Collars come in multiple sizes, shapes, designs and made from different materials. How do you pick just one and not get overwhelmed by the unlimited amount of choice?
Our advice? Don’t just focus on the cute design. A collar’s functionality is also important!
Today, we're reviewing the top customer-rated collars to make your decision easier in this comprehensive dog collar buying guide.
We're also delving into the different types of collars and their various purposes, commonly used materials used in their production, and all the must-have features that create a cosy, protective and long-lasting collar.
In a hurry? Here is the top 3:
Our Top Picks
Best Dog Collars
Before we dive into the details of various collar types, materials and how to choose the best one, we present you our picks individually reviewed:
RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Collar is a durable canine gear made for tough dogs.
Although higher on the price spectrum, this high-quality collar survives in various environments, including the ocean. It's ideal for long walks and adventures across different terrain where other collars may snag or fray.
The top features of the collar are the D-ring and the separate tag holder. The former is a strong and sturdy leash attachment point, while the latter stores your pet's ID tag. The silicone silencer on the tag holder muffles the jingle of the tags as your pet moves around.
Both parts are rust-resistant unlike other cheaply made dog bands.
The collar is also user-friendly. Just slip it on, adjust to your pet's size and remove it without difficulty.
The collars come in different bright ombre shades, which don't seem to fade over time.
As for the comfort factor, the Tubelok webbing fits snugly over your pet's neck without causing tenderness. Your dog, whatever her breed, can also wear the collar for several hours without suffering from painful skin chafing or concentrated hair loss.
- Ideal for everyday walks and outdoors adventures
- Features side-release buckle, D-rings and ID attachment points
- Available in multiple ombre colours
What we liked
- Effective silicone silencer
- Bright and colourful
- Snug and cosy fit
- Some frayed stitching
The Black Rhino Comfort Collar is sturdy, well made and a suitable choice for strong and willful canines who break a lot of collars.
The neoprene padding lining the collar is incredibly soft and gentle on fur. Your dog can wear this item without chafing or irritating her skin.
The collar combines a lightweight design with robust hardware that's comfortable to wear and won't easily slip off. Rest assured, your escape artist dog is less likely to break free wearing this because it's not thin or flimsy.
Although the buckle design looks smart and stylish, it's not the most functional and might be difficult to undo for some people.
Another minor downfall is that the collar isn't suitable for use under sweltering conditions because it's pretty thick and heavy to wear when the temperatures soar. You might want to find a second collar for summer to keep your dog cool and happy.
The reflective stitching is a protective feature designed to keep your pet safe. It's useful because it makes your dog visible during morning and evening walks, as well as in densely populated areas where there are cars about.
- Neoprene padding to protect neck from chafing
- Dries easily and odour resistant
- Features heavy-duty buckle, reflecting stitching and more
- Also available in S, L & XL
What we liked
- Reflective stitching a plus
- Not suitable for hot summers
Don't let the appearance of this ultra-sophisticated Ancol Timberwolf Leather Collar fool you. It's highly durable and expertly handcrafted to last.
It's made from functional leather that softens over time. However, this suppleness only makes the collar more comfortable against your pet's skin.
The belt buckle style looks better than a clip collar, and the good news is that since the buckle is heavy-duty metal, it won’t fall apart easily.
Although not entirely chew-resistant, the collar's different shades hide marks and puncture holes well if your puppy likes to nibble.
The leather protector saves the collar from ruin against grass and mud stains, so you can let your pet run amok, knowing that he can't destroy his neckpiece.
One drawback is that the dye sometimes runs in water. This might be a dealbreaker if your pet is usually wet.
The leather loop is small and can be bitten off by a determined pet.
- Handcrafted leather collar
- Treated with 3M leather protector
- Finished with D-ring and die-cast buckle
- Available in sable, blue, grey or mustard
What we liked
- Elegant design
- Dye may bleed
Halti Collar boasts a simple yet functional design. It might not very fashionable, but it gets the job done.
The collar comes in a variety of vibrant colours. Not only does it look good on, but it increases your pet's visibility on walks. This is further enhanced by a reflective Scotchlite strip.
The collar's soft and spongy material feels great against your pet's neck and reduces the possibility of bald spots and sores forming after extended use.
The Halti colour is easy-to-clean. It only needs a quick rinse to remove tough dirt and dries quickly. Keep in mind that it must be hand washed for deep cleans.
Although it's easy to fasten and adjust, sometimes the collar clips get stuck.
Rust has been reported for the D-ring, which means it may not hold up well to moisture. The black paint covering the D-ring might also chip.
