Every dog needs a collar. Not just because it’s most likely required by law where you live. A dog collar is a necessary accessory – one that clearly states to the public that the dog has a home and there are people who will miss him if he gets lost. One of the best collars out there is the Martingale Collar.
Of course, not all dog collars are made equal. While some are ok, others are entirely inhumane (we’re looking at you, choke chain collars and friends!). Experts generally recommend that dog owners use regular, flat collars for everyday use. But for some dogs, you’ll need a martingale collar too.
The martingale collar is a non-slip collar that serves as an excellent tool for teaching dogs good leash manners without harming them. It keeps your escape artist from backing out of his collar and breaking free while you’re out for a walk. It also prevents enthusiastic dogs from pulling on the leash and affords you more control. It was initially designed for breeds with narrow heads and larger necks such as Whippets, Salukis, and Greyhounds (obviously). It’s easy to see why this type of collar has become widely popular among dog owners and trainers.
Naturally, with popularity comes a plethora of choices in the market. And for a harried dog owner such as yourself, choosing the best martingale dog collar for your fur baby may take more time than you have available. After all, you need to take your pet on walks every day. More importantly, the wrong choice can make you and your dog miserable. In addition, it’s your pet’s neck on the line. Fortunately, that’s what we’re here for – to test these collars for durability, comfort, and safety, so that you can make the best choice for your dog. Below are our top three picks based on experts’ recommendations, our staff’s experiences, and our dogs’ comfort.
#1 Best Overall Martingale Dog Collar: Country Brook Petz Martingale Heavy Duty Nylon Dog Collar
- 1 INCH WIDTH | Adjustable from 15 inch - 21 inch neck. Be sure to use our martingale sizing chart for the most accurate fit. (Use the true “snug” measurements)
- NO BUCKLE | Perfect for training, Martingale-style collars give you gentle control over your pet. Designed to be escape proof, this collar slips over the head and tightens when pulled. Traditional Martingale style collars do not feature a buckle.
- Personalize your pup with rich, fashionable colors and mirror like metal hardware. The classic style of this collar looks cute on both boy and girl dogs. Our unique collars will give your pup character.
- Silky soft nylon webbing means your dog will stay comfy. Adjustable so you can have the perfect fit. Worn like a hug.
- Made in the U.S.A. with nickel plated steel hardware for superior strength; won't break or fray as easily as plastic collars. Not for tie out.
The Country Brook Petz Heavy Duty Martingale Collar is the best rated in Amazon. But that’s not why it’s our number one pick. That’s just an added bonus and what initially caught our attention. We considered this the best overall martingale collar because it checks all of our requirements – durability, comfort, style, size, and cost.
This martingale collar is made of high tensile strength nylon with box stitching located at pressure points to increase durability. This heavy-duty material is soft and comfortable; it isn’t going to snap easily even if your pup is a strong puller. More importantly, nylon is able to handle moisture and humidity well. Getting it wet, either by cleaning it or because of your dog’s antics, isn’t going to affect its sturdiness.
This best-rated collar also features welded nickel-plated steel rings which won’t break or corrode. There’s no risk of the metal rubbing against your fur baby’s neck and causing discomfort or, worse, chafing and/or sores. Whether your dog’s hairy, hairless, or hypoallergenic, they’re not going to notice this collar until you’re pulling the leash.
Aside from being well-made and sturdy, we loved the fact that Country Brook offers a wide selection for dog owners. From sizes that fit Chihuahuas to German Shepherds and colors ranging from mango to royal blue, you won’t have a hard time finding a martingale collar that suits your energetic doggo. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the collar only costs around $10. Your wallet won’t feel the pinch.
Obviously, there are numerous benefits to getting this heavy-duty martingale collar from Country Brook. Based on our doggos’ experience, your pets shouldn’t have any problems wearing it. In fact, out of all that we tested, this collar performed best whether dry or wet. But we did find a few customers who weren’t so happy. A few mentioned that the color leached onto their pup’s furs which can be an issue unless you wanted a hot pink dog (or something similar). And if you have an enthusiastic dog on your hands, you might find it difficult to slip on the collar and adjust the fit properly.
Click here to check out Country Brook Petz Martingale Heavy Duty Nylon Dog Collar
#2 Best Martingale Dog Collar with Buckle: Max and Neo Nylon Martingale Collar
- YOUR PURCHASE HELPS A DOG RESCUE: For every collar sold, we donate a collar to a dog rescue. Dog rescues are in constant need of dog supplies. We donate 1 for 1 for every purchase. By purchasing one of our dog collars, you receive a premium high quality collar and you donate one to a rescue. Together we can support dog rescues with a never ending supply of collars.
