If you’re in the market for a dog collar and leash, you may find walking into a pet store or scrolling through a dog-supply website a bit overwhelming. Options abound!
To help you make the best decision for your pet, we highlight some of the most common types of dog and puppy collars below. If you are not sure which model is right for you, speak to a veterinarian or a dog trainer, who can make a recommendation based on your individual dog.
Recommended Types of Collars for Pet Dogs
Standard flat collar
This type of collar is what you’ll see at most stores, most commonly made of nylon or leather. One issue with standard collars is that some dogs can slip out of them, especially sighthounds, like the Greyhound and the Whippet, whose necks are often larger than their heads (for those dogs, a Martingale collar described below may be a better option).
This adjustable nylon collar comes in three sizes and more than 20 colors. You can even buy a matching leash, sold separately. Price: $9.99
These customizable leather dog collars can be engraved with your name, phone, or other text. The collar comes in four sizes and six colors. Price: $15
Want a customizable collar but prefer nylon? These collars are truly personalized with five colors, 15 thread colors, and four sizes. Price: $19
Another common design, this harness fits on the dog’s chest and clips on the back. It’s beneficial for short-nosed dogs, such as Pugs or Boston Terriers, small breeds, and dogs prone to tracheal collapse (when the dog’s trachea becomes damaged, restricting the airway and sometimes requiring surgery). The con to a back-clip harness is that it can encourage pulling in dogs who haven’t mastered the loose-leash walk.
This fully-padded nylon harness is popular for dogs who participate in sports. The added reflective strip allows for optimum visibility on night walks. Price: $35
Comfort is key. In five sizes and 16 colors, this harness is both easy and safe. The harness includes a strong Velcro closure and heavy-duty metal D-rings for secure leash attachment. Price: $13
If you’re looking for a basic back-clip harness, this is the one. In three sizes, four lengths, and more than a dozen colors, this harness is a great basic essential. Price: $14
This harness design clips over the dog’s chest area, which helps prevent minor pulling and allows the owner to steer the dog. It’s recommended for pets who need a little work on their loose-leash walking, but who don’t demonstrate other behavior problems while on the leash.
This harness comes with both a back and a front clip, so you can use it both during training and afterward. The harness comes in four sizes and six colors. Price: $15
This pet behaviorist-approved harness comes in eight colors and eight sizes. The chest strap rests across your dog’s chest instead of putting pressure on their throat. Price: $21
With a clip on both the front and back, this versatile harness can be used for both training and everyday purposes. The harness comes in nine colors and five sizes. Price: $18
This popular type of collar comprises a larger loop and a smaller loop. The dog’s head fits into the larger loop and the leash is attached to the smaller loop. When the dog pulls, the larger loop tightens enough to prevent the dog from slipping out of the collar but not so much that it would choke the dog. Many trainers recommend this collar as a safer alternative to a standard collar or a choke-chain collar. It’s not recommended that a dog wear one of these while not supervised.
This martingale collar is a slip collar without the buckle, which is designed for sighthounds but can be used on other breeds as well. The collar comes in three sizes and more than 20 colors. Price: $9
Types of Leashes for Pet Dogs
Straight leashes are available in a variety of fabrics (including nylon and leather), widths, and lengths, and most feature a loop at the end for easy gripping. Some also feature reflective fabric for evening walks. Selecting which variety is right for you is mostly based on preference and budget, but it may be necessary to consider the size of your dog and the weight of the leash. (Smaller dogs don’t need a large, heavy leash, but larger dogs prone to pulling might require a heavier leash for better control.)
This 6-foot-long leash is perfect for training. The stainless metal snap hook comes with a 360 swivel so you can easily attach it to your dog’s collar. Price: $11
This 15-foot training leash is ideal for hiking, camping, training, hunting, backyard, beach, recall training, outdoor play with tennis balls, and swimming. Price: $8
Dog Collar FAQs
Is it better to walk a dog with a harness or a collar?
For many dogs, collars are perfectly fine and safe. For smaller dogs, dogs with breathing issues, or dogs whose leash manners aren’t quite perfected, a harness may be the best option.
What is the best material for dog collars?
Nylon and leather both make durable dog collars. If kept dry, leather can usually outlast nylon. However, nylon is lighter-weight and less likely to break.
What is the best length of dog leash?
A standard dog leash is 6-feet long. This is long enough for your dog to explore without the leash dragging. Longer leashes may be ideal for training purposes or dog sports.
AKC is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to akc.org. If you purchase a product through this article, we may receive a portion of the sale.