The Best Dog Collars in 2023
We love our dogs and we want them to look good. A well-made collar in a personalized color can go a long way to making any furry friend attractive. Much like our own jewelry, we look for unique ways to accessorize our canine companions. A personalized collar or one with a special color can often make us feel like we have been extra caring pet parents.
Collars are also functional as they help with control over our dogs. Depending on the breed, you will need to make a collar decision based on your dog’s specific needs. Certain larger breeds need collars with extra durability while toy breeds may need a smaller width. We have reviewed six collars and are presenting our ranking based on quality and function.
Before buying any collar, be sure to measure around your dog’s neck and allow about a one-inch margin for proper fit.
Our Top List
I have occasions where I want my dogs to look extra spiffy. For those moments, I prefer them to wear a leather collar. Soft Touch Collars are padded, unlike some other brands, which adds a comfort level for my fur-girls. These extra-padded collars come in unique color combinations which can also bring out your dog’s personality.
Made of durable leather outside and soft sheepskin inside, these collars would probably be a good choice for hard-wearing breeds such as bulldogs and retrievers. However, they would work equally as well for a Chihuahua or Min-Pin. I ordered one for both my Lab-mix (large) and Chihuahua-mutt (small). The measurements were true to size. The stitching on both collars is superb and I expect long wear-ability.
- Available in neck sizes from 11 in. (Small) to 25 in. (Large)
- Collar width ranges from 5/8 in. (Small) to 1-3/4 in. (Large)
- Available in 6-two-tone color combinations and all have sealed edges
- The leather is naturally tanned, and no harsh dyes are used
- All hardware, buckle and tag D-ring, are made out of sealed, solid brass
- Lifetime guarantee, with receipt
One of the primary functions of a dog collar is for identification. Usually, we rely on tags to identify our pets, along with microchipping. GoTags has the unique feature of easy pet identification directly on the collar through personalized embroidery.
These collars are constructed with durable nylon. Stitched into the collar are your phone number and the dog’s name. If (though hopefully never) your pooch was to become lost, the finder could easily locate your phone number and call the dog by name. This helps prevent your dog from running away from a stranger who is trying to help.
I ordered these in Small and Large for my dogs to use when we walk, and other dog owners always ask me where I purchased them. I found them to be true to size and the colors are vibrant.
- Available in sizes XSmall to Large and fit neck sizes from 8 in. (XSmall) to 26 in. (Large)
- Constructed of strong nylon webbing with a quick-release plastic buckle
- Stainless steel D-ring sewed in for leash and tag placement
- Available in 5-collar colors and 15-ID thread color options
Padding on a dog collar is especially important for larger, stronger breeds. However, any dog that pulls when on a walk can benefit from a padded collar such as this neoprene version. Neoprene also has the extra advantage of being quick drying making it a great choice for water dogs.
I was curious about the padding for my large dog, so I bought one in a size large. It fits well and appears very durable. She is a tugger and has broken other collars. This collar is doing great after about 6-weeks of regular use.
Made on a base of nylon webbing, the inner neoprene padding is also lightweight so your dog should be even more comfortable in this collar. Each of these collars is made with very sturdy hardware able to handle the most active dog. Available in 5-two-tone color choices, you are sure to find one suitable for your pup’s personality.
- Available to fit necks from 11 in. (Small) up to 26 in. (XLarge)
- Odor-resistant, quick-drying neoprene padding to protect the neck
- Holds strong but is lightweight
- Sturdy metal hardware to help handle large, active breeds
- Reflective stitching for good nighttime visibility
Known for their horse gear, Perri’s dog collars are American-made by expert Amish craftsmen. Every collar is handmade by a small group of Amish leather toolers who take pride in their finished product. To help keep this collar soft and durable you will need to apply a leather conditioner from time to time. That said, these collars are made to last.
The padding on the inside of the collars is made from lambskin which is known to be soft. The attention to detail in the construction of each collar means you will be buying a quality product that is comfortable on your dog.
Tested on their own dogs, each of Perri’s collars has a stainless steel or solid brass roller buckles and D-ring securely sewn into each. With proper care, every Perri Padded Collar should provide years of good wear on the most energetic of pooches. Available in 30 eye-catching and attractive color combinations.
- Available to fit necks 10 in. (Small) to 26 in. (XLarge)
- Padded with lambskin for extra softness
- Quality, handcrafted seaming for durability
- Available in 30-two-tone color combination, including metallic options
- Extra care with a leather conditioner will help with longevity
These custom dog collars are leather and can be engraved with your pup’s name and their contact information. Available in six vibrant colors from lilac to classic red, there are also a variety of fonts to choose from.
Personalized dog collars are great for dog parks or other areas where you might let your pup run free. In case they are located outside of your view, someone can quickly contact you so that you can catch up to your wayward canine.
