The Best Dog Collars

Anyone who has a dog should have one or more collars for the dog. A dog collar has several different functions: It allows you to attach a leash for walks. It also gives you a “handle” to hold onto the dog to prevent him from getting into trouble while at home or elsewhere. In addition, a collar provides a handy place to attach your dog’s license and rabies tags, both of which might be required in your area.

We have reviewed dozens of dog collars in an effort to tell you about the best ones available. We considered their durability, whether they are functional, and how Amazon users rated them after using the collars on their own dogs.

If you’re in the market for other dog walking gear, make sure to check out our pet walking essentials articles.

Best Dog Collar Overall

Soft Touch Collars Luxury Real Leather Padded Dog Collar

High-quality leather and brass on this luxurious collar./amazon-chewy-box]

The Soft Touch Collars Luxury Real Leather Padded Dog Collar was an easy first choice when it came to choosing the best dog collar out there. Real leather and brass make up a collar that was made for your dog’s comfort and your aesthetic preferences. This collar is made for the long haul, too; it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

If you want to track your dog electronically, check out our in-depth reviews of the 5 Best GPS Dog Tracking Collars.

The 5 Top-Rated Dog Collars

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*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Soft Touch Collars Luxury Real Leather Padded Dog Collar

The Soft Touch Collars Luxury Real Leather Padded Dog Collar made our top pick for its high-quality materials, the beautiful design, and its comfortable fit. The collar comes in sizes from small to extra large to accommodate a wide range of dog breeds and sizes.

A small ring next to the brass buckle is perfect for attaching your dog’s tags, and the larger brass D-ring lets you attach the leash easily. This brass hardware is lacquered to prevent rusting. The collar is brown and cream with sheepskin leather padding.

The collar comes with a lifetime guarantee. The company believes in the superiority of this collar and they back it for a lifetime. If the collar fails due to workmanship or materials, they will send you a replacement.

Soft Touch Collars Luxury Real Leather Padded Dog Collar Key Features:

  • Available in several different sizes
  • Small ring for tags as well as large ring for a leash
  • Brass hardware won’t rust
  • Naturally tanned leather construction
  • Lifetime guarantee

Our Runner Up Pick: Country Brook Petz Premium Nylon Dog Collar

[amazon-chewy-box asin="B009I1MAKK" title="Country Brook Petz Premium Nylon Dog Collar" banner="Runner Up" chewy="" tracking_id="Pangopets"]Silky soft nylon collar available in a rainbow of colors

The Country Brook Petz Premium Nylon Dog Collar was our runner-up choice. This collar is made from soft nylon that will conform to the shape of your dog’s neck for comfort. The hardware is aluminum and stainless steel. The collar won’t break or fray easily and the colorfast dye means that it won’t run onto your dog’s fur when it gets wet.

It is available in several different sizes and it comes in 25 rich colors. This style is great for male and female dogs and you can choose a color to match your favorite leash or to complement your dog’s natural coloring.

Country Brook Petz Premium Nylon Dog Collar Key Features:

  • Adjustable collar for a great fit
  • Available in many different colors
  • Rust-resistant aluminum and steel hardware
  • Collar is made of soft nylon

Best Budget Pick: Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Color Dog Collar Collection

Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Color Dog Collar Collection

Durable nylon, plastic, and chrome make a sturdy, economical collar

When it comes to a budget-friendly dog collar, the Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Color Dog Collar Collection is our first choice. This collar is made from durable nylon fabric with high-density webbing. The buckles are plastic, and the metal D-ring is coated with chrome for long-lasting shine.

The collar is available in several sizes and many colors. At this low price, you can buy several to mix and match them depending on your leash, your outfit, or your mood! The company offers a matching leash, which is sold separately.

Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Color Dog Collar Collection Key Features:

  • Available in many sizes and colors
  • Matching leash available (not included)
  • High density nylon
  • Plastic buckles
  • Metal D ring

Best Martingale Collar: Mighty Paw Martingale Dog Collar

Best Martingale Collar

Mighty Paw Martingale Dog Collar

Train your dog humanely with subtle cues

The Mighty Paw Martingale Dog Collar made our top choice for martingale collars. This collar switches easily from a martingale to a standard collar thanks to an attachable D-ring option. Most of the collar is constructed out of nylon, and the cinch part is made from iron chain. This provides an audible sound when you correct your dog. The mix of the sound and sensation can help you train your dog more quickly.

