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Friday, November 11, 2011

Ask the Dog Trainer:
Stinky Collar Issues

by Michael Baugh, CPDT-KA, CDBC
© image located at
Dear Michael,
My dog has had so many collars in his life that I have a drawer full of them. Open it and you'll find an odor that resembles that of a dirty dog. I am not a dirty person. In fact I wash his collars regularly and still they take on this odor that starts to bother me. I have tried different fibers such as cotton, polyester, nylon, and am now about to tackle hemp and bamboo which I hear are the greenest things going. What do you recommend for these issues? Surely you have experienced many of the different fabrics and have an opinion. What about the vinyl collars? I worry about fungus since it seems they would hold moisture in. Please give me some ideas for a smell-free collar. I love to hug my dog and not smell dirty dog.

Thank you, Jenetta

Dear Jenetta,

Thank you for the opportunity to step out of my trainer role for just a bit.  Folks ask me quite often which is the best collar for training their dog (flat buckle or clip collar), but rarely which one is the least stinky.  I guess I get to switch my focus from bad behavior to bad B.O.  Yay.  Here’s my best shot.

I did a bit of research, and you are not alone in your malodorous suffering.  It turns out there is such a thing as a no-stink collar.  It’s made of rubber!  Rubber, it turns out, is rank-resistant.  Why?  It doesn’t absorb moisture, the source of the stench.

Now if you want to nip the noxious problem at its rancid source, look to your dog’s food.  A healthy diet will give you a more fragrant friend.  Food affects funk, plain and simple.  (Don’t make me take you to the Indian Buffet to prove it).  I’d also recommend keeping your dog brushed and bathed.  Let collars dry in the sun, and make sure your dog is completely dry too.  Remember the mephitic moisture rule. 

One last thought, and this one is a bit controversial.  Let the dog go naked.  No grody collar in the all-natural, right?   That’s the way my dogs roll.  We just use the collars for trips out and about.  Of course you’d need your dog to be micro-chipped and very well trained.  We don’t want our dogs wandering the streets without I.D.  That would surely stink.


© Robyn Arouty

Houston Dog Trainer Michael Baugh CPDT-KA, CDBC is the director of training and behavior at Rover Oaks Pet Resorts. You may readch Michael at the link for a personal consultation, or write to him at our Ask the Dog Trainer Column Michael's advice does not replace an actual consultation with a qualified trainer.

Check out Michael's Archives Page, or these recent articles:

My Dog Climbs the Fence!
Help Us With Our Whining Greyhound
Working with Barrier Frustration


Finn said...

A rubber collar - so interesting! We let Finn run naked throughout the house once we're home for the day.

Finn said...

Oh, by naked, I meant collar-free!

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