It's a real safety issue, and most people aren't doing these 4 things. After ten years of outfitting thousands of dogs in martingale collars, we've taken a few notes along the way.
After adjusting the collar out to comfortably slide the martingale collar over your dog's head, find the spot where you'd like the collar to rest and pull the adjustable slider to comfortably tighten. Then make sure the following 4 things are done correctly:
MARTINGALE COLLAR CHECKLIST:
1. The cinch loops two slides should NEVER touch! This means it's too lose and the huge benefit of having the collar tighten to prevent escape is lost.
2. With the collar resting directly being your dog's ears (generally the widest part of your dog's head), adjust and tighten the collar so that you can fit at least three fingers between the two cinch slides.
3. NEVER ever put charms or tags on the D-ring, which is the controller of the cinch loops' tightening action. It is much safer to put tags on a slide (the slides don't activate tightening).
4. Remove the martingale whenever your dog is left unattended. * We like to keep our dog's ID at all times (even though they are all microchipped). In the event someone leaves the gate or door open, and an escape occurs, our dog's carry our phone number and identification with them on their ID tag collars. Note, you may want to remove all collars and let your dog be "naked". Whether you decide to leave an ID tag collar (no d-ring, no buckle, no cinching action) is completely up to you and what level of risk you are the most comfortable with.