As a fur-parent, you’ll want only the best for your dog.
Buying your first collar will always be the hardest part, so guides like these from fellow fur-parents are always heaven-sent.
Here, you’ll learn about the importance of a collar and the things you need to think about when buying a collar, and much much more.
This includes the types of collars available in the market, the risks that come with certain collar types, and the best dog collar brands that best suit particular purposes.
What's in this Guide?
The best Dog collars In 2021
|Best Overall||Luxury Soft Touch Collars|
|Runner Up||Lupine Eco Dog Collar|
|Best Budget||Blueberry Classic Nylon Dog Collar|
|Best for Large Dogs||EzyDog Neo Wide Dog Collar|
|Best For Small Dogs||Azuza Dog Collar and Leash Set|
Best Overall Dog Collar: Soft Touch Collars – Luxury Real Leather Padded Collar
The best overall collar is a classic, highly-versatile leather padded collar. Luxury Soft Touch Collars suit any dog breed, catering to neck sizes as small as 11 inches to as long as 25 inches. This means that even if your furbaby is a cute chihuahua, a bulky bulldog, or a hyper beagle, they’ll still fit in one of these.
Likewise, Soft Touch Collars are built for comfort and beauty. It features neutral colors mixed with playful light shades that’ll blend well with most furs. These colors include the classic black and brown shades as well as a combination of brown and blush, tan and coral, tan and teal, and turquoise and beige.
They’re also made with full-grain and naturally tanned leather, so this is a wise choice if you’re after authentic leather that’ll be gentle on your furbaby’s skin. With Soft Touch Collars, you wouldn’t have to worry about harsh dyes or chemicals irritating your best buddy.
Moreover, each collar has a built-in ring by the buckle. That way, you can add your dog tags on it without much fuss. You can also opt for a matching colored leash if your buddy enjoys walks.
However, the main highlight of the Soft Touch Collars line is this: they offer a lifetime of warranty to anyone who purchases their collars. This means that if your collar breaks due to workmanship or material error, they’ll happily and readily replace it.
- Suitable for most dog breeds
- Comes in different colors
- Padded and comfortable
- Great for dogs with sensitive skin
- Has a warranty for the lifetime of product
Runner up: Lupine Eco Collar
Lupine Eco Dog Collar is another great overall dog collar, which is best for fur-parents that prefer a lighter, easier-to-clean collar. It’s made of recycled plastic bottles.
The plastic part makes it highly durable and resistant to chewing, so it’ll suit you if your buddy is a muncher. Moreover, since it’s made out of plastic, it also means it’s soft and comfortable to wear.
Lupine Eco’s Collar boasts nine marvelous two-tone colors, three widths to choose from, and two sizes that’ll suit dogs with necks as small as 10 inches to as big as 28 inches.
Like Soft Touch Collars, it features an attached ring for holding dog tags, too, alongside a lifetime of warranty.
- Durable and chew-resistant
- Comes in different colors
- Made from recycled materials
- Soft and easy to clean
- Has a lifetime of warranty
Best Budget Pick: Blueberry Classic Nylon Collar
If you’re on a budget but still want the best collar for your buddy, then Blueberry Classic Nylon Dog Collar seamlessly matches you. Made with durable nylon fabric, they’re guaranteed to last long.
It won’t last a lifetime, but it’s great for everyday use. It’s also simple, sleek, and comes in 22 different shades. Moreover, matching leash, harness, and seatbelt are available alongside the Blueberry Collar, so it’s quite a steal if you’re in love with matching accessories.
Compared to Soft Touch Collars and Lupine Eco Collar, Blueberry Collars are highly customizable. It has a ring for dog tags, too, but you can have your furbaby’s name and emergency contact embroidered on the collar itself to eliminate the need for a dog tag.
For fur-parents buying a collar within a low budget, Blueberry is the most suitable option. It can fit dogs with neck sizes as small as 8 inches and as big as 26 inches.
- For everyday use
- Comes in 22 shades
Best Martingale Collar: If It Barks Martingale Collar
Martingale collars are for dogs that tend to slip out of their collars often. The best martingale collar comes from If It Barks, and it’s one of the most durable collar brands in the market.
