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PSA: Beware the Counterfeit Collar

PSA: Beware the Counterfeit Collar

NOTE: For the purposes of this discussion "Bad" = Counterfeit.

As you may know, my training collar of choice is the Command Collar®. I have been using this collar in my dog training business since the beginning, and it is my primary “go to” collar for the dogs I train. I also used it to train my personal dogs. Although this is not the only training collar or tool at my disposal, it’s where I start, and for good reason.

The collar design is effective, both in terms of communicating with the dog and ease of use. The vast majority of dogs I have trained respond quickly to the motivational effect of the plastic “teeth” which mimic a mother dog’s correction. The Command Collar® is also easy to adjust, with the links snapping in or out with little effort because of a design that is very user-friendly.

All of that said, over the past year or two, the market has seen counterfeits of the collar enter the supply chain. I had successfully ordered the collars several times from Amazon and was pleased with the shipments. The collars were exactly the same as the ones I had previously ordered directly from Thane (they are the authorized sellers in the United States). But then I received a shipment that looked and felt odd to me.

Right off the bat, there were some obvious differences that I noticed, based on my memory of the past purchases. First, the color was different. It was a lighter blue than the dark blue I had previously received. Second, the links seemed very, very stiff. Third, there were very noticeable white marks where the pins contact the plastic. Having worked in the plastics industry (and a variety of other manufacturing gigs), I recognized these as stress marks, caused by a mismatch in the diameter of the hole (too small) to the diameter of the pin (too big). The pins were also oblong instead of cylindrical. There were other differences that I noticed later, related to the ring and multicolored cloth rope attachment.

This photo shows the color difference and the stress marks.


The next two photos show just how stiff the links were.



This photo shows the real Command Collar®.


The bottom line.

Where does that leave us? It's a shame that there are people who who knock off a product (it's kind of like the real thing, but substandard in many ways) and introduce it into the market. Unfortunately, that is our world. So, if you need to order a Command Collar®, purchase it directly from Thane. There is no doubt that you will get the real deal from them.

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