Types Of Dog Collars

If you have ever gone dog collar shopping then you know better than anyone else how many options there are out there. What you may not realize is that most of the collars you get to see on your first results page are just variations of the same style. There are so many awesome dog collar designs alternatives out there with a lot to offer both you and your pooch.

In the sections below, we shall take a look at 14 unique types of collars you may never have heard of including the dog flea collar, pillow collar, and the pheromone collar. They differ in terms of their design basics, functions, and the target dog breed. Let’s take a look at them, starting from the slip collars.

14. Pinch Collar

We recommend: Starmark Training collar

It is very common for people to confuse prong and pinch collars with some arguing that they are more or less the same design.

The truth is that the two collars are very similar in a lot of ways. However, there are a few subtle differences that make them both separate collar designs with different things to offer.

The main similarity is the fact that pinch collars, like prong collars, use inward-facing projections to discourage the dog from pulling while on a collar and leash.

The first major difference comes from the fact that pinch collars are not exclusively chain collars and do not have to have a noose choke collar design. In fact, some of the best pinch dog collars on the market are regular collars with rubber or silicone, teeth-like prongs.

Another difference is that some pinch collars actually have prongs focused on specific parts of the collar, especially towards the front. This offers more of a pinching effect than all-round stabbing from prongs.

These differences make the pinch collar the best alternative to prong collars especially if you have smaller or medium-sized aggressive dogs.

13. Pillow Collar

We recommend: Bencmate Protective Dog Collar

At first glance, the pillow dog collar looks a lot like a human, travel neck pillows. However, this is not the kind of dog collar that you buy for your pooch for the sake of comfort on your road trips or flights together.

Like the Elizabethan dog collars, pillow collars serve a protective purpose after surgical operations to prevent the dog from reaching and licking actively healing wounds.

While pillow collars may not offer as much coverage as things like cone Elizabethan collars, they are definitely a lot more comfortable. This is because of their puffed-up design around the neck.

The puff can be a result of one of two design styles. The first is the inflatable pillow collars. These rely on air for their fullness. They may be inconvenient in that they need to be inflated before use. However, they make up for this with the convenience in terms of how easy it is to just deflate and pack them away when not in use.

The other style design is stuffing like traditional pillows. While these are easier to use and often offer firmer support, they may be inconvenient to store when no longer needed. It is also best to go for options with waterproof linings to avoid the hustle of having to deep clean to get rid of things like saliva and other fluids.

Pillow collars are a great alternative to cones and Elizabethan collars, especially for small and medium-sized dogs that have undergone surgery.

12. LED Collar

We recommend: Illumiseen LED Dog Collar

A good collar is not just pretty to look at but also functional. No style better embodies this balance between aesthetics and functionality than the LED dog collar.

LED dog collars are designed to increase visibility, especially during the night or in dark places like forests and caves.

Unlike reflective strips that rely on outside sources of light, LED dog collars emit light of their own making them infinitely more reliable. The lights usually come in the form of LED strips that are sewn into the dog collar band. They may also come in the form of tiny, speck-like LED bulbs distributed all over the collar.

Furthermore, LED collars are typically very brightly colored. This improves visibility both during the day and night so you can spot your pooch whenever you need to.

When buying an LED collar, it is important to consider factors like the battery features including how long it takes to charge and how long they will stay lit on a full charge. A good option here will offer more than eight hours on full power.

LED dog collars are ideal for dog owners who prefer taking their dogs out for walks at night. They increase visibility especially to motorists on the road thus preventing incidents of accidents.

11. Shock Collar

We recommend: Slopehill Dog Training Collar

To say that shock dog collars are controversial is a bit of an understatement.

However, they are not the cruel torture devices that they are often made out to be. When chosen and used correctly, shock dog collars actually have a lot to offer when it comes to training your dog.

One of the most important factors to consider when making your choice is the reinforcement mode that the collar uses. Most traditional shock collars use a mild static charge to discourage the dog from continuing with unwanted behavior. This shock is not actually dangerous for the dog, just irritating at most.

Today, there are many different options for negative reinforcement. These include vibrations, light flickers, and even beeps that remind the dog what they are doing is not good.

Shock dog collars may either be powered by rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries. For the rechargeable options, make sure to find a collar that offers a long battery life of 6 to 8 hours or even more.

Shock collars are worth considering if you have a very vocal dog where you are trying bark control training as this is what most of the collars are designed to help with correction.

10. GPS Tracking Collar

We recommend: Garmin T5 GPS Collar

One of the biggest nightmares that most dog owners have is losing their dogs. It could be that your pooch wandered off and lost its way. It could also be something more nefarious like dog abduction. Whatever the case, a GPS tracking collar is one of those things that will definitely help put your mind at ease.

When choosing a GPS tracking collar, one of the most important features to single out is the range offered. Anything less than 10 miles is probably not worth your consideration unless they have other amazing features that make up for this shortcoming. A long reception range increases your chances of finding your dog even when they end up very far away from you.

An important consideration when getting a GPS collar is the battery life as GPS tracking dog collars are electrical. It goes without saying that the longer the battery life, the better the tracking collar.