- Sturdy, two-tone design collar
- Comprises high-grade nylon webbing and a soft neoprene lining
- Includes metal D-ring, clip locks and 3M Scotchlight strip
What we liked
- Simple yet functional
- East to clean
- D-ring might rust
- Clips may stick
Illumiseen LED Dog Collar is well named because it emits a steady stream of bright light that dog owners can see for miles.
The collar's battery pack holds an impressive five-hour charge. You won't have to waste time recharging after every walk or be let down by a faulty light that stops working mid-exercise.
There is one issue with the charging capabilities, and that's the power socket. It doesn't have a cap to protect the device against water and dust. This could impact the quality of the charge or may potentially be dangerous.
There are some opinions about the collar's appearance, that it looks cheap and gimmicky. However, if your main reason for purchasing the flashing dog collar is to protect and identify your pet when visibility isn't great, how the collar looks might not be a huge priority.
- Rechargeable light up collar
- Features easy clip-on buckles and two light settings
- Comes with power cable
What we liked
- Lasts for five-hours
- Bright and effective
- Power socket uncovered
If your dog accidentally runs away, this GoTags Personalised dog collar might help in bringing her home. Rather than having a tag holder that might break off in your hound's escape, this personalised dog band is embroidered with your pet's name and your number.
Overall, the collar is made well. The high-quality stitching incorporated into the embroidery probably won't come apart at the seams.
The print is large and clear, meaning that strangers who've picked up your lost puppy will hopefully be able to track you down.
The collar compares to the standard of other reputable pet brands. It's tough to break, bite into and nearly impossible for your dog to push it off if adequately adjusted.
If the correct size is purchased, the fit should be snug around the neck while allowing adequate breathing room.
If you're expecting a fast turnaround, prepare to be disappointed. GoTags is an American brand, so expect a lengthy waiting time for shipping.
- Customised nylon dog collar
- Prepared with strong webbing
- Available in five colours and 15 embroidery thread colour options
- Available sizes: XS, S, M & L
What we liked
- High-quality stitching
- Well made collar
- Long turnaround
Taglory Reflective Dog Collar is the perfectly balanced dog band; it's neither breakable and thin nor heavy and bulky. The collar probably won’t snap on walks, nor is it going to weigh your dog down.
There are several excellent features, but the security latch is the one that stands out. With this lock activated, the side-release buckle can't be unclipped, giving you total peace of mind.
The reflective stitching is another popular component of the collar. By shining a torch light at the collar, you'll be able to spot your pet in the dark. For pet owners who like to let their dogs loose, this is a surefire way to keep track of where they are.
The complaints surrounding this collar have been small and might not be dealbreakers. These include struggling initially with the fasteners, stiff clasps that get better with practice, and not enough space to clip an ID tag.
- Reflective nylon dog collar with side-release buckle
- Neoprene cushioning
- Built-in 3M reflective stitching
- Comes in 12 colours
What we liked
- Lock mechanisms prevents accidents
- Perfect, all-round collar
- Stiff clips
- No space for an ID tag
EzyDog Neo Dog Collar is a chunky piece of canine wear that will stand out. The exterior is a bit stiff yet bendy, but the neoprene lining is designed with your pet's comfort in mind.
The neoprene and soft polyester materials have a dual purpose: to optimise your pet's comfort and to keep odour out. Unlike traditional collars, this one hopefully won't get as sweaty and stinky. Furthermore, it can be dried quickly and cleaned easily.
The plastic buckles attached to the collar are hard-wearing, so these probably won't crack on walks through rough terrain.
One slight downfall is the quality of the looped in-built ID tag, which could get caught on something and break off.
Although this item only requires one adjustment, the sizing might be a little off. Select a larger size if your pup is growing or has a thick neck.
- Waterproof Nylon Dog Collar
- Made from polyester and neoprene rubber
- Stainless steel D-ring and in-built tag holder included
- Quick-release buckles for an easy fit
- Available in multiple colours
What we liked
- Cleans easily
- Dries quickly
- Hard-wearing buckles
- Sizing is off
This luxury leather collar can be used as everyday canine wear in different environments despite its fancy and stylish look.
It can survive dips in the ocean and tumbles in the dog park and can also be used to smarten your messy mutt's appearance.
Despite being inexpensive, the collar boasts reasonably good quality and durability. Some readers claim that it can last for years if properly cared for.
Another excellent feature is that the sizing seems accurate, with different dog breeds at different stages fitting into the collar perfectly.
Issues that have been experienced have been small and largely inconsequential. The first is that although waterproof, the wet leather must be dried; otherwise, it may start to smell.
