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Your Collar Story

Your Dog Collar Stories

Do you have a dog collar accident story that you would like to share?

If so, please write, email or telephone us in your own words the details of what happened.   Your experiences are important in helping to track the type and frequency of dog collar accidents and helping to educate others about collar safety for their dogs. 


Jennifer S. – New York

Thank you for making such a wonderful collar. I’m so sorry the invention of this collar was developed out of the loss of your beloved pet. A few years ago We almost lost our lab due to collar strangulation fortunately we arrived in time to save her. Ever since then our dogs haven’t worn collars due to fear of this happening again. This really bothered us and fortunately we found these break away collars and they work!! I purchased these collars for our dogs and our daughters dogs. While we ran out ten other day, our 10 month old lab puppy and our 2 year old lab were playing and the puppy pulled on the 2 year olds collar. We found the collar on the floor when we got home. While we had “tested” the collars when we received them, coming home to see this was definitely proof these collars work! We feel even more confident with our dogs wearing these collars. Thank you for making these amazing products!

Shendl R. – South Africa

Today, I heard my dogs screaming and rushed outside to see what the problem was. I was horrified to find my Australian Shepherds Jaw twisted in my Rescue dogs collar Both dogs were panicked and when I went to try release the clasp, I was bitten on the wrist. I finally managed to get the collar loose and luckily Both dogs are ok. I was so scared that they were going to be seriously injured or worse….. If I hadn’t been home, I shudder to think of the outcome. Once I checked the dogs out and sorted out my wrist, very thankful that my husband rushed home when I messaged him, I went online to search for breakaway collars and found your website. I ordered immediately!!

I am very excited to receive my collars which will be sent on to me in South Africa.

Carol S. – Florida

I wanted to tell you our story on why we switched to your breakaway collars. And while I know you get these stories all the time, I bet most don’t come with a video showing exactly what happened, mine does. When the girls were younger, about nine months old, they were playing upstairs while I was making the bed and doing laundry. Callie likes to grab onto Dazy’s collar while they play. She did the same thing on this day, except this time she got stuck. She managed to get the collar behind her lower canines. She then twisted around trying to get unstuck. And that’s when it got worse. Twisting caused Dazy’s collar to cinch down on Callie’s lower jaw locking her in. It was only one twist but that was enough to start strangling Dazy. The twist in the collar was right next to the collar release making it impossible to get to and release. Dazy’s collar was so tight we couldn’t get our fingers under it to cut it with scissors. Callie is screaming this whole time because the collar is so tight on her lower jaw. Finally, while trying to help them, I caught a glimpse of which way the collar was twisted and picked Callie up and spun her around to undo the twist. Her jaw was released and we could finally get Dazy’s collar off. Dazy was so scared, and probably starved for air, that she actually pooped during this whole thing. Callie’s lower jaw was squeezed so hard it caused her to bleed under her chin. They were both so scared for a good hour after this all happened but then later in the day went right back to playing. There were no lasting injuries to either of them thank god. I’m so glad I was right there when it happened.

Philip C. – Ohio

Well, this is why I ordered your collars. We had a 10 week old puppy this happened to (a collar accident) and I searched the internet over and over until I found your website and read your story. The first one I ordered has already worked. We found it under our deck in the back yard. So thank you for helping us prevent another tragedy. You have created a wonderful product!

Beverly E. – North Carolina

Since ordering our first breakaway collars from you several years ago, we have been spreading the word to our family, friends, veterinarians, and acquaintances about your collars.

It has been quite alarming at the number of people who are unaware of the dangers posed to their dogs by traditional buckle collars, or of any safe alternative like your breakaway collars. Although we currently only have one Husky, having lost our female Husky in April, we hope to get another one soon. Therefore, we plan to outfit any future pups with your breakaway collars. Thank you for providing such a quality safe product that literally saves lives!

Margaret C. – South Dakota

Your company stands for taking a tragedy and turning it into saving so many. I think I read your story back (and ordered my first collar) when I had my first dog Landry back around early 2000’s. She was the love of my life and I cried reading the tragedy that helped form your company.