Some GPS tracking collars also offer additional features that help some models stand out more than others. These include things like alarms and light flicker features that serve to make it easier for you to find your dog as you are out searching for them.

GPS tracking dog collars are ideal for outdoor dogs that are allowed to go out unattended. It is also the type of collar that basically any dog parent that doesn’t want to lose their pooch should consider even with indoor doggies.

9. Martingale Dog Collar

We recommend: Max and Neo Martingale Collar

Martingale dog collars have a very unique design that is meant to discourage the dog from pulling excessively on the collar or trying to run off as you go out for your routine walks. Martingale dog collars use a modified version of the choke collar design which includes two loops.

The larger loop is what goes over the dog’s neck. This loop is usually adjustable and will also have its own buckle for fastening. What sets this loop apart from regular dog collars is the fact that it is not exactly a complete noose. The ends are 2 rings where the second, smaller loop of the Martingale dog collar connects.

This small loop is what contains the leash attachment ring. It is also what regulates the choking collar response when the dog pulls too hard. The best part is that the martingale collar goes right back to its comfortable fit when the dog stops pulling so they are not exposed to the discomfort for too long after the behavior is corrected.

Martingale dog collars are perfect if you are dealing with a large and strong dog that may require a lot of effort to restrain.

8. Dog Flea Collar

We recommend: Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

If you have ever had to deal with flea infestation as a dog parent then you know better than anyone just how difficult and frustrating the journey can be. Maybe you have tried all the home remedies and nothing seems to be working for the dog. It might be time to consider going for a dog flea collar.

These collars are designed to help with killing and repelling external parasites that are attacking your dog. Although they are referred to as flea collars, they often help with most parasites including mites and ticks.

Dog flea collars are infused with compounds that repel and sometimes even kill parasites. More often than not, these are insecticides and pesticides including pyrethroids, organophosphates, and many others.

Some also use essential oils like lavender, citronella, and tea tree oils. These are great if you are seeking a more natural alternative. However, essential oils are more likely to serve the purpose of repelling fleas and other parasites than actually killing them.

An important consideration to make with dog flea collars is the duration of action. Some offer protection for up to 8 months or more making them worthy investments.

So if your dog is heavily infested by fleas or is at risk of reinfestation, especially in homes with many dogs, a dog flea collar is definitely worth looking into.

7. Elizabethan Collar

We recommend: E-KOMG Protective Recovery Collar

Elizabethan collars get their name from their unique aesthetic. They are designed to look like the exaggerated collars from the Elizabethan era of fashion. However, these dog collars are the furthest thing from a fashion statement you can get as far as doggy accessories go.

The Elizabethan dog collars are flat and wide, projecting from the neck outwards. They may be cone-shaped where they project forwards to cover the face. They may also be doughnut-shaped in which case the face is not covered.

Elizabethan dog collars are more often than not used for the dog’s own protection. They are mainly used to protect the dog after surgical procedures like neutering or other lower abdominal operations. With the collar or cone on, the dog will not be able to reach and lick the healing wound thus protecting them from contamination and infections.

The most important factors to consider when shopping for an Elizabethan collar are fit and comfort features like neck padding. They are uncomfortable by design so anything you can do to help your pooch out will definitely make a huge difference.

6. Dog Collar For Wireless Fence

We recommend: PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Fence and Collar

The wireless fence dog collar is very similar to the shock collar in a lot of ways. Like their controversial alternative, dog collars for wireless fences are designed to provide negative reinforcement for unwanted behavior.

In this case, the dog collar is used to prevent the dog from wandering off private property and getting lost. They are paired up with invisible electric fences that include signal receivers and transmitters to identify when the dog is too close to the perimeter.

Once the dog gets close to the acceptable edges, the collar sends a signal to the receiver which then transmits a signal back to the collar to correct the dog. The correction comes in different forms including beeping, vibrations, and mild static shock.

You will have to be present and active when training the dog to understand responses from the collar. With time, they will get with the program and can then be allowed some freedom and independence to play unsupervised outdoors.

Dog collars for wireless fences are perfect for dog owners with private outdoor spaces like yards. Just make sure you have a loyal dog that knows not to run away even with the negative reinforcement from the collar.

5. Choke Chains

We recommend: Mighty Paw Slip Steel Choke Collar

Before there were all these awesome dog collar options, people relied on chains to restrain their dogs when going on walks or other outdoorsy adventures. They are still relatively popular today both for their old-school aesthetics and their functional benefits, especially when dealing with dogs that are likely to try and run away.

As the name, choke chains have a choke collar design very similar to other styles like the rolled slip-in collar. The chains form a loop or noose that goes around the dog’s neck and that tightens when they pull too hard.

Due to the linked metal design of the chain, the tightening tends to be more firm and slightly more difficult to break free from.

When shopping for one of these dog chains, it is important to consider the quality of construction and the type of materials used. The last thing you want is for the chain to come undone as your dog tries to break free.

The choke chain design is controversial but not without its merits, especially when controlling aggressive dogs. Therefore, if you have a pooch that is prone to violent tantrums and serious escape attempts, the choke chain dog collar style might be for you.

