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To watch a video on how to measure for a collar, see YouTube video here.
Some dog collars have a wide range of adjustment, making the process of fitting a dog collar fairly easy and usually successful even if your sizing is based on an educated guess. However some collars, particularly leather collars, martingale collars, and especially buckle martingale collars require a more specific sizing which can only be accurately guaged by measuring a dog's neck. The best method to measure a dogs neck is by using a cloth measuring tape and measuring the circumference of a dog's neck, snug but not tight, at the point of the neck where a collar would naturally sit. But we know not everyone has or can find a cloth tape measure when you need one! Below are a few alternative methods for getting an accurate measure of your dog's neck.
How to Measure Your Dog's Neck when you Don't Have a Cloth Measuring Tape
Use a string, shoelace, or the end of a leash to measure around your dog's neck, snug but not tight, mark the length with marker or pinched fingers, and then lay the length out next to a ruler or builder's tape measure to find out how long your marked portion is.
No ruler? No problem!
Method 2. Use paper -
Standard computer paper measures 8.5 x 11. Tear a sheet of computer paper in strips lengthwise, then fold the strip in half lengthwise, then that half in half lengthwise, then unfold. (Each crease will mark 2.75 inches) Tape your strips together end to end, and use like a cloth measuring tape knowing each full strip is 11 inches and each crease marks 2.75 inches. (fold into eigths for more precise measurements)
Method 3. Use a couple bucks! -
Literally! All US bills measure 2.5" x 6". Using scotch tape, tape several dollar bills end to end and wrap snugly around your dog's neck. Multiple how many bills it took to circle your dog's neck by the 6 inch length to figure dog's neck measurement. 2 full bills end to end = 12" neck, 4.25 bills = 25.5, etc
Your printer can print a 12 inch ruler. This Print a Ruler site has printable rulers formatted to print true to size, but we definitely recommend testing against a standard measurement to make sure your printer is printing the correct size. To check the ruler's accuracy, compare to an object that you already know the measurement of (Such as american printer paper: 8.5 x 11 inches, a credit card: 2.125 x 3 3/8, or a dollar bill: 2.5" x 6.) You may need to print several and tape end-to-end to measure larger dogs.