best martingale collars

Martingale collars were designed with pet safety in mind. Often called whippet martingale collars, they are ideal for dogs that have a small head and larger neck, like greyhounds, wolfhounds, Italian greyhounds, and of course, whippets. This is because traditional collars can easily slip off this type of dog with a simple pull due to their small head size. Traditional choke collars also have the potential of hurting a dog that pulls, placing most of the tension on the front part of the neck. This, unfortunately, makes the experience of simple outings for walking painful and uncomfortable for your pet. The way the martingale collar tightens is gentler and kinder, protecting your four-legged companion from irritation on the skin, balding from continued chafing, and even choking leading to asphyxiation. It also makes the experience smoother for you as a pet parent as you have the added security that your new puppy or otherwise high-spirited pet will not be able to slip out of the collar and escape. This type of collar comes in a few different forms; most are made of nylon webbing to ensure long-term wear, some are made of polyester, another hard-wearing option, and some come in a hybrid style with a nylon or polyester collar and a chain for the second loop that marks this specific style.


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What is a Martingale Collar?

Martingale collars, also called limited slip collars, are collars specially designed to protect your dog from either breaking free or choking when he becomes excited. Some breeds of dog are more prone to these types of mishaps, depending on the way their neck is shaped, their general temperament, or the way their fur grows. This collar has an added loop that connects the standard version of a collar. Think of a collar within a collar – the added loop allows for a comfortable fit around your pup’s neck that when tightened (when you or your dog pulls), evenly distributes the compression. This extra loop is designed for better and nicer control.  Standard collars, when challenged by excitable dogs, constrict heavily around the throat, causing an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous sensation for your treasured canine. The martingale collar, however, anticipates and prevents this constriction by causing an even pull all the way around the collar, letting your dog know you are pulling back, but doing so in a way that is not too restrictive. Once the pressure is released, the collar reverts to its comfortable fit.

4 Benefits of Using a Martingale Collar over Choke Collars

  1. Gentle control – The martingale collar applies mild, even pressure that allows you to communicate corrections to your pup without the tightening and choking feeling generally applied with standard collars. This means your excited puppy or wandering senior dog (those that require an extra gentle touch) will receive the memo without the pain.
  2. Excellent for training – Dogs that are early in training tend to act out when they are distracted by external stimuli, whether it be a chirping bird, another dog, or even an outdoor cat. As you train your furry best friend, you will be tugging on the leash to teach them appropriate behavior. Since the martingale collar is designed for a gentle experience, your dog will receive the desired training without the added strain.
  3. Protects your dog’s neck – Standard collars like choke collars don’t have the release mechanism employed by the martingale collar. This means that when you or your dog pull on the leash, the choke collar tightens around your dog’s neck, applying immense pressure on the throat and staying tight even after release. The martingale collar applies pressure but distributes it around the entire neck of your dog, preventing injurious compression. It also quickly releases once the tension subsides. This style of collar avoids excessive chafing which can lead to loss of hair and can also irritate the skin around your dog’s neck.
  4. Prevents dogs from sliding out – If you have ever found yourself chasing desperately after a dog that has gotten loose, you know the stress and fear of the experience. Leashes are practical and necessary to keep our four-legged friends safe, but they don’t have to be unforgiving. If you are dealing with easily frightened or impulsive dogs, especially those with a smaller head, the chances of them slipping out of a collar are high. The martingale collar keeps your pooch safe during those unpredictable and scary situations, keeping both their and your stress at bay.

Different Types of Martingale Collars

  • Slip-on martingale collar – Slip-on martingale collars do not come undone, meaning they stay closed all the way around and must be able to extend large enough to fit over your dog’s head to be put on and to be taken off. These collars come with adjustable straps so you can tighten them to a comfortable fit once on the neck. These same straps are loosened when training or walking time is over and it’s time for the collar to come off.
  • Buckle martingale collar – Buckle martingale collars come undone, like a belt, and can be fitted directly onto your dog’s neck, without having to loosen the fit to pull over his head. This style is meant for ease of release when it’s time for the collar to come off. These buckle collars come in either plastic or metal. Some pet parents prefer this style because it makes the process of putting it on and taking off simpler; however, some pet parents love the added security of a slip-on collar if they have a particularly strong or extra mischievous pup.
  • Chain martingale collar – A chain martingale collar serves the same purpose; it just has a different appearance. Instead of being made from nylon or polyester, the extra loop that controls tightening is made of a metal chain. It makes the sound that aides with training like traditional choke collars, but it prevents the painful tug that causes choking.