If It Barks Collar is perfect for dogs with large necks that can magically escape collars. This is largely because of the collar’s build, which allows it to evenly spread the pressure around your buddy’s neck.
Two webbing loops allow you to customize the collar’s resistance to your furbaby’s pulling. The first one collars your buddy’s neck while the second one controls the collar closure when he begins to pull against you.
You don’t have to worry about hurting your buddy by accident, too, since it’s designed to minimize discomfort and unnecessary injuries. If It Barks Martingale Collar basically has everything you can ask for: nylon material, thin webbing, outstanding durability, and military strength.
This collar is also easily cleaned, customizable, and backed with a long-term warranty.
- Thin nylon webbing
- Easy to clean
- Covered by warranty
- Comes in 10 shades
Best Collar to Stop Pulling: PetSafe Gentle Leader No-Pull Collar
If you find yourself having a hard time making a martingale collar work for you and your furbaby, PetSafe Gentle Leader No-Pull Collar may be for you. It features a more balanced and gentle way to train your dog not to pull.
Compared to other head halter-style dog collars, PetSafe designed theirs to be clipped under the throat rather than under the chin. This makes the pressure distribution more even than most and results in fewer slip-ups and more actual training.
The pressure goes to the back of the neck, head, and bride of the nose at once whenever your buddy pulls. Thus, it wouldn’t choke him. Plus, to make things more comfortable, a neoprene padding had been added to the collar as well.
Similarly, your buddy can still eat and drink quite well, even when wearing his PetSafe Collar. It’s also easy to put on, fully adjustable, and comes with a one-year chew guarantee.
- Slender design
- With neoprene padding
- Eating and drinking are possible
- Comes in 8 colors
- Has a one-year warranty
Best Chain Collar: Coastal Pet Chain Collar
When training your dog, trainers sometimes recommend the use of chain collars. These collars have a bad reputation at times, but they can actually be quite helpful when properly used.
The best chain collar for dogs is Coastal Pet Chain Collar, which does everything a chain collar is supposed to do and more. It draws your buddy’s attention to you straight away, and that’s a vital thing when you’re trying to distract him from something or have him focus his attention on you.
Moreover, it immediately puts a bit of a pressure on his neck, which works as a great reminder of the correction you’re trying to implement. This sends a quick and mild note to your buddy regarding his behavior.
Best of all, the Coastal Chain Collar has a sleek appearance that highlights chrome-plated 3-millimeter links and argon-welded seams. Hence, it’s good-looking and highly durable at the same time.
- Chrome-plated links
- Durable and tarnish-proof
- Does its job
Best No-Pull Headcollar: Halti Head Collar for Dogs
The Halti Head Collar is similar to PetSafe No-Pull Collar in most aspects. It features a neoprene padding and aims to be as gentle on your furbaby as possible.
It also seeks to hand over some control back to you by giving your buddy a balanced amount of pressure whenever he pulls. Moreover, it’s easy to use, lightweight, fully adjustable, and comes with clips.
However, it’s different from PetSafe No-Pull Collar with how it encourages fur-parents to get a martingale collar alongside the Halti Head Collar and use them together. According to them, doing this results in more productive and efficient training sessions for your buddy.
So, if you want to see results while following a training system that comes with the collar, Halti Head Collar may be your best option.
- With neoprene padding
- Comes in 2 colors
- Eating and drinking are possible
- Has a training system set up
Best Dog Collar for Large Breeds: EzyDog Neo Classic Wide Dog Collar
If you’re a fur-parent with a large dog, you know just how hard it is to find a sturdy, reliable, and suitable dog collar. Whether it’s your first purchase or your fifth, there’s this knowledge that enormous dogs will need more than a standard collar.
Luckily, EzyDog Neo Wide Dog Collar exists. Featuring a classic, 1.75-inch wide collar made from neoprene rubber and soft polyester, EzyDog is heaven-sent. It looks like a standard dog collar, except it retains less of those unwanted doggy odors.
It also supports dog tag and leash usage by having respective rings for them. Similarly, it dries fast whenever it gets wet and is basically waterproof. Isn’t it great to not have to worry about drying your buddy’s collar? You don’t have to put much effort into cleaning it as well – even just wiping it will do.