Reflective stitching makes your dog more visible in the dark, and the materials provide durability and functionality. It allows you to train your dog consistently and gently. The dog won’t be able to back up out of the collar, and it can’t tighten too much, so you don’t run the risk of hurting your dog with corrections.

Mighty Paw Martingale Dog Collar Key Features:

  • Subtle controlled training cues
  • Premium quality nylon construction
  • 100% iron chain
  • Provides an audible cue
  • D-ring attachment for use as a standard collar

Best Chain Collar: SGODA Chain Dog Training Choke Collar

Best Chain Collar

SGODA Chain Dog Training Choke Collar

Enjoy effective training with a quality collar

If your trainer has recommended a chain collar, the SGODA Chain Dog Training Choke Collar is our top choice. Made from iron, this collar won’t tarnish or rust. It is available in sizes that will fit very small up to very large dogs. This collar is recommended for training with a professional; you should not leave it on your dog when he is unattended or use it as his everyday collar.

This training collar will not slip off when sized correctly. Measure your dog’s neck and add two inches for adjustment. The chain will slide smoothly through the rings when used correctly.

SGODA Chain Dog Training Choke Collar Key Features:

  • Recommended for professional training
  • Made of iron
  • Strong and durable
  • Will not tarnish or rust
  • Available in several sizes

Who Should Buy a Dog Collar

Anyone who has a dog should have at least one dog collar. Even if you have a fenced yard or a lot of property and you don’t usually leash your dog, a collar is important in case you have to drive somewhere and would need to keep your dog under control. Also, it serves as a holder for your dog’s license and rabies tag, both of which are required in most areas.

Many dog owners opt to have more than one collar. This is because different collars are used for different things. A nylon buckle or clasp collar is good for everyday use. A martingale or chain collar can be useful for training. And a smart collar uses GPS technology that can help you locate your dog. This is useful if you go hunting or to a new location where you think your dog might wander off and get lost.

High-quality leather and brass on this luxurious collar./amazon-chewy-box]

Important Features to Consider

All dog collars have features that are important. Here is what to consider when choosing a collar for your dog.

  • Fit. A collar that is too large can slip off, and a collar that is too small can choke your dog or damage his skin. Measure around your dog’s neck and consult a sizing chart for the brand of collar you plan to purchase.
  • Material. You will want to choose a material that will be sturdy and durable. It should be washable and it should be able to withstand some gnawing in case your dog chews on it.
  • Type. There are several types of collars and you will need to choose one that matches what you want to use it for. If you have a professional trainer, ask his or her opinion on the type of collar you should use for training sessions. If you don’t, a martingale collar is generally the safest option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it a legal requirement to have a collar on a dog?

The law can vary depending on where you live. In most places, however, yes, it is a legal requirement for a dog to wear a collar when in public. A harness or some other restraint is also usually acceptable. In addition, the collar should include the dog’s license, preferably with the owner’s name and phone number engraved on it, and, if needed in your city or county, the dog’s rabies tag, which proves that he has been vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the law.

Is it better to walk a dog with a harness or collar?

It depends on your dog’s breed, body shape, whether he pulls, and other factors. If your dog knows how to walk well on a leash, a regular nylon collar is usually fine for walking. A martingale collar provides some extra security because it will tighten if your dog were to lunge or pull. For a dog who pulls a lot, a no-pull harness might be the best option (we review the best dog harnesses in a separate post). If you are having trouble walking your dog, talk to a professional trainer about the various options available.

Should dogs always wear collars?

If your dog is outside or in a public place, he should wear a collar. And most dogs do wear collars when they are at home and loose in the house, though it’s not required. There are some situations when a dog should not wear a collar, however. If you put your dog in a crate, remove his collar first. Otherwise, he could catch it on a wire in the crate and strangle himself. If you have two dogs who are roughhousing, it is safest to remove their collars so they do not get their jaws stuck in the other dog’s collar. You should never use a chain or nylon choke collar to tie a dog outside on a line. A well-fitting harness might be your best option to put your dog on a line outdoors (though he should not be left unattended).

Should puppies wear collars? What kind of collar is best for a puppy?

It is a good idea to get your puppy used to wearing a collar. A young puppy can wear a nylon collar most of the time. A martingale collar can be used for training a puppy and for walks to avoid having your puppy back out of a nylon collar. Avoid using chain choke collars on young puppies. Once your puppy is a few months old, you can talk to a trainer about the type of collar to use for training and walking.