How to Size a Dog Collar [Bonus: Dog Collar Size Chart]
You wouldn’t think it would be difficult to choose the correct sized dog collar - until you’ve tried to wrap a tape measure around a squirming pup’s neck or backed the ‘eye test’ and made an educated guess at the pet store.
Say goodbye to mis-sized dog collars and poor fits and hello to perfectly snug collars that look as great as they fit.
Let’s talk about how to measure your dog’s neck size for a collar.
Between the endless sizes, styles and types it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and end up with a dog collar that doesn’t fit. Thankfully, measuring your dog’s neck and choosing the right collar size is easy with a little help.
As a rule of thumb, the best collars for dogs should allow you to be able to slide two fingers underneath comfortably, but don’t stress if you’re still struggling to find the right fit. Read on and I’ll show you TWO ways to measure your dog’s neck size (hint: one of them involves your iPhone)
So let’s start with the basics. Dog collars are *incredibly* versatile.
From safety devices to training aids, identification to style statements, your dog’s collar says as much about you as it does about your pet.
But there’s a problem...finding the right sized dog collar is tough!
Making things tougher, there are no industry standards for dog collar sizes. What fits your friend’s pup can be dangerously loose on your pet, so it’s important you learn how to size a dog collar and measure your pet’s neck.
To make your life easier, I’ll be sharing TWO super simple techniques to measure the girth of your dog's neck and to determine what collar size you should get for your furry friend.
Let’s dive straight into it!
Does My Dog Need a Collar?
And I’m not just saying that because I specialize in stunning dog collars and leashes crafted from vegan leather with gold-plated hardware 😉
Dog collars provide restraint and security on walks and at home, they’re a priceless form of identification if your dog should escape, and they’re a fashion item for the stylish dog Mums and Dads of Australia.
As much as your dog loves napping on your couch and chilling with you at the dog park, you’re not in control of the wider world. If your dog reacts to something else, maybe another dog or a scary storm, having a collar is crucial to keep them safe and protected.
I like to think of a dog collar as a wedding ring - once it goes on, it stays on!
So let’s talk about a couple of simple ways to measure your dog’s neck and size the best dog collar.
Dog Collar Measurement Trick #1 - The Ruler
The easiest starting point to measure your dog’s neck is to measure their current collar.
This works if you’re looking to replace a damaged or tired-looking collar and you’re confident the replacement will be needed in the same size.
Remove your dog’s existing collar, while taking note of what hole the collar utilizes for wear, then lay the collar on a flat surface. For the most accurate results, measure from the centre of the buckle to the current sizing hole you’re using.
If you are purchasing a new collar because your dog has out-grown its current collar, simply select the next size up from your measurement findings.
Chasing Winter Tip: Measure twice, buy once. Be sure to measure your dog’s neck twice to make sure your numbers match up. If you get the same result twice, you can confidently purchase your favourite dog lead and collar set knowing you’ve picked the best size.
Don’t have a dog collar to measure? Not a problem. Read on to discover how to size your dog’s neck to buy their first collar.
Dog Collar Measurement Trick #2 - Soft String
To measure your dog’s neck you’ll often hear that you need to use a soft tape measure in centimetres. But not every home has a soft tape measure lying around - and that’s OK!
If you don’t have a loose tape measure, you can use any string, yarn, or ribbon in your home.
Start by holding the end of the string between your finger and thumb and gently wrap the other side around your dog's neck (make sure you’re measuring the thickest area). Pull the string snug enough that you can fit two fingers between it and your dog's neck for a little wriggle-room.
Now, let go and mark the spot on the string with your finger that met the string’s end. From there, use a tape measure to get the measurement from your string measurement.
Chasing Winter Tip: Can’t find any loose string or yarn? Here’s a trick I like to use. Grab your iPhone charger cable (any phone charging cable will do) and gently wrap the cable around the thickest part of your dog’s neck. Pull the cable snug so you can still fit two fingers underneath comfortably. Mark the spot where the end of the cable met your finger, then use a rigid measuring tape to measure this distance.
What Sized Collar Will I Need If My Dog Is Still Growing?
Raising a puppy or watching a young dog mature into an adult is a joyous time to be a pet owner (as long as you keep your favourite shoes off the floor).
Unfortunately, a growing puppy or young dog’s body means you’ll need to watch their collar carefully. Not only will a puppy need to adjust to their new dog collar, but you’ll likely need to replace the collar several times to accommodate their growth.
Stick to the same ‘two finger’ rule to ensure you can slip two fingers under your puppy’s collar snugly. It’s important to size the right collar for young dogs because a collar that’s too tight can cut into their skin and irritate them, while a loose collar can slip off.
You want your dog to develop a connection with their collar and see it is a comfortable, everyday part of their life, so be careful to find the right size that helps develop this bond.
BONUS: Dog Collar Neck Size Chart
It’s easy to know what size collar your dog wears with a neck size chart.
Simply match up your dog’s measurements to the corresponding collar size on the chart below.
Make sure you select the collar size (XS to XL) that will give you suitable room to adjust up or down. I’ve also classified this dog collar neck size chart according to dog breeds in case you are considering giving a stylish Chasing Winter dog collar as a gift.
Chasing Winter Example: Snoopy is a Beagle. His neck size measures 36cm (14"), so he fits a Size M collar which is made for neck sizes 32cm - 42cm (12.5" - 16.5").
Are You Ready to Pick a Fitted and Fantastic Dog Collar?
Choosing the perfect dog collar is like choosing the perfect dog bed - it’s easier when you’re working with numbers, and not off a “gut feeling”.
It’s easy to feel stressed at the thought of buying the right dog collar, especially when it impacts your pet’s safety, training, comfort and style. Remember to keep the ‘two finger’ rule in mind, and you can always adjust your fit with all Chasing Winter dog collars providing a flexible fit with 5 holes to choose from.
Forget measuring tapes or holding your dog down and trying to convert inches to centimetres. As long as you’ve got a spare string, or even a phone charging cable lying around, you’ll be able to measure your dog’s neck and pick the perfectly sized collar to match.
Oh, and since you know how to nail the collar sizing, don’t forget to pick a collar that’s chic, sleek and stylish, because who says a well-fitted collar can’t turn heads too!
Looking to browse our range of vegan leather, Australian-designed dog collars? Click here to check out our full product range online.