Thank you for your excellent customer service. I wish more (or any) companies were like you.

Bill C. and Family – Wall, NJ

Thank you for making these collars! We had a regrettable incident last Monday involving a traditional collar. We have three rescue dogs and two are 10-month-old chocolate lab littermates that play extremely aggressively with each other. Early Monday morning I was awakened by screaming and blood-curdling howls from the dogs. My wife had let the dogs into our side yard to play. During the course of play, our one dog got her lower jaw caught in her sister’s collar and was frantically trying to free herself. When I ran outside I witnessed one of the worst things I have ever seen. Stella, in an attempt to free herself, was dragging a lifeless Resse across the yard. My wife tackled Stella and I attempted to unsnap Reese’s collar. By this time the collar had become embedded in her throat and she was unresponsive. I could not get the collar to release and could not cut it with a scissor as it was way too tight.

I was finally able to get my fingers behind the snap and was able to un-clip it. We estimate it took 4-5 minutes to free the dogs. Reese was not breathing, had no heartbeat, her eyes were open and pupils were fixed and not dilating and her tongue was blue. For all intents and purposes, she was deceased. My wife began mouth-to-mouth and I began chest compressions. After about two minutes, Reese coughed and slowly began to breathe on her own. It took about 15 minutes for her to regain consciousness and she was very weak. After about an hour she was alert. Our Vet checked her out and proclaimed her the miracle puppy as she appears to be 100 percent normal!!

Later that day I searched the internet and found your wonderful collars. I ordered one for each of my dogs(3). I have had dogs all my life and never knew the dangers that traditional collars present. My internet search uncovered hundreds of stories of dogs strangling themselves with traditional collars. This is how I found you. My condolences on the loss of Chinook but thank you for inventing these collars so no pet owner will ever have to experience what you and I have had to experience. I will tell my story to any of our pet owner friends, the rescue group that we work with, and anyone else who will listen and I will direct them to your company.

Thank you again for making a product that can literally save lives.

Tamra – MN

On October 13th, 2022 I dropped my dog Franky off at my daughter’s house. My daughter has Franky’s littermate his name is Ghost, and they play quite vigorously when they are together. After I left my daughters immediately the dogs started playing and Ghost got his bottom jaw caught on Franky’s collar. Both of the dogs started screaming in pain, Ghost was flaying and was dragging Franky. Franky was being strangled. Frankie lost consciousness, thankfully my daughter was there and tried to release the collar and it didn’t release. She put her finger in Ghost mouth to try to release the collar and when the collar did release Ghost reflex of his mouth came down on my daughter’s finger. The dogs are saved but very traumatized. My daughter however is losing her index finger on her right hand because of how it Ghosts jaw came down on her finger. The doctor is trying to save the finger but it is not working. I want to make people aware that accidents happen and by no means was it the dog’s fault. Ghost is a service dog and Franky is an Esa my daughter has no regrets she said she would do it again in a heartbeat because it saved the dogs.

Karen and Jim – Aiken, SC

I just ordered two breakaway collars for our labs after a harrowing playing accident. Lucky I was in the yard when our female caught her jaw, not just her front teeth, in our males collar. The collar had twisted three times to make it virtually impossible to release any tension on the seatbelt type buckle. Blood everywhere from the gums made it extra hard to grip the buckle. Had to take my shirt off and use it to help press the latch down. Thought my dog was dead and began chest compressions. Was so fortunate that he reacted. Stunned and shocked but no adverse outcome. Felt like it was a 10 minute ordeal but was probably 2-3 at most. Going to tell everyone to buy these collars.

L. Gosink, DVM

I am an ER Veterinarian in Eastern WA State. I have seen many dogs strangle from their collars. Last spring after seeing 3 dogs in 3 days come close to death and needing 48+ hours of ICU care I got angry and said “Why isn’t there a breakaway collar for dogs?” Then I googled it and found this company. I promptly ordered 3 collars and leashes for my dogs who love to hang on each other while playing. Over the last year the collars have held up beautifully. I frequently find my male Corgi’s collar on the law because my female Corgi hangs on his throat all the time. It reassembles easily and has held up well. No complaints from me. What prompted me to write this review today is that today I am on number 3 strangled dogs in the last 5 days. I am pretty much telling everyone about this product. I wish you would get into mainstream pet stores. The world needs these collars. I am sad that I keep seeing this problem.

