Dog Collar Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Posted: 17 Mar 2023 Human Reading Time: 12 Minutes
Dog Reading Time: 84 Minutes
Dog Collar Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Are you planning to add a new furry member to your family? Or are you simply looking to treat your pup to a new collar? No matter the reason, we're happy you found your way to this blog post - and we're here to help.

We understand that the variety of options can be overwhelming, with different styles, types, and features to choose from. But don't worry, fellow dog lover. We're here to provide expert advice and guide you towards finding the perfect product for your pup.

In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about dog collars, from the different types and their benefits to measuring your pet for a new collar. So, let's get started on this adventure together!

Read on to discover BullyBillow's comprehensive guide to buying a dog collar...

What is a dog collar?

A dog collar can be defined as a strap or band that fits around your dog's neck. It’s comparable to a necklace, except they are designed to serve a valuable purpose. We’ll go into more detail on this later.

Dog collars are typically made of materials like leather, nylon, or synthetic fabrics, and they may come with different practical features, such as buckles, reflective material placements, name tags, and aesthetically pleasing features, such as trendy designs.

Dog collars tend to be crafted from durable, hardwearing materials such as leather, nylon, or synthetic fabrics, and they often feature useful elements such as buckles, reflective strips, identification tags, and visually pleasing touches like trendy designs.

These pieces of dog gear are known for providing dog owners with a comfortable place to attach a leash for walkies and for holding accessories such as I.D. tags, which ensures that your dog has contact information in case they were ever to wander off on a solo adventure.

Why are dog collars so important?

A dog collar isn’t just a style choice or a prop for cute Instagram photos - they can be that, of course, but that isn’t their primary function. See below for the main reasons why investing in a high-quality dog collar is important.

  • Enhanced comfort - some dog owners choose to loop slip leads straight around their pets’ necks, but this can get pretty uncomfortable quickly. Collars keep dogs secure without irritating their skin, pulling at their coat, or applying unnecessary pressure to their neck.
  • Improved support, control and guidance - a dog collar is a great way to feel more in control of your pup when you don’t feel entirely comfortable relying purely on a lead. Collars with built-in handles are particularly handy when it comes to guiding your dog with as much control and confidence as possible.
  • Safety - having better control and stronger guidance over your four-legged friend improves safety for you, them, and any other dogs and their owners around you.
  • Security (and peace of mind) - collars can have I.D. tags attached to them containing their name and your personal contact information. So, if your dog decides to go for an impromptu stroll, somebody can get in touch and return them to you.
  • Variety - there are so many different types of dog collars available, ideal for those looking for dog gear that feels tailored to their pup. This will allow you to find the perfect collar to suit your furry companion, positively impacting their well-being.
  • Training - dog collars and leads are vital tools when training dogs of all ages. So, whether you have a new puppy or an older dog with behavioural problems, using these tools together can greatly improve their behaviour and make scenarios that trigger a reactive response from your dog easier to manage.

When should a puppy start wearing a dog collar?

There’s no definitive answer to when a puppy should start wearing a collar, as it’ll ultimately depend on your dog's growth development, health, temperament, and personal preference.

That said, general expert guidance suggests it’s useful to start collar training your new bundle of furry joy when you bring them home, usually from around eight weeks old.

Even though you can’t put them down on the ground outdoors until they’ve had their last round of vaccinations (usually at around twelve weeks of age), there’s nothing stopping you from popping a collar on your pup so they can start getting used to wearing it. That way, it won’t be unfamiliar when it’s time to hit the ground running - literally!

Plus, puppies are crafty little critters, and if they should happen to escape anywhere, having a collar on with an I.D. tag attached will help make sure they make their way back to you quickly and safely.

Puppy wearing a BullyBillows collar

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The difference between dog collars and harnesses

Although there are distinct differences between dog collars and harnesses, both offer unique benefits and are often most effective when used together.

Whether you would like a harness or a collar is entirely up to you. Some dog owners prefer a harness, and some prefer a collar. Those that prefer harnesses may be people with certain dog breeds (e.g. frenchies) that may have respiratory challenges, as some collars, especially if they fit poorly, can restrict even more airflow.

So, what are the main differences between a harness and a collar?

Firstly, collars can be worn by your pooch permanently, in and out of the house. Harnesses, on the other hand, are only required when they’re out and about.

Secondly, collars are usually where your personal contact information and details can be found, which is vital if your dog gets lost or forgets their recall skills. Plus, collars are handy when you need more guidance over your dog without exerting more physical strain.

Lastly, if your dog is particularly lively or tends to pull a lot on the lead, a harness might be a better option to help reduce pressure on the neck and keep their torso nice and comfy on active adventures. And, even when your furry friend is wearing a harness, we would advise that they still wear a collar too.

Factors to consider when purchasing a dog collar

When shopping around for a new dog collar, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind to ensure it’s a perfect fit for your dog.

And remember, dog collars aren’t one size fits all. If they were, there wouldn’t be so many to choose from! So, the ideal collar will ultimately depend on your unique dog and their preferences. Below, we’ve included the key factors to consider before purchasing a new one.

