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Best Dog Collars

Updated July 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 23 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 117 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best dog collars

    Last Updated July 2018

    From pint-sized Pomeranians to giant Great Danes, dogs of all shapes and sizes need comfortable, well-fitting collars.

    When you're looking for a new dog collar, however, you may not know where to start, especially if you're a first-time dog owner. What types of collars are available? What material should you choose? How do you fit your dog for a collar? We at BestReviews will help you find answers to all these questions and many others on your quest to find the best collar for your pooch.

    So, read on for our full guide to dog collars and give your canine companion the quality neckwear he deserves.

    Even if you walk your dog using a harness or halter, she should always wear a collar when out and about as a backup and to hold the ID tags, which are required by law in many states.

    Types of dog collars

    Flat

    Flat collars are simple dog collars with a flat band that may or may not feature padding. Flat collars tend to be the most common option, available in a range of materials, colors, and styles. While great for most dogs, some pet parents find that this type of collar rubs the fur off long-haired pooches.

    Rolled

    Rolled collars are tube-shaped rather than flat, with padding in the middle. While you can occasionally find nylon rolled collars, most are made from leather or faux leather. These collars tend to be thinner than flat collars, but they're less likely to chafe long-haired dogs.

    EXPERT TIP

    The larger your dog, the wider and sturdier the collar should be.


    Dog collar materials

    You can find dog collars in a wide range of materials. These are the most common options.

    Nylon

    Pros:

    • Lightweight (may be less daunting for puppies or collar-averse dogs)

    • Wide range of colors and patterns

    • Fairly inexpensive
       

    Cons:

    • Hard to clean without machine washing

    • Not the most durable option

    Neoprene

    Pros:

    • Extremely long-lasting and durable

    • Dries quickly; undamaged by regular exposure to water

    • Very comfortable for the dog
       

    Cons:

    • More expensive than some other options

    Faux leather

    Pros:

    • Classic leather look without use of animal products

    • Relatively inexpensive

    • May withstand wet conditions better than real leather
       

    Cons:

    • Not usually very durable

    Leather

    Pros:

    • Durable and long lasting if cared for properly

    • Easily wiped clean

    • Smart and attractive appearance
       

    Cons:

    • Smaller variety of colors or patterns

    • Can get stiff and crack if they get wet

    DID YOU KNOW?

    You can also find dog collars made from eco-friendly materials, such as hemp and bamboo.

    Sizing and fitting dog collars

    • Size: Dog collars may be adjustable, but they're certainly not “one size fits all.” Imagine putting a Saint Bernard's collar on a Chihuahua and you can see why. How do you find the right size collar for your canine companion?

      If you have a bendable tape measure, this is very simple. All you need to do is measure your dog around the neck at the point where the collar should sit. If you don't have a suitable tape measure, use string or ribbon to measure his neck and compare it to a ruler or yardstick.

      This measurement will tell you what length dog collar to look for. Typically, dog collars are sold to fit a range of lengths, such as 12 to 16 inches. Ideally, try to select a collar with your dog's neck measurement somewhere in the middle of the collar’s range. If your dog’s neck measures 14 inches, the 12- to 16-inch collar would be ideal. A dog with a 12-inch neck circumference would be better off with a 10- to 14-inch collar.
       
    • Fit: When fitting your dog's collar, it should be snug but not tight. Allow enough space so that you can easily fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.

    Regularly check your dog's collar for damage. For safety reasons, replace the collar if it shows tears, fraying, or damage to the buckle or D-ring.

    Dog collar fasteners

    Most dog collars come with one of two fastening types: buckle or snap. Each type has its good and bad points. The fastener may not be your primary consideration, but it's still worth mulling over.

    • Buckle-type fasteners resemble what you'd find on most belts, with a prong that fits into holes in the strap of the collar. They tend to be very durable, but they take longer to fasten and undo.

    • Snap-type fasteners are made of two plastic parts that slide into one another and clip together. They release by pressing on the sides, much like you'd find on a child's pushchair harness. While they can get damaged or become brittle in extreme cold, they release very quickly, which is useful in emergency situations.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    If your dog pulls on the leash, it's best not to attach the leash to the collar, as he may injure his neck and windpipe as he pulls. Instead, attach the leash to a harness or halter and use the collar to hold the tags.

    Dog collar prices

    Dog collars come in a wide range of prices, from less than $5 to as much as $100.

    • $5 to $20: You can find a good, basic nylon dog collar for less than $5, though most decent options can cost up to $20. Most faux leather dog collars fall into the $10 to $20 range, though those made from high-quality faux leather can cost more.

    • $15 to $40: While you can find cheaper neoprene options, expect to pay between $15 and $40 for a heavy-duty neoprene collar.

    • Up to $100: An average leather dog collar can cost between $10 and $30, but high-end options can cost up to $100.

    Tips

    • Think about the width and weight of the dog collar. Wider, heavier collars are suitable for larger canines, whereas slim, lightweight collars are best for diminutive dogs.

    • Decide how adjustable the dog collar needs to be. You're less able to fine-tune the fit of a collar with a buckle fastener as opposed to one with a snap fastener.

    • Make sure the collar is comfortable for your dog. This should be one of your main concerns. A collar that rubs or pinches your dog is no good.

    • Look at the strength of the collar’s D-ring. It should be sturdy and welded together on the flat side so that it doesn't break if your dog pulls hard on the leash.
    Properly caring for your dog's collar will help extend its useful life. Wash and dry the collar carefully if it gets muddy or wet.

    FAQ

    Q. What's the best sort of collar for an active dog who often gets wet and muddy?
    A.
    If your canine companion loves swimming and isn't afraid of mud, you'll want a collar that's hard-wearing and easy to clean. Neoprene is probably the best choice because it stands up well to water and heavy use. We recommend a machine-washable collar for a pup who likes mud.

    Q. Should my dog wear her collar indoors?
    A.
    In most cases, it's unnecessary for your dog to wear her collar indoors. Not only is there a risk it could get caught on something, which could lead to a severe injury if you're not there to supervise, but wearing a collar for a long time can rub off your dog’s fur.

    Q. Can I buy a collar for my puppy to grow into?
    A.
    If you're buying a collar for a new puppy, it might be tempting to select a collar that would also suit his full-grown size to save yourself some money. However, a collar that your puppy can grow into will be much too big and heavy for him to use now. Not only is he likely to be able to slip out of it but it will also be too bulky for his small frame. Getting used to wearing a collar and walking on a leash is a big step for a young dog, so it's always best to start a puppy with a thin, lightweight collar.

    The team that worked on this review
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      Alice
      Web Producer
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      Director of Photography
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      Videographer
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      Bronwyn
      Editor
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      Devangana
      Web Producer
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      Production Manager
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      Jennifer
      Writer
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      Lauren
      Writer