Elaine Gerke – GA

We live in the country on 120 acres and rescued a dog who found us while walking our two dogs. Homer is an 80 pound sweetheart but, given his past life, he loves to run free through our woods and pastures. In spite of our keeping close tabs on him he has come home at least five times without his collar. Thanks to the GPS attached to his collar, we have been able to track it down. Every time it is clear Homer has been in a predicament (fences, branches, etc. )and breaking out of the collar has been imperative to his wellbeing. Thank you, Tenney, for the work you do to save our precious animals and for the special help/advise you gave to us as we worked to find ways to keep our Homer safe.

Gary E. – GA

This collar is for our new corgi puppy, Eddie. More than a decade ago, I purchased KeepSafe collars after our two prior corgis, Benny and Lillie, were involved in a play accident where Benny was nearly strangled to death by Lillie after her jaw was caught beneath Benny’s collar. Benny and Lillie wore KeepSafe collars until they crossed the rainbow bridge last year, having lived long lives bringing our family joy every day. Now it is Eddie’s turn, and he is off to a great start.

Sue K., TX

Our 15 pound dog, Cooper, likes to try and slow our 25 pound dog, Cassie, during play by holding onto her collar. One day we heard Cooper screaming in the backyard. We ran out there and his lower jaw had become caught in Cassie?s collar. His neck was bent back at a terrible angle and Cassie was choking. It was horrible. Fortunately they got separated and no one was injured, but it could have turned out much worse. We ordered a breakaway collar that day; it?s a lot of peace of mind for a small price.

Carly Ettefagh – NC

We lost our sweet 13 month old lab to collar strangulation. I had heard of collar strangulation and had a buckle instead of a belt collar (I hadn’t heard of breakaway collars) and took the collar off in the crate and when playing with other dogs, but did not consistently take it off when leaving the house. Thanksgiving 2021 my sister came to visit with her 2 year old Lab. We took the collar off all weekend when the dogs were playing and generally separated the dogs when we weren’t home. Then one night we forgot when we went across the street to a neighbor’s house for dinner. When we came home, Gus was stuck to Roger’s collar and Gus was screaming. Roger was already dead. We had to get pruning shears to remove the collar because of where Gus had the collar and how panicked Gus was. It was absolutely horrific. When I read how many dogs this happens to I was shattered. Why has a vet never talked about this risk with us? I will never own anything other than a breakaway collar now and will make sure my dogs are microchipped. This shouldn’t have happened.

Kaylee Bond – WY

My 10-year-old lab’s buckle collar had gotten stuck to the kennel. She was choking as she tried to pull herself off of it. Luckily someone was home to help her so that this situation did not get any worse. The collar could not be undone and she had to be cut out of it. I had heard of break away for cats but had absolutely no luck finding them for large dogs until I came across this website. I have not received the collars yet, but all three dogs will be getting one to prevent a situation like this from ever happening again!

Mark and Jennifer – CO

The story is the same as so many already posted. We only wish we knew of the risk beforehand. Our two amazing Goldens loved to play together and roughhouse. They were the joy of each others lives and ours. 2 days ago while playing in the back yard the unthinkable happened and a totally preventable tragedy occurred. Our youngest (3 1/2 years old) Golden died from a twisted collar accident. The pain is unbearable. We lost the most amazing joyful, happy and energetic dog we have ever seen. She radiated happiness and love and we lost her simply because we didn’t know any better. Her sister, my wife and I simply wander in a sorrowful daze. Please don’t let this happen to you. We’re sorry Sansa, we love you and will miss you the rest of our lives.

