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Best Dog Collars of 2021

Is it time to upgrade your pup's gear? Here are our picks for the best dog collars to outfit dogs of all ages.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Best Dog Collars For 2021Family Handyman, via atlaspetcompany.com, via amazon.com (2)

Buying a Dog Collar

Proper fit is the most important factor for any dog collar. The Humane Society of the United States says a collar fits properly if you can easily fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.

If you can, bring your dog with you to the store to try on the collar and do the two-finger test before you buy. If you’re shopping online or can’t bring the dog along, use ribbon or soft rope to circle your dog’s neck and make room for two fingers. The use the rope as your guide for ordering the correct size collar.

Beyond fit, here are other key features to consider:

  • Washable or odor-resistance: Four-legged friends can get into the nastiest things, so be sure the collar (which holds tags, the visible marker your pup has a home!) can be cleaned easily. Our list has collars that can be thrown in the wash, cleaned at the sink or simply wiped down.
  • Smart collars: You have your dog micro-chipped and you bought an ID tag. A smart collar that can track your dog’s location may be the next step to consider for your dog’s safety.
  • Width, not just length: The bigger your dog’s breed, the wider the collar. There are collars on our list that are more than one-inch wide for larger breeds.
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Personalized Side Release Buckle Collarvia orvis.com

Best All-Around Dog Collar

The Orvis flat dog collar comes in five sizes, so you can get a perfect fit while still being stylish!. It’s a workhorse for dogs of all ages. This style, with a buckle or plastic snap, is the standard collar for dogs, according to The Humane Society.

We love it because the adjustable buckle makes it sturdy and it releases easily when necessary. This collar has a large D-ring for all the tags your dog needs, as well as a dog leash.

Another perk of this collar: Personalization. Orvis will embroider your dog’s name and a phone number in a contrasting color. So if your dog goes missing, the person who finds it can easily give you a call.

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Country Brook Petzvia amazon.com

Best Training Collar for Puppies

When you bring home a new puppy, a training collar becomes a key piece of gear. It should follow the two-finger fit rule and lay flat, like this Martingale-style collar from Country Petz.

A Martingale-style collar doesn’t have a buckle. Instead, it goes over the head and is supposedly escape-proof.

The collar’s D-ring will hold a leash on a separate, smaller loop that lays flat against your puppy’s neck. The puppy’s neck goes through the larger loop. These two loops allow the collar to tighten when the puppy pulls, but doesn’t choke them as they’re learning.

This collar stands out for its more than 9,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, nearly a dozen color and eight size options (including width and length). So no matter what kind of puppy you’re welcoming, you’l find a safe fit.

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Black Rhino The Comfort Collarvia amazon.com

Best Dog Collar for Large Breeds

Collars for large breeds require adequate size and durability. The Black Rhino comfort collar has both. A wide collar (one inch) withstands the tugs and pulls of a large dog while also feeling comfortable around their neck.

Another reason we chose this collar: The neoprene padding. Even big dogs deserve to be pampered.

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Joytale Reflective Dog Collarvia amazon.com

Best Collar for Small Dogs

It can be hard to properly fit a collar for small dogs with tiny necks while still following the two-thumb rule. We chose the Joytale reflective dog collar because it comes in various sizes and colors, including an XS that’s 5/8-in. wide. It’s padded, lightweight and offers good safety features like the reflective bands for night walks.

Note: The American Kennel Club recommends a dog harness for walking small and toy breeds. A collar is still necessary to hold ID, rabies and license tags.

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Fi Series 2via tryfi.com

Best Smart Dog Collar

Every piece of technology at our fingertips has improved every year, so why shouldn’t dog collars? Our pick for best all-around smart dog collar is the Fi Smart Collar for its price, battery life and water resistance.

The Fi Smart Collar costs $149 plus a $99 annual subscription. It lets you create a geofence around your home or apartment to keep tabs on your pet, and track them if they do breach that virtual border.

The battery life on this stylish collar is a game changer. It lasts months between charges, giving you peace of mind while monitoring your four-legged friend.

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Soft Touch Collarsvia amazon.com

Best Leather Dog Collar

Leather dog collars can be a great option for pups allergic to nylon, or if you prefer something more stylish. Soft Touch leather collars come in various sizes and shades of quality leather. Sheepskin padding in the collar keeps your dog’s neck safe. Collars like this should be purchased only for adult dogs, since puppies need a flat collar.

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Tuff Pupper Classic 'lifetime' Heavy Duty Dog Collarvia amazon.com

Best Faux Leather Dog Collar

If you’re trying to buy fewer animal products but like the look of leather, the Tuff Pupper classic Lifetime heavy-duty collar is a good choice. Though it resembles a high-quality leather collar, it’s made from a fray-proof ballistic polymer weave that’s waterproof and odor free. It comes in a dozen color options for outfitting medium- and large-breed dogs.

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Lifetime Collarvia atlaspetcompany.com

Best Dog Collar Splurge

At $42, the Atlas Pet Company’s Lifetime Collar carries the highest price on this list, but keep in mind it’s guaranteed for life. The minimalist fixed-length collar slips over your dog’s head for a loose, comfortable fit. It comes in various modern shades and is meant to be paired with a harness. (Atlas makes Lifetime Harnesses, too.)

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Qqpets Adjustable Soft Dog Collarvia amazon.com

Best Budget Dog Collar

At just $10, the QQPETS adjustable soft collar is the least expensive on our list, but rest assured it’s still a quality choice. The durable, washable collar earned more than 5,500 five-star reviews on Amazon. It comes in lots of patterns, too, making it an inexpensive way to swap your dog’s daily-use collar for one with seasonal style.

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Caitlin Cruz
Caitlin Cruz is a freelance writer based in Houston, Texas.

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