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Finding the right collar for your dog isn’t always easy. Especially if your dog is a bit of an escape artist! Stop chasing after them and instead, check out our list of the best martingale collars. These collars are great for dogs with a wide neck, like pugs, and better at holding eager pups back.
Additionally, they are durable, comfortable, and practical. You can even get 100% chain collars. Interested? Read on for our top 10 picks. They are sure to add comfort and stability to your walks.
*Ratings are from Amazon, Chewy, and PetSmart at the time of publication and can change
Best Overall: Blueberry Pet Martingale Collar
This super durable, nylon martingale collar uses the simple slip-over-the-head method for quick and easy fitting. The Blueberry Pet Training Martingale Collar includes a sliding adjustment to get the perfect fit. Your dog is sure to be comfortable wherever they walk! Additionally, this straightforward, machine-washable collar is available in 21 vibrant colors. Also, it comes in three different sizes. That way, you can pick the right size and shade for your dog!
Available in 3 sizes to suit all breeds, with matching leashes available.
Machine-washable, for an easy clean.
Easy, sliding adjustment, with no release buckle.
Brand: Blueberry Pet
Weight: 18-26 inches
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Runner Up: Max and Neo Martingale Collar
The Max and Neo Martingale Collar is sturdy and hard-wearing. Its design includes a release buckle and a lock tab. That way, you can be sure your pup won’t accidentally escape. Its bold colors will surely make your pup pop! The reflective stitching around the entire collar also gives you some extra visibility in low-light conditions. Plus, every single collar sold puts money towards a dog charity chosen each month by Max and Neo.
Build-in reflective strip for added visibility.
Sturdy release buckle with lockable tab to prevent accidental release.
Available in 7 colors and 5 sizes.
Every collar bought puts money towards the rescue charity of the month.
Best Heavy Duty: Country Brook Petz Heavy Duty Martingale Collar
Country Brook Petz has produced a simple, but effective, nylon martingale collar. Thanks to the thick box stitching, welded rings, and heavy-duty material, this collar can withstand an impressive amount of force. Though hopefully, it shouldn’t need to! This slip-on style collar is designed to be comfortable and stress-free for your dog. Additionally, the heat-cut edges prevent fraying and keep your collar looking newer for longer.
Available in 21 colors and 4 sizes.
Welded metal rings for a reliable hold, as well as box stitching at pressure points.
No release buckle; adjustable by slipping over dog’s head.
Resilient nylon fabric prevents fraying.
Brand: Country Brook Design
Weight: 23-31 inches
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Dog Trainer Approved: Mighty Paw Leather Martingale Collar
The Mighty Paw Leather Training Collar uses a classic, simple, and hard-wearing design. With high-quality leather and a 100% stainless steel chain, it is a sure pick for most dog owners. It uses strong studs instead of stitching, for an all-around longer lasting collar. Not only can this collar withstand your dog’s pulling, but it can also combat the weather. You won’t need to machine-wash this collar, as a quick wipe-over will do the job just fine. A lack of nickel or dye means you can be sure that your pet’s fur won’t discolor with use.
100% stainless steel chain that won’t discolor.
Premium quality leather guarantees comfort and durability.
Perfectly designed for training use; not advised for general walking wear.
Studs instead of stitching, for a much stronger finish.
Brand: Mighty Paw
Weight: 16.5-20.5 inches
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Best High-Quality: PetSafe Martingale Collar
The Petsafe Martingale Dog Collar is a reliable and classic design. This collar utilizes strong, hard-wearing nylon and tough box stitches for a longer lasting product. With a variety of bold colors and five different sizes to fit almost any dog, you can confidently choose the right collar for you and your pooch. The nylon fabric uses waterproof and durable material that helps to avoid matting and bald spots. A perfect choice for all weather conditions!
Best used for walking; not recommended for tying up or playtime.
