buyers guide to the best lab collars

Buyers Guide to the Best Lab Collars

Finding the perfect dog collar might seem like a simple thing to do, but there are quite a few options to choose from, and the perfect collar for your dog depends on several factors. Just as an example, you’ll need to consider your dog’s size and age, but you also must consider their disposition.

Dogs that do well while on a leash can get by with traditional leather or nylon collars; however, dogs who don’t do well on a leash might need a prong or halter collar. Therefore, you have to take the time to consider what purpose you want your dog’s collar to serve before you start shopping.

There are not only dozens of types of collars, but there are also a bunch of choices within each collar category. How do you know which collar is the best one for your dog?

You might be able to get some advice from your vet, they could give you some insight, or you can also lookup tips on the internet from other dog owners. Once you’ve figured out which collar is the best one for you Lab, all you need to do is find the best collar in that category.

So, what should you look for in a collar for your Lab? In this article, you’re going to get a guide that will help you find the perfect collar no matter what.

What are Collars Used For?

Safety

Collars give you the ability to be able to restrain your Lab. For example, when you’re walking down a busy street, it’s essential that you can use a leash attached to their collar so you can enforce control and prevent your Lab from getting in danger.

Identification

In many states and countries, you must have an identification tag on your dog’s collar when in public places. This tag should include the name of the owner and an address that is engraved so that an owner can be found if necessary. In some places, you also need to be able to attach your rabies and license tags.

Punishment While Training

This is most important when teaching your dog to walk on a leash. Some types of collars (prong, choke, and pinch) collars are made for this purpose.

Bark Control

Collars can be used as a way to curb your dog’s constant barking. There are ultrasonic collars and electric shock collars that will emit a loud sound, vibrate, or spray a gross scent. All types can be activated at any time while the dog is wearing the collar and they start barking or acting out. You can stop that behavior by interrupting them with one of these collars to help them learn to stop certain behaviors.

Parasite Control

Flea collars are secondary collars that are steeped in chemicals to kill ticks and fleas. These are worn with the regular collar to help keep fleas and ticks away from your Lab.

Make your Lab Cute

There are so many different types of patterns, looks, and colors to choose from! All of which can be used to add some personality to your dog and keep them looking stylish.

Choosing a Collar for Everyday

There are thousands of collars to choose from that are all functional and have good value. The first decision you have to make is if you want a ‘rolled’ rounded or flat collar.

Round or Flat Collar?

Many people recommend using a flat collar for Labs because they look the best on them. There are many reasons why people choose flat collars, including because it won’t damage the coat of long-haired breeds. If you have a short-haired Lab, then you don’t have to worry about this problem.

It’s recommended that you use a flat Nylon or leather webbing collar with an ID attached and a quick-release buckle for everyday use.

Try to avoid leaving your Lab unsupervised while wearing a collar – especially if they’re curious and like to explore – because there is a risk of them getting caught on something and being strangled or drowned.

While these issues might be rare, it’s still important to get a quick-release or ‘breakaway’ buckled collar.

These collars are designed to be forced open during a struggle if your dog ever finds themselves snagged on something.

Measuring a Lab for a Dog Collar

To make sure that the collar you pick out is safe and functions properly, it needs to fit your dog correctly. There are two ways that you can go about measuring your dog’s neck to make sure that you get a collar that fits.

Measuring Choice 1

Use a soft tape measure, also called seamstress tape, and measure around your dog’s neck where you expect a collar to fit naturally. Put the tape until it fits snuggly, not tight, against the neck. Then use this measurement to compare with your dog’s current collar to make sure the measurement is correct. Then record your measurement and use it to find a new collar for your dog.

Measuring Choice 2

Using a piece of string, measure around your dog’s neck using the instructions above. After you’re done with that, take the string and lay it flat on a table or smooth surface, then use a measuring tape or ruler to figure out the measurement. You can then use this measurement to find a new collar that is the proper size.

Finding the Perfect Width and Size Dog Collar

Now that you have the perfect measurement for your dog, it’s time to figure out the appropriately sized collar for your dog when purchasing the new collar. For instance, if the neck of your dog measured out to be 14” you would want to order a small size collar (11-15”) because the 14” falls between the two numbers.

Generally, you would pick out a wider, thicker collar for large dogs and one with a smaller width for a smaller dog. A wide collar is designed to distribute pressure on a big part of your dog’s neck, making it feel more comfortable.

