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Finding a collar for your dog is no easy task, especially since it requires more than just measuring the sizes with your eyes. You must know what to look for when selecting a collar, to ensure that your dog remains comfortable in the daily wear of the collar.
Here are some tips to know so you select the right collar for your dog.
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Dogs’ Average Neck Size According to Their Breed
One of the first factors to consider is the size of your dog’s neck according to his breed. The larger and heavier your dog is, the bigger the chance that the dog’s neck is going to be on the larger size. For example, a golden retriever is a large dog and therefore would benefit from an x-large collar.
Furthermore, it has a lot of fur as well, which can certainly buff up the dog’s size. On the other hand, a small dog, such as a Maltese, would most likely need a small collar. Although they have a puffy appearance from all of the fur, it is necessary to select a collar that will fit properly.
Measuring Your Dog’s Collar Size
Because all dogs are unique and vary in size, therefore you must take their actual measurements instead of relying on pre-measured ones. The first step for a proper fit would be taking a cloth seamstress’ tape measure and measure around the dog’s neck.
Measure the Dog’s Head and Neck
To get a good measurement of the dog’s head, you should measure from the top of the dog’s throat, and then over the ears to the top of the dog’s head. Next, to measure the dog’s neck, you must first very loosely measure where the collar would usually be located.
Small Dog’s Vs. Large Dogs
There is a slight difference in the methods used to measure a small dog’s neck versus a large dog’s neck. A great method is to take the measurement a few inches below the head. Then add one inch for very small to averagely small dogs or two inches for medium or very large dogs.
You should try to pull the measuring tape as snug as possible without pulling it tight because you do not want to injure your dog. If you do not have a tape measure, however, you can also use a piece of string and then measure the piece of string with a ruler to get accurate measurements.
Another tip is to ensure that you have enough room to slip two fingers in the space between the collar and the dog’s neck. This will make sure that your dog can wear his collar comfortably.
You can also measure the neck, and then add two inches and base the collar’s size off of that measurement. If there is more room than the two-finger rule allows, then you will need to downgrade to a smaller collar size.
However, if both of your fingers do not fit underneath the collar, then you will need a larger size. A collar shouldn’t be too tight around your dog’s neck, so keep in mind that the collar should not be the same size as the dog’s neck. This is for safety reasons because it is good to avoid the potential of the dog’s collar snagging on something and causing him to choke.
As mentioned before, the collar you select depends wholly on the size of your dog. Here is a brief overview of sizing according to the size of the dog.
Dog Collar Sizes by Breed
Extra Extra Small: (Up to 5 pounds)
The neck will be about 6-8 inches. Common breed for an xx-small collar would be Tea Cup Yorkshire Terriers.
Extra Small: (5-10 pounds)
The neck will be about 8-12 inches around or 20-30 centimeters. Common breeds for an extra small collar would be Chihuahuas, Toy Poodles, Jack Russels, and Jack Russell. A recommended type of collar that is suggested for this size of the dog is ⅜ inch or 16 mm width with a mini snap lock.
Small: (10-25 pounds)
The neck will be about 10-14 inches around or 25-35 centimeters. Common breeds for a small collar would be Beagles, Cocker spaniels, and Pugs. The recommended type of collar that is suggested for this size of a dog is ⅝ inches or 16-19 mm width with either a mini snap lock or a medium snap lock.
Medium: (Up to 55 pounds)
The neck will be about 14-20 inches around or 35-50 centimeters. Common breeds for a medium collar would be Dalmations, Springer Spaniel, and Collies. The recommended type of collar that is suggested for this size of a dog is ⅝- ¾ inches or 19 mm width with a medium snap lock.
Large: (Up to 75 pounds)
The neck will about 18-30 inches around or 45-76 centimeters. Common breeds for a large collar would be Boxers, German Shepherds, Old English Sheepdogs, and Labradors. The recommended type of collar that is suggested for this size of the dog is 1 inch or 25 mm width with a large snap lock.
Extra Large: (75 + pounds)
The neck will be about 24-30 inches around. Common breeds for an extra-large collar would be Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, and Saint Bernards. It is also recommended with this size of the dog that you ensure that you have extra reinforcements when it comes to walking the dog. This is because if he is prone to pulling, a dog of this size can easily knock over and injure a person.
Finding the correct collar for your dog should not be an impossible task. A little research, as well as patience, will find you the right one. It is also a good idea to consult your local pet store about any questions you may have so you can get the input of someone with expert knowledge on the subject.
Ian is an avid outdoorsman and dog lover. He lives in Central Florida with his wife Heather, and their 2 dogs – Panda (Purebread Rough Collie X English Golden Retriever) & Kuma (Blue Merl Purebread Rough Collie)