Megan M. – MD

48 hours ago, my husband and I lost our 4 month old (3 days shy of 5 months) fun-loving chocolate lab due to strangulation. The pain and heartache are unbearable and unimaginable. It was a typical Friday morning, and our two-year-old lab mix and our almost 5-month-old lab puppy were outside playing bright and early in our large fenced-in yard. I sat inside drinking my coffee talking to my mom, a normal routine of mine. I heard the most terrifying screams coming from outside and ran to my dogs. At first, like many of the storied ive read, I thought my older dog had my puppy by the neck. I quickly realized the puppy’s martingale collar (a collar that was required by the adoption agency) had been wrapped around our oldest dogs jaw. I’ve never screamed in horror like I did this day. So loud my neighbor came running to my yard. I ran inside screaming for my husband to wake up, all while grabbing scissors to cut the collar off. My attempts failed because the collar was too tight. By this time, my husband was in the yard with us and ran inside to get a knife. We were able to cut the martingale collar off, and at the time Zoey was still breathing. We rushed her to the vets, and she died nearly 15 minutes after arriving. This pain and trauma is unimaginable. I pray that my story, along with all the others, saves as my dogs as possible! No dog deserves this, and no dog owner should have to live this tragedy. I plan to measure my oldest dogs’ neck and purchase this collar. Until then, she will not wear a collar. Please, please learn form our mistakes and educate yourselves about dog strangulation for collars.

Deidre – Santa Cruz, CA

This is, thank goodness, a happy story. It could have and would have ended much differently. I have two border collies who are approaching their first birthday. They both have beautifully woven martingale type collars. NEVER AGAIN. I was less than 20 feet away in the next room when I heard awful screaming of terrified dog. I found one dog with his whole chin and bottom jaw caught in the other dogs collar twisting and turning to try to get free. While he was doing that the other one was having her airway cut off. There is no way they could have untangled themselves without help. My partner ran for scissors while I held them still as much as I could. I could barely get a finger under to get the scissors in to cut it off. I?m ordering these collars and hope they work well but I will never look at any collar the same way again.

Terry – Health, TX

Our beloved 7-month-old Australian Shepherd pup, Hunley, was killed when his leather collar…during dog play somehow wrapped around the lower jaw of our 3-year-old German Shepherd mix, Shem. It was one of the worst days of my life. In Hunley’s honor…I’m committed to educating and informing others about the dangers of collar strangulation. Shem and our other dog, Bowen, now wear away breakaway collars…and we recommend them to others in hopes that another dog and family are spared the devastating circumstances that we’ve experienced.

Bonnie, Vernon, TX

Thank God you developed a safe collar so that nobody ever has to have a “collar story” again. I had two young mini Aussies and I put them in our secure back yard to run an errand. When I returned and went to get them, I heard the most horrible noise from them and thought that the male was trying to kill the female bc it appeared that he had her by the neck. But the D ring on her collar had got caught on his tooth. In the struggle, she had managed to bite him through the bridge of his nose before her collar almost strangled her to death. I cut it off of her and her eyes were bloodshot and protruding from her head and she was in shock. It was after hours but I called the vet and she said to just keep her quiet in a kennel away from him in case she was scared of him and bring them both in the next morning. After a few hours, there was no keeping her from him and she went and got in bed with him. The following day I bought breakaway collars and have used nothing else.

Lynette Smith, WA

In Loving Memory of Ryder Jackson ❤

I’ve struggled since October 24th, 2018 writing this post. I’ve gone back and forth about writing it.

First let me start by saying I’m absolutely devastated, and shattered by the loss of my beautiful chocolate Ryder, and in the same breath thankful, that Skyrah survived. It’s a strange place to be – heartbroken/shattered, and thankful at the same time.



Jill Bailey, TX

In honor of Daisy – My deaf Catahoula, Annie, was in the back yard with Daisy, her hearing ear dog. When my husband went out to see why they weren’t coming in, he found them tangled. Annie’s jaw was stuck under Daisy’s collar. They panicked and apparently gator-rolled. We got them untangled and did CPR, but it was too late. Daisy was strangled to death. I did some investigating and was shocked at how many dogs die, due to collar strangulation. A lot were like Daisy and Annie, but others were caught on fences, crates, bushes, etc. They struggled so hard that Daisy’s metal name tag was bent. Be aware of your dog collars. I highly recommend breakaway collars. Annie now wears one with her deaf dog tags attached. It has “broken” numerous times. I hate to imagine what could’ve happened each of the times it broke away. 

