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4 Types of Dog Collars and How to Choose the Best One

When it comes to buying a dog collar for your new pooch, you may think that it's as easy as finding the right size. But the fact is that purchasing the best collar for your dog is as individual a decision as picking your perfect pet.

There are several different types of collars and the kind you choose depends greatly on your dog's breed, size, and temperament.

Read on to learn more about the different types and proper fit of the most common kinds of collars.

The Flat Dog Collarflat collar

The flat is the standard collar most of us think of when we think of a dog collar. These collars can be worn most all the time by your dog and can support their identification tags.

The flat collar is usually made out of nylon or leather, both of which are adjustable to a point. Nylon collars usually offer a quick release snap closure, or sometimes a buckle. Leather flat collars almost always have a buckle, just like your favorite belt.

When choosing a flat collar, you need to consider your dog’s size. Puppies and small breed dogs can take smaller collars that are thinner in design. Flat collars for larger breed dogs should be wider in construction.

Your dog's collar properly fits when you can place two fingers between the dog's neck and the collar. It shouldn't be large enough that it can slip over the head or falls on the shoulders but it should be roomy enough that it doesn't cause your dog to cough or have labored breathing.  Make sure you check growing puppies regularly to see if their collar needs to be adjusted.

The Martingale Collarmartingale collar

The Martingale collar goes by many other names including the whippet, the greyhound, or the limited slip collar. This collar is specifically designed for dog breeds such as the whippet and greyhound whose narrow head easily slips out of a properly fitted flat collar when on a leash.

These collars are made out of two parts: a wide length of material with rings on each end. A separate piece of material with a ring on one end slips through the two rings of the collar and the leash is attached to this ring.

When the martingale is properly fitted, it will tighten when your dog pulls on the leash without choking the dog. You should carefully follow the directions for the collar, watch videos on how to ensure a proper fit, or talk to a customer service representative to check that the collar is fitted properly.

These collars are for use only when the dog is on a leash and cannot support dog tags.

Head Collar

A head collar is similar in design to a horse's halter. One part of the leash goes around the neck and rests behind the ears and the second part of the collar loops around the muzzle of the dog. The leash attaches to a ring at the bottom of the muzzle loop.

The point of the collar is to provide more control over a dog by having control over its muzzle. It's a good choice for large dogs that may pull or jump while on the leash, or for sporting dogs who are prone to follow scent trails and animals while on leash rather than their owner's lead. 

This collar is also solely for use with a leash.

Harnessdog harness

The harness isn't technically a collar but it takes the place of a collar for those dogs who have delicate tracheas, particularly small breeds like Pomeranians or Yorkshire terriers, or for dogs with upper respiratory problems or diseases of the throat.

A harness goes around the shoulders and behind the front legs, thus preventing any strain on the neck.

Harnesses are also used when you want your sporting dog to pull something, such as a sled or you on rollerblades.


Contact Us for Help

These main types of collars are a good place for you to start with your new dog, but some owners may find they need a specialty collar. For example, if you need some extra help with teaching your dog, you may want consider a dog training collar. If you’re dealing with nuisance barking and have tried just about everything else, a dog bark collar can help. Owners of hunting and sporting dogs may need a GPS tracking collar in addition to their dog's regular collar.

Whatever collar you choose, Pet Super Store is here to help you with your decision.

Learn more about training collars and other important information in our Smarty Pets Knowledge Center, or contact our customer service for help choosing the best fitting collar for your dog.