Another is that the collar may stick out if fastened to the first or second notches, which might be a desirable thing to chew on for fur siblings and other dogs.
- Leather collar with paw embellishment
- Crafted from leather and suedette material
- Includes high quality fastener
What we liked
- Smart and elegant appearance
- Reasonably good quality
- Accurate sizing
- Needs to be dried if wet. Otherwise might smell
Guide To Purchasing Dog Collars
All canines need collars to attach leads, ID rings, and grab hold of to keep them safe.
There are several types of collars on the market designed with different materials and used for multiple purposes.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll look at essential must-have features, discuss different collars and why they should or shouldn't be used and more.
Narrow your search by determining the function of your dog’s next collar. This will largely depend on his nature and temperament.
Normal or flat collars are fine to use on the average dog who doesn't pull or try to escape. These come in countless designs, colours and made with different materials.
Make sure the item sits snugly on your pet's neck - not too tightly or loose.
Martingale collars should only be used on dogs with narrow heads, like Greyhounds and Whippets and fearful dogs who try to flee from collars.
The Martingale is a buckle-less slip collar designed to prevent dogs from slipping out. These consist of a length of material with rings at the end. Connected to the metal coils is another loop of fabric.
The larger piece fits over the head, and the smaller piece is where you'll attach the leash.
When a dog tries to escape or pulls, the collar will tighten around the neck slightly without causing choking.
Unlike aversive collars and choke chain collars, it's the only humane collar available for escape artists because it doesn't induce harm, cause extreme discomfort or life-threatening medical issues.
Aversive and choke chain collars
Both collar types use fear and rely on pain and suffering to suppress unwanted behaviours.
Using these won't necessarily teach your pet right from wrong and may even result in aggression down the line.
Choke chain collars are especially risky because, unlike Martingale Collars, you have no control over how much these tighten around your poor dog's neck.
Tragically, these collars can cause death by strangulation, life-threatening injuries to the trachea and oesophagus and terrible psychological issues in canines.
Only use them for short periods (for example, training) and fitted correctly to reduce the risk of choking and strangulation if you've exhausted all other choices. Otherwise, nip destructive behaviours in the bud with positive reinforcement instead.
Technically, LED collars are flat collars installed with LED lights or stitched with reflective piping.
Ideally, they should only be used when the lighting is poor. Their purpose is to improve your dog's visibility in different environments - whether that's off lead in a forest or crossing the road in traffic.
LED collars have different settings - either emitting solid or flashing bursts of light.
Collars are made from different materials, the most prevalent being nylon and neoprene.
Neoprene is a type of rubber from which wetsuits are made. Neoprene collars are designed to optimise your pet's comfort.
Neoprene on its own is soft and not entirely chew-resistant, which is why neoprene-based collars are reinforced with nylon webbing to better a collar’s durability.
Some advantages to utilising neoprene are that the fabric is waterproof and gentle on allergies. However, it's also bulkier and more expensive than other materials.
Nylon collars are multi-purpose everyday gear. There is an unlimited variety of these collars available in different colours, sizes and patterns.
Although they're not nearly as durable, odour repellent or stain-resistant, they're inexpensive and therefore replaceable.
Although expensive, leather is a great choice if you're looking for something classic and long-lasting.
The material is easy to clean, can survive the elements and fits more comfortably around the neck on thick-haired dogs.
One shortfall is that dyed leather might get stuck to your dog's fur when wet.
If using genuine leather is out of the question, faux or artificial leather is an animal-friendly alternative. However, it's not long-lasting and should only be used as a fashion statement.
Collars made from metal should only be used for specific training purposes and not when the weather is cold.
Metal looks tough and won't stink but is harmful when not correctly used or properly fitted.
Important Features and Considerations
The type of buckle you pick depends on preference. Plastic clips might be easy to operate but are easily breakable and prone to weather damage.
Metal buckles are typically sturdier and more suitable for dogs who like to chew.
Lots of modern buckles are designed with lock mechanisms to prevent the collar from detaching.
Unless you use a harness for walking your dog, a collar's D-ring is vital because this attachment connects the collar to the lead.
Several collars these days have reflective stitching that helps to enhance your dog's visibility for when it's dark.
If your dog breaks loose, having inbuilt IT tag holds increases the chances of them being found and returned.
Unfortunately, these are sometimes made cheaply and can break off if your hound brushes against something.
Colourfastness refers to a fabric's ability to retain its colour after being washed, treated or left in the sun.