The size of your dog

A properly fitting dog collar is an absolute must. We’ll go into how to accurately measure your dog for a collar later in this article, but just be aware that an ill-fitting collar is uncomfortable and a safety concern - as it’ll sit around the neck area. If it’s too tight, their breathing can feel restricted; if it’s too loose, your pup can slip out of it easily.

When looking at collars, we advise checking the size chart provided. Each retailer will have their own sizing, so it’s important to double-check this as your dog may fit into a different size category, depending on where you choose to purchase.

Neck circumference and head structure

This consideration is similar to what we discussed above; however, paying extra attention to these areas is essential before purchasing a dog collar.

Ensure you’re aware of your dog's neck size and weight to ensure a proper fit, and these measurements can vary depending on the breed. For example, if your furry friend has a smaller head with a muscular neck or lots of loose skin, opt for a collar that won't slip off easily.

Please note that no collar should slip off easily unless you have purchased a collar way too big for your dog and it's very loose, but this is not common practice.

What activities do you like to do with your dog?

If you enjoy hiking, swimming, exploring in low light conditions or any other outdoor activities with your pup, consider an ultra-durable collar that can withstand rigorous use, the elements and rough terrain. Pairing a collar with a dog harness for daily walks would be ideal, as this can help manage leash pulling.

If outdoor adventures are something you and your pup indulge in regularly, we’d also advise opting for a collar that can easily be cleaned.

For example, at BullyBillows, our entire Billowthane® Collars selection is made from our very own branded material, which consists of a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).

Ideal for adventurous pups, this vegan-friendly leather alternative range is fully waterproof, can withstand the elements easily, is incredibly durable, and particularly easy to clean. Simply wipe the collar down, and it’ll look and feel as good as new!

Dog collar type

As we mentioned before, various dog collar types are out there. So, you must ensure you’re investing in the right type of collar for your dog.

For instance, if your dog seems to be weighed down by collars you’ve purchased in the past, assuming it wasn’t to do with it not being fitted correctly, we would advise investing in a collar designed to accommodate all dog breeds, made from lightweight materials.

Our Active Light Collar selection would be a prime example of a dog collar type designed with all breeds in mind. Ideal for those looking for added security when out and about, even if your pet is particularly small - as this adjustable collar range is much lighter than your average collar, with a thickness suitable for all dogs.

We’ll be taking you through all the types of dog collars available here at BullyBillows later in this article, so be sure to stick around!


Following on from the above, when choosing a dog collar, comfort is an essential factor to consider - because, of course, you’ll want to ensure that your furry friend is safe and comfortable when wearing it. For example, a poorly fitted collar or one made from harsh materials can cause discomfort, chafing, and even skin irritation.

One thing we advise you to consider is whether your dog has sensitive skin. If they do, you'll want to choose a collar made from soft and gentle materials that won't irritate their skin. Plus, if the collar is too tight or too loose, this can also lead to preventable chafing and rubbing.

So, to ensure optimum comfort for your dog, you may wish to browse for collars designed for sensitive dogs, with padded interiors or those made with breathable materials that won't cause excessive sweating or overheating.

How to measure your dog for a new collar

Measuring your dog up for a new collar is easy. Simply use a soft measuring tape to measure the diameter of your dog’s neck and order the correct collar size accordingly. Just a small disclaimer - treats might be required here for bribing purposes…

As we mentioned earlier in this article, investing in a too-tight collar will be uncomfortable for your furry friend and could restrict their breathing. But buying a too-loose collar runs the risk of them getting out of it, which is why it’s important to get your measurements right.

In addition to the above, always remember that it's important to measure your dog's neck regularly. This is especially true if they are prone to weight fluctuations or are still growing. That way, you’ll always know when to loosen or tighten the collar or when it’s time for a new one.

It’s worth mentioning that many of our dog collars are adjustable so that you can customise them to the perfect fit. See below for a step-by-step breakdown of precisely measuring your dog for a collar.

  • Ensure you have a flexible measuring tape on hand.
  • Start by measuring around the base of your dog's neck where the collar will sit. Ensure the tape measure or string is snug but not too tight, allowing room to breathe and move comfortably.
  • If you are using a string, mark where the string meets and measure the length with a ruler or measuring tape.
  • As a rule of thumb, add two inches to the measurement to determine the collar size needed. This will ensure the collar isn't too tight and allows room for adjustment.
  • Next, find a collar size based on the measurement you've taken and the size chart provided by the retailer.
  • Lastly, allow your dog to try on the collar and adjust the fit as necessary, ensuring you can fit two fingers between the collar and your dog's neck.

5cm Billowthane® Collar | Waterproof & Anti-Rust - Rose GoldExplore our entire range of quality dog collars today.

Understanding the different types of dog collars

There is a whole plethora of dog collars out there. But here, we shine the spotlight on each of our BullyBillows collections so you can get to know each type of collar better. See below for more information!

BullyBillows Slip-on Collars

We have an extensive collection of BullyBillows Slip-on Collars, specifically designed to help eliminate pulling on the lead and stay gentle on sensitive skin.

Our Slip-on collars feature three internal layers: nylon, foam, and neoprene, which work together to provide maximum all-day-long comfort for your dog.