More importantly, EzyDog Collar boasts a quick-release buckle that’ll make life easier for you. You can snap it on and off with ease and without much thought.
Your furbaby can comfortably fit into an EzyDog collar if they’re at least 18 inches in neck sizing and up to 32 inches.
- Thick and sturdy
- Retains less odor
- Comes in 4 shades
- Easy to wear and remove
Best Collar for Small Dogs: Azuza Dog Collar and Leash Set
Stylish and functional, Azuza Dog Collar and Leash Set is awesome for small dog breeds. It always comes as a set, which is great since you know it can be hard to keep your hyper little buddy in check when you’re on walks.
Moreover, it’s made with lightweight soft spun polyester. So, it gives you two fantastic features: it’s comfortable for your furbaby, and it’s easy to clean for you. It won’t irritate your buddy’s skin and it won’t make much of a big issue when being cleaned.
Of course, it boasts an aluminum attachment, too, which will make your walks easier. That ring will make it possible to walk with your buddy without any tangle occurrences. Your furbaby can twist, spin, jump, and run all he wants – but Azuza Collar is guaranteed to safely stay on him.
That goes without saying that Azuza Collar also promises to be durable and perfect for everyday use. If you ever find yourself unsatisfied with their collar, you’re free to return it and have it replaced.
It also comes in three cheerful colors: sky blue, apricot, and rose. It’s perfect for the active fur-parent and furbaby combo, especially if your buddy is around the 11 to 26-inch size range.
- Easy to clean
- Includes a leash
- Comes in 3 colors
Best for Puppies: Pawtitas Soft Training Collar
If you’re a proud puppy owner and he’s about to start his leash training journey, Pawtitias Soft Training Collar will benefit you the most.
When your puppy is just starting out, you’ll want to focus on having a gentle, non-restrictive, and thin collar holding him rather than a bulkier one. Pawtitas Collar is made from a soft and flexible nylon, cotton, and polyester blend that your furbaby will find as comfortable and non-irritating.
More importantly, it’s highly reflective, too, which is vital when it’s dark out. Whether you’re with him or not, your puppy will need to be as visible as possible to avoid accidents and be easily spotted.
Likewise, sturdiness in a collar is crucial, too, and Pawtitas has you covered on that as well. You can use it every day without worrying that it’ll break or fray.
Pawtitas Training Collar has 22 designs to choose from and can fit dogs with necks as small as 9 inches to as big as 26 inches.
- Gentle on puppies
- Comes in 22 hues
Best Waterproof Collar: Tuff Pupper Classic Lifetime Heavy-Duty Cog Collar
Tuff Pupper Heavy duty collar is an awesome lightweight, waterproof, and incredibly robust dog collar. Its highlight is its durability, which is guaranteed to last a lifetime of heavy usage no matter your dog’s breed.
You don’t have to worry about the collar undergoing some fraying because its ballistic polymer weave is designed to withstand that. Likewise, you won’t have an issue design-wise either. It comes in 5 deluxe colors, and it’s made to look like leather.
Tuff Pupper’s collar material also means it’s highly flexible, so it’ll be tough enough to take on your hyper buddy’s scratching, tearing, and even chewing. Actually, not even water can damage Tuff Pupper since it’s waterproof.
This means you don’t have to stress over trying not to get your dog wet! It’s especially helpful if your dog is in love with water and you’re tired of soggy and smelly collars.
More importantly, Tuff Pupper itself guarantees you a lifetime warranty. If their collar doesn’t last as long as it’s supposed to, you’ll get a free replacement.
If your dog is at least 11 inches in neck sizing to 23 inches, you might want to give Tuff Pupper a try. It’s durable, waterproof, and stylish, so you can’t go wrong with it.
- Incredibly robust
- Lightweight and flexible
- Comes in 5 shades
- Has a lifetime warranty
Best Personalized Dog Collar: Didog Braided Leather Collar with Personalized Nameplate
If you’re after a custom collar, the Didog Braided Leather Collar might be perfect for you. It features a soft suede leather that’s braided by hand. You can’t get any more personalized than this, especially if you pair it up with a laser engraved nameplate.