- DOG RESCUES: Each month we donate to different rescues throughout the USA. At the end of every month, we tally up the number of leashes and collars sold. Based on the number, we determine how many rescues we can donate to for that month. We donate down our list of rescues until each one has received a donation and then we go back to the top of our list. In special cases, we will donate to rescues out of turn based on their immediate needs.
- SIZING for Nylon Martingale: Extra Small - Neck Size 10"-12" / Small - Neck Size 12"-14.5" / Medium - Neck Size 14"-16.25" / Medium/Large - Neck Size 16.25"-19" / Large - Neck Size 19"-25" / Extra-Large 21"-33"
Not all dogs are as well-behaved as Lassie. Some of us have rambunctious doggos that can get into all sorts of trouble in the least likely of places. If your fur baby fits that description, then you’re better off using the Max and Neo Nylon Martingale Collar.
A martingale collar that features a buckle has two main benefits. One, it will enable you to easily place the collar around your pup and adjust it to properly fit around his neck. Two, the buckle allows you to easily and safely remove the collar. This is particularly important if the collar gets tangled or caught on something. With the Max and Neo martingale collar, you get an added feature to the buckle – it has a locking mechanism that prevents the clasp from unlocking when your pup pulls on the leash.
Like our number one pick, this martingale collar with a buckle is mostly made of nylon which is both soft and durable. However, unlike the martingale collar from Country Brook, Max and Neo include reflective stitching which makes it easy for you to see your dog if you take him/her for walks at night or during early winter mornings.
Another difference between the two collars is the fact that part of it is a stainless steel chain. Not only does this increase the durability of the collar, but the sound of the chain tightening can also help remind your dog of proper leash manners, even when you’re using a regular collar. There is a drawback with this chain, however. We found that it was not adjustable which makes choosing the right loop size crucial to the comfort and safety of your pet.
Last, but certainly not the least important thing about the Max and Neo Nylon Martingale Collar is that the company donates a martingale collar with a buckle for every purchase made. This means that your money benefits not just your fur baby, but also one that is in need of your support – a dog rescue.
Click here to check out Max and Neo Nylon Martingale Collar
#3 Best Leather Martingale Collar: Mighty Paw Leather Martingale Collar
- No More Leash Pulling – Recommended by dog trainers across the country. The collar provides cues and feedback to reduce pulling and enhance dog training.
- Safe For Your Dog - Our collar provides gentle and controlled correction for your dog. The limited cinch collar tightens but doesn’t choke allowing your dog to learn without discomfort.
- The Last Collar You'll Ever Need – Made with 100% genuine leather the collar features a stainless-steel chain for improved durability, making it far superior to collars made with metal hardware.
- Dog Trainer Approved– Endorsed by thousands of dog trainers our martingale collar is superior than the competition for its durability, effectiveness, and stainless-steel chain.
- Born In The USA– Mighty Paw is family-owned and operated out of Rochester, NY.
While nylon is great and all, it’s definitely not as stylish as leather. For those who want to class up their pooch’s accessory, the Mighty Paw Leather Martingale Collar is a perfect choice. It’s made of 100% genuine leather – buttery soft but durable. Not only will the rich chocolate brown leather look good on your pup’s neck, but it will also feel comfortable even when you’re tightening the collar. In addition, it won’t cause an allergic reaction for dogs with sensitive skin.
This collar features a 100% stainless steel chain which is the portion of the collar that tightens when your dog pulls on the leash. A huge benefit of using a collar with this metal chain is that it produces a sound that your dog will learn to associate with proper leash manners. You’ll also be glad to know that the chain is rust-resistant. It won’t discolor. It certainly wasn’t any worse for wear when we left it soaking it in water for a time.
Obviously, leather + stainless steel = stylish durability. But it’s not just the high quality of the material or the durability of the design that we love about this martingale collar. We also appreciated the fact that Mighty Paw also included a buckle on their collar. It certainly made it easier for us to put on and take off the collar during testing even if our little Riley was incredibly wiggly. More importantly, we appreciated that we could safely remove the collar if the unthinkable should happen – when the loop gets caught on something. In addition, the buckle allowed us to easily adjust the collar to get a proper fit.
So, what’s the catch? Well, this leather martingale collar is a bit more expensive than all our other picks including the best rated one. Plus, some owners mentioned that the leather bleeds on their dog’s coat. While we didn’t experience this with our own pets, this may be something that only happens at times or over a certain period of time. That being said, this is the best martingale dog collar that’s made of leather you’ll find in the market, well worth the investment.
