Even if you've been around dogs for a very long time, you may not be familiar
with fur saver collars. Fur saver collars are specialty training collars which
are not typically sold at pet stores. Designed to replace choke chains, fur
saver collars have oval-shaped links that prevent wearing down the fur on your
dogs neck, hence the name "fur saver."
The links of a fur saver can be "long" or "short" and allow strands of fur to
easily slip through without tearing. Ideal for plush, wirehair, and
double-coated dogs, fur savers are not limited to use on only long haired
breeds and are the preferred collar of many dog trainers, dog handlers, and
police officers because of their versatility.
Fur saver collars come in several different color and material options.
Most popular metals are stainless steel, brass, and Curogan. Whether you use a
short link or long link fur saver collar is mostly a matter of personal
preference and shouldn't make much difference in the function of the collar.
That being said, we're personally fond of short link fur saver collars, as
there is less of a risk of getting your fingers caught between the links
(especially with young dogs.)
Wearing a Fur Saver Collar
Training collars are not regular collars, and should not be worn all day. Fur
saver collars are a type of slip collar, designed to apply pressure by
tightening around a dogs neck. Dogs should be positively introduced to a fur
saver by being allowed to wear it for short periods at a time before wearing it
for a full training session.
You can positively introduce your dog or puppy to a fur saver collar by letting
him wear it for 30 minute increments, off-leash. As your dog gets used to the
feeling of the collar, progress to wearing a leash at home, where you can
practice rewarding your dog for not pulling. Remember, fur savers are mild
training collars that are not necessarily going to change your dogs behavior on
a walk, or at the park.
Your dogs fur saver collar should be about 2" larger than his neck. A collar
that's too large wont provide effective communication from the leash, because
you have to physically move a lot more before the dog feels anything from your
end. Conversely, a collar that's too small defeats the purpose of the
slip-action, and could actually be harmful to your dog.
Using a Fur Saver Collar
Fur Saver collars have two rings known as a "live ring" and a "dead ring."
The live ring is typically the ring that the leash is clipped to. You can think
of the word "live" as a synonym for "active." The live ring, in this case, is
the part of the collar that receives pressure from the leash, whereas the "dead
ring" is the ring that the rest of the collar passes through.
However, the fur saver is a versatile collar, and you can clip the leash to the
dead ring too. Clipping the leash to the dead ring simply stops the slip-action
of the collar. This can be useful for very sensitive dogs, or in scenarios where
you may want to encourage the dog to pull without using the tightening action of
Make a 'P' shape with the collar in your hands.
With the dog on your left, slide the collar on.
To use the collar with a live ring, clip the leash onto the o-ring that is
hanging off the collar. Using the live ring activates the slip-effect of the
To use the collar with the dead ring, clip the leash onto the o-ring that the
chain slides through. Using the dead ring prevents the slip-action of the
Be sure to take the collar off after each training session. Fur saver collars
are not designed to be worn all day.
Fur savers are excellent training collars for dogs with long hair, but they can
be used with all dogs regardless of coat type or breed. Used correctly, they're
a safe and versatile tool that many trainers rely on every single day.
Introducing a fur saver collar to your training routine is as easy as going on
a short walk. As your dog gets comfortable with their new collar, you can keep
it on longer and gradually introduce it to your training sessions.