The customized nameplate is made of high-quality stainless steel that resists rust, and you can have anything lasered into it as long as it fits. You can place your furbaby’s name, number, and other things in it and even choose your own fonts.
Didog’s soft leather is also guaranteed to be comfortable, so you’ll have a stylish collar that your dog will actually like to wear. Similarly, it’s built to last quite a while. Its stitches are strong and individually checked, so you can be sure it won’t easily break.
More importantly, Didog Custom Collars can fit dogs as small as 8.5 inches in neck sizing and as large as 22.5 inches.
- Soft suede leather
- Braided by hand
- Laser engraved name tag
- Stainless steel nameplate
- Comes in 12 two-tone colors
Best Reflective Collar: GoTags Reflective Personalized Collar
When your dog is always out at night or even when he just loves to roam around, you’re bound to be worried. That’s when reflective collars come in handy. They help ease your mind a bit with the knowledge that your buddy will be easily spotted and not run over or anything.
One of the best reflective collars in the market is GoTags Reflective Dog Collar. You get two things in one here: a reflective and a customized collar. It boasts 5 bright collar colors and 15 cheerful thread hues for the personalized embroidered name.
This will help you quickly spot your dog from far away. Similarly, it can notify people that a dog is around and even tell them your buddy’s name and number if he gets lost.
People may not talk about it, but it’s every fur-parent’s nightmare for her buddy to get lost. That’s why preventive measures are there in the first place.
GoTags’ Collar is made out of nylon with a highly-reflective surface to ensure it reflects light during both daytime and nighttime. It also features tapered edges for more comfort and strong webbings for greater durability.
Your dog can have this reflective and personalized collar as long as he’s within the 11 to 26-inch neck sizing range.
- Reflective day and night
- Personalized embroidered info
- Comes in 5 collar shades
- Customized embroidered thread color
Who Should Buy a Dog Collar
Generally, all dogs need a collar. A collar is what sets your dog from other pups, and lets people know that he belongs in a home.
If something wrong ever happens, people will be able to easily identify your buddy. Most people don’t want to think about it, but their furbabies could one day get lost and need help with returning home. That’s where the dog collars with dog tags come in handy.
Likewise, a collar helps a lot when training your furbaby. You can assist him in getting used to going for walks by using a collar with a leash. That way, eventually, you can go without a leash and simply a collar.
Moreover, you should get a collar if you’re trying to remind your buddy of something. A collar is a great tool when you’re trying to instill certain habits and behaviors in your dog. Sometimes, dog trainers recommend them and leave you instructions for its usage.
More importantly, dog collars are a must-have if you have a puppy. Puppies are still learning how to behave and move around the world, and dog collars are their guides. It can also keep them safe while on the streets or during walks, especially if the collars are reflective.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider
When choosing a collar, you need to consider your dog’s breed, neck sizing, the collar material, and preferred design. Knowing these will initially help you pick the most suitable, comfortable, and functional collar for your buddy.
Your Dog’s Breed
Your dog’s breed is vital when choosing a collar because it’s a guide on how large your dog will get. It also helps you identify which collar types fit which neck and fur types.
Likewise, when you pick a collar that’s right for your dog’s breed, you’re also saving your buddy from possible future discomfort. This is because, at times, the wrong collar can result in loss of fur on your dog’s neck and some irritation, among other things.
Similarly, considering your furbaby’s breed before getting a collar greatly helps in choosing the type of collar that you need. You may need a sturdy collar, a stiff collar, a soft collar, or a headcollar.
This will depend on whether your dog’s breed is hyper and active, playful and powerful, fierce and strong, or small and meek.
The Collar’s Size
You need to consider the collar’s size before buying a collar because an ill-fitting one will result in future headaches. A loose-fitting collar may keep slipping off, while a tight-fitting collar may chaff at your buddy’s skin and even choke him.
Hence, you need to measure your dogs size of neck before getting him a collar. For best results, always refer to the collar manufacturer’s size guide and recommendations. Moreover, consider your buddy’s fur thickness when measuring his size of neck.
The Collar’s Material
Factoring the collar’s material before getting your dog one is crucial. The collar’s material dictates the collar’s durability, and you’ll want something that’ll suit your dogs needs.
