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BigPawShop's Dog Blog

Dog Collars: An Introduction to Keeping Your Pup Safe and Stylish

29 Apr 2023 0 Comments

Welcome to our ultimate guide to dog collars! Whether you're a new pet parent or a seasoned dog owner, finding the perfect collar for your furry companion is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive deep into the world of collars, covering everything from the basics of function and fit to the array of collar types tailored for different purposes like training, walking, and safety.

Get ready to explore key considerations such as breed, size, and behavior, as well as learn about the martingale collars and convenient release buckle options. We'll also discuss the different types of materials, solutions for dogs that love to pull on their leash, and hypoallergenic options for those pup's with sensitive skin.

Of course, we won't forget about style! At BigPawShop, we're passionate about creating bespoke collars that suit every pup's distinctive lifestyle. With a jaw-dropping collection of over 250 patterns in martingale and buckle options, we've got you covered – from chic designs to playful prints. So, let's embark on this journey to find the ideal collar that will keep your pup safe, stylish, and happy. Let's dive in!


Table of Contents:

  1. Understanding the Basics: Function and Fit of Dog Collars
  2. Fit Matters: Proper Sizing and Adjustments
  3. Collar Types: Training, Walking, and Safety - Choose Wisely!
  4. Key Considerations: Breed, Size, and Behavior
  5. Martingale Collars: A Humane Training Option
  6. Quick Release Buckles: A Convenient and Safe Traditional Option
  7. Benefits of Quick Release Buckles
  8. Durable Materials: Opt for Collars That Last
  9. Leash Pullers: Solutions for Dogs That Pull
  10. Hypoallergenic Options: Materials for Sensitive Skin
  11. Regular Checkups: Assess Your Pup's Collar Fit
  12. Size Matters: Choose the Right Collar Size
  13. Material Choices: Select the Best Collar Material
  14. Style Counts: Don't Forget About Fashion
  15. Final Thoughts: Keeping Your Pup Safe and Stylish


Understanding the Basics: Function and Fit of Dog Collars

At its core, a dog collar's main purpose is to offer identification and control for your beloved pet. But, did you know that not all collars are cut from the same cloth? That's right, various collar types cater to different needs, such as training, strolling, or safety. In this section, we'll dive into the essentials of mastering the function and fit of dog collars, along with a pinch of extra insight.

First things first, let's chat about function. The type of collar you choose should align with your dog's specific needs and activities. Here are a few common collar types and their functions:

  1. Standard flat collars: Ideal for everyday use, these collars are perfect for identification and attaching a leash for leisurely walks.
  2. Training collars: As the name suggests, these collars, such as martingale or head halters, assist in teaching your dog proper behavior and obedience. Just remember to consult a professional trainer before using one!
  3. Safety collars: Designed with your dog's safety in mind, these collars, like reflective or breakaway options, offer additional features to keep your pup secure during walks or outdoor adventures.

Size Matters: Proper Sizing and Adjustments

Now that you're acquainted with the different collar functions, let's talk dog collar fit. The right fit is crucial not only for your dog's comfort but also for their safety. Here are a few tips to ensure the perfect collar fit:

  1. Measure your dog's neck circumference with a flexible tape measure, or use a string and then measure the string length.
  2. Add 1-2 inches to the neck measurement for small dogs, and 2-3 inches for medium to large dogs, to allow for some wiggle room.
  3. When trying the collar on your dog, ensure you can comfortably slide two fingers between the collar and your pup's neck. This will guarantee the collar isn't too tight or too loose.
  4. Regularly check the collar fit as your dog grows or if their weight changes, and adjust or replace it accordingly.

Another function of a dog collar is control and comfort for your pet. This is especially important when walking or training your dog. That's why we offer traditional 1" collars to extra wide dog collars up to 2". A well-fitted dog collar will ensure that your walking or training session is as equally enojoyable for you and your pup. 

By understanding the function and nailing the fit of your dog's collar, you're well on your way to ensuring their comfort, safety, and, of course, style!


