What Kind of Collar Should I Get for My Dog?

Collars are important because they are typically how a leash is attached, and they hold important identifiers like name and proof of vaccination tags. But when it comes to picking out the right one for your pooch, you should consider the fact that there are many different types.

Find out which dog collar would be best for your best friend by reading our Marinette, WI, animal hospital‘s article below.

dog collar marinette, wi

Regular Collars

These are likely the most common collars that you will see dogs around your neighborhood sporting.

Flat Collar

This is considered the “standard” for dog collars, flat collars have a buckle or plastic (quick release) closure, and they are available in many different colors and designs. A flat collar should fit comfortably around the neck, but it should not be too loose so that your dog can slip out of it or too tight that it causes choking. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to get two of your fingers underneath the collar.

Martingale Collar

The martingale collar is also known as a “limited-slip collar,” and it is designed for dogs with narrow necks—such as Greyhounds, Whippets, Salukis, and other sight hounds. They are made with the function of tightening (just to the size of the dog’s neck without choking them) when a dog tries to back out of them.

Head Collar

Think of this type of collar like a horse’s halter. It is made to better control energetic and/or strong dogs who tend to jump or pull. However, this kind of collar may require a lot of time and patience before a dog becomes used to it.

Aversive Collars

These types of collars rely on physical discomfort to teach a dog what not to do. By using this type of negative reinforcement you are training your canine to associate a particular behavior with a form of punishment. 

Choke Chain Collars

As the name implies, this collar is made of metal links that are designed to control an animal by tightening around the neck. But unlike a martingale collar, there’s no way to control just how tight the collar will go. This type of collar does use a form of choking or strangling and therefore should be used cautiously and appropriately to prevent injury to your canine.

Prong or Pinch Collars

This collar is also like the martingale, but the control loop that the leash is attached to is made of chain. And when the control loop is pulled, there are prongs that pinch the loose skin of a dog’s neck. Again, this type of collar does use a form of choking or strangling and therefore should be used cautiously and appropriately to prevent injury to your canine. They are meant to be used in a jerking motion, only pressure on and off.

Shock Collars

Shock collars use electric currents that pass through the metal contact points around the collar to give a dog an electric signal. But they are also sometimes used in tandem with electronic fences.

Special Use Collars

Unlike the aversive collars, these are designed to target a specific issue—not just poor behavior in general.

Bark Control Collars

Although there are plenty of collars on the market that can be used to control excessive or unwanted barking, they don’t address the underlying issues that are causing the barking in the first place.

There are two types of bark control collars: 


Barking causes the collar to emit a burst of citronella in the air, which sometimes interrupts and deters the dog from barking. Dogs that are going to be around other canines should not wear this type of collar because it can be triggered by another dog’s barking.


When a dog barks, the ultrasonic collar interrupts the behavior by emitting a sound that only dogs can hear.

Flea/Tick Collars

These collars are covered with chemicals that will help protect your dog against fleas and ticks. They are worn in addition to a regular collar, and you should make sure that you are replacing them as often as necessary.

Check with your Veterinarian for a list of safe collars as many over the counter collars contain harmful chemicals that are known to cause reactions. There are veterinarian recommended collars that are safe and effective when worn correctly. These collars do work with the use of friction, therefore do need to be worn snugger, though not choking your pet. Please keep in mind that the duration of effectiveness can be shortened if your canine likes to swim often.

Vibrating Collars

This type of collar uses vibration, not shock, to get your dog’s attention. They can be especially helpful when training deaf or hard of hearing dogs.

Elizabethan Collars

These collars, which are also known as e-collars or “cones of shame,” are not intended for indefinite use. Instead, they are used to prevent an animal from licking or scratching an area after an injury or veterinary procedure. They come in a variety of sizes, and your vet should be able to assist you in picking out the right one for your dog. In general, you want to be sure that your dog can eat and drink easily. But if your pet doesn’t seem to tolerate an e-collar, there are other options that involve soft, round collars.

GPS Collars

Global satellite technology (GPS) can help locate your pet if it becomes lost if the collar around its neck includes it. However, they often rely on the availability of satellites and battery life. So, they are less effective in remote locations.

Reach Out to Our Marinette, WI, Vets If You Have More Questions About Dog Collars

Let our Marinette, WI, veterinarians know during your dog’s next vet visit if you have any questions about what dog collar would be best for your best friend. To schedule your dog’s exam, give us a call at (715) 735-9511