What Size & Type Collar For German Shepherd Puppy?

Searching for the right collar size for German Shepherd puppies?

Great! We got you covered.

Size matters, especially to a growing German Shepherd puppy.

A collar that is too small will cause discomfort for your canine. Likewise, an oversized collar can put your beloved pooch in danger.

two german shepherd puppies wearing dog collars with cool spikes

In this Dig Doggy article, you will learn:

  • How to find the right collar size for your German Shepherd puppy
  • What materials to look out for
  • The most recommended puppy collars for German Shepherds

And much more!

What's In This Guide?

How Do You Measure A German Shepherd Neck?

Take note; German Shepherds feature a unique head shape with a thick neck in relation to skull size. If not fitted carefully, your pup can wiggle out of his collar.

1. Get a measuring tape and place it around your puppy’s neck halfway between the back of his head and the top of his shoulders.

2. Next, add at least an inch for correct sizing. The collar will sit comfortably if you can slip two fingers between his neck and collar.

3. Since German Shepherd puppies grow pretty fast, you will need to check the collar’s fit at least once a week.

As discussed earlier, the best collar for German Shepherds is adjustable so that your dog can continue wearing the same collar for the next couple of weeks.

image of Adolf hitler and his german shepherd

What Materials Should You Look For In German Shepherd Dog Collars?

In this section, let us explore the different types of materials manufacturers use to make dog collars.


Nylon is the most popular choice for dog collars due to its affordability and durability.

They feature a plastic clasp or a metal buckle. Nylon collars come in a wide array of colors and patterns.

This synthetic material also stands up well to water and although it gets smelly rather fast, it is cinch to clean.

While nylon collars are quite standard, they are not suitable for dogs that are allergic to synthetic materials. Man-made fibers like nylon can cause dermatitis.

Take note; although nylon collars may have similar durability, you will want to check whether the plastic buckle can hold up to everyday wear.


Authentic leather is a fantastic decision as it looks incredibly dapper and equally important, it is breathable (more breathable than nylon) and hypoallergenic.

Leather collars tend to fit belt buckle-style. You can choose a wide selection of predesigned picks or get Pupper’s collar personalized to your liking.

While leather collars are long-lasting, they also require some upkeep. You will need to treat it with leather wax to retain its shape; otherwise, it stiffens and develops odors. Another downside is the upfront cost of buying one.

Moreover, it is not a bright idea to opt for faux leather. Artificial leather has been treated with a plethora of chemicals to make it resemble genuine leather and this could cause irritation to your dog’s skin.


A BioThane® collar consists of polyester webbing with a soft polyvinyl or polyurethane coating. It has the look and feel of leather minus the problems that come with genuine leather.

Tough as nails, it makes an excellent choice for rowdy puppies.

Moreover, the material it uses is waterproof; and doesn’t absorb dirt or mud. This collar will not smell as much as nylon does. So if your German Shepherd puppy is inclined to water-based activities, you might want to consider a BioThane® collar.


Chain collars are everywhere but it is a big no-no for adult dogs, let alone clumsy puppies. Metal is notorious for damaging the coat around the neck.

Making it an everyday option only increases the risk of strangulation and tracheal collapse.

Types Of Collars For German Shepherd Puppies

While there are several types of collars available, the following are the best ones for a German Shepherd puppy under 12 months.

Flat Buckle Collar

There is a good reason why the flat buckle collar is often the first choice of every pet owner:

  • It is the most convenient collar to slip on/off your puppy.
  • Puppies adjust to wearing this type of collar easily.
  • It is widely available at pet shops and online retailers.
  • There are various colors and patterns to choose from.
  • It is the most convenient way to hold your pup’s identification, rabies, and license tags.

The flat buckle collar is every pup’s standard collar but until Pupper learns how to walk politely on a leash, he may pull against it.

Breakaway Collar

A breakaway collar can be used as a regular collar for German Shepherd puppies. This type of collar prevents tragic consequences if you have two or more puppies playing roughhouse or when they often roam the yard unsupervised.

Martingale Collar

If your German Shepherd puppy is ready to take on long walks, you may want to consider using a martingale collar during exercise. Martingale collars are half-nylon and half-chain; there are also models that use fabric instead of a chain.

A martingale collar is similar to a flat collar but it tightens whenever your puppy pulls. Hence, this type of collar makes for an effective training collar.

Although it tightens, it does not come with the dangers of choke chains and prong collars. When your puppy pulls or walks to a different, it cinches up to a certain level but not enough to damage his throat.

Only a small section closes, preventing the collar from closing too tightly around your dog’s neck.

Recommended Dog Collars For German Shepherd Puppies

Here are three quality product suggestions for your beloved puppy.

  1. Blueberry Pet Essentials Adjustable Nylon Collar
  2. EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER Quick-Release Collar for Puppies
  3. Country Brook Petz – Martingale Heavyduty Nylon Dog Collar

Frequently Asked Questions

When should you start putting a collar on a puppy?

German Shepherd puppies around 10 weeks should start wearing their first collar. It is always a bright idea to have your puppy wear a collar as soon as possible. The sooner Pupper wears his collar, the quicker he will get used to it.

When should you remove your puppy’s collar?

Accidents can happen and your pet could get lost. That is why it is highly advisable to keep your puppy’s collar on whenever possible, especially when you are traveling or when you are walking him on a leash.

To protect your puppy from chafing, choose a collar made of breathable materials.

Are prong collars safe for puppies?

No. Prong collars are dangerous for adult canines, let alone puppies that are even more fragile. The improper use of a prong collar can lead to severe damage to the thyroid, esophagus, and trachea.

Even a properly fitted prong collar can dig into the skin, causing irritation. Furthermore, this type of collar may be perceived by your puppy as punishment that can lead to behavioral issues later on.

Final Thoughts On German Shepherd Puppy Collars

German Shepherd puppies are different; they can vary greatly in size. That is why there is no standard answer.

If your pup is still growing, the best thing you can do is to purchase an adjustable collar as this will allow him to grow with it.

Remember to check that you can still fit two fingers between Pupper’s neck and the collar. If you are looking for something durable and affordable, a nylon buckle collar would fit the bill.

Nylon collars come in various colors and prints, too. Ideally, you will want to have both a regular collar and a training collar for walks.

Picture of Lara Writes

Lara Writes

Lara, a.k.a Alpha Mama, is a great dancer and belter singer, although the world tells her otherwise. However, her greatest pleasure is working with animals. If the Alpha Mama is not being delusional, she manages to create informative articles and clear-cut buying guides. She also likes to share her personal experiences that may ignite your soul or possibly change your life!

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