The main things I look for: SAFETY, WEARABILITY, COMFORT, FASHIONABLE--- with safety being the top priority.
Our dog lifestyle has evolved to using Martingale style collars for walks. While I tend to use a harness for travel purposes (because I have a seat belt connector that works with harnesses), once out of the car, I reconnect my lead to the martingale collar.
WHY MARTINGALE COLLARS?
The martingale is a type of collar that keeps dogs safely on-leash without choking them. They provide more control than a regular flat collar, while not allowing the dog to back or slip out of the collar itself. A martingale collar has a small loop of fabric, or chain, with a ring attached, as a part of the system.
The difference between a martingale collar and a choke collar is, a martingale collar is fitted to the dog's neck size and can only tighten to the width of the dog's neck, while a choke collar has no limit on how far it can tighten, and can harm a dog, especially smaller dogs.
Martingale collars were originally designed for Greyhounds, whose heads are smaller than their necks. These collars allowed Greyhound owners to keep their dogs safe and secure. They have become popular with owners of all breeds, and are recommended for owners whose dogs often back out of regular collars or harnesses.
Rescues often use martingales to transport dogs, alongside a flat collar, and dogs are double leashed.
So here, without further ado, are my THREE FAVORITE dog collars and companies.
Talley is modeling the Ruffwear martingale collar in Seafoam. But we also have this collar in Sunset.
Ruffwear sells a martingale collar with or without a chain. The one with a chain is called their Chain Reaction collection, and the one Talley is wearing is their Web Reaction version. I can't say enough about these collars. They never look dirty, no matter what your dog gets into; they wash well, and the martingale releases quickly and easily when the dog releases pressure.
The collar is very affordable at $19.95 and also comes in Blue Dusk and Granite Gray. Check them out here.
Martingale Collars Are Very Safe and Do Not Allow Escape Artists to Wrangle or Back Out of Their Collars.
Ruffwear stands behind every product. If you are unhappy, or something happens to the collar, the company is quick to offer customer service options to replace the product. I have never had an issue with a Ruffwear product. I use their harnesses and leashes as well. One of my leashes is 7 years old and looks like new. I use it all the time.
2. HOT DOG COLLARS
I discovered this company in early 2022, tried their stylish martingale collars, and I love them.
A family-owned and operated small business located in North Carolina, Hot Dog Collars has 173 martingale collars to choose from, including a number of collections. They also personalize their products, should you choose to add a name or message to your collar.
The material is softer than the Ruffwear option, and the martingale portion gives up readily when pressure is released. One of the primary differences between the Hot Dog martingale and the Ruffwear, is that the Ruffwear collar comes with a buckle, so you do not have to loosen the collar to fit over a larger head, then resize it once on. But, this is a small issue, as the Hot Dog collars are easy to adjust once on the dog (no tugging, pulling, fighting to get the collar resized, due to the type of material used).
We own two Hot Dog martingale collars from their Flower Power collection. They wash up well, always look clean no matter what happens, and run about $12.99 on average. Your first order gets you 15% off, and the company often has sales across stock on their website.
While we use martingale collars for walks, outings, events and training classes, our dogs typically switch to a regular flat collar at home, so I thought i would throw in my favorite place to buy flat collars, Beamer's Bark in Style.
The company is a small, woman-owned business, that only sells via their Facebook page. A pinned post from 2021 gives you instructions on how to order. Collars run anywhere from $12.00 - $20.00 depending on collar style and size ordered. Because they are custom made, there is a bit of a wait, but I have received most of my collar orders in two weeks time.
Alexa Vath, the owner, does many fundraising collar sales for dog rescue as well, and so I support her small business because she really has a heart of gold. Plus, the company is located in Pennsylvania.
The collars are festive (I love the summer series), comfortable, well-sewn, and the material seems to be indestructible. They look like new even after many washings, retaining their color right down to the buckle.
Alexa changed her business name when her original page was hacked on Facebook, and she could not retrieve it, but you will see that her ordering process is a safe one, and does protect your information.
Below are a few samples of summer collars I have ordered through Beamer's Bark in Style.
In fact, below is the first martingale collar I ever purchased. It came through Chewy. It's a fine collar, too, and my favorite combination of colors. I will say that the material in this collar makes it a little harder to adjust on the dog.
Over the years, I have tried a number of methods to washing our dog collars. Depending on the level of dirt achieved by the wearer, I used this method:
- soak in sink with dishwashing liquid in hot water for one hour
- rinse in warm water
- place in a laundry delicates bag
- throw in washing machine with regular wash
CLICK INTO THE CIRCLE
I am part of a weekly blogging group of professional pet photographers located all over the planet. To see what others have blogged about in this week's topic (Favorite Things), start here with Courtney Bryson with CM Bryson Photography, as she shares a few of her favorite furry faces while giving you look at how she created her entry for Embark Dog Photography Challenge Number Two: Get Down - Photographing Dogs from Down Low.
Then find the link at the end of each blog to click on to the next photographer. Enjoy!