Collars made out of nylon webbing are common in the market. These are lightweight, durable, and highly affordable. However, be sure to check how comfortable the nylon material is. Some nylon-made collars can be scratchy and irritating, but the best nylon collars are comfortable with great textures.
Another common collar material is leather. Synthetic leather is cheaper than real leather, but its durability may not be as great as the real one. Likewise, real leather is more expensive but more robust. Both of them don’t do well when wet, though, so keep that in mind if you want a collar that needs less maintenance.
Lastly, chain collars are quite common, too. These are great for bigger dogs that need some training. However, remember to check what kind of steel and plating is used to get the best out of these collars.
The Collar’s Design
Of course, you need to consider the collar’s design when picking one for your dog. Some collars can be personalized or customized, some exist within matching sets, while some offer a variety of hues and patterns.
Picking a dog collar based on design largely depends on what you find attractive and stylish enough for everyday use.
How to choose the best dog collar
Now that you know the things to consider before buying a collar, how can you choose the best dog collar for your dog? Well, you need to factor in the collar’s material and type.
Common Dog Collar Materials
As mentioned earlier, nylon, leather, and chain are common collar materials. However, dog collars can also be made from neoprene and biothane.
Nylon is best for everyday use. If you’re concerned about budget but would like something that can withstand daily wear and tear long and good enough, going for a nylon dog collar is your top option.
Moreover, if you’re someone who loves design variety, you’re going to love what nylon collars have to offer. You can find them in plenty of designs and colors, and they’re highly customizable. You can also stock up on as many of them as you want since they’re relatively cheap.
However, note that nylon collars can get smelly as time goes by. Similarly, most of them are harder to clean compared to other materials, and they’re less durable as well.
More importantly, some dogs may be allergic to nylon, so consider that before getting one.
Most fur-parents only opt for faux or synthetic leather during pictorials. Synthetic leather collars look pretty and presentable, and they’re also inexpensive. However, they’re not great for everyday use.
Moreover, they usually have dyes that can stain your buddy’s fur when worn. If you’re thinking of choosing a faux leather dog collar, check out its materials’ quality first and see if you’re okay with those. Some are actually great, but you may come across cheap ones more than the high-quality ones.
On the other hand, genuine leather collars are perfect if you’re after a classy look. Besides looking awesome on your buddy, they’re also quite sturdy.
Leather dog collars usually last a lifetime, and they’re perfect for both small and big dogs. However, dogs with thick hair and big necks greatly benefit from them.
Chain collars are often used for dog training. If you’re looking for a chain collar, pick one with a durable plating. A great plating is something that’ll be resistant to water, such as chrome plating. You can also opt for high-quality stainless steel.
A chain dog collar is highly durable and won’t ever have that doggy odor, but it should be used cautiously.
When you have a dog that basically lives within bodies of water, biothane dog collars are heaven-sent. These are non-toxic waterproof collars that also happen to be soft, flexible, and affordable.
With a biothane collar, you don’t have to worry about having a smelly collar or needing to thoroughly scrub it. It’s also durable enough for everyday use and is comfortable when worn.
Neoprene is another collar material that’s great for dogs that love to get wet. It’s bulkier than nylon and a bit more expensive than biothane, but it’s fast-drying, moisture-wicking, and friendly to dogs with sensitive skin.
Common Dog Collar Types
Flat, martingale, headcollar, choke chain, prong, shock, bark control, flea, Elizabethan, and GPS-tracking collars are frequently used dog collars. Each caters to specific needs, although most people simply use flat or martingale collars.
Flat and Martingale Collars
Flat collars are the typical dog collars that don’t have many frills. They’re simple and, as their name suggests, flat. They fit quite well on dogs, and most fur-parents don’t need anything more than a flat dog collar.
Meanwhile, martingale dog collars are made for dogs with necks larger than their heads like Greyhounds. They’re also great for highly active dogs since they help against slip-ups.
The martingale collar works by tightening against your dog’s neck in a balanced way whenever they pull on you as you walk. This way, they’re reminded that they’re not supposed to do that.
