If you’re looking for a dog collar, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve taken the time to outline all you’ll ever need to know about buying the right dog collar for your canine friend. Here is the 2021 dog collar buying guide.
Fitting Your Dog for a Dog Collar
Hands down the most important set when buying a new collar is proper fitting. Too big and your dog will wiggle loose—too small and they will grow out of the collar in months. The best way to measure collar size is with a piece of string. Wrap the string around your dog’s neck, put 2 fingers between dog and string, and then measure the length of your string.
Most brands of collars will have the collar lengths posted with their products. If they do not here is a good general rule of thumb to follow:
- X-Small (XS) collars are 8.5” - 11"
- Small (S) collars are 11.5” - 14"
- Medium (M) collars are 14.5” - 17.5"
- Large (L) collars are 18” - 22"
Different Types of Dog Collars.
There are many different types of dog collars; and the type you choose will depend on a couple factors. The biggest factor to weigh will be how your dog behaviors while on a leash. Additional considerations will be the size of your dog’s head and neck and your overall budget.
Standard Dog Collars
The most common dog collar is an adjustable length, standard dog collar. These collars will clip or buckle onto your pet and come with the ability to adjust length either with pre-punched holes or pressure slides. Typically, dog-owners will always have a standard collar on their dog as a place to hang a dog’s dog tags and then they add-on a training collar if needed.
Martingale Dog Collars.
Martingale dog collars are a type of training color which tends to be more gentle on your pet compared to other training collars. They are commonly made with nylon or leather in the front portion of the collar and then a small length of metal chain at the rear. This metal chain runs through 2 loops which allows the collar to tighten if your dog pulls too much.
Choke Chain Collars
A common collar used for training a dog who pulls too much when on the leash. When properly worn, a choke collar gets tighter when a dog pulls hard on the leash. This tightening is meant to signal to the dog to stop pulling. These types of collars should not be worn all the time, as they could fall off if too loose or over-tighten and strangle your dog.
Prong Collars and Pinch Collars
A prong collar is like a choke chain collar, but with spikes. To be completely honest, you should never use these types of collars unless you absolutely have to. These collars are dangerous and can cause serious damage to your pet’s neck. If you are at the point where you believe this to be your only option, please consult with your vet and a professional dog trainer first.
Harnesses are commonly used either as a way to make your dog more comfortable or to help keep escape-artist dogs on the leash. Harnesses are effective at preventing escapes, but they do have downsides. For starters, harnesses tend to give dogs more leverage to pull with, especially those who like to pull. Those harnesses which attach at the front can also throw your dog off balance and hurt your dog.
The Proper Use of Training Collars
Dog training collars can do a lot of good for strong dogs who really like to pull. Especially when you’re in a busy area with lots of distractions. That said, training collars must be put onto your dog correctly. As an example, a choke collar can only be put onto your dog in one direction for it to properly tighten and loosen with the slack in your leash.
Similarly, a common misconception with training collars is that the collar will do the teaching for you. This is simply not true. The best way to leash train your dog is to do it with positive reinforcement along with lots of treats and patience.
Dog Collar Materials
When selecting the type of material for your dog’s collar you have a couple things to keep in mind. So of these considerations—which we cover in each of the sections below—will be allergies, the strength of your dog, and budget.
Nylon Dog Collars
Nylon collars are the most common type of dog collar used by dog owners. The reason for this is nylon collars are the cheapest collars on the market which also means they have a wider selection of designs and patterns. That said, nylon collars are also the weakest material and they are the quickest to smell over time. In addition, dogs can be allergic to nylon.
Leather Dog Collars
Leather dog collars are a timeless choice which provide style and durability with the use of a natural material. In addition, leather is easy to wipe clean, takes much longer to hold a smell, and does not create allergic reactions. The downside to a leather dog collar is that it will cost more than nylon and has limitations in design choices because it is a natural material.
Neoprene Dog Collars
Neoprene collars are the dog collar of choice for owners of dogs who like to swim. These collars are durable, fast drying, and won’t create that ‘wet dog smell’ you get with nylon. That said, neoprene dog collars are also more expensive than the comparable nylon. Due to the higher price, there tends to be less variety in design choices with these collars.
Metal Chain Dog Collars
The most durable material you can find with a dog collar is going to be metal. Metal collars are most commonly a training collar, but you can find standard ones as well. The obvious advantage here is durability—and with it the safety it provides. Downsides to metal are that it is almost always used with choke collars, and metal can be uncomfortable in colder climates.
Which Dog Collar Looks the Best?
When it comes to a dog collar buying guide, how the collar looks is one of the most fun things to discuss. Here are some tips to think of when picking your next dog collar.
What Colors Fit for Your Dog?
For example, the blue or white eyes of a husky match very well with a blue leather dog collar. A more common usage of color is to select feminie colors for female dogs, and masculine for male. At the end of the dog, the sky's the limit when it comes to color and design choices!
Personalized Dog Collars
Any collar which can be personalized for your dog will add an unique aesthetic value. In fact, engraving allows you to even add your number to the collar. This personalized leather dog collar is a good example. This provides not only the ability to improve the look of your dog’s collar but you can even add your number to the collar in the event your dog’s tags fall off.
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