How to Pick the Right Dog Collar for Your First Dog

Welcoming a new fluffy friend to the family is an exciting time.

Your new barking buddy is about to bring so much joy and love into your life, so he deserves a treat!

Choosing the right collar for your dog may not seem like a big decision, but it is. There are so many different types of collars to choose from and they can make a big difference.

A collar helps keep your dog safe and secure on walks, and God forbid he ever gets lost, it can help identify him.

Here, we've compiled the ultimate guide to choosing the right dog collar for your new pup to make it easy for you.

Why Are Dog Collars Essential?

You may have a very obedient dog who comes when called every time. Or you may use a harness which doesn't need to clip onto a collar. This might make you think that dog collars aren't very important.

But dog collars are an essential piece of equipment when it comes to owning a dog.

Dog collars help keep your dog safe. You can attach important information onto a dog tag or ID nameplate to make them easy to identify and return to you.

Some dog collars are also key when it comes to training your dog. A slight tug on the collar can associate your dog with non-verbal commands to make them sit or stay.

Get the Right Size

The first thing you need to do before buying your dog's collar is to get the right sizing. Getting the right sizing is important, you don't want it too tight or too loose.

Our sizing guide will tell you in depth what to do, but it's easy to do. Use a measuring tape around your dog's neck. The collar should be snug but not tight. You should be able to fit two fingers under the collar with ease.

Collars for big and small breeds vary in sizes, so make sure you check before you buy.

Different Types of Dog Collars

All dogs are different, so it makes sense that there are many different types of dog collars too.

There are a lot of different dog collars in a range of styles with differing purposes. Some are aesthetic, and others have a greater function.

Here are a few of the most popular dog collar styles:

Flat Collars

Flat collars are simplistic collars which you'll find in most pet stores. They're made with either nylon or leather and have plastic or metal buckles.

They have a ring attached to them where you clip the leash or attach ID tags.

Flat collars come in a range of different styles and colors to suit your pup and they are easy to adjust.

Martingale Collars

Martingale collars are also known as slip-on collars. They are perfect for dogs with slender necks who wriggle out of flat collars. Greyhounds and Whippets usually wear these for this reason.

They're designed with a length of material with rings at either end. Another length of material runs through these rings. On the ring on the second length of material is where the ring for the leash is.

When attached to a leash, if your dog tries to wriggle out the collar will tighten. It will only tighten to the size of your dog's neck so it won't hurt or choke them. This will prevent them from getting out of it.

Martingale collars are ideal for dogs who like to slip out of their collars or those who need more training. It gives the walker more control over the dog without fear of them running free.

Head Collars

Head collars are perfect for strong dogs who pull when they're on the leash. Whether they don't know their own strength or they're super playful, a head collar should help.

They look like a horse halter and fit in the same way. There's a loop of material which goes around your dog's snout. Then you wrap the other piece of material around the back of their head and secure it in the buckle.

There's a loop which clips onto the leash and it helps control how much your pup pulls when on a walk.

Make sure you get a proper fit as you don't want it to be too loose or tight.

Chain / Slip Collars

Chain collars, or slip collars, are for training purposes only. They can be dangerous.

You must never leave a chain collar on an unattended dog. They can lead to choking, especially in cold weather when chains don't move so well.

That said, they are great when training your new dog. A chain collar works like a rope looped in on itself does, but with a chain!

Clip on the leash and when you pull the leash, the collar pulls tight around the dog's neck. This chokes the dog and causes them to relax.

We don't recommend using a chain collar on dogs with fragile necks such as whippets. They are best used with strong dogs with thick necks.

Pick the Right Dog Collar for Your New Dog

You're ready to welcome your new pup home and you should do it in style.

Getting the right dog collar for your new dog is an important decision to make. You need to decide what it will be used for primarily.

Does your dog pull on the leash a lot? Get him a head collar.

Does your dog need some extra training to make him more obedient? Get a chain collar for that.

Will the collar withstand normal wear and tear? Do you want a stylish design? A flat collar is the one for you.

Make sure you've done the right measurements. Puppies grow fast but go for the collar that fits them now. Don't risk their safety just because they'll grow out of it soon.

Now that you're on your way to finding the perfect dog collar, it's time to choose the right leash. Check out our selection of leashes and start walking your dog in style!