Introduction: Paracord Dog Collar, Halti Collar

About: Im a firefighter living and working in Edinburgh.
There are hundreds of instructables making use of paracord and it truly is a versatile product. 
I have a few on here myself including a paracord rescue belt and a paracord multitool pouch!

I would really appreciate your votes in consideration for the current paracord contest. This instructable is for an item that you will genuinely use every day and is easy to make for beginners and experts alike!

The total cost of materials comes to about £3-£4 which is about a third of the price you would pay for this in a pet store!

Even for a beginner, it shouldn't take you any more than an hour to make (took me all of 15 minutes!)

So just over a year ago i took the big step of getting a dog, a handsome golden Cocker Spaniel called Leo, he's incredibly well natured and is great company when i take him hiking, however as he reaches adolescence his senses are becoming more tuned and it is becoming increasingly difficult to stop him from pulling when i have him on a leash. It seems that there are far more interesting things in the world for him to stick his nose into to than walk alongside me!

I decided that as part of his training i will use a halti collar to help with the pulling. 

For those that are not familiar with how they work, they basically attach your leash to a loop that goes around the dogs muzzle. A dog will happily choke itself pulling on a leash with a collar round its neck, similarly, a harness will make it easier to control a dog but it does not remove the ability to pull when it wants to. 
A halti fits around the dogs muzzle meaning you can control the dog from the head. Your dog will naturally resist pulling as it is having to use its head and neck muscles instead of its legs and body. 
Its worth pointing out that a halti does not cure the underlying behaviour that makes your dog want to pull, only patience and structured training will teach the dog to walk on a leash without pulling however it is a useful tool, you should never ever pull on a dogs leash if its wearing a halti as you could injure your dog.


Step 1: Materials

Here are the essentials you need to make your collar. 

1. Paracord, The length of cord you require will depend on the size of your dog however you shouldn't need any more than about 50 feet of cord (if you need more i would have someone check that your dog isn't actually a bear)

2. Fastener. A side release buckle is ideal however you can also use something more stylish like and adjustable steel shackle!

3. Steel welded ring x 2 

4. Ruler / Tape Measure

5. Scissors

6. Lighter 

7. Haemostats, or needle nose pliers or tweezers, These are not essential however they make finishing off the collar a lot neater

8. A dog!  

Step 2: Sizing Up Your Collar

Its very important that you size your collar correctly, a poorly fitting collar can be a hazard to your pet, it can unintentionally choke your dog of too small, or if its too big it could just slip over its head and come off!

You will need two sizes for your halti, one size for the collar section and one for the muzzle section. 

The collar can be sized by either using an existing collar or by using a tape measure around your dogs neck. Always make sure the collar is fairly loose around your dogs neck. You should be able to rotate it easily and slide your fingers underneath without it becoming tight. (if in doubt its always best to make it a little larger than you need as its easier to shorten the collar if required than it is to add length on)

The muzzle section can also be sized using a tape measure as shown. Bear in mind the mussel piece needs to be larger than the dog as it needs to feed through the steel ring so i measured the dog and added on 4 inches for comfort.

The sizes i have for Leo are

Collar 14 inches, Muzzle 10 inches.

As a rule of thumb, with the weave we will be using (cobra stitch) you need approximately 1 foot of cord for every inch in length you are weaving. We will also be removing the internal strands from the cord to make it thinner which means we will need a little more to be safe so i have cut the following.

16 feet of cord for the collar

12 feet for the muzzle

2 feet for the ring attachment

Total 30 feet of cord! 

Step 3: Making the Collar Section

Its worth pointing out you can simply make a standard collar using this method, you don't have to make a halti!

So lets begin with the 16 feet of i have measured for the collar section. You will also need the short 2 foot length for the ring attachment in this step.

First of all we need to remove the internal white strands from the cord. This makes the cord much thinner and more suitable for a collar for a small dog. If you have a large dog you can always leave the strands intact if you wish but it may be hard for the muzzle section to pass through the steel ring so i certainly recommend it for at least the muzzle section. 

Snip the ends if they are melted closed and pull through the internal strands so all you have left is the outer sheath. 

Seal the ends of the cord afterward to stop them from fraying. 

