A Guide to buying dog collars & leashes
Choosing a dog collar and leash for your pet can be a daunting task with how many different options are available on the market. Especially if you’re a first time dog owner, it’s difficult to know which collar and leash will best suit the needs of both you and your dog. Here at Direct4Pet we will guide you through all you need to know about which dog collars and dog leashes are the best fit for you.
Getting the right dog collar isn’t just about style, you need to make sure the collar is practical and fits your dog well. Typically the two main things you should consider when choosing a collar is the material and the fit. The two most commonly-used materials are nylon and leather.
- Nylon collars - Nylon is a strong fibre and so can hold up well when exposed to water unlike leather and is long-lasting. Nylon collars can come in a variety of different colours and are easy to clean and versatile, however some dogs may be allergic to nylon or not like the feeling of it against their skin and fur, so make sure you choose a collar that is right for your dog.
- Leather collars - Leather can sometimes cost more than nylon but are robust and longer lasting if looked after properly. They are made from natural materials and so are less likely to cause irritation and will form to the shape of your dog over time to fit them comfortably. Owners of long-haired dogs often prefer leather collars as they help reduce fur matting. Leather collars are also easier to clean than fabric alternatives and there are many faux leather alternatives on the market if this is preferred.
Getting the fit right for your dog’s collar is the most important thing to consider as you want to ensure that your dog is comfortable. The general rule of thumb when measuring your dog for a collar is that you should add two inches to the circumference of your dog’s neck in order for the collar not to be too tight. Making sure that you get the right measurements is important for your dog’s safety and comfort, as you do not want it to harm them by potentially restricting their breathing or causing discomfort. However, you also need to ensure that the collar doesn’t fit too loose as it could fall off easily or get caught on hazardous objects.
Top Tip: You should always be able to fit two fingers underneath the collar for it to be the correct size!
Always take into consideration the size of your dog and how they will grow when choosing a collar. Smaller dogs will need thinner, more narrow collars whereas larger dogs will need wider collars. It’s important to regularly check how the collar fits as your dog grows or their weight changes. This also includes regularly checking the fitting of your dog collar, as even the growth of their fur can cause the collar to become too tight before their groom, or too loose afterwards.
Some owners choose not to put collars on their dogs and some dogs simply resist putting collars on. Although this may be fine for your dog when contained in the house with you, in the UK, the Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that any dog in a public place must wear an identification tag with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it. In fact, you can be fined up to £5,000 if your dog does not wear an identification tag.
If your dog is resistant to wearing a collar then they must wear a harness on walks that displays their tag. Harnesses can be more comfortable for dogs that do not like the feeling of collars. Shop our selection of dog collars, harnesses and dog leashes to find the right options for you and discover our best selling collars and leashes below. As well as ensuring that your dog has a tag on either their collar or harness, it’s important to microchip your dog in case they go missing.
Best Selling Dog Collars & Dog Leashes
Our best-selling collar. Made from fine natural leather and tweed lining, this collar features a stylish paw print embellishment and chequered exterior, making it a great country-style option. The leather material will soften and form to the shape of your dog’s neck over time to make it fit perfectly. Available in a range of sizes and popular designs to suit your dog, with a matching leather dog leash also available.
The Halti Collar is designed with a strong outer nylon webbing and a durable, easy-to clean, neoprene lining for ultimate comfort for your dog. The style incorporates a colourful two-tone design with a reflective strip ideal for walking visibility and an extra loop to place name and microchip tags. Easy to adjust to fit your dog perfectly, this simple-yet-practical collar is a strong and secure choice. View the size guide above to find out which size will fit your dog best.
Available in multiple colours, this slip lead is great for the most demanding of walks with your stronger dogs. Made from the highest-quality materials and available as both slip and trigger lead options, these rope leads are a great sturdy, practical option for your dog walks.
Retractable dog leads are great for giving your dog freedom to explore on walks whilst ensuring that they are still safe and close to you. This Flexi dog lead is available in a range of colours and has a pleasant ergonomic handle and a fast responding braking and locking system for reliable handling. Many new dog owners feel comfortable using these leads for recall training as they come in different extension lengths of up to three metres and five metres, allowing you to slowly build your recall confidence in open areas while keeping them at a close, fixed length during busier street walks.
The Halti training lead is a favourite with dog trainers globally due to its versatility and comfort. This lead provides total flexibility for everyday use from general walking to obedience training with its three lead length options. It can be used as a great hands-free walking option and as a double walking lead for two dogs. When used in conjunction with a Halti head collar or harness it can provide optimum control for obedience training.
How to teach a dog to walk on a leash
Getting your dog to walk on a leash properly without pulling can be one of the most difficult parts of training your dog, especially when it comes to larger, more energetic dogs who can pull on leashes quite hard when on walks. The most ideal way to train your dog to walk is by your side, as it ensures all walks are safe and enjoyable for both of you.
It’s important to note that when training your dog you use a 3-4 ft training lead and not a retractable or slip lead, as your aim is to encourage your dog to walk as close by your side as possible. Follow our simple four step guide below on how to train your dog to walk on a leash - remember that it takes practice and patience to perfect!
Step 1: For your starting position, hold the lead in one hand and treat in the opposite hand so that when your dog comes to get a treat the lead loosely crosses over the front of your body. Once you have fed them a treat they may move away so keep luring them to that side until they stay.
Step 2: With your dog in the starting position, let them sniff for the treats, raise your hand to your shoulder, give them a command and take a step forward. Stop after one step and give your dog a treat, this will associate walking by you with a reward. Your chosen command could be anything such as, ‘with me’, ‘lets go’, ‘close’ - choose whatever command suits you, but ensure that you keep it consistent throughout training.
Step 3: Repeat step 2 by taking an extra step before rewarding them again. If your dog begins to move away or pull on the lead you must stop and lure them back to your starting position.
Step 4: Keep practising steps 1-3 and increase the number of steps you take until they are walking obediently by your side! Remember consistency is key - keep practising and keep rewarding until they obediently start walking by your side and following your lead.
One of the best ways to begin this training is to start indoors away from any distractions and to ensure you have a dog collar or harness and a sturdy dog lead. A harness can be a great choice for stronger dogs, as they allow you more control and can often be more comfortable for your dog when they try to pull on the lead. Headcollars can also be used as a way to prevent pulling and help with control.
What Dog collar is best?
The type of collar suitable for your dog completely depends upon what they are comfortable with and what you are looking for. Your dog’s size, breed and age should all be factored into choosing the best collar for them. Contact our team for more advice on which dog collar will be best for your dog.
How tight should a dog collar be?
Your dog’s collar should be tight enough for you to still be able to fit two fingers underneath the collar comfortably. Make sure you adjust the collar to this size and also check that it is not too loose. As your dog grows it’s important that you check the fit of their collar over time to ensure it still fits them correctly.