One of the biggest debates of the past few years in the dog owner community is whether a dog collar or a dog harness is a safer and more comfortable choice for our furry friends. And while there is plenty of compelling evidence on both sides of this issue, a dog collar remains one of the must-haves for every dog owner.
The variety of functional and popular dog collars on the market has gotten so big that making the right choice is harder than ever. Here is our definitive buying guide plus top picks of dog collars for every pup.
What is better than standard nylon dog collars that are known for their durability and safety? Only a personalized nylon collar! You can customize this collar using five collar colors and 15 embroidery colors. Put the dog’s name and your phone number on the collar to make sure your dog has a chance of safely return home should he run away. The GoTags collar is available in four sizes. Effective dog identification has never looked more adorable!
PetSafe Martingale Dog Collar with Quick Snap Buckle
Best Nylon Dog Collar
PetSafe has been the favorite of the pet product market for years, and it’s not surprising that they make some of the best dog collars made of nylon that are available today. This collar is perfect for daily wear, as it’s both comfortable for your dog’s body and nearly impossible to get out of and run away. The collar comes in six attractive colors and five sizes, allowing you to easily find the right fit for any breed.
Soft Touch Collars Real Leather Padded Dog Collar
Best Leather Dog Collar
If you want your next strong dog collar to also be good-looking, we suggest a leather collar by Soft Touch Collars. Its two-tone color scheme is one of the most elegant things we have seen in the dog collar market. The collar comes in six color options ranging from black to turquoise. There are four sizes of the Soft Touch collar available, and it comes with a lifetime guarantee, which means that if the item gets damaged, the company will provide you with a replacement collar for free.
Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Color Collar
Best for Puppies
In order to learn to behave well since the early days, puppies need to get used to wearing a collar in their first months. The Blueberry Pet makes plenty of collars for small dogs, but we particularly loved this solid-colored nylon collar. Designed specifically for puppies and small dogs, this collar is both effective at ensuring your dog’s safety and easy to match to your taste or your dog’s personality thanks to the impressive variety of 22 color options.
PetSafe Gentle Leader Headcollar
Best For Pulling
If your dog frequently displays unwanted behavior that you want to control effectively yet gently, the PetSafe Gentle Leader headcollar is one of the most comfortable dog collars for pulling we have ever seen. It has been created by a veterinary behaviorist over three decades ago and remains among the best options for controlling such behavior as jumping, barking, and lunging. The five sizes can accommodate dogs ranging from 5lbs to 130+lbs, and the choice of 8 colors will certainly please you aesthetically.
DAIHAQIKO Leather Dog Collar
Best Collar for Large Dogs
When large dog owners are looking for big dog collars, most of them have to choose between durability and attractive design. With the DAIHAQIKO leather collar, you no longer have to choose! It was designed with large dogs in mind and has a 350lbs pull power. It’s perfect for breeds like Great Dane and Alaskan Malamute, and with the choice of three sizes, you will easily find the perfect fit for your pup. On top of that, its elegant leather look and several color options will make you enjoy this collar even more.
Illumiseen LED Dog Collar
Best LED Dog Collar
If you often take your pup for a walk at the dark time of the day, you need to ensure an extra level of protection for your furry friend. A LED dog collar is the ideal option: it makes your dog highly visible under low lighting, helping you, other people, and drivers see the pup from a distance. The Illumiseen LED collar comes with a USB rechargeable battery. There are six sizes and six colors available to satisfy every dog and his owner.
SGODA Chain Dog Training Choke Collar
Best Chain Dog Collar
Some dogs need a little more restriction and a standard nylon or leather collar will not do. In that case, a chain dog collar is the next best thing. It is great for training your dog professionally, but it can also be successfully used in everyday life thanks to the durable stainless steel construction, a variety of five available sizes, and a safe slip collar construction.
Mighty Paw Martingale Collar
Best Martingale Collar
Martingale dog collars are often considered to be a safer alternative to slip collars and are the preferred option for millions of dog owners. The Mighty Paw collar combines the benefits of the secure martingale collar with the durability of nylon. The collar also features reflective stitching, which will allow your dog to be seen in any lighting situation, and comes in three sizes and two colors.
Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs
Best Dog Flea Collar
Fleas and ticks are two of the biggest threats to your dog’s health, and with a good flea collar, you can get all the benefits of the best puppy collar with the long-term protection against fleas and ticks. The Seresto collar will ensure protection against pests for up to 8 months, and the best thing about it is that the flea or tick don’t have to bite your dog to die — the protection in the collar works through contact. Best for dogs over 18lbs.
Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar
Best Dog Training Collar
Training your dog is a sensitive task where you need to apply just the right amount of stimulation to make your pup behave the way you want. The Educator E-Collar emits a tapping sensation that can be compared to vibration. You will be able to choose the stimulation level between 1 and 100, so that your dog learns quickly, efficiently, and without the unnecessary fear. The collar is available in six colors and comes in several variations of dog sizes and remote training ranges.
Whistle Go Health & Location Tracker for Pets
Best GPS Dog Collar
GPS dog collars are one of the best creations of modern technology for pet owners. With the device by Whistle Go, you will be able to know your dog’s whereabouts at any given moment, see where your dog has been in a selected period of time, and set up safe areas for your dog to be in. You will also be able to get detailed activity and health stats based on your dog’s parameters. The Whistle Go collar is controlled through an app and is available in six colors.