Collar Types: Training, Walking, and Safety - Choose Wisely!

a stock image of a man inspecting the fit of their dog's collar

Different collar types cater to specific functions beyond just identification and control. Let's take a closer look at these collar categories and their unique purposes:

  1. Training Collars: These specialized collars, such as Martingale collars or head halters (like the Halti type products), are designed specifically for training objectives. Training collars can provide gentle correction and control without causing discomfort. However, it's crucial to remember that such collars should be used strictly under supervision and not left on your dog unsupervised, as it can be dangerous for your pup.
  2. Walking Collars: Designed for everyday use during leisurely strolls, walking collars, such as flat collars, are your go-to options. Martingale collars can also be utilized for everyday walks, as they often come with an additional D-ring that mutes the "martingale" feature, making them versatile and safe. These collars usually feature a buckle or snap closure and are crafted from comfy materials like leather, nylon, or neoprene.
  3. Safety Collars: When it comes to keeping your pet visible and secure during low-light conditions, safety collars have you covered. These collars, which can be reflective or LED-equipped, ensure your furry friend stays noticeable during nighttime walks or early morning jogs. Some safety collars even go the extra mile by incorporating GPS tracking devices, making it easy for you to pinpoint your pet's location if they wander off or go missing.

By understanding the distinct collar types and their functions, you can make an informed decision when selecting the perfect collar for your pup, catering to their specific needs and keeping them safe and comfortable.

Key Considerations: Breed, Size, and Behavior


When selecting a collar for your dog, it's important to consider their breed, size, and behavior. For instance:

Breed - Different breeds may require different types of collars based on their physical characteristics. For example, Greyhounds have long necks and narrow heads that require a martingale collar to prevent it from slipping off.

Size - The size of the collar should match the size of your dog's neck. A collar that is too tight can cause discomfort while one that is too loose can slip off easily.

Width - For small breeds or dogs with delicate necks, a narrower collar is more suitable as it will provide adequate support without causing discomfort or strain. On the other hand, larger breeds or dogs with strong necks and pulling tendencies can benefit from a wider collar, which will distribute pressure more evenly and minimize the risk of injury.

Behavior - Consider whether your dog has any behavioral issues such as pulling on the leash or aggression towards other dogs. In these cases, you may need a specialized collar such as an anti-pull harness, collar or muzzle lead.

Martingale Collars: A Humane Training Option

Martingale collars have become a favorite among dogs that tend to wiggle out of traditional collars, as they gently tighten when pulled, keeping your escape artist secure. These collars are especially handy for dogs with narrow heads or those prone to pulling on their leash. One of the most prevalent materials for martingale collars is nylon, valued for its durability, lightweight nature, and the comfort it offers to dogs but just because they're meant to train, doesn't mean they have to be boring! That's why we create all our collars with a vibrant cotton outer shell. 

Our dog collars come in a stunning array of colors and designs, making them a fantastic choice for pet owners looking to match their dog's collar with their personality or style. Plus, the material is washable, ensuring your dog's collar stays in tip-top shape, whether they're taking a swim or playing in the mud.

Martingale collars offer two Drings, allowing pet owners to add their dog's name or contact information, providing an extra layer of safety if their pup gets lost. This can be especially helpful if you frequently travel with your furry friend or reside in an area where dogs tend to roam.

When selecting a martingale collar, remember to consider its width. Larger breeds like Great Danes or Mastiffs may find wider collars more comfortable, while smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas might prefer slimmer options. Additionally, be sure to measure your dog's neck accurately before purchasing a collar to guarantee the perfect fit.

Another advantage of our martingale collars is their thoughtful absence of chains. Instead, our collars are constructed with a fabric loop, providing enhanced comfort for your dog by eliminating the distracting noise and potential discomfort that chains can cause. For easy maintenance, simply hand wash or place them in the washing machine for a hassle-free cleaning experience, and always hang to dry. The materials used in these collars make them an ideal choice for dogs who revel in muddy playtime or have a penchant for rolling in the dirt.

Quick Release Buckles: A Convenient and Safe Traditional Option

Quick release buckles are the most popular option among dog owners, thanks to their user-friendly nature and safety features. These buckles enable pet parents to effortlessly remove the collar in case of emergency or when swapping collars, making them an excellent option for adventurous dogs that love to play and explore or with a wardrobe selection even humans would dream of.

In addition to their convenience, buckles offer added safety benefits for your dog. Should your pet get caught on a fence or find themselves in a potentially dangerous situation where their collar gets caught, they would have a much better chance of escape compared to a martingale collar. Conversely, this also means that dogs who unintentionally escape from their collar are more likely to put themselves in harm's way. Again, the importance of a correct fit can't be understated. 

Quick release buckles are typically made of durable plastic or metal, ensuring they can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. When selecting a collar with a quick release buckle, make sure it's made of high-quality materials to guarantee its longevity and performance. Additionally, it's essential to regularly inspect the buckle for signs of wear or damage and replace the collar if necessary.

Benefits of Quick Release Buckles

According to a survey conducted by the American Kennel Club (AKC), quick release buckle collars are one of the most popular types of collars among dog owners. The survey found that 68% of respondents used quick release buckle collars compared to other types such as slip-on collars or martingale collars.

