Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (2024)

Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (1)

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There's a good chance you got your dog's collar before you even got your dog. After all, many shelters, rescues, and breeders won't let you leave without one, and isn't it the most exciting purchase to make right when you find out you get to bring your baby home? Whether you find yourself here prepping for a new pup or looking for an upgrade on that initial impulse-purchase, you're sure to find the perfect collar for your furry family member here.

Dogs wear their collars nearly all of the time, so it's essential you have one that your dog likes. "Always remember the best collar is one that your dog finds comfortable and suits their unique personality and needs," shares Dr. Cheri Honnas, veterinarian and veterinary advisor to Bone Voyage Dog Rescue. "Just like us, they're all different, and that's what makes them special."

Our top picks:

Additionally, you might need a collar to address specific needs of your pet. For instance, a Martingale collar is ideal if your pup pulls on walks or easily slips out of other collars. An LED or reflective collar is essential if your dog is often out at nighttime. There are tons of options for each, so we did the research and had our Country Living Pet Lab test tons of different collars to come up with the best of the best.

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best overall

RUFFWEAR Crag Dog Collar

Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (9)

Pros
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (10)Reflective webbing
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (11)Heavy-duty aluminum leash attachment
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (12)Tag silencer
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (13)Cool designs
Cons
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (14)Limited sizing

Sizes: 11"-14", 14"-20", 20"-26" | Material: Nylon | Care instructions: Hand wash with mild detergent or wipe clean

We're big fans of RUFFWEAR's dog gear due to their high quality products at reasonable prices, and the Crag collar is no exception. It has just about everything you could want on a collar and comes in at just under $30.

While the Crag collar isn't Martingale style to help train pups that pull, it does have an aluminum leash attachment that's surrounded by heavily reinforced stitching. Dogs that pull would have a tough time breaking this collar. It also has a smaller plastic ring that makes tags easily accessible and comes with an included tag silencer.

The Crag collar was made for adventure, from the design to the durability. The whole collar isn't reflective, but reflective Tubelok webbing is interwoven into the nylon for added visibility at nighttime. The nylon is also easy to care for (simply hand wash it with a mild detergent), so there's no need to worry about what all your pup will put it through. And the brand features innovative and cool designs of landscapes, including the Tubelok webbing placed in areas that naturally mimics the way the sun sets.

We do wish that the Crag collar came with more diverse sizing options, though. While most dogs can fit into this collar, more petite pups under 15 pounds may have some issues.

best budget collar

Blueberry Pet Essentials Classic Dog Collar

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Pros
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (16)Inexpensive
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (17)Durable construction
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (18)Doesn't show dirt
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (19)Tons of colors
Cons
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (20)Listed as "wipe clean" only

Sizes: Extra-Small to Large | Material: Nylon | Care instructions: Wipe clean

We get it: most people don't want to spend a fortune on a collar that their dog is 9 times out of 10 going to roll in dirt and who knows what else while wearing. If that's you, then consider this Blueberry Pet collar the best pick.

It's just what the name states: a classic collar that has just the essentials. It's adjustable with a durable plastic buckle and metal D-ring for your pup's tags. The 100% nylon webbing holds up well to even the dirtiest, most active dogs. Our tester, Bailey, rolls in dirt and mud at least twice a day and loves to go for wades in the lake on the weekend. His Blueberry Pet collar shows barely any wear and tear and fits him perfectly.

The Blueberry Pet Essentials collar may have a no-frills construction, but their color selection is anything but basic. The collar has over 30 color choices and even options that include a reflective strip (shown on Bailey) and a key ring.

My one complaint with the Blueberry Pet Essentials collar is that it's labeled as wipe clean only. To be honest, I've completely submerged this collar in water and scrubbed it and it still looks good as new. I can also say that it doesn't show dirt and grime easily, so I've rarely needed to clean it. But, wipe clean only could be a deal breaker for some dog owners.

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Bailey wearing the Blueberry Pets Essential collar in Olive Green Reflective.

