Types Of Fastening
There are two main options here, clip buckles and frame style buckles. The former is simply two parts, often plastic, which clip into each other and the length of the collar is adjusted using a slider or manually shortening it. It is most commonly found with nylon collars.
A frame buckle is the traditional ‘prong and hole’ type found on most human belts. The length is adjusted by inserting the prong into a different hole. It can be found on all materials and is often seen as being a bit more reliable, especially if you will be using a lead on the collar. But they can wear away easier and the material could tear around the holes, so extra caution is needed.
You can also buy a slip collar, which simply goes over their head with no need for adjustment or fastening. They can either be measured perfectly and more for decoration (such as light-up collars) or can be a martingale design which gets tighter if the dog pulls on the lead.
The three most common materials are leather, cotton or nylon.
These are more lightweight, made from a woven mesh which is strong. They are great for embroidering and are often a bit more flexible in terms of sizing
Similar to nylon, but natural and usually slightly softer. This could be better for any dogs who have very thin fur or sensitive necks and who won’t like the rough nylon rubbing on them
Usually made from cowhide but there are alternatives such as elk out there, as well as a faux leather for anyone conscious about this. They come rolled or flat (the former being a bit more gentle) and can be less likely to wear away over time if you buy a decent make and material. They can be pricier, but expect this to be offset by longevity.
The best collar for your dog could depend on their breed. For example, greyhound and whippet breeds may need something thicker to protect their thin necks from any pulls or sharpness. Yet, thick collars should be avoided on breeds with short necks as it restricts their head movement and airways too much.
Bulldogs and Staffordshire bull terriers could need a very string leather in order to be strong enough around their neck should you walk them on the lead or need to grab them as they run past.
Also, think about your dog’s fur. If they don’t have much and could, therefore, feel the collar when wearing, opt for soft material and something not too obtrusive, such as a thin leather.
We have picked Seresto as our top choice of flea collar for both dogs and cats. Vet-approved and safe, it works by safely spreading the flea treatment through the dog’s fur without releasing toxic gasses.
Flea collars, both in the past and some brands other than Seresto, are generally not recommended by a lot of vets and professionals. They work by emitting a toxic gas to the immediate area, so only kill fleas close to the collar and don’t actually combat the issue. Your dog’s face may be free of fleas but their body would not be.
There was also thought to be issues with how the collars worked, with reports of reactions on the skin, and the possibility that they could ingest the chemicals when cleaning themselves. They were also relatively short-lived, but a Seresto model can work for up to eight months.
Electric shock collars are worn around a dog’s neck and provide the dog with a shock either via a remote or an automatic trigger (such as the sound of barking).
This means that they train dogs through fear and pain as opposed to a natural willingness to learn and obey. In studies by DEFRA, this was seen to have long-lasting negative effects on the behaviour of dogs, even when used under professional guidance.
Dogs also can’t tell why they have been shocked in a lot of cases so could learn negative traits. For example, they may think they have been shocked because there is a dog nearby or because there are other humans around, as opposed to because they have done something they shouldn’t have, which could cause dangerous behaviour towards these factors.
Many groups, such as the Kennel Club, RSPCA, Animal Behaviour and Training Council and the British Veterinary Association are heavily against the use of shock collars. The government has introduced plans to ban them, but they are still on sale through sites such as Amazon and eBay, and still recommended by some trainers. This is despite other retailers banning them.
We do not support the use of shock collars and would advise owners to use other methods of training. Your vet will be able to point you in the direction of behaviourists or trainers who do not use these.
There are slightly more ethical barking solutions out there, such as citronella collars, but they are still not perfect and not great for every single dog so always ask for professional recommendations and do plenty of research.