Similarly, a headcollar works almost the same as a martingale collar, except it looks like a halter more than a collar. It looks like a horse’s halter, and it’s suitable for strong and energetic dogs.
On the other hand, a choke chain is a heavier option for training your dog. It’s supposed to help remind your dog of certain habits they need to develop more firmly. Often, a trainer guides you on using this as needed.
There’s also the prong or pinch collar that’s similar to the martingale collar. However, the difference between them is that the prong collar has a control loop attached to a chain. As its name suggests, it also has prongs. These prongs pinch your dog’s loose skin whenever pulled.
Besides this, shock collars are another type of collar for dog training. These collars use electric signals to train your dog, and they’re rarely used by fur-parents.
Some fur-parents may struggle with their buddy’s barking habits, and this is how bark control collars were invented. Bark collars have three types: spray, shock, and ultrasonic. The spray collar sprays citronella whenever your dog barks, while an ultrasonic collar produces a sound only your buddy can hear whenever he barks.
Alongside the collars used for training dogs, there are also collars to make life easier for them. An example of this is a flea or tick collar. This collar has chemicals imbued in it to deter, kill, or prevent fleas. Often, a flea collar is worn alongside a regular collar and has to be replaced at regular intervals.
Similarly, an Elizabethan collar helps your dog by preventing him from scratching or licking his wounds as they heal. These are the cone-shaped collars you may usually see on TV. When worn by your buddy, he can still eat and drink, but he can’t scratch himself.
Lastly, the GPS-tracking collar is increasing in fame. This collar can track your buddy if he ever gets lost.
How to Size your Dog Collar
You can check out a simple and helpful guide by EzyDog here, or you can read on.
To measure your dog’s neck size, simply get a measuring tape and wrap it around your furbaby’s neck. Go for the area where he’ll be wearing his collar. Then, add to inches to that measurement and you’re good to go.
Risks that Come with Collars
Generally, injuries that come with dog collars are minimal to none. As long as the collar is appropriately used and fits your dog well enough, you shouldn’t have any problems with it.
A loose-fitting collar can cause your buddy to slip out of his collar multiple times throughout the day. This can may him more prone to accidents in case you’re crossing a street and he suddenly slips away. It can also result in him getting lost if he’s tied somewhere and manages to escape out of the collar.
Meanwhile, a tight-fitting collar can strangle your dog, leave marks on him, or irritate his skin. This is why it’s important to get a well-fitting dog collar. Likewise, be sure your buddy isn’t sensitive to the collar’s material to prevent allergic reactions.
Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe While Using a Collar
- First, you need to get a collar that perfectly fits your dog size-wise. This means measuring your dog’s neck and then adding an inch or two to the measurement.
- After that, you may also check if it comfortably fits him by placing two fingers inside the collar as he wears it. If your fingers can fit there, it’s a great fit.
- Moreover, buy a collar that fits your buddy now rather than thinking about what will fit him in the future. Remember, you’re getting a collar for its functionality and safety features.
- If you have a puppy, remember to regularly check his size as well. Some puppies tend to grow fast, and it’s always better to check him out early rather than see too late that the collar had been hurting him.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I get a dog harness, too?
You don’t usually need a dog harness for adult dogs since they’ll be pretty used to the walking process. However, if you’re having a hard time training your puppy to walk while you lead, a harness is a gentle tool that’ll greatly help him out.
Harnesses can ensure he won’t be tangled in his leash. It also minimizes injuries he may otherwise get from tugging or pulling on his leash. Likewise, it reduces neck strain since the harness holds onto his chest or shoulders instead of his neck.
What are the safest dog collars?
Flat collars are among the safest dog collars, followed by martingale collars.
What’s the difference between a collar and a harness?
A collar is worn around the neck while a harness is worn around the chest or shoulders. Usually, harnesses are great for small dogs or puppies training to walk.
How tight should a dog collar be?
A dog collar shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. To know if it fits your dog well, insert two fingers around his collar while he’s wearing it. If you can comfortably place your fingers there, it’s a good fit.
The best dog collars are the ones that suit you and your dogs needs. When buying a dog collar, consider your dog’s breed and neck size as well as the collar’s material and type. Moreover, think of the activities you and your buddy often do so you can choose the right collar.