How to Measure for a Dog Collar

measure dog collar

“Every dog needs a collar, chiefly because they need something to hang their leash, license, ID, and rabies vaccination tag on.” – The Humane Society

Getting a collar for your dog is inevitable nowadays for a multitude of reasons. If your furry friend is your expedition buddy, other than attaching a leash and ID, you can also add a GPS device to his collar as a safety measure.

Getting the correct collar size for your dog can be a challenging task. These pooches grow old in days so getting a suitable collar for them requires focused measurement of your dog’s neck. Getting the perfect fit is essential for your dog’s health, safety, and comfortable movement.

Getting accurate measurement is vital because if the dog collar is bigger than the neck, the collar may get stuck in the jawline above your dog’s neck, causing your dog to choke or suffer other issues. If the collar is too small, it will be hazardous for your dog’s neck and cause breathing issues to the innocent pup.

Determining your Dog’s Neck Size: Step by Step

meaure collar of a dog

To get an accurately sized collar for your dog, careful measurements must be taken for easy movement of your dog. The collar sizes vary with the age and breed of your dog. So careful measurement of the dog’s neck is the most tricky part, and below mentioned steps will guide you to take the proper measurement of your dog’s neck and make the purchase accordingly.

Keep the Age and Breed of your Dog in Mind

To determine the best possible collar for your dog, you must keep your dog’s age in mind. It is best to get a large collar if you have a little puppy. However, it is better to opt for a collar with a maximum adjustable size range as a puppy grows quickly, and its neck will keep changing until it is a full-grown dog. For instance, if the neck size is 8 inches, get a collar ranging from 9-15 inches.

Contrarily, if your dog is fully grown and their measurement is between the sizes available, pick the smaller of the two sizes. For instance, if your dog’s neck measures 22 inches, get a collar offering a size range from 18-24 inches. That way, your dog can move comfortably without any irritating extra material hanging off the end of the collar.

Measure Dog’s Collar Size by Measuring Tape

measure dog collar

To get the correct collar size, you have to measure your dog’s neck keeping in mind that it should be accurate. Then, get a tape and place it around your dog’s neck a little below the head and loosen the tape a bit to allow for easy and free movement of your dog.

Once you have attained the measurement, note the number you get and buy the collar with the stated value within its size range. For instance, if your dog’s neck size is 18 inches, get a collar with a size range of 16-20 inches. It would be best to buy the dog collar, whose range is highest to account for your dog’s growth.

Measure Pet’s Neck Size by a String or a Cloth

If the measuring tape is unavailable, you can use a string or a cloth to get the size of your pup’s neck. Gently wrap a cloth or a string around your canine’s neck, as discussed before, a little below its chin. Mark the endpoint and carefully measure the size with a rigid metal rule to eliminate any possible error. The size through this measurement method can be made accurate if you are focused and careful.

Create a Snug Loop with the Tape around your Dog’s Neck

Measure your dog’s neck by overlapping the measuring tape below the jawline of your dog so that you can get a more accurate result. Ensure that the snug loop is not too tight, as your goal is to find an easy and breathable collar for your dog to ensure your pup’s health.

The Two-finger Rule

dog collar

While struggling to attain the correct size collar, consider using the two-finger rule for determining the best sized collar. Once you have wrapped a soft tape measure around your dog’s neck, slip two fingers in the loop to allow for enough breathing space for your dog’s movement. This will allow your dog to move comfortably and leave enough wiggle room for ease.

The Types of Dog Collars Available on the Market

The market is filled with different collars, and getting the right one depends on you and your pet. The following are a few available types of dog collars residing on the market:

Martingale Collars

These are also called non-slip collars. Upon strong pull of your dog on the leash, it will retain its shape without choking your dog.

Rope Collars

This stylish option has immense durability and comfort, eliminating any undesirable discomfort that dogs might feel in other stern collars.

Smart Collars and Tracking Devices

Collars with exclusive features of GPS devices. These are perfect for dogs who are escape artists.

Flat Dog Collars

These are the most common kind of dog collars. These collars adjust to your dog’s neck size for a comfortable fit.

Measure Dog’s Collar Size by Measuring Tape

Once the right measurement of your pup’s neck has been figured out, visit the market to get a dog collar for your canine. Using a measuring tape, measure the available collar size so that the finalized value falls at the middle hole of the collar for a good fit. As stated earlier, if your dog’s neck is 18″, then the best choice would be the collar offering a size ranging from 16-22 inches.

Compare your Measurements to a Retail Guide when Purchasing a New Collar

dog collar

Industry standards on the market are set according to age, weight, height, and type of dogs. The approved sizes for different dogs are well defined and can be found in retail guides. Once you have the exact measurement of the thickest area of your dog’s neck, find a retail store to compare your measurements with the standard measures before purchasing a new collar to minimize any chances of errors.

The standard retail guide claims the following size ranges for the different sized pets:

  • Small dogs: 10 “-15”
  • Medium dogs: 14″-19”
  • Large dogs: 18″-24″


A dog collar comes in handy for multiple reasons and has become an important accessory for every dog. Among the many advantages of using a collar, the most significant one is to keep a leash attached to your dog and attach additional accessories for your dog’s safety. The accessories like a dog’s name tag and GPS devices can seamlessly be attached with a right-sized collar.

To ensure the safety of a pet, carefully buy the dog collar that best serves to keep the nature and size of your pet in mind. The first step is to measure your dog’s neck and then find the best available collar size that best adjusts your pup’s neck using the two-finger rule. Similarly, if your pet is an aggressive type, then get the collar strong enough to withstand the strong pulling of your pet.

Keeping a pet can sometimes be challenging, but with all the essential accessories, the same can be a relaxing dream. To avoid any unwanted hassles, a dog collar can be a great helper in raising a pet. 

Cody Mitchell
Cody Mitchell is a pet lover and a passionate pet writer. He has worked as a professional writer for over 6 years, with a focus on creating compelling content for pet-related brands. His work has been featured in major publications. When he's not writing, Cody can be found playing with his two dogs (a labradoodle and a cocker spaniel) or cuddling his cat.

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