You then need to find the centre of the length of cord as this is the first loop you will pass through the buckle. 

Pass the centre through one end of the buckle and then tighten the cord. If you like you can loop the cord through the buckle twice depending on the width of your buckle. 

Then take the two ends of the cord and pass them through the other side of the buckle, again you can loop them around twice if you wish, this can help prevent the cord from moving once you have it set at the correct length. 

Separate the two sections of the buckle as shown and then measure the length of your collar against a ruler/tape measure. 

You then need to take the short 2 foot length of cord, fold it in half and attach it to the centre of the collar as shown. It doesn't have to be perfect, as close as you can is OK. 

We are now ready to start weaving your collar!

Step 4: Weaving the Collar

Now we will begin weaving the main body of the collar. 

The weave is probably the most popular one used for paracord bracelets, its called Cobra Stitch. I have tried to make it as easy to follow as possible however if you are having difficulty there are an abundance of tutorial videos online. 

So we begin by laying the bracelet down and pulling the loose ends out to the side. 

Take the left hand cord and bring it behind the centre two strands and over the strand on the right. Then take the right hand cord over the centre two strands and then behind the left hand strand. 
Pull tight (not too tight though or you will find you bracelet will warp and look messy)
Then take the right hand strand behind the centre two, over the left. Take the left strand over the centre and behind the right. Congratulations, you can now do the cobra stitch!
Carry on weaving the entire length of the bracelet, simply weave right past the cord you have attached in the middle all the way to the other end of the buckle. 

The whole process is detailed more clearly in the pictures. 

Step 5: Finishing the End of the Collar

This is where the haemostats are handy. 

Basically all you are doing here is pulling the two ends of the cord through the buckle to the back of the collar and using the haemostats to pull them through the centre of the collar.

Please don't worry if you can't manage this, you can just pull the cord through the buckle and melt the ends in place behind with the lighter. 

Step 6: Attaching the Steel Ring to the Centre

We are now going to attach the steel ring to the small length of cord you attached in the middle of the collar. 

Take one of the steel rings and place it about 1 inch along the attached cord (maybe 1.5-2 inches if its for a bigger collar/dog)

Then simply repeat the steps for the cobra stitch along the short length until you reach the main collar. Finish off the ends by either cutting and melting in place or by pulling them through the centre of the collar. 

You now have a fully functioning dog collar if you want to stop there thats no problem. You have a collar with a ring for attacking a leash and also a quick release fastener so you can take it off or put it on quickly! ( i prefer this option as i take the collar off when the dog is at home)

Step 7: Making the Halti Section for Your Dogs Muzzle

Now we are going to make the halti attachment. 

You will need the remaining length of cord (12 feet in this instance) and the other steel ring. 

Its a little more difficult to begin as you don't have the buckles to attach the ends however once you start it off its just as easy to weave. 

Begin by finding the middle of the cord and measuring the length you require (i used 10 inches)

Slip the cord through the middle of the steel ring then take the end of the cord and make a loop to the point that you have measured to. 

The first weave should lock the two ends together as pictured and its just a case of weaving as before until the ends meet. 
So this time instead of weaving a long bar with buckles on each end, you are weaving it round in a ring if that makes sense? 

Step 8: Attaching the Halti to the Collar

Now all you have to do is feed the halt section through the ring attached to the collar. 

If you picture the collar fastening behind your dogs head with the ring section at the bottom facing forward, push the halti section up through the bottom of the ring as shown in the picture. 

To put it on your dog, gently place the loop of the halti over the dogs muzzle, then fasten the collar behind the dogs head. 

You then attach the leash to the ring on the halti section which should be hanging at the bottom.
This means that if your dog tries to pull against the lead they will be doing so with their head meaning you have much greater control!

Step 9: Thanks!

Thank you very much for taking the time to follow my instructable, i hope you and your dog get great pleasure from the items you made. 

You'll be amazed how many admiring glances your dogs custom made collar will get, its a great way to show your pet how much you care for it. 

Keep subscribed as soon i will be posting instructables on how to make a paracord dog leash, and also a paracord dog harness for securing your pet while in your car!

Finally a big thank you to Leo for taking time out of his busy remote control chewing schedule to mode for my pictures!
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