I continue this month with the topic of collaring and identifying our pets. Leave a leather or cloth collar with the ID tags on your dog at all times. The collar shouldn’t be too light; an appropriately placed collar will be too loose for securely attaching a lead. For this reason, a choke chain is used with a leash.

You do not have control over your dog if you have a leash hooked to a collar that can slip over his head if he pulls away from you. One day, I had to pull my three pups out of the jaws of a pair of mastiffs as they charged me suddenly. Without a chain to cinch down, I would have had no control – and probably no more pups.

Some very large breeds such as the Rottweiler or Irish Wolfhound may require something called a German Choke Collar. This collar has prongs that pinch into the muscles of the neck if the dog pulls against you, thereby affording the leash holder a little more control over the strong beast.

Another great idea is a microchip ID. This involves imbedding a microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) just under the skin between the shoulder blades. This chip is coded with a unique number that identifies your pet and links it with your name and information.

Most pounds and human societies and many veterinarians have scanners that read these chips. I consider it a good back-up to the old-fashioned collar and tag style.

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