Choosing the Right Collar and Harness for Your Dog

By Suzanne

black dog with blue martingale harness

2 Hounds Design loves creating beautiful and stylish products but safety and comfort will always remain our two upmost priorities.  We use only premium quality materials and every product we ship is thoroughly inspected.  In order to choose the right style and size collar or Freedom No-Pull Harness for your dog, please read over the descriptions below.

Collar Style

A martingale collar is commonly referred to as a double loop collar that slips over the dog’s head and does not have a buckle.  A martingale collar is made with two loops.  The larger loop is adjustable and is the actual “collar”. The smaller loop is the martingale or “control loop”.  The leash attaches to a D-ring on the martingale loop which gently tightens the collar around the dog’s neck when he or she pulls, but only to a limited extent.  This type of collar is great if your dog can easily back out of a regular collar.

A side release collar is a standard quick release buckle collar.  It is adjustable and should fit snuggly around the dog’s neck while still allowing two fingers to fit comfortably underneath.  This type of collar is the one most often seen in pet stores.

A buckle martingale collar is the best of both worlds.  They are wonderful if you want to use a martingale but your dog has a large head compared with their neck size.  You put it on like a regular buckle collar yet you still have the benefit of the martingale control loop.

A tag collar is the best option if you are looking for an everyday collar that your dog will wear all of the time.  They slip on over the head and are then adjusted to stay in place.  Their purpose is for identification.  We recommend using flat tags which you can order directly through us.  This type of collar is more comfortable for the dog because it doesn’t have a buckle and safer than a martingale because it won’t tighten if he or she gets caught on something in the home or yard.

Collar Sizing

If you aren’t 100% sure about what size dog collar you should order, PLEASE measure your dog. The general guidelines below do NOT take the place of measuring your dog; you should always measure to make sure you are ordering the correct size.

Martingale collars can be made in your choice of 5/8”, 1”, 1.5″ or 2″.  Buckle martingale collars and side release buckle collars are available in 5/8”, 1” or 1.5” widths.

Italian Greyhounds and other very small breeds most often need an XS collar, which is adjustable from 7-11 inches. The very small breeds do best with a 5/8” or 1” wide Martingale Collar. We don’t recommend buckle martingale collars for dogs this small because the buckle reduces the amount of adjustability.

Whippets, Jack Russell Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers and other small/medium sized breeds most often need a size small, which is adjustable from 10-14 inches. Whippets can wear a 5/8”, 1”, or 1.5” wide collar because they have such long necks. Other small/medium sized breeds do best with 5/8” or 1” wide dog collars.

Greyhounds, Beagles, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies and other medium sized dogs will usually need a medium collar, which is adjustable from 13-18 inches. Some larger greyhounds (80+ lbs.) sometimes need a size large collar, which is adjustable from 15-20 inches. You will be able to determine this when you measure your dog’s neck.

Large Greyhounds, smaller Labs, Golden Retrievers, and other large breed dogs most often need a size large collar, which is adjustable from 15-20 inches.

Great Danes, larger Labs, and other very large breed dogs will definitely need measurements to determine the correct size. Some Danes can wear a size large, some require an XL collar so it really depends on the size of your dog.

If you have a dog whose neck is larger than XXL (26-34 inches) you will need to select “Specify” from the size menu and in the comments section of your order, specify the your dog’s measurements in the comments section when you check out.

Freedom No-Pull Harness (Size Chart)

The Freedom No-Pull Harness features a patented control loop with a D-ring on the back of the harness which tightens gently around your dog’s chest to discourage pulling and makes walking your dog an easy, more enjoyable experience for both of you.  It features a structural ring on the front of the harness. Connecting to this ring is optional but recommended, as it allows you to connect to the front and back of the harness simultaneously. Used this way, the main connection on the back of the harness tightens gently around the chest to discourage pulling behavior, while the connection on the front of the harness allows you to redirect your dog’s attention back to you for training and treats.

Harness Sizing

The Freedom no-pull Harness comes in two widths:

  • 5/8” for smaller dogs, under 40 lbs., for example Dachshunds, Italian Greyhounds, Whippets, Jack Russell Terriers, Beagles, etc.
  • 1” wide for larger dogs, 40 lbs. and over, such as Basset Hounds, Boxers, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Greyhounds, Mastiffs, etc.

To measure for the harness, use a soft measuring tape (or a piece of string) and measure all the way around the LARGEST part of your dog’s chest. Choose the SMALLEST size that fits within that measurement.

For example:

  • For a 5/8” harness, if your dog has a 24” chest, we recommend size Small for the best fit.
  • For a 1” harness, if your dog has a 28″ chest, we recommend size Medium for the best fit.

Now that you know what size harness to get for your dog, check out our best No-Pull Harnesses for small dogs such as Italian Greyhounds or large dogs such as Basset Hounds.

Comfort, Style & Safety

Since 2003, 2 Hounds Design has been making quality products that dogs love wearing and people love using! We use Lean Manufacturing principles to drive continuous improvement in the areas of quality, comfort, and on time delivery.

Special offers & news!

Sign up to 2 Hounds Design newsletter to receive special offers and news directly in your inbox!