Best Non-Allergic: Guardian Gear Martingale Collar
Simple and elegant, the Guardian Gear Martingale Collar leads right to the point. With a clean and fuss-free nylon material, your dog is sure to be comfortable wearing this collar. The strong metal chain shows that this collar is tougher than it looks. It provides you with a clinking audio line during your walk training. With limited closure, this collar ensures your dog’s safety with an effective and easy design.
Limited closure design is a safer alternative to the choke collar.
Available in 6 colors and 3 sizes.
Metal chain design, for added strength and security.
Brand: Guardian Gear
Weight: 22-34 inches
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Best Adjustable: CollarDirect Martingale Collar for Dogs
This CollarDirect Martingale Collar is perfect for anyone looking to combine style with substance. Its beautiful patterns guarantee your dog will stand out in the neighborhood park. An extra-wide band provides a larger surface area to spread out the pressure around your dog’s neck. For this reason, these collars are sure to be comfortable! These collars are made with a durable, nylon fabric. The colors won’t bleed, rub off, or fade out in the wash. Good news – they’re machine-washable, too!
The extra-wide, 1.5inch band provides a wide surface area for more even pressure.
Includes a beautifully patterned design.
Uses soft, durable nylon material and metal hardware for long-lasting security.
Colors do not bleed, rub off, fade or wash out; perfect for machine-washing.
Best Reflective: CollarDirect Reflective Dog Collar
If your dog pulls too much for your taste, then try this CollarDirect Reflective Collar. It makes for a strong collar that is certain to hold your excited pup back. Furthmore, it includes a lockable buckle at the side for easy release in an emergency, as well as reflective stitching. This runs around the entire collar to help in low-light environments. That way, your dog is secure in every way possible. Lastly, this tough, durable collar is machine-washable, so you can be sure it’s clean and fresh for those daily dog walks.
Includes reflective strips running around the entire circumference.
Lockable release buckles built in for emergencies.
Machine-washable nylon material that won’t rub off on your dog’s fur.
The RUFFWEAR Chain Reaction Collar is a beautiful, reliable martingale collar for any dog. These super-strong, well-crafted collars use Tubelok webbing, which has integrated reflectivity for that additional help in darker conditions. Moreover, they offer a fantastic range of colors and patterns. Additionally, these collars come with a smaller loop and a quick-ring tag holder for easy tag transition. It even includes a free, silicone tag silencer! All of this simply gives you that little bit of extra support and confidence that you are buying the perfect product for your dog.
Available in 4 bold colors, 4 pattern designs, and 3 easily adjustable sizes.
Uses stainless steel rings and durable, soft nylon material.
The quick-ring tag holder is easy for switching ID tags from one collar to the other.
Tubelok webbing has integrated reflectivity, ideal for visibility in low-light conditions.
Weight: 20-26 inches
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Best Multi-Use: Mighty Paw Martingale Nylon Collar
If your dog pulls on every walk, then you need the Mighty Paw Martingale Training Collar. It is sure to give you that extra stability to keep your dog from yanking you into the grass. These collars come with a strong release buckle in case of emergencies, and reflective stitching for additional visibility. Heavy-duty nylon martingale collars are easy to use, easy to buy, and carefully created with your dog in mind. They even include a small loop at the back to place your pup’s ID tag. Nothing like that sweet feature to top it off!
Release buckle built in for emergencies.
Additional smaller loop provided to easily attach ID tags.
Reflective stitching provides ideal visibility in dark conditions.
Heavy-duty, weather-proof Nylon material, for long-lasting security.
Brand: Mighty Paw
Weight: 17-22 inches
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Martingale Dog Collars Buying Guide & FAQ
What Is a Martingale Collar?
A martingale dog collar utilizes the choke training method, but in a gentler, humane manner. Additionally, the martingale collar tightens in a softer, smoother way. This is different than the standard collar, which tightens too quickly and chokes your pup, causing serious harm. The way in which the martingale collar tightens also means that the pressure is felt more evenly around your dog’s neck. Furthermore, it acts as a gentle deterrent from pulling.
