Which dog collars are best?
From a 200-pound Great Dane down to a 2-pound Chihuahua, all dogs need collars. You need a place to hang ID tags, medical records and locally mandated licenses. You also need a place to attach a leash. Whatever type of dog you have, the collar should be comfortable, sturdy and fit properly.
If you have an active dog and want a collar that’s easy to keep clean, Tiger Tail Urban Nomad Dog Collar may be your top choice.
What to know before you buy a dog collar
Dog collar materials
- Metal: While there are some ornamental metal dog collars, most are choke collars made of metal chain links. Choke collars work by tightening around the neck when the dog strains at the leash or the control loop is pulled.
- Leather: This is one of the classic materials found in dog collars. It’s durable and long-lasting when properly cared for. It’s easily wiped clean and has an attractive appearance. Leather dog collars get stiff and crack if they repeatedly get wet and dry.
- Faux leather: Faux leather is a lower-cost synthetic alternative to leather. It mimics leather’s look but is less durable.
- Nylon: Dog collars made of nylon are the lightest in weight, come in the most colors and patterns and are relatively inexpensive. Like all non-metal collars, they usually attach by means of a buckle. Nylon dog collars are hard to clean and don’t last as long as most other materials before needing to be replaced.
- Neoprene: This is the most durable and longest-lasting of the non-metal materials used to make dog collars. Neoprene is comfortable for the dog, easy to clean, dries quickly and comes in many different colors. All these advantages make it the most expensive choice of materials for dog collars.
What to look for in a quality dog collar
Most dog collars come in basic increments and are adjustable throughout a range. Dog collars should be snug enough to fit two fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck. Here’s a handy way to size dog collars.
- XX Small: This size of dog collar is for teacup dogs like Yorkies and Chihuahuas that weigh less than 5 pounds. The neck size is 6-8 inches in circumference.
- X Small: This is the size for dogs that weigh 5-10 pounds, such as dachshunds, Pomerians and small terriers. Neck sizes here are 8-12 inches.
- Small: Pekingeses, pugs and terriers weighing from 10-25 pounds need small collars with necks that are adjustable from 10-14 inches.
- Medium: Beagles, bulldogs and border collies from 25-50 pounds need medium collars that adjust from 14-20 inches.
- Large: Dogs like boxers, Weimaraners and Labrador retrievers that weigh up to 75 pounds need collars with neck sizes from 16-26 inches.
- X Large: St. Bernards, mastiffs and rottweilers easily weigh more than 75 pounds and need large-diameter collars that go from 24-30 inches in diameter.
Most dog collars are like belts with buckles, but smaller. Some modern dog collars use plastic clips that click together and lock. You squeeze the sides of the clip to quickly release the collar, which is a handy feature in emergencies. Collars with quick-connect fastener clips are more adjustable than belt and buckle collars.
How much you can expect to spend on a dog collar
From $10-$20, you can find lots of basic nylon and faux leather collars. From $20-$40, fancier collars and collars made of neoprene are available. Leather dog collars with high-end features can cost as much as $100.
Dog collar FAQ
What’s the right width of dog collar to get?
A. Generally speaking, the bigger the dog, the wider the collar.
What kind of collar should I buy for my active outdoor dog who goes camping and hiking with us?
A. Neoprene is a good choice for active dogs who get wet, dirty and muddy because it’s easy to clean and is very durable.
What’s the best dog collar to buy?
Top dog collar
What you need to know: This is a great collar for active outdoor dogs who get wet, muddy and dirty.
What you’ll love: The flexible coated rubber webbing is comfortable, waterproof, odor-proof and cleans easily with a wipe of a damp cloth. This dog collar has a lifetime warranty and 1% of all sales are donated to dog rescue services. It comes in four sizes and nine vibrant colors.
What you should consider: It may require minor adjustments to maintain a proper fit.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top dog collar for the money
What you need to know: This is an affordable and durable genuine leather collar.
What you’ll love: This dog collar is made of handcrafted leather that’s ideal for everyday use and for long-haired dogs and dogs with sensitive skin. It’s strong and durable, and this model is 20 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. This collar will become more supple and comfortable with age while maintaining its good looks.
What you should consider: The leather is not as thick as some other leather collars.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This dog collar is for dog owners who want top-quality, hand-stitched leather that will look good for years to come.
What you’ll love: The 1-inch wide collar is padded on the inside for your dog’s comfort. The leather is naturally tanned using no harsh chemicals or dyes. It has solid brass hardware that’s lacquered to prevent rust and corrosion and includes a ring for hanging dog tags. It comes in six different two-tone color combinations with sealed edges.
What you should consider: The width and thickness of this sturdy leather collar are better suited for larger dogs.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.