In loving honor of Gracie

For Gracie’s Sake was created to honor the memory of my puppy, Gracie. Gracie died at Acme Canine Resource Center in Lewis Center, Ohio on April 3, 2014. She was there for daycare and strangled to death on a choker collar that was placed on her by Acme staff. After reviewing the incident report, it’s my opinion that inadequate staffing, training, equipment, and lack of basic emergency preparedness played key roles in the senseless death of a beautiful 6-month-old puppy. The unthinkable happened that day and my life is forever changed.

I tell you this not to dredge up the past, but to bring light to a situation that could have had a different ending if I would have asked the appropriate questions before taking my puppy to daycare. Knowledge is powerful. The vision for this page is for us to share information and educate… what works, what doesn’t; things you love, things you hate; great toys, not so great toys; good experiences, bad experiences; cute pictures, cuter pictures; tips and tricks…anything pertaining to your fur baby that may be helpful or enjoyed by those visiting this page. It is not a place to bitch, bully or bash… it’s a place to share knowledge to help others keep their beloved pets happy and safe. This will be Gracie’s legacy.

In loving honor of Cal-e

From Cal-e’s mom: On January 8th I left for work a little rushed as I was running late for a meeting, but I had taken a few moments that morning to snuggle the dogs and especially Cal-e who hovered over me and nuzzled her head into my chest. I put my three dogs (Sheriff, Cal-e, and Booker) and a foster dog (Chance) in the dog room. It’s a room that extends from the front of the house to the back and includes a window to look out the front and plenty of room to stretch their legs during the day.

I arrived home about 5:40 p.m. that night and I sat in the driveway waiting for the garage door to open. Normally the dogs run to the window, bounce off, and greet me at the door into the garage. That night no one came. I knew something was wrong and worried that they had got into the house.


Holly B. — FL

(Taken from the Sumner County Times, Florida) A Sumner County, Florida couple lost their beloved champion Anatolian Shepard, Khara, in what we might think of as a freak accident. While playing outside, Khara’s collar got caught and horribly twisted in their one-year-old puppy’s teeth and jaw. As Khara’s owner tried to free them, the couple heard the gurgles of her last breath. It is a nightmare they relive daily and that will haunt them forever. The stories they heard made them realize this was not a freak accident. “If we had known about the dangers of collars, Khara would still be with us today.”

Lynne J. — Madison Heights, MI

“One day, our shep/lab mix Kurtie was behind the garage where I could not see him. He jumped on the fence, caught his collar and could not free himself. Luckily, Kurtie’s friends happened to be approaching and the man helped him. He had to slip Kurtie’s collar off him, as all his weight (73 lbs) was hanging from the collar, and he was wiggling. Kurtie never would have been able to get loose on his own. I was thrilled to see your ad for the break-away collar…Thanks for this great product. I will share it with all the dog owners I know.”

Scott B. — Reading, PA.

“I have had dogs for many years — 44 to be exact. I have been to trainers and paid them 100’s of dollars to train me to take care of my dog. Never did they mention that collars can be dangerous. I see it clearly now. What can I say: you must pay to become educated. Why Millie had to pay with her life is beyond me. I had been told about the break-away collar by my vet the morning that I took Millie and Shadow to his office to find out what happened. Millie was dead and Shadow’s lower jaw and throat were edematous. I wish he would have told me two weeks sooner. I wish I wish…”

R.A. — Cali Mesa, CA

“I recently adopted a rescue Collie who is a relentless collar puller. She grabs my other dog’s collar and pulls hard. A friend of mine lost a dog when Dog #1 caught its canine tooth in Dog #2’s collar buckle. Dog #2 threw herself so violently trying to break free that she broke her neck in front of her horrified owner.”