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Pros
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (24)State-of-the-art tracking technology
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (25)Stands up to pullers and chewers
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (26)Waterproof
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (27)Long battery life
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (28)Easy to clean
Cons
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (29)Expensive
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (30)Requires a monthly subscription

Sizes: Extra-Small to Extra-Large | Material: Tetoron polyester | Care instructions: Wash in a bag on gentle cycle

Anyone who's thought for even a split second that their dog might be lost knows how useful a tracking collar can be, but not all dog trackers are made the same. AirTags and inexpensive trackers have recently been making waves, but, in our testing, nothing has performed nearly as well as the Fi collar.

The Fi collar, unlike many cheaper competitors, is extremely precise with their location pinpoints. Many less expensive tracking collars or devices either aren't precise enough with their location pinpoints or they require for the device to be near other cellular-enabled devices (which could be impossible if your dog is lost in a rural area). The Fi collar doesn't fall victim to either of these problems, instead giving users a nearly exact location of their pup (within roughly 30 feet) through the use of satellite technology.

To conserve energy, the Fi collar is primarily in power saving mode, but you can turn on lost mode if your dog goes missing, though it quickly drains the battery. Even in power saving mode the Fi app is extremely informative, providing a location, steps/day, activity tracking map, and sleep monitor. There's even an escape alert for pet parents through the app. When in lost mode, owners can track their dog's every movement in real time in addition to the app providing "last seen" locations on the map. While in power saving mode, the collar needs to be charged "at most once a week," according to our tester's owner, and claims to only need a charge every three months.

And if you have a rough and tumble pup, then no worries. The Fi collar has been tested for up to 30 minutes of full immersion in water and is dirt resistant. We found that it rarely needs to be cleaned and, when it does, it's easy to spot clean. It's been tested to resist up to 400 pounds of resistance, too, making it suitable for pullers and chewers.

Of course, all the capabilities the Fi collar provides don't come cheap. It's by far the most expensive collar on our list, but it's also the only collar on the list that will actively help you track down your lost dog or alert you if he/she has escaped. Also, your initial purchase of the Fi collar only includes one year of membership. After that, tracking usage will cost you up to $19/month.

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Charlie wearing the Fi tracking collar.

Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (32)

Interface of the Fi app.

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Best Personalized Collar

Orvis Personalized Side-Release Buckle Collar

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Now 52% Off

Pros
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (34)Comes in 16 different colors and patterns
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (35)Simple design makes it easy to take on and off
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (36)Easy to clean
Cons
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (37)No reflective elements

Size: Extra-Small through Extra-Large | Material: Nylon, steel, plastic | Care instructions: Machine-washable

Dr. Kong also recommends this collar from Orvis, comparing it to your "trusty old pair of boots." A fairly basic collar without tons of bells and whistles, it's a durable option that can withstand plenty of wear and tear.

One feature that makes Orvis's collar stand out above the rest is the superior personalized embroidery. Dog owners who hate hearing the constant jingle of a tag will love the silence that the ID embroidery on this collar provides. It's also much easier for folks to locate and read the dog's name and owner's phone number when it's embroidered if a pup is lost. Personalization is also free with purchase of the collar, so there's no added expense on top of the listed price.

While there are other embroidered collar options on the market, none stand up as well as the Orvis collar has in our testing. Charlie has put his collar through the ringer — swims in the lake, daily walks, and plenty of roughhousing with his brother — and his collar shows minimal damage. The well-stitched identifying information hasn't frayed and the colors are still bright.

The Orvis collar also features a side-release buckle and a steel D-ring (the point of contact for a leash) for extra sturdiness. While it doesn't have any extra restraints to stop pullers, the tough collar does stand up well against them and can take the force without breaking.

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Charlie wearing the Orvis personalized dog collar.

best LED collar

Illumiseen LED Dog Collar

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Pros
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (40)High visibility at night
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (41)Low profile
Cons
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (42)Not great for pullers
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (43)Care instructions not listed
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (44)Sizing runs large

Size: XX-Small through Extra-Large | Material: Nylon | Care instructions: Not listed

Dark-colored dogs possess a certain ability that their lighter counterparts do not: to be totally camouflaged at night and scare the wits out of their owners by coming out of the depths of the darkness at full speed (not speaking from experience or anything). As an owner of a dog that is practically invisible at night, I can attest that using an LED collar is an absolute game changer for midnight potty breaks.