4. Prong Collar

We recommend: Mayerzon Dog Prong Collar

These are very similar to choke chains. They are usually made out of metal links and have a choke collar, loop design. What sets them apart is the fact that the inner part of the dog chain includes prongs that project inwards towards the dog’s neck.

When the pooch pulls, the collar tightens and the prongs dig into their skin which causes them discomfort and discourages the behavior.

These prongs need to be safe by design given how the prong collar works. The last thing you want is to stab your pooch when all you were trying to do is get them to behave. The best and safest prong design features rounded tips. These are smooth on the skin and unlikely to cause injuries like scratches or cuts.

Some prong dog collars even have prongs whose tips are covered with soft, rounded rubber to make them safer.

It is also important that you prioritize prong collar options that use high-quality materials like stainless steel for the sake of reliability and durability.

As with most other negative reinforcement collars we have highlighted previously, prong dog collars work best on strong dogs that need a bit more of a firm hand when it comes to controlling unwanted behavior like pulling when taking walks. They are also best left for larger dogs with thick necks where the prongs are less likely to cause injuries.

3. Pheromone Collar

We recommend: ADAPTIL Calming Collar

Dogs can be very sensitive creatures, especially in new environments.

One of the best ways to help them calm down is using pheromones that they are familiar with and comforted by. This is what makes the pheromone collar design so amazing.

As with flea collars, pheromone dog collars are infused with compounds that are slowly released. With most pheromone collars, the compounds are activated and released by the pooch’s body heat.

Another similarity between the two is the fact that pheromone collars sometimes also include essential oils and other calming extracts. Some of the most commonly used include the likes of lavender, chamomile, and hemp seeds.

Pheromone collars are something you should consider if your dog suffers from psychological issues like separation anxiety or phobias of things like darkness and loud noises. This is very common, especially with new puppies or even older rescue dogs with traumatic pasts that need a bit of time to settle in and feel safe.

The pheromones and essential oils contained in the collars will help dogs calm down and even sleep better. Such collars are also useful when dealing with dogs that have hyperactive tendencies as a way to get them to calm down.

2. Rolled Collar (Slip Collar)

We recommend: BronzeDog Rope Collar

The rolled, slip dog collar is similar to the flat slip collar in terms of basic design elements like the slip-on design and lack of a fastening mechanism. The main difference is that rolled, slip dog collars are more often than not designed to also serve as choke collars.

The choke collar design with rolled, slip collars involves creating a loop with one end of the cord going in through a ring on the other end. The created loop can then be slipped onto the pooch’s neck. If the dog pulls or tries to run away, the loop tightens around their neck and discourages the unwanted behavior.

The best thing about rolled slip collars is the fact that their rounded design makes them a lot more comfortable than most other collars that feature a rectangular band design.

The rounded edges are gentle on the skin wherever there is contact so you do not have to worry about issues like chaffing that make dogs hate collars.

With its safe and comfortable design as well as its choke collar effects, the rolled slip collar is worth considering for dog owners with large and well-trained dogs that occasionally get unruly.

1. Flat Collar (Slip Collar)

We recommend: Mycicy Choke Collar

Slip collars are designed to be worn by slipping over the dog’s head as opposed to wrapping around the neck and fastening at the back. The slip-on design allows for fast and convenient use which will come in very handy if you have a dog that just won’t sit still for the collar to go on.

The flat, slip collar design, as the name features a flat band of strong fabric that goes around the neck. The band varies in terms of thickness. If it is too thick then it might rub against the dog’s jaw and neck which is uncomfortable. On the other hand, if it is too narrow then it might be uncomfortable as it chokes the dog.

For these reasons, most flat, slip collars measure about an inch in bandwidth.

Something important to note when shopping for flat slip collars is the fact that they are not adjustable. Most just feature elastic fabric that allows it to expand as it goes over the head. Others have a choke collar design for easy putting on and taking off.

Flat, slip collars are ideal if you have a dog that resists getting the collar put on as well as those that are prone to pulling behavior during walks.

Related Questions

Should Dogs Sleep With Collars On? Your dog should not sleep with its collar on unless it is completely necessary. The collars tend to be very uncomfortable for the dog. They may also pose a risk of choking as the pooch tosses and turns in the night. Some scenarios where it may be ok to leave the collar on all night is it is an infused collar for calming effects or for parasite controls as is the case with pheromone and flea collars respectively.

Do Dogs Like It When You Take Their Collar Off? Dogs love it when you take their collar off. This is because wearing one for long periods of time can get uncomfortable for the pooch either due to tightness or rubbing of the edges of the collar on their necks. To ensure that they are comfortable, invest in a well-designed and well-constructed collar that fits right and isn’t a nuisance to your doggy.

Is It Better To Walk A Dog With A Harness Or Collar? It is better to use a harness than a collar in most cases when walking a dog. The wide-spanning design of most harnesses offers you better control, especially of larger and/or more aggressive doggies. Harnesses also tend to be safer as the distribution of force over a larger area as well as no-choke designs minimize the chances of your pooch getting choked.

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Pete Decker