The dyes found in some faux leather and nylon collars can bleed into your dog's fur. Not only is this a challenge to remove, but it could be problematic for dogs with sensitive skin and allergies.
Avoid excessive leaching by purchasing collars made from genuine leather or rubber.
Collar Sizing and Adjustment
Collars not properly fastened are less than useless. Your dog will manage to slip out of the collar if it is too loose or big.
Conversely, he might struggle to breathe or suffer from painful chafing, hair loss, skin sores or indentations if too tight or small.
For the correct size, you’ll need to measure the neck size loosely. You should be able to slide two fingers underneath the measuring tape for dogs and one for puppies.
Collars are essential everyday canine gear. You need them to store your pet’s ID tags, attach leashes and control their movements in dangerous or unpredictable situations.
There are many safe-to-use materials, but the prevailing ones are nylon and neoprene. If possible, avoid metal.
Yes, if it’s too tight and restrictive, it can cause hair loss and could even cut into the skin.
The collar should fit snugly around the neck. A rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit two fingers under the collar for a well-sized and fitted collar, no more or less. For puppies, only one finger.
Loop a measuring tape around the base of your dog’s neck loosely. If you don’t have a measuring table.
Once circling the neck, position one or two fingers under the collar depending on whether your pet is a puppy or and adult.
There are a few dog collars UK that stand out today.
The RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Collar is a front runner because it can be used for any occasion from everyday walks to mountainous hikes.
It’s tough, made to last, and most importantly, provides comfort to your pet. Overall, it’s a fantastic product with invaluable features that makes life convenient for you and safe for your pet.
Another top pick for us is the elegant Rosewood Luxury Leather Dog Collar. Not just good looking, leather dog collars like these are highly durable, perfect for dogs with sensitive skin, and easy to wash.
If you’re against using leather, Taglory Reflective Nylon Dog Collar is excellent for all dogs and boasts an eco-friendly design. The addition of a lock mechanism eases the pet owner’s mind knowing that the collar won’t open at inopportune moments.
Lastly, Illumiseen LED Dog Collar is a convenient buy with a specific purpose. Always know where your dog is on misty days, early morning, and in areas where there’s plenty of camouflage with this flashy collar.
Haven't decided yet? Here is our top 9:
Our Top Picks
- The Front Range everyday collar is durable, easy to use, and ideal for...
- The durable Tubelok webbing is comfortable, hard-wearing, and colour-fast,...
- The user-friendly side-release buckle lets you quickly clip on, take off,...
- SIZING - Small 30-39 cm | Medium 38-49 cm | Large 48-59 cm | XL/XLarge...
- NEOPRENE PADDING – Give your dog the comfort he/she deserves. Each collar...
- HEAVY-DUTY & LIGHTWEIGHT – Constructed for all breeds, the Comfort Collar...
- Softer and supple than traditional leather collars
- Top-grain bridle leather that has been hand-crafted by our skilled...
- The finest quality leather with superb tailoring for a lasting and...
- The HALTI Collar incorporates a colorful two-tone design with a strong...
- Reflective 3M Scotchlite strip for walking visibility in all conditions
- High grade nylon webbing for strength and durability with a hard-wearing...
- THIS WILL SAVE YOUR DOG'S LIFE - Vehicles will see your dog well in advance...
- USER-FRIENDLY, COMFORTABLE AND FULLY ADJUSTABLE – Change the light...
- USB RECHARGEABLE BATTERY, LIGHTWEIGHT, STURDY & DURABLE MATERIALS - The USB...
- GREAT IDENTIFICATION FOR YOUR PET. Our strong nylon dog collar comes...
- DURABLY MADE WITH COMFORT IN MIND. Made of high-quality nylon webbing, a...
- 5 COLLAR COLORS and 15 EMBROIDERY THREAD COLOR OPTIONS
- Safety Buckle- Side release buckle is made out of quality eco-friendly...
- Soft Neoprene Padded- The cushion from this exclusive feature gives maximum...
- 360° Reflective Straps- Reflective stitching for extra visibility from...
- CLASSIC DURABLE WATERPROOF COLLAR: Made with soft polyester and Neoprene...
- ID CLIP & STAINLESS-STEEL D-RING: It has a built-in ID Clip to securely...
- QUICK RELEASE BUCKLES & ONE TIME FIT SYSTEM: The collar is fast and easy to...
- Quality brown leather collar
- Includes a stylish paw print embellishment
- Quality buckle fastening
So, what is your favourite?
It can be confusing when you first look at the sheer number of available collars and types. Hopefully, now you're better equipped to get the best for your pooch.
If you already have a favourite, let us know why you the comments section below.
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