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Collar Scare (Caution!)
by Lucy C
Collar Scare (Caution!) I just want every small dog owner about something that happened with "Tammy" the other day. I kept her collar very loose (too loose) so that she wouldn't be bothered by her collar too much ( and fear of strangulation). Well one day, she was chewing on her name tag, pulling so hard, she somehow managed to pull the entire collar over her lower jaw. As a result, the collar was between both jaws and was pulling her head back as well as putting strain on the back of her neck. She ran to me when this happened in a panic and I quickly removed it. Her heart was beating fast and she was hyperventilating. this all happened in what i'm guesssing, less than 30 seconds. Thank goodness I was home to help her. What a shame it would have been if I wasn't. Now I adjusted her collar in which there is enough slack to fit her comfortably, but taught enough so that she isn't able to get her lower jaw underneath it. I just want to share this with every dog owner. I'm a new Maltese mom and learn something new each day...usually from this website!


Lucy, I used to keep Taffy's collar on as well. She also got her lower jaw under it several times and could not get it out. I now use a harness collar when we go for walks, other than that I do not even keep a collar on her. Although nothing has ever happened, I am also careful when she is in the car alone that she does not have on the harness in case she might get caught on something in the car. Good thing you were there, sometimes we learn many things through experience. I have.
Robin K.

Thanks Lucy! Before my maltese puppy, I had a lab and I was always trying to find collars that were BIG enough! With my little Beau, I have trouble finding collars small enough. His collars are always big on him because he doesn't walk on a leash or anything. I appreciate the story, cuz now, I'm adjusting Beau's collar. Thanks!
I will never put collars on my little guys and I will use a harness only if a leash is being used. My friend's shih tzu wore a collar all the time with a tag attached. Poor Wendy (the dog) was laying over the floor vent for the air conditioner and when she went to get up, the tag had slipped between the slats and she ended up pulling the entire vent out of the floor in terror because the weight of it was grabbing her and choking her. It was a horrible experience. My Baxter had been laying on the other side of the vent and almost went down the hole that was created when the vent came out. It was just awful and since then, neither of our dogs have worn, or ever will wear, collars.
I take Lucky to dog training and our trainers said that the collar should just be big enough for two of your fingers to slip beneath the collar. That way, you know that it's not too tight but not too loose either. Hope this helps!
I do not leave a collar on Lucy or Carty when they are in the house. Lucy too, as a little one, did this horrible getting it stuck in her mouth thing. I keep both babies' collars attached to their leashes and the only time they go on is when we go out the door. In the car, I take their collars/leashes off immediately when we get in so that they have no oppotunity to get caught on anything or God forbid somehow the leash gets caught in the door and starts to choke them. I guess the downside to this is that should they get out of the house they are without identification, but since I am really careful about watching them when doors are opened, the fact that they are safe outweighs the possibility.
cathy brown
Hi Lucy, This happened to me with Bailey also but one day I had forgotten to take her collar off and when I came home from work she actually had managed to unsnap the collar and it was off completely. Well, I'll never really know what happened but I can only imagine her struggling with that collar in her mouth and biting to get it out so hard and often that she must have just hit that snap exactly right and off it came. Thank Goodness. Now I NEVER leave anything on her whether or not I'm home. I like the harnesses much better and always used one before but since she is just a pup I couldn't get one to fit her just right. We all have to be so careful for our little fur babies!
Robin D.
This also happened to Valentine within a few days of bringing her home. We were both pretty shooken up. I went out and bought her a red leather kitty collar with a bell on it. My husband shortened it to fit snug so this wouldn't ever happen again. The bell also helps at night. Valentine sleeps in a travel playpen next to my bed. When I hear thet bell I know she's awake, And if she's awake in the middle of the night it's for a reason. I wake up and take her to do her business. So far we haven't had any accidents in her playpen. I'm also glad I was home when her mouth got caught in it, I don't even want to think of what might of happened.
Mary Crescenti
Lucy, I don't keep a collar on Buster in the house. He has a body harness to go outside. I don't even have one on him in the car. Thank goodness you were there! Glad Tammy is ok.
Libby &Buste
Hi! I prefer a harness, but have any of you found it rips the fur on their backs. Shayna's fur was cut in the center of her back just in the area of the harness so I switched to collars. I'd say 90% of the time their collars are hanging off the end of their leash because of the same worry. I personally never had a bad experience but have heard people talk about it, so I just made it a habit to remove collars after walks. Thank God you were there for your baby. Love stories with happy endings.
I don't keep a collar on Tashas at all for fear of her getting caught on something and being stangled. I use a show leashwhen she has to go out. It just slips over the head and acts like a choke, leash and collar all in one. They are hard to find, I had to special order through a pet store. He knew what I was talking about when I explained what I was looking for. He called it a show leash.Hope this helps.
I have several collars for Diva, but hate to put them on her for several reasons,some listed above. But also I am trying to keep her in a long coat. I worry about ID. Since our scare here in fl. last week I am going to get her tatooed next week. You can register with akc and your dog will always have ID,without having to have the collar on.
Mary P
I appreciate all the feedback I have received from the fellow Maltese owners. I still keep Tammy's collar on because her name tag is attached to it. Although, she is indoors 98% of the time, I feel better knowing she has some form of identification if she ever got outdoors on her own. So I found a new collar (made for cats) that has a velcro closure. So now if my little rascal ever got her jaw under it again, it will easily "rip" open. I still exercise caution though, and feel a little more at ease with her new collar. I hope this helps others! XOXO From Tammy!
Lucy C.
Lucy, I've experienced something like that too. It happened while my dog and my "grand-dog" (!) were playing. One thought the other one had hurt them and a very bad fight insued. Scary.I check all collars every couples of days now. My Maltese doesn't wear one , but I'm thinking of getting her groomed in a short "do" and letting her wear one. I worry about something happening...car wreck, someone leaving door open, etc...)and not having any ID on. Tattoos and implants are great, but I want the quickest ID so I can get her back asap.

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