Do you have a hound Houdini at home? Does he always try to slip free of his collar?
Don’t worry — it’s a pretty common problem. Many dogs may try to escape or “back out” of traditional, flat collars while out on walks.
Luckily, martingale collars help mitigate this risk and serve as more secure options for your furry friend.
We’ll explain how martingale collars work, which dogs benefit most from them, and share a few of our favorites below. We’ll also point out one type of martingale collar that you definitely want to avoid for your pooch.
The Best Martingale Collars for Dogs: Quick Picks
- #1 Wolfgang Man and Beast Martingale Collar [Most Style and Color Options]: Wolfgang’s martingale collars are available in a striking variety of unique patterns and colors you won’t find elsewhere.
- #1 Max and Neo Martingale Collar [Best Martingale Collar for Giving Back]: This martingale collar is well made, available in an array of colors and sizes, and sold by a company that donates a portion of their proceeds to dog shelters.
- #2 PetSafe Martingale Dog Collar [Most Affordable Martingale Collar]: An affordable, no-frills martingale collar that’ll get the job done without breaking the bank.
- #3 Dazzber Martingale Collar [Most Stylish Martingale Collar]: The perfect option for owners who want to keep their dog safe while still looking fashionable.
What Is a Martingale Collar? Why Use One for Your Dog?
Martingale collars provide more control of your canine than a typical flat collar does. They are sometimes referred to as no-slip collars and are used to prevent dogs from backing out like they can with traditional collars.
When tension is applied to the collar through the leash, the collar tightens slightly, thereby keeping it in place.
However, unlike a chain collar or slip lead, martingale collars feature design elements that stop the collar from tightening beyond a predetermined point.
This helps prevent escapes, but it does so without choking your dog or applying too much force to his neck.
Just understand that these collars should be adjusted and fitted properly so that they don’t constrict your dog’s neck.
Some people may try to use martingale collars as chain or prong collar alternatives, and while they’re safer than these options, they’d still be considered aversive if used to “pop” or correct your dog, which we discourage.
Also, note that martingale collars should not be left on dogs all the time — if the collar were to get caught on something, it could constrict around your dog’s neck, causing him to freak out and potentially leading to injury.
For safety’s sake, just use martingale collars during walks.
The 8 Best Martingale Collars for Dogs
Without further ado, here are some of the best martingale collar options for your furry friend. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the sizing guidelines of each collar.
1. Wolfgang Martingale Collar
Wolfgang Martingale Collar
Gorgeously designed fabric martingale collars with tons of styles.
About: Wolfgang’s Man & Beast’s martingale dog collars feature some of the most creative and beautiful designs we’ve seen on any dog gear, making these truly unique dog collars. From artist-designed styles that showcase the beauty of the US National Parks, to colorful ocean waves and native prints, Wolfgang’s wide variety of patterns make these martingale collars popular for any art enthusiast.
It should be noted that Meg and Remy use Wolfgang’s collars and absolutely love them for their unusual styles and colors.
- Huge variety of artist-designed patterns and styles
- Collars are available in sizes ranging from 10 to 29 inches long
- Hearty locking plastic buckle and black metal d-ring and connectors
- Adjustable for accessing the perfect fit
- Owners adore the bright and unique pattern options
- Sturdy buckles and d-rings feel more secure than other collars
- Colorful patterned material may show off dirt and grime more obviously
- Only available online at Wolfgang’s website
2. Max and Neo Martingale Collar
Max and Neo Martingale Collar
High-quality martingale collar that features reflective stitching, a locking plastic buckle, and a dog tag loop.
About: This simple yet effective martingale collar from Max and Neo is made out of sturdy nylon and features locking plastic buckles to provide an additional measure of safety. Max and Neo also donates a collar to a shelter dog in need for every collar sold which is a great way to help give back to our furry friends.
- Martingale collar has a separate loop for dog tags
- Collar has reflective stitching for added nighttime visibility
- 7 different color options to show off your best buddy’s sense of style
- Versatile nylon collar comes in sizes ranging from 10 to 33 inches long
- Max and Neo donates a portion of profits and collars to shelters throughout the U.S.
- Locking buckle provides additional security
- Owners loved the security of this sturdy collar
- The collar’s bright color options and reflective stitching add visibility
- Max and Neo brand is focused on giving back to the canine community
- Some owners found that the dog tag clip wasn’t strong enough to hold up to more than one or two tags
3. PetSafe Martingale Dog Collar
PetSafe Martingale Dog Collar
Affordable, no-frills martingale collar that will keep your pooch safe without emptying your bank account.
About: This martingale collar from PetSafe is a great choice for cost-conscious owners. An effective yet straightforward option, this collar will keep your pooch secure without breaking the bank. The nylon collar is available in several widths and colors, as well as lengths ranging from 5 to 20 inches.
- Choose between ⅜-, ¾-, and 1-inch width options
- Collar comes in 6 different color options
- Buckle-free collar is easy to adjust to your pup’s parameters
- Made out of sturdy nylon
- Collar varies in length ranging from 5 to 20 inches
- Owners were pleased that this collar was both effective and affordable
- Flexible length and width options
- Owners reported that this nylon collar held up well even after being washed
- The 20-inch-long collar may not be large enough for big pups
4. Dazzber Martingale Collar
About: If Fido is a fashionista, these adorable patterned martingale collars from Dazzber are certainly worth considering. Available in your choice of 16 different color options and held together with box stitching, these collars will keep your dog safe while helping him look his best.