Another plus to a customized collar is that you can opt to not have tags constantly jingly around your dog’s neck. Also, tags are known to become separated from collars pretty easily, so having the information on the collar is very helpful. I have put this collar on my wish list for my own fur-babies.
- Available to fit neck sizes from 8.5 in. (XSmall) up to 22 in. (Large)
- Available in 6 colors (lilac, light blue, green, yellow, orange, red)
- Customizable font choices, with bone, heart and paw images available
- All text is engraved into the leather for long-lasting wear
There are many padded leather collar options online, but the Aolove version comes in 10 beautiful color choices with one sure to fit your pup’s unique style choice. The hardware is a durable metal buckle style with a D-ring for tag and leash attachment. All metal pieces have a nickel-finish for that white metal look that is so popular.
I have put this on my dogs’ wish list in the pink color. I like my girls to have matching collars and these will be great for a quick visit to the doggie park. The padding is an extra bonus because one of my fur-girls has short hair that is easily worn away with unpadded collars.
- Available to fit necks from 8 in. (XSmall) up to 22 in. (Large)
- 10 color choices including classic black and red
- Made of leather with matching stitching
- Nickel-plated hardware
- Buckle closure and D-ring for tags and leash
- 5-holes for size adjustment
After careful consideration, the Soft Touch collar is not only our top leather collar but also our top pick overall. The primary reasons for their high ranking are craftsmanship and durability. Also, after having our dogs try these collars out for a couple of months, I’m sold on how good they still look. Our largest dog loves to roll on the lawn on her back, so she is very hard on collars and the Soft Touch has outlasted most of the collars we’ve ever tested.
A close second on the list is the nylon ID collar from GoTags. I often have my dogs wear this ID collar along with their other Soft Touch collars as an easy identifier when we are out walking. Especially at the dog park, other owners can call my dogs by name and this allows my dogs extra socialization.
Choosing a collar is not just about function, so the options on this list were chosen because of quality, durability, and look. At the end of the day, having a durable collar that is rugged and sturdy is vital, but I know, personally, the look is important also.
Function and special collars
The first aspect of a collar for me is the function. I always consider the strength of any seams around the buckles and D-rings. I need the security of knowing that the collar is going to stay together should my dog suddenly pull too hard on their leash.
What’s more, I consider where it has to be a special collar. For example, there are vibrating training collars for new dogs that still need to learn a few things. For winter or late walks in bad light conditions, a light-up collar with LEDs is very useful.
Does your dog pull a lot and needs to be taught not to do that? In this case, you might want to go for a pinch collar or special no-pull harness.
Lastly, there are collars made to stop barking which vibrate when they detect a bark. It’s a clever and automated teaching method that your pup will come to understand pretty quickly without being harmful. And for new year’s eve and other festivities that are loud and can scare dogs, a calming pheromone collar does the trick.
So you see there are really a lot of different functions to think about. It is good to have several collars available to cover all of these possibilities.
Next, I look for durability. Metal D-rings are a must-have in my book. Sturdy quick release connections or metal buckles need to be able to stand up to the pressure of a large active dog. One of the reasons the Soft Touch Padded Collars made the top of the list is because of the stitching and hardware. They are strong and can withstand my 70-pound Lab-mix tug-of-war machine.
Comfort for my dogs is next on the list when I am choosing a collar. My small, short-haired pup is prone to fur wearing off on her neck when I have used unpadded collars. With my large dog, if she does pull, I know she is less likely to be hurt by a padded collar. This was another feather in the cap of the Soft Touch. The padding is significant.
I now want to address the fashion aspect of dog collars. My personal taste in jewelry is dictated by the occasion and then what I like. I have several collars for each of my dogs and I apply the same principles, casual versus dressy and then what looks good on each dog. Soft Touch has a great look and the selection of colors is good for a well-made leather collar.
Another thing to consider whenever purchasing dog products online is to ask questions. Do not hesitate to reach out to the seller if you have any questions about size, fit or choices before committing to buy. This is especially true for any item that will be personalized. Some sellers won’t accept returns or give refunds if they feel they have completed the order properly.
Measure your dog according to the seller’s recommendations before choosing the size of the collar. Also, keep in mind the size and activity level of your precious pup. Large, active breeds with wide chests have different strength requirements in a collar versus a 10-pound miniature breed. Yes, both breeds can pull, but the larger breed is going to put more stress on D-rings and buckles.
In summary, do your homework, ask questions and know your dog before buying. If your pup is prone to chewing on their collars or is a slippery escape artist, keep those things in mind when shopping online for a dog collar. Lastly, just because a collar works properly doesn’t mean it can’t look good in the process. The collars on our top-6 list can do both.
We are the Pet Dog Pals, a group of avid pet owners, bloggers, product testers, and writers for all your canine needs! We own a collective 16 dogs and 21 cats to help us test and review pet products. Our top lists and tips come from experience to help you be the best dog owner you can be!