17th February 2021
It can be tricky knowing how to choose a dog collar for your dog – what is the best style of dog collar? Will my dog collar hurt my dog? What are the best quality dog collars? What are the best dog collars for training?
Our short guide below helps to introduce a few different options for dog collars with the pros and cons of each.
Most importantly when choosing a dog collar you’ve got to make sure it’s right for your specific dog, and a comfortable fit for them and you. You are responsible for your dog so if in any doubt whatsoever ask us, ask your vet, or another dog professional first.
The main types of collar we see are; Flat collars, Head collars, Martingale Collars and Aversive Collars.
Flat or Rolled Collars
Flat or Rolled Collars represent the vast majority of all dog collars in use. When you imagine what a dog collar looks like, it’s highly likely the vision in your head is a Flat Collar or Rolled Collar.
This collar fits simply around a dogs neck and is fastened with a plastic or metal buckle. The Flat or Rolled Collar should be fitted so two fingers can just fit between the collar and your dog’s skin.
For most dogs, Flat or Rolled Collars are the best choice where there are no training or specific restraint needs. They’re a gentle fit and providing you’re not causing a choking risk based on their breed or by repeatedly pulling your dog back, then a Flat or Rolled Collar is a perfect choice. Plus as a result of being the most popular you’d find the widest range of dog collar options to suit your pup.
Head collars have two connected loops, one which fastens around your dog’s neck as is common, and another loop around your dog’s muzzle, both connected together.
They’re much less common and must only ever be used if fitted absolutely accurately for size and purpose. Head Collars are most used for stronger dogs who have a tendency to pull or jump, because the additional second loop means they lose leverage and aren’t able to do so as easily.
You must never pull a dog on a Head Collar and again the need to get them fitted right is absolutely essential, but some owners do find the benefits useful.
Also known as a Limited Slip Collar, Martingale Collars are more typically used for slender dogs such as greyhounds and whippets, along with more anxious, fearful dogs who have a tendency to slip out of their collars. The Martingale Collar works a little like a lasso in the same way a Slip Collar works, but is limited to how tight it can go, making it more comfortable to dogs with specific restraint needs. When a dog pulls on a Martingale Collar, the collar tightens up ensuring they can’t skip out, but unlike a Slip Collar which will keep getting tighter, the Martingale stops when it gets to your dogs skin (providing you have fitted it correctly).
Chain, choke slip, prong – these are all types and names for collars for dogs with specific restraint or training needs, and typically more professionally used by certain handler groups due to the need for precise fitting, and the careful monitoring and use required due to the danger that could be caused with misuse.
Ultimately, you are responsible for your dog's safety, however we hope the above summary has given you a really quick idea for the main types of collars and when, why, and by who they should be used to help you research a little more the best for you and your dog.