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How Tight Should A Dog Collar Be?

Have you recently bought your dog a new collar? Maybe they are a puppy and this is their first time wearing a proper collar?

It can be tricky to know how tight should a dog collar be and because of that, we thought we would find some information about different collars and how tight they should be on your pet.

Read through this article and see if your dog’s collar is listed below. Then, find out how tight your dog’s collar should be.

How Tight Should A Dog Collar Be?

A Standard Flat Collar

Flat collars are the most popular type of dog collar. They come in a variety of different colours, materials and sizes making them affordable and effective for most dogs.

There are several different brands of flat collar, some are more expensive and of a higher quality material while others are cheaper and suitable for a puppy that isn’t likely to be pulling on a lead.

The rule for how tight should a dog collar be when it comes to flat collars is a gap of two fingers between your dogs neck and the collar itself.

Any tighter than this and it could cause a strangulation problem, any looser than this and it will get caught on items such as sticks or branches.

A Head Collar

If you need a bit more control over your pooch, then a head collar might be a good solution. Made from either leather or nylon, these collars cover both their nose and behind their heads so that you have more control over them.

They are generally used for strong willed dogs that are harder to control.

These collars should be nice and snug behind the ears but loose enough around the snout that your dog can still open their mouths comfortably.

This will keep your pet comfortable while still ensuring their safety.

A Front or Back Clip Harness

Again, the front or back clip harness is a good alternative to a flat collar for those dogs that need an extra bit of control.

These harnesses come in leather or nylon and some have a retracting and loosening mechanism that creates pressure when your dog pulls on the lead.

They have straps that go across your dog’s chest and fasten on their backs where the lead can be attached.

The straps evenly distribute the weight of your dog when they are pulling and limits the drag on the lead.

Again the rule with a dog harness is the two finger rule. When fastened, you should be able to get 2 fingers under the harness.

There are other dog harnesses available and if you own one of these, be sure to check the manufacturers instructions on how tight should a dog’s collar be.

No matter what type of collar your dog has, you need to ensure that you comply with the right fitting instructions. It will keep your dog safe and help you to keep your dog under control too.

If you are currently shopping for collars check out our list on Reflective Dog Collars.


I started this site because I am a dog lover. Most of my social feeds are full of dogs and I am always learning more about them. I also have a lifetime of experience with dogs packed with tactics, tips, and funny stories that I want to share with the world!

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