Quick release buckles offer convenience and safety for dog owners, allowing them to easily remove the collar in case of emergency or when switching collars. This feature is particularly useful during outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or swimming since it provides an added layer of protection against accidents.

Additionally, quick-release buckles are designed to be easy to use even for pet parents who have limited mobility or dexterity. They come in different types such as snap buckles, side-release buckles, and breakaway buckles that offer varying degrees of security and ease-of-use.


Durable Materials: Opt for Collars That Last

Our dog collars, showcasing a playful nylon inner and a charming cotton outer shell, bring a fun and whimsical touch to your pet's wardrobe while maintaining the durability qualities of a nylong collar. These materials create a collar that's not only fashionable but also a breeze to maintain.

With a wide variety of colors and patterns, our collars cater to every dog's unique personality, adding a dash of flair to their daily adventures. The cotton outer shell makes the collar machine-washable, providing an easy and convenient solution for pet parents, especially when your furry friend has a blast swimming or romping around in muddy puddles.

The nylon inner layer adds a lightweight feel to the collar, ensuring your dog can frolic and play comfortably all day long. Combining style, practicality, and a pinch of whimsy, our collars are the perfect choice for your adorable canine sidekick.

Leash Pullers: Solutions for Dogs That Pull


If your pup pulls on their leash during walks, using a no-pull harness or martingale collar may be the best option. These types of collars help prevent choking by distributing pressure evenly around your dog's neck.

A no-pull harness works by attaching the leash to the front of your dog's chest rather than behind their back. This way, when they pull forward, their body naturally turns towards you instead of away from you.

A martingale collar is designed with two loops: one that fits around your dog's neck like a regular collar and another loop that tightens when pulled on. This tightening sensation helps discourage pulling without causing discomfort.

Hypoallergenic Options: Materials for Sensitive Skin

If your pup has sensitive skin or allergies, look for collars made of hypoallergenic materials. These collars are designed to minimize skin irritation and allergic reactions.

Some popular hypoallergenic materials include neoprene, hemp, and organic cotton. Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that's waterproof and easy to clean. Hemp is a natural fiber that's durable and eco-friendly. Our collars feature a vibrant cotton that is soft and gentle on the skin.

Regular Checkups: Assess Your Pup's Collar Fit

It's essential to routinely inspect your pup's collar for fit, as well as the stitches and hardware for any damages.

A collar that is too tight can cause discomfort or even choke your pup, while a collar that is too loose may slip off or become a safety hazard.To check if the collar fits properly, you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your dog's neck. If you can't do this, then the collar may be too tight and needs adjusting.

Additionally, it's crucial to examine the stitches and hardware for signs of wear or damage. Damaged stitching or hardware may compromise the collar's functionality and safety.

We recommend performing these checks at least once a month, or more frequently if your dog is still a pup or particularly active and spends a lot of time outdoors. By regularly assessing the fit and condition of your pup's collar, you can ensure their comfort, safety, and well-being.

Choosing the Right Style for Your Dog

With a vast array of dog collar styles to choose from, you can find the perfect one to complement your dog's coat color or coordinate with their favorite accessory. From timeless leather dog collars in classic neutral shades like brown or black to vivid neon hues that catch the eye in low light conditions, and fashionable patterns such as polka dots or stripes – there's a dog collar to suit every taste.

At BigPawShop, we cater to diverse preferences with our made to order dog collars, offering styles that range from minimalist and refined to bold and attention-grabbing. 

Final Thoughts on Dog Collars: Keeping Your Pup Safe and Happy


In conclusion, picking the perfect dog collar for your furry friend is not only essential for their safety and happiness, but it can also be a delightful and enjoyable experience! With a plethora of options available, it might seem overwhelming to make a decision, but fear not – BigPawShop is here to help. We specialize in crafting collars as unique as your precious pup, and we'd be thrilled to assist in outfitting your canine companion with the perfect collar.

As a reminder, Martingale collars are a fantastic choice for dogs prone to slipping out of their collars or those with necks larger than their heads. They offer gentle control without harming your beloved pet. 

Quick release buckles have become the most popular choice among pet parents, as they enable easy collar removal in emergency situations and can be worn all day.

When selecting a collar for your pup, it's crucial to consider factors like their size, breed, and temperament. For instance, smaller dogs may benefit from lighter collars, while larger breeds may need sturdier ones. 

Personalization goes beyond adding flair to your dog's collar – it's also about keeping them safe. By incorporating contact information on their collar, you significantly increase the likelihood of reuniting with them if they ever get lost. So, let's have fun while keeping our furry friends safe and stylish!


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