One of the best things about Great Pyrenees dogs are their personalities. Stubborn, independent, and smart, Pyrs know what they want. They probably know what you want too, but whether or not they will do what you ask… that depends largely on their mood and their relationship with you.
One great tool for working with your Pyrenees is a Martingale collar, the preferred collar for the Great Pyrenees breed. A Martingale is a unique style of collar, essentially consisting of two interconnected collars. One part wraps around the dog’s neck, while the other part is connected to the lead. It should fit loosely around the Pyr’s neck, and tighten and loosen as the dog pulls against it and then relaxes.
So why a Martingale?
You can probably picture it: you’re out walking your Pyr, and suddenly, he decides he’d rather go backwards than forward. With a standard collar, a Pyr could easily slip out of it with this move. Not to mention, some dogs have the art of slipping out of their collars down to a science.
Martingale collars are great because they are loose and comfortable around the dog’s neck, but will tighten when the dog pulls. This prevents the Pyr from slipping out. With collars that don’t tighten, there is a risk that the Pyrenees could slide out of their collar, especially with their wide necks and thick fur. Because the Martingale gently tightens when the animal pulls on the collar, it won’t come off.
When the collar is fitted properly, it will hang around the animal’s neck, leaving room for the fur and never rubbing against the animal’s skin. Then, when the Pyr pulls against the collar, it will tighten enough to communicate that the collar can’t slide off, but still not pinch or hurt.
While a Martingale collar functions similarly to a pinch collar, there is no pain!
The collar can tighten when your dog gets excited, but you don’t have to worry about it hurting them. This means that a Martingale collar offers some of the benefits of a pinch or slip collar, but won’t pinch or choke the animal. You can use the tightening to train your Pyrenees not to pull, but don’t have to worry about whether or not you are hurting your dog.
Neck Injury Prevention
While there is never a guarantee that a collar is 100% safe, especially with large, powerful animals like Great Pyrenees, Martingale collars are a much safer option than many of the alternatives. A pinch or choke collar is much more likely to cause a neck injury due to pulling or straining than a Martingale collar. The tightening of the collar will indicate to the dog that they need to pay attention to you, but without causing injury.
If you have concerns about your dog using a Martingale collar, you should consult your veterinarian or AGPR.
We want nothing more than to keep our Pyrenees dogs safe and happy. A Martingale collar is one tool you can use to do just that!
This article was written by Ariele Sieling. She is a Baltimore-based science fiction writer who is the proud owner of her own Great Pyrenees dog. She, her husband, and Doggo enjoy their time walking in the park, getting treatos, napping in the sun, borking at birds, and schniff-schnoffing the two cats. You can follow them on Instagram @pyreneesgoodboi.
To learn more about Ariele, visit www.arielesieling.com.