How to Measure Your Dog for a Properly Fitted Collar

A wonderful thing about buying custom made collars is that you get a sleek and comfy fit with no excess bulk around your pup’s neck and no floppy strap end flipping up or flapping out.  No ugly line of unnecessary holes.  There are several different measuring methods on this page.

If you are ordering a non-adjustable collar, one that has no buckle and must slip over your dog’s head then the video at the bottom is my favorite.  If you are ordering an adjustable collar, one that does have a buckle, or a Safety Snap On Collar then the two methods above the video are appropriate and you do not need to follow the video instructions.


Measure using your current Buckle Collar


Measure using your current Side Release Collar

If you’re ordering a Collar or Martingale with a Buckle:
Whatever your measurement ends up to be, that should be the center hole on your collar.  For example, on a 1″ wide Collar, if you measured 19″, order a collar that is 18″-20″.  If your dog is not fully mature, use the measurement for the smallest hole.  For example, on a 1″ wide Collar, if you measured 19″, order a 19″-21″ collar.


Measuring for Collars with no Buckle (as shown in the video above)


Cut a strip of copy or notebook paper the same width as the collar you are ordering. (which could be 5/8″ or 3/4″ or 1″ or 1 1/2″)   Then cut another. Tape your two 11″ long strips together to make a 22-ish inch long strip. And another if you need more than 22″ around your dog’s neck.  Wrap around your dog’s neck and tape shut. Let them walk around a minute and see if you like the fit.  If not, adjust and retape.
When you’re pleased with the fit, not too tight, not too loose, cut the paper collar off, measure length, and use that measurement for the size you order.

For Buckle Collars and Martigales:

Use that measurement for the center hole of your new collar. For example, on a 1″ wide Collar, if the measurement is 19″, order the 18″-20″ size.  If your dog is almost but not fully mature, order the 19″- 21″ instead of 18″-20″ size.

For Slip Collars:

Make sure it can slip over your dog’s head. Make sure it doesn’t slip over your dog’s head too easily.  Please take your time.

If you don’t want to use the “paper” method,  you can adjust your current collar until you find the size that “just” slides over your dog’s head without crushing their ears but doesn’t slip over your dog’s head too easily.  Then measure your newly adjusted collar and use that size to order your Slip Collar.  With this method, on a buckle collar, don’t measure to the hole most worn, measure to the hole you just adjusted to.

For Snap On Collars:

Make sure it can not slip over your dog’s head.

Disclaimer 1. Don’t let them out of your sight while wearing paper collar.
Disclaimer 2. Don’t let another dog tear off and eat paper collar.
Disclaimer 3. This works well for my supple beta biothane collars. Probably not accurate for thick leather or super heavy collars.


How to be sure your Martingale Collar fits correctly


1. Move your collar up on your dog’s neck until it is right behind the ears. Tighten the collar by pulling up on the center ring. If the rings that attach the chain to the biothane strap touch, your collar is too loose.
2. Move the collar down to where it should normally sit. If the collar is too tight for comfort, your collar is too tight.

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