Busy dog owners often select collars in a pretty haphazard fashion. They measure their dog’s neck, find a good color and start clicking “buy now” buttons. But this often leads to problems, and it is wise to take a few minutes to learn about an under-appreciated aspect of dog collars, specifically wide dog collars, that can have a strong influence on their comfort and performance.
Collars come in a variety of lengths, thickness and designs, and you obviously have to choose one that fits around your dog’s neck; but collars also come in a variety of widths. And like collar length, collar width deserves careful attention.
Generally speaking, larger dogs require wider collars. This extra width helps ensure the collar can withstand the stresses a large dog can inflict upon it, and it prevents the collar from digging into your dog’s neck too. The wider surface area spreads out the force and helps to prevent injuries.
Most manufacturers consider a 1-inch-wide collar to be “standard” and appropriate for most medium-sized dogs. This includes most retrievers, pointers, boxers, pit bulls and Dalmatians. Smaller dogs – ranging from Pugs to Bulldogs to Border Collies -- can use collars measuring between about 3/8 and 5/8 inches, while the tiniest toy breeds can use collars as narrow as 5/16 inch.
But you should use a collar that is at least 1 ½ inches wide for big dogs – those weighing about 70 pounds or more. This includes Rottweilers, German shepherds, Newfoundlands, mastiffs and Saint Bernards, among others. However, 2-inch-wide dog collars are better for dogs in the 100-pound range and they are imperative for truly gigantic dogs in the 150-pound-and-up category.
Whether you are interested in wide dog collars, standard collars or fancy, decorative collars, you want to be sure that any one you choose will work properly – your dog’s safety depends on it. Most wide dog collars on the market are well-made and capable of keeping your dog safely tethered to his leash, but you want to make sure that any one you select includes the following features:
There are a number of wide dog collars on the market, but they vary widely in terms of quality. Start your search by checking out the three below, which are all very high-quality options, which should serve your dog well.
The Berry Pet Rhinestone Collar is a fabulous collar for dogs (or owners) who are a little fancier than most. Covered in five rows of sparkly rhinestones, this 2-inch-wide collar looks fantastic and is sure to turn heads wherever you go. But it isn’t all about the bling: The Berry Collar is made from super-comfortable split leather to ensure your dog feels as good as she looks.
User Reviews: Most owners were incredibly pleased with the Berry Pet Rhinestone Dog Collar, finding that it looked great and fit their pet well. However, a few owners complained that the rhinestones do not completely encircle the collar, which means one side of the collar is heavier than the other. This can cause the collar to rotate if it isn’t suitably snug.
Bottom Line: This is a great option for large dogs who like to wear a little bling. Although the rhinestones may look a little dainty, this is a strong, durable collar, which will work well for very big dogs. It is also worth mentioning that the rhinestones used on this collar will probably make your dog more visible to motorists, which is a nice ancillary benefit.
RC Pet Products’ Wide Dog Clip Collar is designed to look, feel and work great for your dog. Made from soft webbing material, a rugged connecting clip and a super-strong nickel-plated D-ring, these collars are made from some of the highest-quality components of any model on the market, making them a great choice for most dogs – especially large ones.
User Reviews: RC Pet Products Wide Dog Collars received incredibly positive reviews. Most customers found it well made, easy to use and remarkably durable, and dogs seemed to find it comfortable. Several owners praised the color patterns and reported that the collars looked very stylish in person. Complaints and negative experiences were exceedingly rare, but a few customers reported broken clips.
Bottom Line: The RC Pet Products Wide Collar is a great choice for owners who want a sturdy collar with an attractive, but subtle aesthetic. They are very easy to adjust, and the reflective label provides a bit of additional safety for your dog. The biggest problem with these collars is their width, which is only 1 ½ inches, so they are not ideal for very large dogs.
If you prefer no-frills, functional products, rather than those that emphasize style and aesthetics, the MEIKAI Heavy-Duty Collar is the product for you. Made with high-quality nylon and a stainless-steel buckle, this 2-inch-wide collar is designed to work dependably for years to come. It is an excellent thick collar for dogs.
User Reviews: Most owners loved the MEIKAI Heavy-Duty Collar and raved about its durability. Several owners of very large dogs reported that it worked much better than other models they had tried, and most dogs seemed to find the 2-inch-wide collar very comfortable to wear. It was especially appreciated by owners of very large breeds, such as Great Danes and mastiffs.
Bottom Line: If you want a wide, strong and sturdy collar, and you don’t mind a relatively bland aesthetic, you’ll love the MEIKAI Heavy-Duty Collar. Most owners were very pleased with the collar’s durability, and the low price point (it is a few dollars cheaper than either of the other models reviewed above) makes it an incredible value.
Have you ever used wide dog collars for your large breed? Was there a specific reason you did so? How did it work out for you and your pup? We’d love to hear all about your experiences with collars for large dogs in the comments below.
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