The problem is, most light-up collars tend to be bulky and obtrusive to pups. This Illumiseen collar features a sleek low profile, though, that our tester didn't seem to mind at all. The LED light strips are small but mighty, producing more than enough to see Smith at night. Not only is the Illumiseen collar great for allowing us to keep an eye on our pups, but it also gives us the peace of mind that if they were to get out, drivers could also easily spot them.

If the thought of having to keep your pup out of rain or water while wearing this collar scares you, then fear not — the Illumiseen collar is guaranteed waterproof. The long-lasting battery lasts up to five hours, so your pup will have plenty of time for potty, play, and walkies when wearing this collar.

The color options of the Illumiseen collar are limited to just six choices, but this isn't a huge negative, mainly because the colors are bold and bright, increasing their visibility at night. Choose from green (shown), red, pink, yellow, blue, and orange.

While you could use this LED collar as a full-time collar, we wouldn't recommend it. Reviewers have said that the plastic buckle doesn't stand up well to dogs that pull frequently on walks. It's best used in conjunction with another collar designed for dogs that pull attached to the leash. Also, in our testing, we found that this collar tends to run on the larger size. If your pup is in the middle of two sizes, we highly recommend sizing down.

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Smith wearing the Illumiseen LED collar in neon green at dusk.

best martingale collar

Lambwolf Collective Ava Martingale Collar

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Pros
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (47)Great for dogs that slip off lead
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (48)Ideal for pullers
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (49)Water- and odor-proof
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (50)Easy to clean
Cons
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (51)Limited color options
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (52)Slightly more expensive

Size: Small through Large | Material: Not listed | Care instructions: Hand wash or wipe down with a damp towel regularly; Soak with medium strength detergent when more dirt is involved

Dogs that pull on leash might need a collar that provides more redirection than a standard one to assist with training. Martingale collars are the perfect first step at getting your dog that pulls to walk more tamely on leash.

Instead of tugging on your dog's neck when they pull, a Martingale collar has a loop that will tighten the entire collar, alleviating pressure from one specific area and redistributing it over the whole collar. This constricting also makes it an ideal choice for pups who slip out of other collars easily when they pull. "Some breeds, especially those with smaller heads or sleeker necks, have this uncanny ability to slip right out of their collars," says Dr. Honnas. "That's where Martingale collars shine; they're designed precisely to prevent these Houdini acts."

The Lambwolf Collective Martingale collar has the added benefit of being waterproof and odor-free, putting it a step above the rest of the competition. It's also extremely easy to clean, with most dirt and grime coming off after a simple wipe down with a warm cloth.

If you find that your dog stops pulling after a few months of using the Martingale collar, then you can continue using this Lambwolf Collective option thanks to the two points of attachment: one on the constricting loop and another off. Though a Martingale collar is totally fine to use long-term and not just as a training aid.

The non-sale price of the Lambwolf Collective collar is a bit higher than most of the others on this list. However, I think it's a fair cost considering this collar can go from work to play seamlessly and can handle the toughest of pups — whether that means rough pulling or playing. It also has limited color options, so pet owners who want a snazzy collar for their pup may be disappointed with the selection.

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Luna wearing the Lambwolf Collective Ava Martingale collar while on a walk.

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Best Waterproof Dog Collar

Dogline Biothane Waterproof Dog Collar

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Pros
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (55)Comes in 17 colors
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (56)Easy to clean
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (57)Doesn't irritate sensitive skin or pull hair
Cons
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (58)Stretches easier than standard collar

Size: Lengths are 10" to 14", 12" to 19", 15" to 25"; widths vary based on the size selected | Material: Biothane (polyester webbing with a waterproof coating), plastic | Care instructions: Wipe clean with a damp cloth; scrub with liquid soap and brush for tougher messes

Ideal for active pups, this Dogline Biothane collar is totally water- and odor-proof, so pet parents can let their dog roll in the dirt and swim in the lake without worry (except for cleaning their dog — can't help there). The collar wipes clean quickly and can be scrubbed with soap in the sink to get any caked on mud.

