Many people believe half check collars are just a "training aid". There are many benefits in using half check collars, not related to the original purpose these collars were created for.
There are many names people use for these collars, half check, semi slip, martingale...
Half check collars are a type of a dog collar where the collar tightens up to a limit when pressure is added. We often hear people say half check collars are cruel. This is simply not true, there are many benefits in using a half check collar.
A CORRECTLY sized half check collar is sized so that at it's smallest fits snuggly around the neck but does not strangle the dog. A half check collar can be a very cheap life insurance and a life saver.
It is also very easy to put on and take off a half check collar, no need to fiddle the buckle or trying to find the right hole in a collar whilst the dog attempts to bounce around excitedly ready for a walk.
Correctly sized half check collar will prevent the dog backing out of his/hers collar. A many a dog would not be lost had they worn a half check collar as one of the most common reasons for a missing dog is a slipped collar/harness (yes, dogs can slip out many of the harness types around)!
A Dog that is usually well-behaved and has an excellent recall can at the moment of panic, back up, slip their collar and run as fast as they can.
Especially youngsters go through periods when the silliest of things can spook them and the last thing you want is them running away as this could cause lasting mental damage (or physical if you are very unlucky). Many dogs also go missing and are never found when they have got away from the owner.
Half check collars are also great for dogs that have a lot of hair or heavy manes as the collar will lay looser when there is no pressure/lead attached to it. This means there will be less of a "collar mark" left on to the coat and the half check collar often sits better on the neck.
Below is a story from our own lives. It is also a reason we promote use of half check collars:
On a dark November night in 2008 Sasha, a 15 month old Leonberger got excited of seeing a another dog and slipped out of her collar.
She decided it was more fun to run and jump around than return to us. As a consequence, she was hit by a car. She was rushed to the vets and they took some xrays and it was confirmed she had a broken pelvis.
Next few days were awful as we were waiting to see if she had some other internal damage - Luckily this was not the case.
The vet said she was lucky to get away with just a broken pelvis, considering how hard she was hit for her pelvis to break (big dog, big bones).
If you look at the first xray (taken on the night it all happened) you can see how out of place Sasha’s pelvis was and we were definitely not going to leave her pelvis like that! She was in huge pain and had morphine injections every few hours, she used all of the vets morphine stock in few days!
The vet operated her pelvis and got her hips in line again.The second xray shows Sasha's pelvis after the operation. Great job if you ask us!
We never thought this would happen to us but it did and the insurance really helped, not having to worry about costs as everything else is quite enough to cause few grey hairs.
I would have not wanted to be in a situation of not getting Sasha the best care available because I can not afford it.
All this cutting edge technology and operations did come at hefty price, running at nearly £7000 when physiotherapy and hydrotheraphy were completed.
Also, if you are ever in a position we were in, do not lose hope!
When we saw the first xrays, first thing that crossed my mind was that we will have to let Sasha go and become an angel-dog!
Our vet must have seen my face as he quickly said this is not it; The damage looks awful but it is actually one of those fractures that heals well and the dogs usually have totally normal life after they have recovered.
Now we are in 2016 Sasha is 8.5 years old lady and the leader of the pack here (we now have 5 Leonbergers in total).
She gets a bit stiff at the back end at times but many Leonbergers her age without her history do too. We love her to bits and I am so happy we decided to go ahead and give her a chance of living her life.