Dog collars in 2021 come in a number of different materials for various purposes. Our team of veterinarians, professional dog law enforcement dog handlers, researchers, experts, and dog aficionados have put in hundreds of hours determining which collars are the right fit for you and your dog. Check out the best dog collars to make the cut so you can find the right puppy training collar or something more comfortable for your mature dog.
After taking measurements, you need to understand what kind of collar would fit and suit your dog the best. There are so many types of collars that it can be a challenge to find the best one. The first recommendation is to find a material that is comfortable for your dog. Most dogs are comfortable with nylon or leather collars; however, some dogs need hypoallergenic materials for their collars.
The collar you choose should also be appropriate to your dog’s size – a puppy needs a much smaller one than a full-grown dog. And, be sure to replace the collar when it is starting to show wear or when it seems like your dog is getting too big for it. You should always be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.
If you’re not sure where to buy collars, or what kind of collar you should try for your dog or puppy, here are some types of dog collars that might suit your precious pet:
Just about every dog needs a collar, especially for their license and ID information in case they get lost somewhere. Collars are not specifically for identification or dressing up your dog, though. For example, a shock collar can be used for training purposes like barking control or to protect them from serious injuries.
What to Look for in a Shock Collar
Shock collars, when used properly, can be a great way to train your dog. Many come with adjustable modes and levels of shock so that you don’t harm your dog. When searching for a shock collar, check to make sure there are a few different modes so that the correction is appropriate for your dog’s action. For example, you don’t want to use a continuous shock mode when your dog is just tugging a bit on their leash.
You should also look for a collar that has a good range. If you think your dog might be far away while you are training, a shock collar with a long range will probably be best; and if your dog is unlikely to leave your yard, a shock collar with a smaller range should work fine.
A classic leather collar is safe, natural, and organic. Leather dog collars are a DogGear team favorite.
What to Look for in a Leather Collar
Leather dog collars come in many styles and colors. Choosing the best fit for your dog is really a matter of what looks best with their fur or what you are comfortable with. Like with any collar, you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck. If you are unable to do this, the collar is too tight and might harm your dog.
Puppies are excited and curious at the same time. They are always ready to explore new things around them. They can also be jumpy and difficult to handle. It’s very important to keep them safe when you take them out for walks or for play. Your puppy’s size will determine what kind of puppy collar you should get.
What to Look for in a Puppy Collar
Your dog should wear its own size of collar so that it will not get stuck anywhere and to reduce the risk of choking. The first thing to do, though, is choose the collar style. Keep it in mind what purpose you want to use it for, such as walking, training, or hiking. Different collars are often intended for different types of activities! After that, you need to select the material of your pet’s collar. If your puppy has sensitive skin, look for a comfortable material that will not cause infection or allergy.
Once you have chosen a collar, be sure to personalize it with their ID tags and include your name and phone number so you can be reached if your puppy gets lost. Some collars even have GPS options so that you can easily track your puppy via a mobile app. If you want to go one step further a dog GPS tracker can also be helpful.
A Martingale collar gives more control over your dog, without the potential choking problems other collars present. It prevents escape due to two loops: one is larger and other is small. When the dog tries to run, the pressure causes the small loop to tighten, and the larger loop becomes tighter too. This type of collar is recommended by many dog owners and trainers.
What to Look for in Martingale Collars
If you’re trying to find Martingale dog collar for your greyhound or a large breed dog, then you need to know the circumference of your dog’s neck first. This will help determine the size of Martingale collar to get. Remember, it does tighten when your dog pulls on the leash, so it shouldn’t be too tight to begin with, but it also can’t be too loose. A martingale collar that fits well will likely last for a long period of time.
Martingale dog collars may have a side release buckle, with which you can easily slide and release the buckle. This makes putting on and taking off the collar super easy. However, standard Martingale collars usually allow you to slip the collar over your dog’s head and adjust the collar so that it fits properly. Either type of Martingale collar will keep your dog from feeling uncomfortable and help avoid choking issues.
An anti-bark collar is designed to distract or correct your dog when they are barking. There are many different types of anti-bark collars. Some spray citronella whenever your dog barks. Since dogs have a really sensitive nose, they can smell the citronella, which they don’t like, so they stop barking. Some other options beep or vibrate when your dog barks, and you could also consider a shock collar.
What to Look for in an Anti-Bark Collar
The different types of anti-bark collars range from high intensity levels to low intensity levels. Some can be adjustable, while others might increase the intensity if your dog keeps barking. Anti-bark collars can also be used on younger dogs, but we don’t recommend using them until your dog is at least 15 weeks old, and then only sparingly and depending on their temperament.
While an anti-bark collar might not be a good approach for some dogs, and definitely may not work with every single dog, we do recommend considering these different options, especially if your pup barks a lot. Your choice, of course, will depend on your comfort level and your dog’s temperament.
Flea and Tick Collars
If you think your dog or puppy is at a risk of getting fleas or ticks, then you should consider getting a flea and tick collar. They’re made to help your dog get rid of and prevent any fleas or ticks. If your dog has been itching a lot lately, then you might want to be on the lookout for these collars.
What to Look for in Flea and Tick Collars
Flea and tick collars are suitable for nearly every dog. They come in a wide range of sizes to fit any dog and keep fleas and ticks from biting your dog. While there are various other options of treating your dog for fleas and ticks, a collar is an easy, less-expensive option. The collar should fit somewhat loosely, since movement is what helps the chemicals spread over your dog’s fur and skin to prevent the pests.
Citronella Dog Collars
A citronella dog collar sprays citronella every time your dog barks. That smell can’t be detected by us human beings, but dogs find it very annoying. When the dog gets irritated or bothered by the smell, it stops barking.
What to Look for in a Citronella Collar
A citronella collar provides humane correction that should prevent your dog from barking (and also keeps away mosquitoes!). The best citronella collars will have the sprayer positioned in a way that the citronella doesn’t go near your dog’s mouth or face. You should also look for options that are re-fillable, as the spray will run out eventually.
A prong collar can be a valuable behavior modification and training tool. At DogGear, one of our team members had a German Shepherd that responded very well to prong collars. This kind of collar evenly distributes pressure to avoid choking a dog and acts more like a dog using its mouth to correct another dog. We recommend discussing any collar choice with your vet, but we appreciate the effective and humane design of this type of collar. Please do not leave your dog unsupervised while wearing a prong collar collar or leave it in a crate with this collar on because it can get snagged on obstacles.
What to Look for in Prong Collars
Prong collars should be durably constructed and should also feature dull tips – not sharp tips. Some even come with rubber tips for extra safety. A good prong collar will also have removable links so that you can adjust the collar to the appropriate fit. Another thing to look for in a prong collar is specific place to attach a leash. We recommend working with a trainer to properly size and use a prong collar.
Jarett and his vapor wake dog, Toxi, help keep the students and public safe on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Jarett knows what equipment, food and toys to keep Toxi safe, productive and still able to have fun.