Click here to check out Mighty Paw Leather Martingale Collar
Last update on 2021-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Top 3 Picks for Best Martingale Collar: Reviewed for 2021 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is a martingale collar?
Also known as a limited-slip or no-slip collar, a martingale collar is a type of dog collar that constricts or tightens when a dog pulls on his or her leash. Originally called ‘greyhound collars’, it was initially designed for breeds with narrow heads and larger necks such as Whippets, Salukis, and Greyhounds (obviously). This helped prevent these dogs from slipping out of their collar while on a hunt.
Martingale collars, whether commercial and custom-made, feature a unique design. It has two loops – a large one that slips over your pup’s head and a small one that is attached to the leash, tightening the collar when pulled but not too tight that it chokes them.
Martingale vs Choke Collars:
Martingale collars and choke chain collars are both used as training tools to teach dogs proper leash manners. Both collars also provide pet owners and dog trainers better control. But the similarities between the two end there.
Martingale collars are typically made out of nylon, leather, or some other type of fabric. Choke collars, on the other hand, feature a chain of metal. While both types tighten around your puppy’s neck, a choke chain collar does not feature a safety mechanism that will allow you to control how tight the collar can get. This means that it’s entirely possible for you to accidentally strangle your dog while preventing him or her from chasing that squirrel in the park. Even if you don’t end up choking him, you may cause damage to his trachea or esophagus at the very least.
‘Greyhound collars’, on the other hand, feature a two-loop design that serves as its safety mechanism. The length of the small loop limits how much the collar can tighten around your dog’s neck. When properly fitted, this type of collar can gently correct your fur baby without harming him. Simply put, a choke collar is an inhumane and unquestionably dangerous training tool. A martingale collar is a better and safer alternative.
How do you use a martingale collar?
It is important to note that martingale collars should only be used to teach your dog how to behave while out on a walk. ‘Greyhound collars’ were not intended to be a replacement for regular, everyday collars. This is because the small loop can easily get caught on something which can cause it to tighten and accidentally choke your dog. This is especially true if you crate your dog.
To safely use a martingale collar, you will need to make sure that you only put them on your dog’s neck before going on a walk and remove them as soon as you get home. Your dog should never wear this collar while unsupervised.
If you have a slip-on martingale collar, you need to make sure that the large loop is wide enough to easily slip over your dog’s head. Place the collar on the base of his head (just behind his ears) and tighten the large loop. Make sure that there is enough space between the loop and your dog’s neck to fit in at least 3 fingers. Attach your dog’s leash on the D-ring located on the small loop. For collars with a buckle, just fasten the collar around the same location and follow the same steps to get the proper fit.
You’ll need to test the collar before going out. Pull on the leash to see how tight the collar will get. You should still be able to fit one or two fingers between your dog’s collar and his/her neck. This ensures that you don’t cause harm to your fur baby when the collar tightens.
Which breeds should use a martingale collar?
While martingale collars were initially designed for Greyhounds and other breeds that have heads slimmer than their necks, this doesn’t mean that your pooch can’t use one. This type of collar is perfect for any dog that often backs out of its collar or requires a bit more control while on a leash. However, experts do not recommend this type of collar for dogs who continuously pull on their leash because it will leave them uncomfortable for the entire duration of your walk which can make them dislike being put on a leash.
How do you choose the right size collar?
Martingale collars come in various sizes and widths. There are no standard sizes, so you need to check the manufacturer’s measurements before making your choice.
To find the right size for your pup, you need to measure around the base of your dog’s head – the top of the neck which is directly behind his ears. The number you get is the size of the collar when tightened. Choose the smallest size that will provide a comfortable fit for your dog. Let’s use the size chart provided below as an example. If you get a measurement of 14 inches, then you should get a martingale collar that has an adjustable length ranging from 10 to 16 inches.
How do you make a martingale collar?
While it might seem easier for pet owners and dog trainers to simply buy a martingale collar, some might prefer something more custom. After all, the best martingale dog collar for your dog is one made out of love.
- Since this is going to be custom-made, you can choose whatever material you want – cotton, nylon, leather, etc. You will also need to get three D-rings.
- Measure your dog before cutting the material – one large loop and one small loop.
- Sew the two D-rings into both ends of the large loop.
- Thread the small loop through the two D-rings and then slide the remaining one through it.
- Close the small loop by overlapping the edges of the fabric (around two inches) and sewing the top edge to the other end of the loop.
- Pull the D-Ring near the overlapping edge of the fabric before sewing the second edge. This ensures that the D-ring is located between the two seams, keeping it in place.