While there is no right answer, you might consider thinking small, medium, or large about the size of your dog and the width of the collar. For dogs bordering the next size up, heavy pullers, and for strong dogs, you may want to pick out a collar with a bigger width.

In this next section, you’ll find a chart telling you the neck measurement and the recommended collar size and width for your dog.

Neck Measurement Collar Size Collar Width
8-11” Extra Small (XS) ¾”
11-15” Small (S) ¾”
15-22” Medium (M) 1” or 1.5”
19-30” Large (L) 1” or 1.5”

Hopefully, this chart will help you find the perfect sized collar for your beloved pet.

Finding the Best Lab Collar

It’s recommended that you purchase a collar with a buckle fastener. It’s not recommended that you purchase a metal ‘choke chain’ either, leather collars are fine, but some man-fabric collars are also very strong. You get to choose the perfect collar for your lab, make sure that you’re purchasing one that is designed to be durable, matches your likes and preferences, and fits into your budget.

While leather and fabric collars are great options, they can become smelly as they age – especially if you have a lab that likes to swim.

They do make waterproof collars that are made from polyurethane materials. These types of collars tend to be easy to clean and resist odor. Plus, they come in some amazing colors.

Personalized Collars

If you want to get rid of the sound of jingling tags, you can choose to get a collar with a personalized buckle or sewn on tag.

There are many benefits, including:

  • They’re safer than tags because they won’t get caught or hooked while your dog is playing or running
  • You can save money because you won’t have to reorder lost tags
  • They are less bulky, which is ideal for small dogs
  • You won’t have to deal with the jingling sound of tags

You can get personalized collars all over the internet; you just have to do some research to find the perfect one.

Adjusting Collars

Collars must be properly adjusted to fit and function as they should. Flat collars should feel snug on your dog’s neck, but not tight. You’ll know that you’ve adjusted your dog’s collar correctly when you can easily slide two fingers underneath the collar. If your dog’s collar is too loose, it can get caught on other objects.

When to Replace Collars

Collars are important safety devices. The very last thing that you want to have happened is for a collar to break on a walk, making it so you can’t restrain your dog.

You should check your dog’s collar every two to three weeks to see if there are any signs of tearing, stretching, or other damage. If you find something, it’s best to replace the collar instead of continuing to use it.

While doing this check, you can also make sure that your Lab’s collar is adjusted properly to fit your dogs coat thickness and weight – which can fluctuate during seasons.

It’s important to know that puppies grow fast, and if a collar isn’t adjusted as your dog’s neck expands, the collar can start to grow into their neck which causes extreme pain and discomfort. For puppies, you should check their collar every week until they are fully grown at 12 to 14 months old.

Final Tips

  1. It’s recommended that you take your dog’s collar off when they’re indoors for several reasons, including:
    • It prevents your dog from becoming caught on their cage or furniture, which can all turn into choking hazards.
    • Bacteria can grow under sweaty collars, taking the collar off regularly helps decrease this, and the bad smell that can come with the bacteria.
    • It stops any excessive rubbing of the collar on your Lab’s coat, which can lead to damage to their fur.
    • By removing the collar once in a while, you can avoid the collar wearing out quickly, and you can save yourself a lot of money.
  1. Always measure your Lab’s neck when you’re trying to find out what sized collar to purchase. Don’t just measure their old collar because collars can stretch, and you can end up buying a collar that is too large.
  2. There is no law stating that you must put your dog’s name on an identification tag, just your address, and name.
  3. For everyday use, it’s recommended that you purchase a flat collar, especially ones that have a buckle or quick-release fastener that is made from synthetic fibers or leather.
  4. If you are taking your dog with you outdoors for swimming or hiking, it’s recommended that you have a quick-release collar to prevent your dog from getting snagged on a tree and being choked.

For late-night walking, it’s recommended that you use a high visibility collar. These collars make it so you can easily see your dog; this helps with preventing accidents on paths or country roads. Plus, it helps you keep track of where your dog is at all times.

Final Thoughts

After reading this article, you’ll hopefully be more confident about choosing the appropriate collar for your Lab. We hope that you’ve learned how to pick out the perfect collar properly and what to look for when shopping. You’ve probably learned things you never knew, like how to measure your dog’s neck to find the perfect sized collar.

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to being a dog owner or a seasoned one, having the perfect collar picked out for your Lab is extremely important. Knowing how to pick the best one, how to care for it, and when to replace them are all important things to understand. Without further ado, go forth and find the best collar for your beloved Labrador Retriever.

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