6 Martingale Collar Safety Tips

  1. The fit of the martingale collar on your dog is of utmost importance. While this is true for any collar used, it is especially true for martingale collars, whether they are made of nylon, polyester, or the hybrid chain style. Measure your dog’s neck circumference and review product sizing charts to be sure you purchase the correct one. Once placed on your pup, attach the leash, and test with a gentle tug. Review the two metal hardware pieces that form the second loop and connect to the collar – they should be at least 1 inch apart. If they are touching, this fit is too loose for your pup and you’ll need to tighten it or purchase a more appropriate size.
  2. When using martingale collars with new canine members of the family or with a puppy, never leave it on without supervision. Since the added loop comes with metal hardware, when not attached to a leash, it hangs down toward the bottom part of the neck. A nervous or excitable new pup may be rambunctious and get it caught on furniture or gates. It also has the potential of getting stuck in your doggy’s mouth. A painful experience is always best avoided by ensuring supervision whenever the collar is worn.
  3. If you take your dog to a dog park and are accustomed to letting him roam free off the leash, the martingale collar must be swapped out for a traditional version. Outdoors carry the same hazards with the collar due to the weight of the second loop. If your pup is off his leash and running carefree through the outdoors, that second loop could get caught in the small branches inside bushes or even in fencing, causing him to choke.
  4. When crate training your dog, avoid keeping the martingale collar on at all costs. The crate itself could pose a risk if its edges are not welded – it could cause that second loop to get stuck and your dog could choke inside the cage without anyone to help. Even if the crate’s edges are welded, your pup could get the second loop stuck in his mouth, tightening the collar around his neck. It is always best to keep the martingale collar off whenever your dog will be inside a crate.
  5. If you notice that your dog is not responding appropriately to training with the martingale collar, it is best to suspend its use. Although this type of collar generally leads to success with correcting behavior, it is possible your pup will not take to it. At that point, you may want to consult with a professional trainer to determine what available options may suit your furry pal’s needs.
  6. If your dog lives with other pups or enjoys social time with other furry friends, it is best to remove the martingale collar prior to playtime. If left on, the martingale collar could link up with another dog’s collar, causing choking and asphyxiation during a time meant for enjoyment. Keep it off to keep your beloved buddy safe. He will be thanking you with those ever-cherished pup kisses!

Overall Best Martingale Collar in 2019

PetSafe Premier Martingale Dog Collar

Key Features:

  • Prevents slipping out of the collar
  • Made of sturdy nylon material
  • Averts patchy spots and matting

Overall Best Martingale Collar – This PetSafe martingale dog collar does what you expect – it provides protection for your pup in a way that is tender and effective. It is designed for medium-sized breeds and is made of nylon to last for a long time. If your pet makes a hobby out of escaping, this collar will always keep him within leash-length. It offers both security for you and security for your beloved animal companion.

This collar comes in a few different sizes, including 5 – 8 inches for the most petite pups and up to 14 – 20 inches for bigger dogs. The widths range from 3/8 inches to 1 inch for the larger size. Since this collar is designed for a comfortable pull experience, it is not meant to be worn at all times. If your doggo is enjoying playtime or crate time, it is recommended you remove the collar to avoid potentially hazardous accidents.

Pros:

  • Made of tough material
  • Affordable product

Cons:

  • Must be removed during certain activities
  • Limited sizing

Frisco Solid Martingale Dog Collar with Buckle

Key Features:

  • Made of sturdy nylon material
  • Sports a side-release buckle for ease
  • Comes with a ring for your dog’s ID

Most Affordable – This Frisco martingale dog collar is created for large breeds and comes in multiple sizes, ranging from 14 – 17 inches and up to 20 – 25 inches for dogs usually weighing between 80 – 100 lbs. It’s designed with a collar slide that makes adjusting around the neck a breeze. The side-release buckle simplifies the processing of putting the collar on and taking the collar off. The ID ring is coated in nickel, offering an aesthetically pleasing accent. To clean, simply use some mild soap and it’ll be looking good as new!

Made with ever-sturdy nylon, this collar is available in several different colors so your pup can take those walks with you looking stylish while feeling secure. It is not recommended for this collar to be used for tie-out or during playtime with other pup friends.

