Choosing a collar for any pet can be a challenge, but small dog breeds are especially sensitive to the right choice. A traditional collar and a leash might actually injure small dogs when they go for a walk. The younger the dog, the even greater the risk because those dogs will be more anxious and therefore more likely to yank and harm themselves.
Collars may play more of a role in a dog's behaviour than dog owners tend to think as certain research studies have found a correlation between the excitability and aggression in a dog to how he or she engages with owners. Because dogs who pull and behave unpredictably experience the most reprimand, especially when their leashes and collars are difficult to use to control them, the owners might have a more demanding attitude towards them - but understandably so. With the correctly fitted collar, controlling the dog becomes easier and therefore the relationship between the owner and the dog also becomes less strained.
Picking the proper collar for a small dog breed requires researching the correct material, size, collar width, and other factors that can help protect the structure of a small-bodied dog. One example is a harness that can keep certain high pressures from straining parts of the dog's necks or torso so that the dog can be controlled without causing damage. Let's take a look at what factors will make the most sense for your small or even young dog:
Various tiny, lap dog breeds have relatively delicate features that should be considered when finding a collar that will best suit their needs. Collars should be firm and substantial enough to provide support and guidance while walking a dog, but these collars should also have some softness and flexibility for the dog's overall comfort - both while being walked and while being idle. After just a little research, dog owners will find that leather works the best for small dog breeds, far out-doing even the high competitors such as nylon products.
The reasons why leather collars are the superior choices are because the material itself naturally comes in an adequate thickness to provide comfort for smaller pups. Leather is also perfect for adding specific hardware, such as brass pieces that are needed to keep the collar secure around a small dog's neck without causing stresses. Of course, leather is also stylish and can come in many colours and designs, making it a favoured choice to many people looking for a new collar for their small dog. Leather collars also have water-proof and water-resistant qualities.
Another great factor to leather collars is the lack of irritability. Some collars might be harsh on a dog's skin, while others are designed to pull and train them. Leather collars are excellent, flexible pieces that do not punish your dog, making leather collars for small dogs an ideal pick.
It is important to find a collar that does not slip over the head of your dog but that will also cause a comfortable restraint should the dog pull, tug, or become frightened in some way. One of the best ways to find the right size for your dog is to actual size him or her according to the size guide. The steps are not too difficult, and result in a perfect fitting collar every time.
First, to get an accurate neck size, you will need to measure the size of its neck. Have your dog sit before you and use a soft tape measure to measure around the neck where a collar comfortably sits. Stick 1 or 2 fingers between the dogs neck and measuring tape, and record that measurement.
Once your dog's neck size has been measured, enter the measurement into our size guide page to determine what size collar to purchase.
Not only is the length and size of a collar important, but choosing the right collar width for your small dog is also crucial. Small dogs tend to have smaller necks. The ratio of the collar's length to the width of the collar is one element to consider as you don't want to put a very thick, short collar on a dog in the same way that you don't want a very long, thin collar that puts high pressure on the dog's neck.
Generally speaking, smaller dogs need collars that are narrower in size. Our collars are sold as narrow as 5/8" wide, a size that works great for tiny dogs like Chihuahuas. Compare this narrow width to large dogs like Mastiffs which may need collars as wide as 2" inches.
If a dog is no more than 15 pounds, his or her neck is likely 8" to 14" in circumference and therefore collar widths between 5/8" and 1" are the most ideal. Although a dog may be very tiny, his or her personality may go best with a collar closer to 1" to help distribute the tugging and pulling while on a leash.
For dogs that are slightly larger, up to 30 pounds, generally have 12" to 16" necks in circumference. These larger dogs work best with 1" to 1.5" wide collars. Again, smaller dogs in this category might feel the most comfortable with a 1" collar, or even a 5/8" wide collar.
It may not seem like such a big deal to find a collar, so long as the collar stays on the dog and doesn't slip off. However, the science behind how improper collar sizes and fits can impact different dogs depending on their personalities is extensive. Especially for pups that are being trained, owners should take special care to protect their dogs' bodies while walking them.
Dogs that are untrained, disobedient, or easily spooked have the tendency to pull on the leash that is connected to their collar. The collar needs to be fit and shaped to cause the least strain on the neck or else the dog experiences a choking sensation on his or her throat. The excess pressure impacts the muscles as well as nerves and the airway system, and so there is a risk of injury if an improperly sized collar is used. Finding the right size, material, and style for your dog's personality can prevent injuries from happening.
Another excellent alternative for small dogs is to consider getting them a collar but utilizing a harness when walking them on a leash. Small dogs benefit from harnesses, especially if they have little leash training or are prone to tug and pull. Using a harness can help prevent serious damage while also keeping the dog very secure on the leash.
Harnesses divert pressure from the areas of a dog that are very fragile in small breeds especially. Harnesses are especially great at diverting that neck pressure onto the torso. Harnesses come in a variety of materials that are soft and flexible, but picking a style may be a challenge at first.
Harnesses with leather components are especially sturdy, and many kinds of materials are available with reflective pieces to add special safety to your dog in night-like conditions. Soft harnesses do not cause harm to the legs on small dogs or puppies. Some harnesses can even be purchased with a service dog certification for those looking to walk their service dogs.
As with regular collars, finding the harness that is the right size requires some special attention. Many harnesses come with a guide as well as adjustable elements. Collars and harnesses should always be on tight enough to not slip off the dog, but having enough space to slip in a finger or two so that the dog is still comfortable.
With harnesses, as with leashes, there are particular styles made for dogs who may be easy walkers, dogs who may lunge and jump, or dogs who may pull excessively. Harnesses typically have numerous adjustment points so that the dog is properly tied in.
Overall it is important to make sure you don't rush the decision to find a new collar for your small dog. These collars do not need to come from the kitten part of the store because so many great, quality products are now made just for small dogs! Make sure to get an accurate measurement to size the right collar, review the quality and materials used, and pick both the colour and style that best suits your pup's personality. Taking the time to do this careful process will make both you and your doggie happy.