easy Walk Harnesses, both of which are available at the clinic.

The Gentle Leader is a head halter that provides the operator with a strength advantage through leverage, and controls pulling without choking. While this is a very useful tool for training a dog, it too must be used appropriately. Specifically, the Gentle Leader should not be utilized in conjunction with a long leash or flexi leash that would allow the dog to come to an abrupt stop at a high speed, thereby pulling their neck too quickly. For additional information regarding the Gentle Leader, consult the following pages:

Similarly, the Premier Easy Walk Harness is an alternative tool for dogs that pull excessively. It is especially useful for dogs with preexisting neck pain or damage since it involves control from the body rather then the neck. To learn more about the Premier harness, and sizing charts, please visit:

NOTE: While the aforementioned devices are the most commonly utilized collars/head halters/harnesses, other tools may be more appropriate for some dogs. Therefore it is recommended that you speak with the Fergus Veterinary Hospital briefly prior to investing in any of these products to ensure that it is the best option for your pet!