How to Choose the Right Dog Collars and Leashes for Your Pets

There is an ever growing selection of dog collars and leashes available for purchase today. They come in many different styles, colors, and some even include safety features to help locate a lost pet.

However, there is quite a bit of thought and planning involved when deciding which of these dog collars and leashes are the best fit for your pet. This article is going to explain how to pick the best collar and leash for your canine companion.
a large dog with a red and black collar close-up

6 Things to Consider When Selecting Collars and Leashes for Your Pet

#1. Dog Collar Sizes

One of the most important things to consider when looking at dog collars and leashes for your pet is the overall collar fit. For traditional collars, most manufacturers include a sizing chart for easy reference.

Before going shopping for collars, measure your pet's neck size and overall weight. These factors are what most manufacturers use in the sizing charts. Once you have selected a collar, you must carefully test the size yourself by placing it on your pet. The collar should fit snugly. However, you should still be able to fit two fingers under the collar while your pet is wearing it to ensure it does not obstruct airflow.

#2. Dog Collar Types

a white and brown dog wearing a leash

Another important thing to consider when searching for dog collars and leashes is the type of collar you should use. There is a wide selection of collar types to pick from.

The main collar types to consider are:

  • Traditional collars.
  • Harness types.
  • Choke chains.
  • Pinch collars.

Traditional collars are more than adequate for most dog owners. However, you may need another option if you have a particularly strong breed that pulls hard while walking. This is where the other collar types come in.

The best selection for difficult dogs is the harness type. These collars evenly distribute the weight across your dog's frame and stop aggressive pulling quickly and easily.

Choke chains and pinch collars are older selections that have many downsides. Both of these versions inflict discomfort on dogs when they pull their leash. Also, they can prove to be fatal if you do not remove the collar after each walk. This is why the best bet is harness type collars for more stubborn breeds.

#3. Reflective Dog Collars and Leashes

Reflective materials are something to consider for both dog collars and leashes. For dog collars, most varieties have reflective bands built into the threading or special decals.

Leashes can prove to be more difficult when it comes to finding options with reflective material. If that is the case, you can easily purchase a reflective button from your local hardware store and apply it to the handle of retractable leashes. For traditional leashes, consider purchasing reflecting tape that you can apply instead.

These reflective materials can be a life saver for you and your dog if you regularly take walks at night. This is why it is something that should always be taken into account when looking for a new collar or leash.

#4. Types of Dog Leashes

a large gray dog with a collar and leash

There are many different types of leashes that are available for purchase at your local pet store. Each of these leashes offers many unique features and benefits. However, some options are better for certain breeds than others.

The most common leash types are:

  • The standard leash.
  • Adjustable leashes.
  • Chain leashes.
  • Retractable leashes.

For most dogs, standard leashes are more than adequate. They provide a good deal of security and are often the most economical choice. The second most popular option is the retractable leash. These versions allow dog owners to control the length of the leash and are great for parks.

Unfortunately, the retractable leash length control mechanism can easily be broken by larger breeds. For this reason, it is not recommended for unruly dogs. This is where adjustable leashes and chain leashes come in.

Adjustable leashes feature interconnecting links that allow dog owners to easily customize leash length. Chain leashes are the strongest variety and are perfect for dogs that pull aggressively while walking.

#5. Dog Leash Length

Another thing to consider when shopping for dog collars and leashes is the appropriate leash length. Standard leash varieties typically range anywhere from six to eight feet in length.

The optimum length is usually somewhere around six feet. This length allows your dog plenty of room to do their business when being taken outside. It also is still short enough for you to maintain control of your dog in the event they are approaching traffic or other dangerous situations.

#6. Appropriate Leash Training

One of the most important things to remember when looking at dog collars and leashes is that appropriate walking behavior is always crucial to success. The best leash or collar on the market is useless without a bit of proper training and technique.

To better control your dog during outings, it is important to never let them get too far ahead of you. You should attempt to keep your dog on your left or right side at all times. The appropriate distance is anywhere from three to five feet in front of you depending on the walking environment.

If your dog is an aggressive puller, you will likely want to switch to a harness leash type. This will help correct the behavior and ultimately lead to much more productive and happy walking trips.

Drawing to a Close

Picking the best types of dog collars and leashes for your dog doesn't have to be a difficult process. Just remember to carefully measure your dog's weight and neck size before shopping so that you have an idea what sized collar is right for them.

You can also use the type of walking behavior your dog exhibits to make the best collar and leash type selection. Using these tips puts you one step closer to finding the perfect collar and leash for your pet. If you have any tips to share, feel free to tell us in the comments section below.

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