Posted by: Linda Trunell | August 3, 2013

Let’s Play Naked!

Now that I have your attention I want to share a very scary incident with you in the hopes of preventing the same thing from happening to your dog.

My sister has two large, young dogs, Babe and Doc, who love to play with each other. One day while they were playing in the house, Babe’s bottom jaw got caught under Doc’s collar. Both dogs were struggling to free themselves and Doc was gasping for air as his collar tightened. Fortunately, my sister and her husband were home at the time and immediately tried to free Babe’s jaw from the collar. Doc was wearing a leather buckle collar which meant that it had to be made even tighter to unbuckle it. Both dogs were panicking and thrashing around and it was impossible to get to the buckle. Doc began to lose consciousness and my sister thought he was going to die when miraculously Babe managed to get her jaw free. Both dogs recovered but my brother-in-law suffered a minor bite in the melee and I’m sure he and my sister were as stressed as the dogs were.

Needless to say, it was a terrible experience for dogs and humans. If Babe hadn’t managed to somehow get her jaw free, Doc would have died. They both wear quick-release nylon collars now.
collar 2

I have seen dogs running around the dog park with choke collars, buckle collars, harnesses, and shock collars. I can only try to keep Max from interacting with them. Fortunately, he likes to run and smell everything and is not really one to wrestle. He does sometimes grab a big stick to encourage a game of tug.

I have on two occasions seen dogs in theย dog park wearing prong collars. The first time when I realized who owned the dog, I very politely said to the gentleman that he might want to remove the collar so the dog wouldn’t get hurt. He snapped at me and said, “I’ll manage my own dog!” Undaunted, I said, “I’m just telling you that because I’ve seen it happen.” (I actually had not seen it happen but I was willing to lie to protect the dog.) He grumbled something about not being able to grab her if he removed the collar and then made a point of avoiding me and my friend. That was fine with me because I didn’t want our dogs to get hurt on that collar.

The second time was a few weeks later and the dog was with a woman and two other dogs. Of course, I had to speak up again even though I was snapped at before. When I suggested to her that the collar was not safe, she said it was her daughter’s dog and she hadn’t really thought about the collar. She thanked me and removed the collar. The other two dogs were wearing regular quick-release collars.


Typical Side Release Dog collars are not recommended for Greyhounds or Sighthounds because they can easily slip their collar and then they are running loose. A Martingale Dog Collar prevents this from happening by gently tightening so that it is unable to slip over the ears.

Ideally, dogs should play naked so there is no collar or harness to get snagged. If you are not comfortable with your dog running around the dog park with no ID, use a quick-release collar only.

Max wears a quick-release collar with his ID tag and we use an Easy Walk Harness for walking. I remove the harness in the dog park. I also remove his collar before bed and whenever I am leaving him alone in the house. When he was a puppy I would never put him in his crate with his collar on.

Unless you have had this happen to your dog or know of it happening to another person’s dog, it is something that you might not even think about. Please share this information. You could be saving a dog’s life.

Here’s to being our dog’s best friend,


  1. wow – good advice. Ruby wears a martingale out and about but nothing inside. early in the mornings in the winter she had a quick release flouro collar which I have to say I prefer as you can get it on and off quickly ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. I’ve seen some people have their dogs successfully wear breakaway collars for when they are playing around other dogs or with each other. I do like basic snap collars instead of buckle collars though for all the reasons you gave. A scary story and an excellent reminder for all those (like me) who insist that their dogs wear ID collars 24/7.

    Working in a shelter I see so many lost dogs that were brought in with no collar or a collar and no ID. Many people think a microchip will be enough, but too many people forget to update their microchip information with the company that makes them, or even register them at all. Many of these dogs never find their original homes again as a result. So my dogs always wear a collar with ID. There are only 2 times they are naked…1) running a course at an agility competition, or 2) when they are crated in a wire crate.

    Granted, my dogs don’t wrestle with each other, or other dogs, so I don’t have a worry about collars or harnesses getting snagged on body parts.


  3. I have had my dogs get tangled with a tooth caught in the others collar at the dog park. Ricky the dog caught was the most freaked out, Lucy was not getting choked and I did them free quickly but it was alarming. They both wear the quick open collars. Ricky did however get choked in another similar incident. He was playing with a sweet pitbull named Ruthie and she grabbed ahold of his collar and wouldn’t let go. Ricky was getting choked then and he was panicked at least. We couldn’t get ruthue to let go so I struggled to get his collar releaed. Finally she let go. Rick wasn’t the first dog this happened to, so many of us removed collars at the park if she was there.


    • Wow! Good thing Ricky was wearing a quick release collar! Thank you for your comment. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. […] WordPress about the dangers of dogs choking when wearing buckle collars whilst playing (thank you Linda!) Since then we have only used quick/snap release collars so, although it was fairly easy to get […]


    • Thankful for good outcome! Thank you for link. ๐Ÿ™‚



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