Picking a dog collar is one of the most vital decisions for your pet. Dogs wear collars for training, walking, identification, ward off fleas and ticks or even fashion. You probably want to buy some different collars for different purpose. It’s also the most effective tool of communication with your dog. Have in mind that all collars are not appropriate for all, or even any, dogs.

How do I choose the right necklace?

There is a wide range of dog collars that are available on the market. To find the right for you and your dog, consider your dog’s basic needs, daily activities, and other essential criteria.
Choose a dog collar or harness that suits yours and your dog’s everyday life. For instance a durable nylon necklace with a buckle for a dog running in the woods and ground. A wide half-check collar if you want to be able to take off and on the necklace quickly. A comfortable wide leather necklace for the dog wearing the collar for long hours. For lively dogs, a broader collar is preferable. Harness allows you to have a bit more control over the dog. If you often go for walks during the dark hours of the day, choose a LED collar or one with reflective details.
If you have a puppy, choose an easily adjustable puppy collar with snap.

The best dog collars are those that are comfortable enough for everyday wear but durable enough to stand up to your dog’s biggest adventures.

For those who prefer not to use a harness for walks, the collar must also have robust hardware and fit well and not chafe when attached to a leash.
You shouldn’t use collars that add pressure or pain to your dog’s neck on walks to get them to stop pulling.

How to Size your Dog Collar

How to Size your Dog Collar

Before you begin looking for dog collars, it is essential to know what size your dog’s neck is. The easiest way to measure your dog’s neck size is with a flexible measuring tape.

Take the measuring tape and wrap it around your dog’s neck between the ears and the collar bone, where your dog will wear his collar. Add 2 inches (5 cm) to this measurement, and you have your dog’s neck size.

When you put your dog’s collar on, you should be able to fit two fingers underneath, between your dog’s body and the collar. You want it to be tight enough that it won’t slip over your dog’s head, but loose enough that it won’t choke or strangle your dog.

When to wear a collar

Because of their design, some collars can also be dangerous when left on a dog without supervision. The martingale which has an extra loop of material and half-check collar, can easily get caught in things, and you should be removed after the walk. Also head collar, too, should only be worn for walks. Flat collars are relatively safe to keep on 24/7.

Types of Collars

In this article, we have chosen not to include collars that the humane society recommend to avoid because they can lead to health problems such as fainting, nerve damage, and death in the hands of an inexperienced owner.

 

Flat Collar

The flat collar is the most common and standard type of collar. It is the most economical and best option for controlling the dog during a walk. However, this collar is not suitable for the pullers as the flat collar belt will directly transfer all the efforts to the dog’s trachea duct and neck.

Suitable for: Calm and obedient dogs

Pros: Gentle on a dog’s neck when appropriately used.

Cons: Dogs who pull on leash can choke themselves and not even realize it. Also, it transfers all the efforts to the dog’s trachea duct and neck.

Check price

Martingale Collar

A martingale collar combines the simplicity of a flat buckle collar with the added pressure of a slip collar, but with a built-in limitation on how tight the collar can slip. It’s a design that suits any breed of dog which has a head smaller than its neck. Unlike a standard collar which the dog can slip off, the martingale collar tightens whenever the dog attempts to remove it. When the dog stops trying to free themselves from the collar, it loosens. They are considered to be more humane than choke collars, as the risk of injury is minimal. Its purpose is to train the dog while also maintaining its physical safety.

Suitable for: Mild to moderate pullers

Pros: Suited forbreeds with narrow heads in proportion to their necks, like Greyhounds and Whippets so they not can slip out.

Cons: Can cause damage to the neck if the dog pulls excessively over time.

Check price

Half-Check Collar

When a dog is having a tough time adapting to life on a leash, the half-check collar is a popular option. Similar in function to a martingale collar, the half-check design tightens when the dog either tries to remove the collar or pull away from the leash. When the dog stops struggling, the collar loosens. The design is relatively simple, part fabric and part chain. The collar promotes good behaviour while not risking injury to the dog, as a choke collar might. Many owners switch to a standard collar after the training period is over but remains popular for those dogs who repeatedly try to remove their collar.

Suitable for: Mild to moderate pullers

Pros: Suited for breeds with narrow heads in proportion to their necks, like Greyhounds and Whippets so they not can slip out.

Cons: Can cause damage to the neck if the dog pulls excessively over time.

Check price

Head Collars

The head collars help you control the dog’s head which eventually drives all his body. It will neither hurt the neck, trachea, nor harm the dog psychologically. A head collar is similar to a horse’s halter—it slips over your dog’s snout and attaches behind his ears.
When appropriately used, head collars can successfully discourage pulling and support other training. Head halters should not be left on unattended dog or dogs on a very long lead, as they may be able to back out of some types of head collars.

Suitable for: Strong pullers

Pros: Can redirect your dog’s attention, preventing it from pulling. Also it can have a calming effect on the dog, making it give up control and feel safer on the walk. 

Cons: It can twitch a dog’s head abruptly if misused. Some dogs are reluctant to let you put it on, and they will try to get it off. It can also wear away at the dog’s fur on the face over time.

Check price

Harnesses

Harness is designed for placement around a dog’s chest and abdomen, crossing over the back. There are two main types of harnesses: a front-clip harness, where the leash attaches at your dog’s chest, and a back-clip harness, where the leash attaches on your dog’s back. But you can today also find many which conveniently have both.
Some dog owners prefer harnesses over collars, especially for dogs with a tendency to pull, because they don’t put any pressure on the neck. Some trainers feel that harnesses only encourage pulling and that’s better to use a collar for training the dog not to pull. Harnesses are ideal for dogs with medical problems in the neck and airway.

