Tips for Buying a Dog Collar for a Puppy

Rolled Leather Martingale Dog Collar with Chain

One of our most frequently asked questions over the years is “how do I know what size of dog collar to buy for my new puppy that is coming home in a few weeks?”

Calculating Size:

Your breeder reports that your 5 week old puppy has a current neck size of 7 inches.

You are picking your dog up in 3 weeks.

Multiply 10% weekly growth times 3 = 30%

7 inches + 30% = 9.1 inches.

Use this number to select the smallest possible setting for your new puppy’s collar, since they will continue to grow rapidly!

10% growth per week is a rough estimate, at best! Individual dogs of different breeds will grow at different rates at different stages of development.

Our recommendation is to ask your breeder. Your breeder is a helpful resource that should be happy to measure your puppy’s neck at your request. Add about 10% to this number for each week till the date you get your puppy, and purchase a collar using that number as the minimum size.

We’ve collared thousands of dogs over the years and can generally advise that Labradors, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Standard Poodles, and Pointers will almost always wear a small for a few weeks after they come home, a medium for a few months, and mature into a large in the sizing of most brands.

Accurately Estimating Adult Collar Size

Below you will find a list of breeds and their most common range of neck sizes. Your dog will be an individual and may not fit within this range. There can be a huge size variations even within a single breed, but your breeder will know whether your puppy’s bloodlines are likely to produce a dog that is towards the upper end of the breed’s size range, the smaller end, or outside the typical range all together.

The best way to estimate adult neck size is to measure the neck of the father and the mother and average the

My breeder recommended a Martingale, which is best for a rapidly growing puppy?

Martingale collars are a safer way to collar a wiggly puppy. For a rapidly growing puppy we recommend the
For a thicker and bit higher quality nylon martingale (but with a smaller range of adjustment) see the Spindrift Buckle On Martingale (you’ll love the buckle on version of a martingale- perfect for squirming puppies!) It is also priced appropriately for a collar that will be outgrown in a few months. simple plain nylon martingale or the similar printed nylon martingales – all priced around $10.

Leather martingales are sized by exact measurements, so we do not recommend leather martingales until a puppy has reached their full size. However you may want to bookmark our Rolled Leather Martingale for your puppy when they are about 9-10 months and have done the majority of their growing. Our rolled leather martingale is in a class of it’s own and is the only martingale collar we recommend for long haired dogs.

Common Dog Breeds and the Corresponding Average Neck Measurement Range:

Airedale 16-22 inches
Australian Shepherd 16-22 inches
Basset Hound 16-22 inches
Beagle 12-18 inches
Bichon Frise 14-18 inches
Bloodhound 22-28 inches
Border Collie 14-18 inches
Boston Terrier 12-18 inches
Boxer 16-22 inches
Bulldog English 18-24 inches
Bulldog French 12-16 inches
Chihuahua 8-14 inches
Cocker Spaniel 12-18 inches
Corgi 14-16 inches
Dachshund Std 16-20 inches
Mini Dachshund 8-18 inches
German Shepherd 18-24 inches
Golden Retriever 16-24 inches
Greyhound 14-18 inches
Jack Russell Terrier 10-14 inches
Lab 18-24 inches
Maltese 10-14 inches
Papillon 8-12 inches
Pit Bull 14-18 inches
Pomeranian 10-14 inches
Poodle Mini 10-16 inches
Poodle Standard 14-20 inches
Pug 12-16 inches
Rottweiler 24-30 inches
Schnauzer Mini 10-16 inches
Shih Tzu 10-14 inches
Wheaten Terrier 18-22 inches
Yorkshire Terrier 6-12 inches

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