Polyester webbing substrate is bonded with a waterproof coating to help this collar remain odor-free, no matter what kind of messes your dog gets into. "These collars are robust and waterproof," shares Dr. Honnas. "Perfect for those dogs who can't resist a good puddle." It also comes in a wide range of sizes and colors, so you should have no trouble finding one that's perfect for your pet.

Unlike some other waterproof collars, the Dogline Biothane collar doesn't pull or rip out dogs' hair. Many reviewers are quick to note that their pup barely notices that the collar is on. Reviewers also say that the colors are extremely fade-resistant, though the selection is lacking a bit.

This collar also dries just as quickly as it washes up thanks to the Biothane material, so your pup can get right back out there to make another mess.

You should note, though, that the Dogline collar does have a bit of give due to the slightly stretchy Biothane material. The stretch is minimal, but dogs with slender necks and heads might slip out if pulling.

best reflective collar

GoTags Reflective Personalized Dog Collar

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Pros
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (60)Includes personalization
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (61)Durable
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (62)Well-priced
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (63)Easy to see at night
Cons
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (64)Limited size options
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (65)Only 5 colors

Size: Small to large | Material: Nylon | Care instructions: Not listed

If you don't want your pup to be glowing at night but still want some visibility, then this reflective collar from GoTags is the perfect solution. While it doesn't produce light on its own, it will shine anytime light hits it, so it'll keep your pup safe in the dark.

Unlike the LED collar listed above, this GoTags collar is totally suitable to be used as your dog's full-time collar. The nylon webbing is durable, especially when reinforced by the reflective material on top. Pups can pull on lead and chew at this collar all they want without breaking.

It also includes free personalization in a choice of 14 thread colors, so if your dog does get lost, whoever locates him can quickly see who to call. Another bonus: no need for noisy tags. Owners also have the choice of getting a $10 AirTag holder included on their collar when customizing, an option we haven't seen on any other collars.

While GoTags reflective collar is adjustable, we do wish it came in more size options. Many reviewers mentioned needing to adjust the collar so much that letters or numbers in the personalization aren't able to be seen. Also, this reflective collar only comes in five colors. While the collar color isn't prominent due to the reflective material, it is worth noting.

best leather collar

Orvis Shotshell Dog Collar

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Pros
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (67)Easy to clean
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (68)Genuine leather
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (69)Durable
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (70)Option to personalize
Cons
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (71)Not great for small dogs
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (72)A bit expensive

Size: 16-26 inches | Material: Leather | Care instructions: Hand wash with warm, soapy water

Is there anything more classic country style than a handsome dog in a leather collar? Of course not. While many leather collars can't withstand all the rambunctiousness of a country pup, the Orvis Shotshell collar surely does. Tons of reviewers note how well this collar has held up over the years to dogs rolling in mud, going for a swim, and so much more.

This genuine leather collar gets better with age. Instead of the leather getting gross or smelly, it gets the most beautiful patina that shows proof of all the fun your pup has had over the years. And if you do need to clean his collar, all it takes is a scrub with warm, soapy water and a quick blot with a paper towel to dry.

To add to the handsomeness of this collar, Orvis also includes the option of personalization with a brass name plate. Say goodbye to the jingle jangle of noisy tags and hello to one dapper looking dog.

The Shotshell collar does come in quite a few sizes, starting at 16-inches, some reviewers say that its not suitable for small dogs. We wouldn't recommend this collar for pups under 20-25 pounds.

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most stylish collar

The Foggy Dog Blue Gingham Dog Collar

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Pros
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (74)Tons of design options
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (75)Easy to clean
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (76)Great for pups with sensitive skin
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (77)Durable
Cons
  • Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (78)Buckle can wear more easily than the rest of the collar

Size: XS-L | Material: Nylon interior, 100% cotton exterior | Care instructions: Machine wash cold

If you're looking for style that can stand up to a more rambunctious pup, then look no further than The Foggy Dog. While so many other aesthetic dog collars seem to be made for more proper pups, The Foggy Dog produces collars that can handle swimmers, chewers, and generally rough pups.