Why You May Need to Use Martingales
Some people think that the martingale dog collar is only good as a training tool. For example, it is good for dogs who like to pull as they walk. However, these collars are also designed as the perfect walking collar for those dogs who manage to constantly escape from their standard collars.
If your dog is the type to pull the moment you step out of the door, then the martingale collar works as an excellent training tool to stop this habit. By creating a feeling of pressure around your dog’s neck as soon as they pull, it is enough to encourage them to slow their pace, thus slackening the collar.
For dogs that have heads narrower than their necks, such as Whippets, Greyhounds, Lurchers, and Pugs, a martingale collar is actually safer. Its design ensures they won’t slip out of their collar while on a walk. Pull back lightly on the lead and the collar becomes snug, ensuring it won’t slide off!
Things to Consider When Buying a Martingale Collar
When it comes to picking the best martingale collars for dogs, you’ll want to consider a few, key things to better narrow down your options:
Need it for: Think of this collar as necessary for safety and training. If your dog is a puller, you’ll need to look for a collar with more substance, rather than style. Martingale collars are typically more hard-wearing. Some of them even include a chain that is sure to withstand stronger dogs. These are especially good if you have a larger breed. For example, if you want a safer option for escape artist dogs, a softer style may be better suited for your needs.
Metal or material: Some dogs have particularly muscular necks, (example: Pit Bulls), and can withstand a stronger martingale collar. The question becomes: Metal or material? Examples of this include the metal chain collar, which is the preferred style for owners with particularly strong and stubborn dogs. This style, of course, is not always necessary and sometimes, it is best to go with a softer material if you are unsure.
Outdoor use: Martingale collars are not made for dogs that are kept outside, due to the fact that they tighten when pulled. An outdoor dog runs the risk of getting caught on something and choking themselves. These collars are best reserved for walks or when dogs are inside.
It’s not for every dog: If you find that your dog is not responding well to the martingale collar, it could be worth researching alternative options.
Martingale collars can be a little bit tricky to purchase at the local pet store, so some people like to make their own. Here’s a quick guide to making your own martingale collar for your pup.
NOTE: This tutorial is for people with basic sewing skills and a sewing machine.
You Will Need:
– A sewing machine
– Decorative fabric for the front-facing/outward-facing side
– Matching thread
– Fleece fabric for the inward-facing side (for comfort)
– A lighter
– A ruler
– 3 x 1” wide D-rings
– An 8-inch strip of 1” wide nylon webbing (this needs to be as wide as the flat edge of the D-ring)
1. Measure the circumference of your dog’s neck, you will add an inch to this measurement when cutting your fabric (we will be using an 8” neck for this example)
2. Cut a strip of decorative fabric 9” long x 3” wide
3. Cut a strip of fleece fabric 9” long x 2” wide (the fleece is 1” narrower intensionally)
4. Cut the nylon webbing into three pieces: 2 x 2” pieces, leaving a 4” piece
5. Use the lighter and lightly melt the ends of the cut nylon webbing to prevent it from fraying
6. Line up the front-facing fabric with the fleece fabric ensuring the front-facing pattern and fleece are facing inwards towards one another, as the collar will be turned inside out during the sewing process.
7. Once the two pieces of fabric are lined up with the long edge of the fleece-lined up with the long edge of the patterned fabric, sew a straight line from top to bottom with a ⅓ ” seam allowance.
8. Once the first side is sown, line up the other long edges of the two fabrics together, leaving a pocket of space running down the center of the collar between the two pieces.
9. Sewing another straight line from top to bottom with the same ⅓” seam allowance.
10. Turn the collar inside out by pushing the fabric in on itself through the space left in between the two pieces. This should leave you with the pattern and fleece now both facing outwards.