Suitable for: Pullers with neck problems

Back-clip harness

Pros: Ideal for dogs with problem in the neck and airways, gives no tension on the neck. Can be beneficial for short-nosed dogs, such as Pugs or Boston Terriers.

Cons: Gives dogs leverage to pull aggressively, which hurts their back and can make them difficult to control.

Front-clip harness

Pros: Redirects your dog back towards you if he starts to strain or pull, allowing you to steer him. Helps control your dog more without straining his back.

Cons: Can still pull, but not as hard.

Check price

LED Collars

LED dog collars are fantastic help for keeping track of your dog when it’s dark. It also keeps your dog visible to motorists. At night it’s pretty tough for motorists to see dogs running out in the middle of the street and with this collar can go a long way to preventing accidents. LED collars are also handy for illuminating a dark path while you walk with your pooch.
LED’S has low voltage and therefore, can’t harm your dog and is just as safe as any collar. And they are not affected by wet grass or lighting.

Pros: You see your dog in the dark and the motorist can easier see the dog and avoid accidents. Aslo it illuminate your way in the dark.

Cons: Some has short battery time and some the dog can turn of themselves.

Check price

Collar Materials

Once you have determined the type of collar that would work best for your dog, you can start looking at material types. Most dog collar types come in a variety of different materials, each with unique benefits and drawbacks. To help you understand the differences between the materials used in dog collars, here are some of the pros and cons of each.

Waterproof

Waterproof collars are made of materials like; Biothane, Polyurethane coated nylon, rubber, stainless steel. They are suitable for pets in wetter climates, and for outdoor activities. The soft material of waterproof collars is comfortable to be worn all the time, or just for rainy days.
This type of collar will be not only waterproof, but it will resist bacteria and be very easy to clean. Over time, bacteria in most materials will start to smell, get mouldy and begin to break down. Waterproof collars are very durable, and you don’t need to replace it as often as nylon or leather collars.

Pros: Perfect for wet climate and if your dog love to swim. Durable, comfortable, resist bacteria and easy to clean

Cons: A bit bulky

Check price

Neoprene

Neoprene is a soft rubber material that, same as in wet suits. It’s reinforced with nylon webbing for added strength, stretch, and durability. Neoprene is an excellent collar for dogs that spend a lot of time in the water.

Pros: Perfect for dogs that like to swim or for pets with skin allergies. . Comfortable and fast drying.

Cons: More expensive, bulkier than nylon and limited designs

Check price

Nylon

Nylon collars are the multi-purpose, standard collar and the most common type. They come in a wide variety of patterns, colours, widths, and qualities. Ideal for dogs to wear around the house, on walks, and for attaching ID tags. If you and your dog are into fashion, you can have fun with the myriad of styles and designs.

Pros: Inexpensive, unlimited variety of patterns & designs and easy to use.

Cons: Can become smelly over time,  difficult to clean and less durable. Some dogs can have an allergy or sensitivity to nylon.

Check price

Biothane

Biothane collars are the ideal collar for dogs that love water. It’s 100% non-toxic, made from polyester webbing that is powder-coated with either polyurethane or polyvinyl materials. They are a great alternative to neoprene and leather, as they are softer, more flexible, and less expensive. If you search for both style and function, this material is available in more patterns and styles than neoprene.
Biothane material is comfortable for everyday use, durable enough for any activity, and will not break down like other materials will. For dogs that play rough with other dogs, or are chewing on their collars, Biothane will hold up better than any nylon, neoprene or leather product.

Pros: Less expensive than neoprene and leather, waterproof, easy to clean and won’t smell  and are flexible and comfortable.

Cons: Not so easy to find as other collar materials.

 

Check price

Leather

Leather dog collars are a classic, durable style of collar that provides a great balance of both looks and practicality. While more expensive than most collars, quality leather collars last for years.
Make sure when you are buying your dog’s leather collar that you choose a collar made from genuine leather. You find leather collars in both flat and rolled designs. Rolled leather collars are better for dogs that have thick hair that easily mats around their collar.

Pros: Durable, natural material, breathable, easy to wipe clean and suitable for pets with allergies or skin sensitivities.

Cons: Limited designs, expensive, can become smelly over time and coloured can stain the coat or bleed when wet.

Check price

Faux Leather

Many dog collars on the market today are made of faux leather. It’s a cheap material that doesn’t last as long or is as durable as genuine leather. Avoid this material for everyday use.

Pros: Inexpensive and comes in many colours and styles.

Cons: Not durable, cheap materials and coloured can stain the coat or bleed when wet.

Check price

To Recap

Ultimately, choosing the right dog collar for your pet comes down to five questions:

  1. What will you primarily us your dog’s collar for; everyday wear, swimming, walking at night, training or fashion? Remember that you may want to have a few different types of collars for various uses.
  2. What materials would be appropriate for your dog’s well-being, function and your personal preference?
  3. Can if any, considerations or accessories improve your dog’s collar functionality?
  4. Is a dog harness an alternative?
  5. What kind of leash would work with my dog’s collar?

Now you should be fully equipped to begin shopping for your dog’s perfect collar with confidence.

Annika Nordin Copywriter All best dogs supplies

ANNIKA NORDIN – Writer | Web Designer | Web Admin

Web designer educated in communication. Living on a small island in Greece and writes for us to share her experience of a whole life with dogs.

Articles from Annika Nordin