ANKACE No Bark Collar
Best Dog Bark Collar
For many dog owners, the constant barking is, perhaps, the worst aspect of having a furry companion. Some dogs will bark no matter how hard you’re trying to get them to stop. The ANKACE anti-bark collar comes with a sensitive microprocessor that can clearly detect any barking activity and release a beep, a vibration, or a small shock to get the dog to stop talking. The collar is waterproof, rechargeable, and has 5 adjustable levels of sensitivity, which will allow you to tune the collar to your dog’s barking patterns.
Dog Collars Buying Guide
Dog Collar Types
The first choice you need to make when shopping for a new dog collar is the type of the device. Some collars serve a very specific purpose, while others mainly differ in design and closure type. These are the types of dog collars you can find on the market today.
Standard dog collar
A standard dog collar is exactly what it says in the name. It’s a collar that will allow you to securely attach the leash and walk your dog around. In most cases, standard dog collars are made from either leather or nylon. Both are very durable, comfortable enough for your dog, and come in a variety of designs, which means that ultimately you will need to choose based on your own preferences.
If you are not very comfortable with the fact that a regular dog collar sits tightly on your dog’s neck, you may consider a head collar. It may look slightly unusual and will probably take your dog some time to get used to the new collar, but it has a number of significant benefits over its standard counterpart — most importantly, it helps you control the dog’s pulling habits more effectively and possibly gives your dog a calming sensation.
Martingale collars were designed as an alternative to regular collars for dogs who could easily slip out of them. Most martingale collars are made from nylon, but you can also find a few different variations of this product. Martingale collars are best suited for lean, short-haired dogs who often risk escaping out of standard collars, but they can be successfully used with most dog breeds.
Chain slip collar
A few years or even decades ago, chain slip collars were commonly used as everyday restrictive devices for dogs. Now, however, a chain slip collar is considered to be strictly a training method. Most owners use this type of collar to teach their dog to walk on a leash. The training is done by slightly tugging on the leash, giving the dog a slight choking. For obvious reasons, many owners already moved on from chain slip collars or only use them for limited amounts of time.
Metal prong collar
Like chain slip collars, metal prong collars are mainly used for training the dog to behave well and are rarely used as a long-term collar solution. These collars are also known as pinch collars due to the sensation they give to the dog when he’s pulling or lunging. If you decide to go for a metal prong collar, remember never to leave your dog alone in it due to the fear of an injury.
We are already going for more and more smart objects in our everyday life, so why not consider a smart collar option for your dog? Equipped with GPS technology, a smart dog collar allows you to efficiently control and manage your dog while on a walk or at home. Through the app, you will get the complete picture of your dog’s activity and whereabouts even when you are not around.
A collar is considered to be the most effective way to protect your dog during the flea and tick season. These collars contain chemicals that are completely safe for the dog but lethal for the pests. In most cases, the pest won’t even come into contact with your pup: a typical flea collar is powerful enough to kill the tick or flea when they are only approaching the dog.
A LED collar is an essential addition to your collection if you often take your dog for a walk early in the morning or late in the evening when there is not enough natural light. A LED dog collar will not only make your dog much more visible to the drivers and passersby, but will also allow you to quickly locate the pup if the distance between you and your pet has suddenly increased.
Features to consider
When choosing the best collar for your furry friend, these are the four most important options you need to consider.
Once you know what type of dog collar you want to buy, you will also need to choose the preferred design. For example, standard dog collars can be made from nylon or leather, and with both options having plenty of advantages, you will need to put a lot of thought into which option will work best for you and your dog’s needs.
After you have chosen the type and design of your future dog collar, you will also need to make some choices regarding the style of the piece. Luckily, here you should only take into account your own taste and, possibly, how well the collar will match your dog’s personality. There are so many cute dog collars available today that you will hardly have any problems when trying to find just the perfect one. From sturdy black nylon collars to pink girl dog collars with rhinestones — the variety of options is nearly endless.
In order to feel comfortable and not create a health hazard for your dog, the collar you go for needs to fit absolutely perfectly. When a collar is too loose, it increases the chances of the dog slipping out of it and running away, and when it’s too tight, you risk choking your dog after sudden movements. Your job here is to not only make sure the collar currently fits, but also to check whether it can be adjusted and whether it has the potential to stretch.
If you are shopping on a budget, you will be relieved to know that dog collars don’t have to be expensive to be good. There are many practical, durable, and good-looking cheap dog collars out there. Nylon collars are typically the most affordable option.
If a collar fits your dog well and is a standard nylon or leather collar, there is no harm in letting your pup wear it 24/7. However, if it’s a training collar of any variety, it should only be worn during training sessions.
Harnesses are often offered as an alternative to a regular collar for dogs who love pulling, but some vets consider harnesses to promote pulling in dogs instead of controlling this behavior. Overall, the choice between a harness and a collar is mostly a question of personal preference.
When the collar fits perfectly and is made from soft materials with subtle stitching, it should not give your dog any uncomfortable sensations. Metal prong collars and shock collars are designed to slightly hurt your dog, so they shouldn’t be used for extended periods of time.
Generally, the choice between leather and nylon collars is a personal one. However, since leather collars are made from a natural material and are considerably softer than other options, they are a good choice for dogs with sensitive skin.
The only possible side effect of a head collar is that it can jerk your dog’s head around, which may annoy your dog up to the point of making him angry. However, as your dog learns to control his movements better, this side effect should go away.
While the US legal system does not specifically require dogs to wear collars, all dogs must be licensed and wear an identification tag on them at all times. And since the easiest way to ensure it is to put the tag on a collar, it means that there is no way around wearing it.