11. Flatten on the fabric as much as you can and fold the two ends in on themselves to create a neat, non-frayed edge.
12. Take a 2” piece of nylon, thread it through a D-ring, fold the nylon over to hold the D-ring in place, and tuck the two nylon ends that meet into the space at the end of the collar and pin in place. The D-ring should have the flat edge facing the end of the collar.
13. Repeat on the other end of the collar using the other 2” strip of nylon webbing and a D-ring.
14. Firmly sew the two D-rings in place by sewing 4-5 straight lines continuous backward and forward at the end of the collar. This line should sew through the patterned fabric, two layers of nylon, and the fleece backing. Multiple layers are needed to ensure security.
15. Sewing all the way around the edge of the collar around ⅛” from the edge to press the collar flat and prevent it from twisting whilst being used.
16. Take the 4” strip of nylon, thread it through the third D-ring and through the two D-rings now attached to the collar.
17. Bring the nylon round back on itself to create a ring shape with the nylon webbing overlapping slightly as close to the 3rd D-ring as possible.
18. Flatten the ring of nylon and then sew 4-5 lines of stitching over the overlapping nylon material as close to the D-ring as possible (this stage should be sewing through 3 layers of nylon) You may prefer to use a right zig-zag stitch at this stage.
19. Try the collar on your dog to ensure the proper fit. If the collar is too small you can simply remove the 4” strip of nylon webbing and replace it with a longer strip.
Our Top Pick
The reason we love our top pick is because it’s so multifunctional! This collar provides two standard loops, including the chain, for use as a martingale collar. If you feel like your dog does not need it anymore, you can simply tighten the collar for a snugger fit. Use the smaller loop for the lead. That way, you aren’t having to throw out one collar just to get a standard replacement. With this collar’s stunning patterns, as well as the additional details, it’s no wonder it’s our top pick.
A martingale dog collar is perfectly safe for all dogs, when used correctly. For example, they are much safer alternatives to standard choke collars. However, you still need to supervise your dog when they are wearing one. Ideally, you’d only use this collar when out on walks. If a martingale dog collar is kept on outside of walking, then be sure to adjust it so it is sitting more snugly around their neck.
Choke collars are considered an inhumane practice to teach your dog to walk nicely. This is mainly because a choke collar works by wrapping the material around your dog’s neck through a loop, and then using that same chain to guide them. By doing this, you have an unlimited range of tightening, and can risk serious choking or injuring your dog. Some people feel that this is necessary with larger dogs, or particularly strong ones. However, it is also believed cruel and unnecessary.
A martingale collar uses the the same basis as a choke collar, but in a safer and kinder way. As these collars have a more limited amount of space to tighten and adjust, it is more likely to fit correctly around your dog’s neck. This prevents any unnecessary choking. The martingale collar will apply just enough pressure to your dog’s neck to feel mildly uncomfortable, encouraging them to slow down without completely choking them.
The martingale collar can be used with any dog breed, though it is not always necessary. For example, with small breeds, such as Jack Russell Terriers, any pulling can be corrected with the simple use of a comfortable harness. Smaller dogs are easier to control, after all! However, it is different with larger breeds, such as German Shepherds or Malamutes. These breeds can actually pull you off your feet! If they are behaving this way, it is better to use a martingale collar to keep their pulling under control.
If you are purchasing a slip-on martingale collar, you will need to measure your pet first. Here’s how. With sighthounds, like Greyhounds and Whippets, measure the widest part of their head (see section A on the image for a measurement guide), as well as the narrowest point of their neck.
If you have a standard breed that does not require a special fit, then the best area to measure is around the part of their neck where the collar would normally fit (see section B for a guide).
Though you can use martingale collars as a standard collar, it is not advisable. Without proper supervisions, the tightening nature of the collar can be a risk to any pup that may enjoy exploring. They could get themselves stuck! If you decide to use the martingale collar for everyday use, it is best that you adjust it after walks. That way, it can sit more snugly on them while indoors and is less likely to catch on anything.
Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.