While the core of this collar is nylon, the exterior is completely cotton, combining the best of both worlds. The nylon webbing holds strong against pups who pull on leash or like to chew their collar, and the cotton exterior is soft and doesn't pull fur or irritate pups with nylon allergies. The Foggy Dog also includes reinforced box stitching at stress points on all collars.

The zinc alloy buckle can be personalized with up to three lines, leaving room for not just a name and phone number but home address, potential allergies, and more. A solid brass D-ring is sturdy against pups that pull. However, the zinc alloy buckle is prone to more wear and tear than the rest of the collar.

But we know you're not just here for a collar that gets the job done — you want one that looks good, too. The Foggy Dog has tons of different print options, each as cute as the last. They also release seasonal collars that are a hit at holidays. And in case you want to pupgrade your collar, then go for their bow-laden options — including bow ties and lady bows!

How We Tested

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While hours of research and online reviews helped us narrow down the pool of contenders for the best dog collar, we knew we need to put these collars through real life testing to truly sift out the cream of the crop. That's why we enlisted the help of our Country Living Pet Lab and our panel of pups at the ready to test whatever we toss their way (and usually a tennis ball here or there).

Our lab pups wore these collars for months, with plenty of long walks, swims in the lake, and roughhousing to make sure we were getting the most accurate results on durability. Not all the collars made it through their rigorous review process, but the ones that stood out above the rest made the final cut you see here.

Additionally, us, as their humans, tested each collar's ability to be cleaned and how it performed on those walks (aka did it help with pulling, etc.). The pups adamantly refused to give any sort of input here.

What to Look for in a Dog Collar

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Material. "The material of the collar is an important consideration," says Dr. Hsia. "Nylon collars are lightweight, durable, and easy to clean, making them a popular choice for many dog owners." Other materials, like leather or neoprene, might be a better fit for your dog if their skin doesn't react well to nylon.

Buckles or clasps. While you can't go wrong with a standard buckle, side-release clasps add extra convenience. Dr. Honnas calls them "the superheroes for those with dogs that just can't stay still."

Reflective materials. "Collars with reflective materials or even some flashy LED lights are the special ingredient ensuring your dog is seen by cars or fellow walkers," says Dr. Honnas. Consider opting for a collar with reflective materials if you do a lot of evening walks.

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How to Choose a Collar for Your Dog

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Make sure it's fitted correctly. "Imagine wearing tight shoes day in, day out; not a pleasant thought, right?" says Dr. Honnas. "Dogs are the same with collars. It's essential to measure your dog's neck correctly. You should be able to slide two fingers comfortably between the collar and their neck. Think snug but not too tight."

Consider their head shape. Dr. Honnas also shared that your dog's head shape matters, since dogs with smaller heads or sleeker necks can more easily slip out of a collar than those dogs with big heads.

Think about your dog's behaviors. If your pup is likely to pull or lunge at things while out, look for a collar that reviewers or experts say is durable, with a strong clasp. You'll also want to find one that they won't slip out of.

Ask your veterinarian for recommendations. A vet who knows your dog and their behaviors may have specific leash recommendations tailored to your pup.

Why Trust Us

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In addition to having a team full of dog owners (including our beloved office pups), we enlisted the help of our Country Living Pet Lab testers to really review these collars. Our Pet Lab is made of our very eager testing panel that includes dogs of all different breeds, sizes, and temperaments. Rest assured, those pups put these collars through the wringer.

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Hannah Jones

Commerce Editor

Hannah Jones is the Commerce Editor for Country Living. Her eye is always on the next up-and-coming products to include in gift guides and she's ready to test everything from dog beds to garden tools for product reviews. When she’s not scoping out the latest and greatest items on the market, you can find her hanging with her two rescue dogs.

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Jamie Ballard

Contributing Writer

Jamie Ballard (she/her) is a freelance writer and editor who covers news, lifestyle, and entertainment topics, including sex and relationships, TV, movies, books, health, pets, food and drinks, pop culture, shopping, and personal finance. She regularly contributes to Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, and YouGov, among other publications. When she’s not working, you can find her running, traveling, or scrolling TikTok. Follow her on Twitter.

Your Morning Walks Just Got So Much More Pleasant Thanks to This Dog Collar (2024)

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