Have you ever wondered why greyhound, whippets and lurchers often wear wide leather collars and what makes these collars especially suited for sighthounds?
Sighthound breeds, such as Greyhounds, Whippets, Salukis, Afghan hounds and Italian Greyhounds, have long graceful necks. These breeds hunt by sight and, as any sighthound owner knows, sighthounds can get very excited and lunge on their leads on seeing any fast moving object which they consider good enough to chase.
It is no surprise that these special dogs need special collars to protect their neck and throat, which can be damaged when a dog pulls wearing a narrow collar. The wide part of sighthound collar will fit under the dog's throat and any pulling on the lead will not cut off his breath and arterial blood flow.
Sighthound collars are typically made of leather and have variable width being wider in the middle narrowing down at both ends to accommodate the buckle or martingale chain. Traditionally this style of sighthound style collars, sometimes referred to as 'fish tail' collar, were used for hunting and coursing greyhounds, whippets and salukis. They range from plain leather to fully lined and padded models to highly decorated, embroidered and studded designs.
Many of the sighthound breeds have short and delicate coats that can wear out from constant contact with dog collars. The added benefit of wearing a wider than normal hound collar is that is spreads out the pressure on the dog's neck preventing damage to the coat and hairless patches on your dog's neck.
Relative to their necks, all sighthounds have fine narrow heads and can easily back out of and slip their collars. Therefore, it is important, that the collar is worn correctly just below the ears, which is much higher on the neck than is normal for other breeds. It should fit very snugly on the neck so the collar can not be shaken loose, but you should be able to squeeze two fingers in-between the collar and your dog's neck.