Sue D. — Warwick, NY

“When Araela was a puppy, she loved to pull on our shepherd Odin’s collar. Somehow she got his collar twisted around her bottom jaw — she screamed so loud! He was growling because he got scared too, and I couldn’t get the collar off him at first. It was seconds but seemed liked an eternity. He growled as if he were going to attack her in his frightened state. What would have happened had I not been at home? Since then, if they wear a collar at all it’s a Premier KeepSafe Break-Away Collar.”

Cath J.P. — Hemet, CA.

“Years ago, I had two labs. One about 1 year old and 90+ lbs. The other about 4 mos. old & about 30 lbs. The bigger dog’s lower jaw got twisted in the younger dog’s collar while they were playing, twisting the collar tight on the younger dog. The older dog began making terrible noises. To my horror, the younger dog was passed out, his eyes rolled back in his head. I couldn’t get the collar untwisted nor opened up. I picked up and carried 120 lbs. of dogs into my house to get scissors to cut the collars off. When I dropped the two dogs on the floor, it loosened the collars, and the younger dog came free!! Now that I have found these wonderful breakaway collars, they are on all my dogs and on many of my friends’ dogs. Thank you to the Chinook Co. for saving some K9 lives!”

J.L. — Parker, CO.

“When Araela was a puppy, she loved to pull on our shepherd Odin’s collar. Somehow she got his collar twisted around her bottom jaw — she screamed so loud! He was growling because he got scared too, and I couldn’t get the collar off him at first. It was seconds but seemed liked an eternity. He growled as if he were going to attack her in his frightened state. What would have happened had I not been at home? Since then, if they wear a collar at all it’s a Premier KeepSafe Break-Away Collar.”

R.S. — Phoenix, AZ

“My wife arrived first and thought our two rottie pups were just playing. To our horror, we found that the female somehow got the male’s collar twisted around her jaw and it was strangling the male. The collar was twisted so tight that I could not find the clasp quickly enough to release it. When I did, the male fell to the floor. He was not breathing and had no heartbeat. I took his head in my lap and began breathing through his nose. After about two minutes, I felt a breath from his nostrils and his heart started beating. Balou is fine now; however, nobody should have to go through such a horrifying experience. I look forward to recieving our new Breakaway Collar”

K. B. — Roy, Utah

“I was driving down the road in my car, only to see this dog in the back of this guy’s truck driving down the road, and the dog was not in a crate, or even tied down. Well, I suppose because this guy had cattle racks around the edges, I guess he figured his dog was safe. But this poor dog’s collar got snagged on these bars somehow, and the owner didn’t notice. Then the dog started freaking out, flipping around and in circles, then the next thing I knew, this dog managed to jump right through the middle of the bars and was literally hanging himself on the outside of this guys truck. The owner still hadn’t noticed his poor dog hanging as he’s driving down the road, so I start honking intensly as did alot of other people. Finally, this guy did stop and go out to get the dog undone. When they finally got it undone the dog was lifeless. Well sadly, enough, the dog had broken his neck and was dead.”

P.G. — Piedmont, CA

“On two occasions, 15 years apart and with different dogs, my German Shepherd and Austalian Shepherd mixes were playing. One time a canine tooth got stuck in a buckle collar hole. The other time the buckle collar twisted around the puppies lower jaw. I will always be thankful I was home and ws able to cut one collar with a knife (the dog was nearly unconscious or I couldn’t have and was gushing blood, from luckily only a cut tongue.) The second time, two years ago, my sister was able to yank the one dog while I yanked the other dog free. Luckily there was no serious injury.”

Rachel I. — Chicago, IL

“I had no idea of the dangers of a dog collar. I lost my beautiful one-and-a-half-year-old Golden Retriever, Hannah, when she strangled to death on her training collar. She was wrestling with another Golden Retriever indoors with adult supervision. The other dog’s lower jaw became twisted in Hannah’s training collar. The collar twisted so quickly and tightly that no one could pull it off in time and Hannah died instantly. Please make every dog lover and owner aware of this danger. I wish that I would have known about breakaway collars before this happened.”
Chinook pictured with the collar that took his life. Through his death we hope other dogs may live.

The risks of tragic collar strangulation accidents and injuries are real.

The KeepSafe Break-Away Collar provides 24/7 protection from collar strangulation accidents.