- Available in collar lengths ranging from 8 to 25 inches
- Polyester fabric makes the collar super sturdy
- Easy to adjust stainless steel hardware
- Buckle-free design prevents escapes
- 16 adorable pattern options
- Reinforced box stitching
- Machine washable
- Owners were impressed by the sturdiness of these polyester collars
- It’s a great collar for pulling pooches
- Different pattern options are perfect for showcasing your furry friend’s style
- Some patterns may become dirty easily, though they can be machine washed
5. Country Brook Petz Martingale Collar
About: Country Brook Pets offers a large selection of martingale collars with varying length and width options. But best of all, this buckle-free collar is available in over 20 different colors, so you’ll be able to find the perfect hue for your hound.
- Choose between ⅜-, ⅝-,¾-, and 1-inch widths
- Buckle-free design helps further eliminate escapes
- Sturdy nylon collar comes in lengths ranging from 5 to 31 inches
- Collar is made in the USA
- 22 different color options to suit Spot’s style
- Owners were impressed by the durability of these nylon collars
- Flexible sizing and color options to suit just about every pooch
- Buckle-free design provides additional security
- Buckle-free design may be less convenient for some owners with arthritis or dexterity issues
6. If It Barks Martingale Collar
About: These extra-wide collars from If It Barks are perfect for furry friends with smaller head sizes. The stylish striped collars look great, provide a comfortable fit, and feature an (optional) buckle that makes it easy to take your dog’s collar on and off with ease.
- These martingale collars are made in the USA
- Can be purchased with or without a buckle
- Large 1-inch thick collars
- Comes in length options ranging from 11 to 30 inches long
- 10 different striped color options
- Owners loved the look of these striped collars and the additional comfort they provided
- Thick collar is great for dogs with small heads
- Buckle flexibility and custom sizing options is great for finding the right size for Fido
- Ribbon fabric may not hold up as long as some other materials
7. Blueberry Pet Martingale Collar
About: Blueberry Pet offers a martingale collar that can be fully customized for your canine. Choose between 11 color options and widths between 7.5 and 20 inches long. And for extra awesomeness, these nylon collars can also be embroidered with your pet’s name and a contact number.
- Durable nylon collars should hold up for years
- Buckle-free design keeps your canine safe
- Sizing options range from 7.5 to 20 inches long
- 11 different color options
- Customizable collars feature space for your dog’s name and a contact info
- Owners loved the ability to add your dog’s name and contact information to these collars
- Durable nylon collar held up well with active pups
- 11 different color options to compliment your canine
- As with any martingale collar, dogs should not wear this collar while unsupervised or inside
- The D ring may cover up some of your dog’s embroidered name
8. Auburn Leathercrafters Martingale Collar
About: If you’re looking for a high-end collar to keep your canine comfortable and secure, this sheep-wool-lined martingale from Auburn Leathercrafters is a great option. Available in 1 or 2-inch widths and lengths ranging from 10 to 26 inches, this ultra-comfortable dog collar costs a bit more than most other martingales, but you and your pooch will appreciate its quality for years to come.
- Sturdy leather collar with sheepskin to keep your canine comfortable
- Collar lengths ranging from 10 to 26 inches long
- Available in 5 different color options
- Sheep wool interior helps reduce neck irritation
- Sturdy stainless steel chain and hardware
- Sheepskin padding helps keep canines comfortable
- Owners loved the design and sturdiness of this collar
- Wider collar is perfect for pups with smaller heads
- You’ll want to keep it dry
- Somewhat limited sizing options
One Type of Martingale Collar You Should Definitely Avoid
While most martingale collars are safe and effective when used properly, there’s one type you’ll want to steer clear of: all-metal martingale collars. There may be cases in which these collars are acceptable, but they’ll generally cause more problems than they’re worth.
For one thing, others may get the impression that you’re using an aversive choke collar, which is not the kind of impression you want to give other owners. You don’t want them to think you don’t know the importance of positive reinforcement-based dog training techniques.
Metal martingales are also less comfortable for canines. These collars can easily catch fur, and they are generally heavier, so they’re not an ideal choice for your furry friend.
Simply put, there are plenty of non-metal options that are more efficient and make for a better experience for your best buddy.
Which Dogs Need Martingale Dog Collars?
Certain types of dogs may benefit from using a martingale collar due to their slim head size. For example, sighthounds tend to make good candidates for these specialized collars.
Some of these breeds include:
- Afhgan hound
- Irish wolfhound
- Pharaoh hound
Other dogs with small heads can also benefit from the security of a martingale collar. Breed examples include:
- Doberman pinscher
But regardless of your dog’s head size, any dog who tries to back out of his collar is a good potential candidate for a martingale collar.
When fitted properly, these tools ensure that your four-footer is safe while you’re out on walks. Just remember that dogs should always be supervised while using one of these specialized collars. Whenever your pooch is safely indoors, the martingale collar should be removed.
How Do You Fit a Martingale Dog Collar or Choose the Correct Size?
It’s important to find a martingale collar that fits your furry friend well to keep your canine comfortable.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to measure just behind your dog’s ears at the base of the skull. This measurement should equal the length of the collar when it’s fully tightened. Just make sure you defer to the individual manufacturer’s instructions when measuring your mutt for a specific collar.
You’ll also need to decide on what width makes the most sense for your furry friend. Many dogs perform well with a 1-inch wide collar, but narrow-headed hounds may need a wide dog collar to keep them safe, comfy, and secure.
While testing the fit on your furry friend, place the collar over your dog’s neck just behind the ears. Upon pulling the smaller loop, there should be approximately a width of two fingers between the two sides of the collar to ensure a proper fit.
Martingale collars can make amazing tools for keeping your furry friend safe while out on walks. Just make sure you’re selecting the proper size and removing the collar after outings to keep your canine comfortable.
Does your dog use a martingale collar? How do you keep your pooch safe while out on walks? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!