Pros:

  • Made of tough material
  • Affordable product

Cons:

  • Must be removed during certain activities
  • Not for small or medium-sized breeds

Frisco Solid Martingale Dog Collar

Key Features:

  • Lab tested to guarantee strength
  • Made of sturdy nylon material
  • Designed with extra small and toy breeds in mind
  • Prevents slipping out of the collar

Best X-Small (Small) – This Frisco martingale dog collar has a collar slide, making adjusting to the best fit easy! The nylon webbing has been lab tested to guarantee reliable strength. It comes with a nickel-coated ID ring so wherever your pup goes, he can wear his name (and your contact information) proudly on display. This product carries an extra small size that is 10 – 14 inches to fit around a small neck and is 5/8 inches wide. The small option is 13 – 18 inches around the neck with a width of 3/4 inches.

If your dog is mischievous and detours off to a mud bath, no need to worry because a mild cleanser will clear away any signs of his earlier adventure. It is important to note that this collar is not recommended for use with retractable leashes, for tie-out, or during play sessions. Please also be sure to remove if you will be crate training to ensure your four-legged love’s safety.

Pros:

  • Collar slide for easy adjustments
  • Comes with an ID ring
  • Made of tough material
  • Affordable product

Cons:

  • Must be removed during certain activities
  • Limited colors available

Max and Neo Dog Gear Martingale Chain Dog Collar

Key Features:

  • Includes metal D-ring to attach leads and leashes
  • Has a nonmetal tab for quiet dog tag attachment
  • Made of sturdy nylon material

Best Chain Martingale Collar – This Max and Neo martingale dog collar has a chain style for extra safety, keeping your pup safe and well secured. The nylon clasps can be locked, and the buckle makes it super easy to put on and off. If you are training a new dog or your furry best friend is an assertive walker with things to do and places to see, you will find this collar meets your needs.

If you purchase this collar for your dog, Max & Neo donate a collar just like the one you purchased to a rescue pup who needs the support! You can further enjoy the walks with your dog, knowing another canine somewhere has benefitted from your purchase as well. This product includes a medium-large sizing option for dogs weighing between 50 – 70 lbs., offering a neck size option that is between 16 – 19 inches.

Pros:

  • Made of tough material
  • Charitable purchase

Cons:

  • More expensive than other brands

Country Brook Design Paisley Martingale Dog Collar and Leash

Key Features:

  • Limited closure for security and ease
  • Comes with an artisan-crafted leash
  • Made of polyester material
  • Prevents slipping out of the collar

Best Martingale Leash and Collar Combo – This Country Brook martingale collar comes in three paisley options and includes a matching leash. This collar will aide with course correction when your dog tries to wander or stall but keeps a loose fit while he is walking on course. The limited closure makes sure the fit is never too tight on your best friend’s neck, making walks together comfortable and enjoyable for you both.

This product is made of polyester, a durable material that also offers an even texture, avoiding the pulling of hair or irritation of the skin around the neck. You can choose from the small option that is 11 – 15 inches around the neck and 5/8 inches wide or from the extra-large option that provides 23 – 31 inches around the neck and a 1-inch width collar. The accompanying leash affords your pup plenty of give, at a standard length of 6 feet for all available sizes.

Pros:

  • Made of tough material
  • Comes with matching leash
  • Limited closure

Cons:

  • More expensive than other brands
  • Limited design options

2 More Top Rated Martingale Collars:

Red Dingo Classic Martingale Dog Collar

This Red Dingo martingale collar is made with nylon webbing and offers a humane method of course correction for dogs who are training or tend to pull. Your playful pup will not be able to slip out of the collar if he gets too excited, making your training sessions and walks around the park pleasant and rewarding. This product is recommended for small to medium-sized breeds and is offered in a variety of colors at a price range between the lowest cost and the more expensive options. The sizing for this option ranges from extra small (8 – 12 ½ inches around the neck, 1/2 inch width) to large (16 ½ – 25 inches around the neck and 1-inch width).

 

PetSafe Premier Martingale Dog Collar

This PetSafe martingale collar is an affordable option that tightens in a safe manner and releases tension when your dog is walking calmly beside you. If your dog’s head is smaller than his neck, it is a great option to keep a secure and relaxed handle during walks. Sizing includes a petite option that is 3/8 inches wide and a tiny 5 – 8 inches around the neck. Certain collars are made from a material that causes matted fur or balding, but not this collar. It is well-made with nylon material, offering durability and comfort. Keep in mind, this collar is not recommended for use during tie-out or playtime.