The design features innovative stitch lines and a duo of D loops to reduce pressure on the neck because we don’t believe in collars that choke dogs when they walk - even when they’re energetic or pulling. Our Slip-on Collars are also designed to feature two reflective strips to improve safety and visibility during night walks and bad weather. Ideal for those looking for peace of mind!

5cm RR Collar | Soft Padded & Reflective | Series 2 - Turquoise

Shop BullyBillows Slip-on Collars today.

BullyBillows Billowthane® Collars

We touched on this earlier; however, our BullyBillows Billowthane® Collars range is made using our branded material.

It’s a type of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) which provides a wonderful (vegan) alternative to real leather. So, when you choose a collar from this selection, you’ll invest in ethical dog gear without compromising style.

Our Billowthane® dog collar range is 100% waterproof and wipe-clean, making it an ideal solution for everything from muddy expeditions to messy eaters. Plus, these collars are ultra-durable and resistant to tearing, and they also will not cause any friction burns on your furry buddy.

These collars prioritise comfort and are available in various sizes, with a choice of clip or pin collar, all made with stainless steel and anti-rust hardware. Oh, and did we mention dog collars from this range also come with a lifetime guarantee?

5cm Combat Billowthane® Collar | Waterproof & Anti-Rust - Rose Gold

Shop BullyBillows Billowthane® Collars today.

BullyBillows Combat® Clip Collars

Next, we have our ever-so-popular Combat® Clip Collars - the first of their kind with unique features tailored for every dog breed. Our collars are ideal for everyday use, professional handling, and even police, military, and security training!

We have designed a bespoke clip that has undergone extensive testing to ensure this range can withstand pressure, ensuring your dog is always securely fastened. Plus, these collars are easily adjusted to the perfect fit and feature an odourless, water-resistant neoprene lining that provides long-lasting comfort without uncomfortable rubbing against your dog's fur.

Moreover, our Combat® Clip Collars come with or without a handle. Our double-stitched design offers maximum control and enhanced security for those who prefer a handle. So, whether on a walk or in training, our Combat® Clip Collars are the perfect choice for you and your furry companion.

5cm Combat® Collar | Rated Clip - NO HANDLE - Military Tan v2.0

Shop our BullyBillows Combat® Clip Collars today.

Active Light Range (ALR) Collars

Next, we have our Active Light Collar Range!

This superb selection of dog collars provides a flexible alternative to standard slip collars. You can put an ALR collar over your dog's head, like a regular slip collar, and then adjust it to size before clipping it into place. This makes for a secure and comfortable fit all day long.

Lightweight, breathable fabric is webbed in 3M reflective material, which offers an incredibly effective solution to navigating dark or low-light conditions. These collars also come in handy if you love taking your four-legged friend along for runs or bike rides.

A soft, quick-dry lining will never irritate skin or rub against fur, and the padding provides effortless wearability. All our ALRs come with matching leads and harnesses, making it much easier to kit your pup out BullyBillows style.

Active Slip N' Clip Collar - Orange

Shop our BullyBillows Active Light Collar range today.

BullyBillows dog collars for puppies and small dogs

The original BullyBillows 2.5cm Combat® Collar is designed to fit comfortably and securely around the necks of small breeds and puppies. They can also be easily adjusted, making them perfect for daily use as different types of training.

As mentioned in the BullyBillows Combat® Clip Collars section, this particular collar design has an internal layer lined with odourless, water-resistant neoprene, making this a fantastic, all-year-round dog accessory.

The Combat® Collar is the perfect choice for your puppy’s first collar, but do make sure to check out our full collection of collars for small and growing dogs before making your final decision.

We also offer a selection of 3cm collars for when your furry friend is growing through that awkward stage between pup and fully-grown pooch. Plus, we offer plenty of colours to choose from, depending on what you think best suits your beloved sidekick.

2.5cm Combat® Collar | With Handle & Rated Clip - Pink v2.0

Shop BullyBillows dog collars for small and growing dogs today.

BullyBillows personalised dog collars

Want to treat your pooch to something extra special? Look no further. At BullyBillows, we offer luxury dog collars produced through a combination of premium materials and exceptional craftsmanship - everything you expect from a designer brand.

Many of our dog collar collections also offer a personalisation option, where you can ask us to include your dog’s name (or anything you like) on their new collar. We know how you love to spoil them rotten, so we make it easy for dog lovers to do just that.

BullyBillows: the home of premium dog collars

We hope that our dog collar buying guide has been helpful to you in choosing the right collar for your furry friend. And remember, if you're looking for more accessories and gear for your dog, we've got everything you need to ensure your pup has the best.

Check out the rest of our website to find an array of dog products, including quality dog harnesses, leashes, treat pouches, personalised I.D tags and much more, helping you access all the essentials your dog could and would ever need. Browse BullyBillows online today.

Explore top-quality dog collars for your top dog at BullyBillows today

For more news, advice, and product buying guides, check out the rest of our blog
Should I Take My Dog’s Collar Off at Night? | The Lesser-Know History of Dog Collars | The Ultimate Dog Harness Buying Guide

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