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.)
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 wearing the the collar, try a short walk before using it as a regular training collar. Simply adding a training collar to your dogs gear is 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.
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 other links of the collar pass 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 the collar.
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.