2 Inch Width Martingale Dog Collars – Heavy-Duty Nylon (2″ Width Dog Collars)

Key Features:

  • Made with heavy-duty nylon material
  • Prevents slipping out of the collar
  • Designed for sighthounds that have smaller heads
  • Offers kind protection for your dog

Best 2 Inch Wide – This martingale dog collar comes in several different colors and is 2 inches wide, made for dogs like greyhounds, Italian greyhounds, and whippets who are over 50 lbs. You will need to measure the circumference of your dog’s neck to confirm sizing – the suggestion is to buy a size that fits in the middle of a range. For example, if your dog’s neck circumference is 16 inches, the medium size with a range between 14 inches and 18 inches would be the best choice.

When testing out the product, be sure that the collar, when opened to the top of its range, slides easily over the top of your dog’s head. This is because this collar does not have a side release and requires slipping on over the head and slipping off over the head for removal. While the side buckle release on other martingale collars aides with removal, this product was designed purposefully to avoid accidental release and make training a more secure practice.

Pros:

  • Made of tough material
  • Handcrafted product

Cons:

  • More expensive than other brands

 

FAQ:

  • Is a Martingale collar a Choke Collar? No. Choke collars are usually designed with a metal chain that tightens aggressively around a dog’s neck when the leash is pulled. They are not created with comfort in mind, rather to dissuade pups from wandering or escaping by administering painful tugs. Limited slip collars, like greyhound martingale collars, on the other hand, are made of soft materials like nylon or polyester and have a second loop meant to create an even tightening and easy release of tension once your dog’s course has been corrected.
  • Does a Martingale Collar help with Pulling? Yes. When a dog pulls, standard collars create constriction around the throat and if the pup is an expert escape artist, he may slide out of the collar altogether. Martingale collars prevent both the painful constriction and the ability to slide out when a dog pulls away, making the training process safe and effective. The tightening sensation dogs feel with a martingale collar alerts them of misbehavior, until they become accustomed to your consistent instructions.
  • Is a Martingale Collar Safe? Martingale collars are safe when used appropriately. They can be helpful for training puppies, new dogs, or helping orient senior dogs who tend to wander. However, they have a specific purpose and that is to maintain a safe and effective form of control when on walks or in training sessions. These collars are not meant to be left on during playtime with other dogs, during tie-out, or when crate training. If left on, the extra loops could get caught on something and choke your dog. That’s why martingale collars should never be used without your supervision.
  • How tight should a Martingale Collar be? Martingale collars should fit in the same way a regular collar fits. Be sure to measure the circumference of the middle of your pup’s neck, as well as the biggest part of his head to be sure a collar will fit prior to purchase. Heed the sizing charts on various models to select the right product for your dog. When putting the martingale collar on your furry buddy, begin with the collar adjusted to the largest size. Once placed around the neck, begin to adjust the collar tighter, allowing for a little bit of space for movement – think 1 – 2 finger spacing. The idea is to have it taut around the neck but comfortable enough for your doggo.
  • Can a Martingale Collar be left on? A martingale collar can be left on only during certain activities, like walks through the neighborhood or park and during training sessions. This is not the type of collar that can always be left on, especially not during moments when your pet will be left unsupervised. The purpose of this collar is for active, supervised activities, not solo activities like crate time and tie-out, or during social playtime with other dogs.

Conclusion

With so many options available for responsible pet parents seeking alternatives to traditional choke collars, you can rest assured you will find just the right size and style for your pet. Keep in mind that martingale collars come in several different widths. Most dogs will benefit from a 1-inch option, but if your companion has a small head like a greyhound, he will likely benefit most from a wider collar. Your main responsibility when choosing a final product is ensuring the fit is appropriate and comfortable; this will guarantee the collar’s objective is met when you are out enjoying the day with your pet.

The martingale collar is a great alternative to choke collars, but if your furry pal is the type who pulls without ceasing, you may need to reconsider this type of collar. While it is meant to provide a more comfortable tightening around the neck, a big aspect of what makes this collar an excellent choice is its ability to return to a loose position once the pull is released. Therefore, if you have a dog that does not heed your corrections, the collar will remain tight around the neck, negating the purpose of this collar’s unique design.

Only you will know which selection is optimal for your cherished best friend. Remember that martingale collars require your supervision so be careful and use them as directed to avoid any potential hazards. You have already made a positive choice by informing yourself about this type of collar and reviewing the options available for your pup. A gentle, intentional, and purposeful martingale collar may be just the type you need to keep your dog safe, comfortable, and living his best life!

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