How Tight should a Dog Collar be? - The Perfect Collar Fitting Guide

A Dog Collar has two main purposes, the first is to provide a means for identifying the dog if it gets out and the second is to connect to a lead for a walk if a Harness isn't being used.

And Identification of your Dog is super important, as it not only provides an effective way to be reunited with your dog if it becomes lost, but also because it's the law.

It is a little known fact that unless a dog is on your property, or a working dog on the job, there is a requirement in most states for dogs to be wearing a collar with identification, even if they are chipped. Failure to comply with this requirement is an offence and in our home state of NSW, it could result in a fine of up to $5,500 depending on your dog's breed.

Dog Collars come in a variety of styles and colours, so you can definitely have some fun on a Collar Designer getting something that perfectly matches your Dog’s personality. But more important than getting a Dog Collar that looks great, is that you get one that fits perfectly.

To eliminate the chance of a collar falling off your dog, this article will tell you the best way to go about getting a great fitting collar, especially if you are ordering online like most during the pandemic and can’t physically try them on.

In general, a dog collar should be snug but not too tight, there is a rule called “the two-finger rule” which refers to being able to take your pointer and middle fingers and slide them in between your dog's collar and neck once the collar is clipped on. If your fingers slide in easily but feel snug the collar is perfect. If your fingers can't get in the collar is too tight, and if your fingers are free to move about once inserted the collar is too loose. Also, it's recommended that you slide the collar up to see if it can slip over your dog's head. Canines with triangular heads, such as Husky’s and Greyhounds that are notorious for slipping out of their collars.

So if you have a dog that has an existing collar that needs replacing or you want to upgrade to a custom dog collar to get away from tags, follow the steps above with your old collar and then when happy with its fit, remove the collar and hold against a tape measure to get the right measurement.

Or if you don't have an existing collar and need to start from scratch you can either grab a soft textile tape or a piece of string and place it around your dog's neck where the collar will sit (remembering the two-finger rule). The tape will give you the measurement instantly, the rope you will need to take to the tape like the collar tip above.

Now that you have the perfect measurement, it’s time to match that to the adjustment of the collar you are interested in with a sizing chart. If you are like most good dog owners you will head to https://petcollars.com.au/pages/sizes-and-pricing which shows all the adjustment sizes of each collar size.

A couple of other tips when ordering, if you are getting a personalised dog collar, your dog’s name and your number will be embroidered onto it, so you want to get a collar that’s maximum adjustment is as close to your neck size so the adjuster doesn't end up sitting over your embroidery. This is easy for full-grown dogs, if you have a puppy you may have to live with this until it grows up a little, unless you want to be buying new collars every few months.

Also, collars tend to come in a variety of widths, if you have a dog with a short neck like a Pug a wide collar choice might lead to some chaffing on longer walks. Same with larger dogs, if you are not using a harness you will want a wide collar to make walking more comfortable.

Once you have your collar, be sure to check it periodically to ensure the adjuster is not loosening off or your dog is gaining weight, or if you are running an ID Tag versus a custom collar, make sure the tag hasn't fallen off during play. If you run a personalised collar and it gets dirty, they are machine washable, so throw them in the machine to keep them looking good and easy to read.

If your dog doesn't take too kindly to the new collar try placing it on the floor in front of them and when they smell it, give them a treat. Then place the collar around their neck unclipped, and then a treat. Then do up the clip, give them a treat …. You may need to do this a few times but they will get it and embrace the new collar.

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