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Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Original post How To Choose the Best Collar For Your Dog by Karen Tietjen on iHeartDogs

A collar is one of those fundamental necessities that all pup parents have for their dogs, but did you know that you have options when it comes to choosing the right type for your pooch?

Depending on your dog’s personality and your lifestyle, you may find that certain types of collars work better than others. Are you using the right one for your dog?

Buckle Collar

A traditional style, this collar has a buckle and notches, like the kind you wear around your waist. This style is normally durable and will securely stay on your dog, with little chance of being accidentally snagged off – it’s a great option for hikers and swimmers.

Quick Release Collar

These collars have a simple easy-on, easy-off snap that’s perfect for playful pups. This is one of the safest options you can choose for a dog who loves wrestling with his pals or going to doggy daycare, because in the event of an accident or altercation, the collar can be easily removed by a human.

Image Source: chuangwei via Amazon

Breakaway Collar

Breakaway collars are designed to pop off your dog if they get pulled or stuck on something. You may have heard that traditional collars can be surprisingly dangerous when dogs aren’t being supervised, or if they’re playing outside or are home alone with another pup. Situations like this have even resulted in strangulation, and these tragic deaths are more common than you may think. Point and case: if you like keeping a collar on your canine, and you regularly leave her home alone – especially with another dog – consider getting a breakaway collar.

Image Source: PetSafe KeepSafe Collar via Chewy

Martingale Collar

These double-loop collars are designed to tighten when a dog pulls. However, they’re less likely to choke than chain collars, spike collars, and slip leashes, making them great training tools. Martingale collars were actually designed for dogs like Greyhounds whose necks are larger than their heads, since regular collars tend to slip off them easily.


While they’re obviously not collars, these are popular tools for active pet owners who love walking their dogs. They help humans maintain control without putting strain on their pups’ necks, and if the harness fits well, it stays securely on the dog. The downside is that harnesses can encourage your pooch to pull, especially if the clip is on the back – in this case, try using a front-clip harness. Also, dogs shouldn’t wear these all day every day, as their skin can get irritated from the straps.

Halter / Head Collar

These gentle but effective contraptions loop around the dog’s snout to apply gentle pressure when they try to pull on walks. However, because of its placement, it doesn’t take much tension for dogs to correct themselves. This is a great option for pup parents who have strong pullers, especially if they’ve tried everything else. The tricky thing about a halter is that it may be tough for some dogs to get used to.

LED / Reflective Collar

For those who take their dogs out in the early morning or later in the evening, light-up or reflective collars are a safety necessity! The end of Daylight Savings Time is drawing near, meaning the sun will begin setting even sooner. These handy accessories are a must if you plan on walking Fido after dusk.


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