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Dog Collar Buyer's Guide

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A standard flat collar is the most common style of collar and is the perfect choice for everyday use. It is often called by other names such as a side release, quick release, or standard collar. Flat collars are the safest type for your dog to wear daily with their identification.

Benefits of a Standard Side Release Dog Collar

  • It is incredibly easy to get on and off - just a simple click of the release.
  • Perfect as an everyday collar.
  • One of the more common dog collars available and a good fit for dogs that do not require a martingale collar.
  • Great for most dog breeds except those who can easily slip out of their collar.
  • It is an ideal collar for dogs with larger heads.

How to Measure For A Dog Collar

Measure Neck SizeFor a collar to be safe, function appropriately, and looks its best, it needs to fit properly.

Measuring Option #1: Using a soft tape (seamstress tape) measure around your dog’s neck where their collar naturally sits. Pull the tape until it is snug but not tight. Compare this measurement to your dog’s current collar to verify accuracy. Record your measurement.

Measuring Option #2: Use a piece of string and measure around your dog’s neck using the above instructions. Take the string and lay it flat on a smooth surface and use a ruler or tape measure to obtain the measurement.

Choosing the Perfect Size and Width Dog Collar

Use your dog’s measurements to determine the appropriate size of collar for your dog when ordering your collar. For example, if your dog’s measurement was 14” you would order a small 11-15” collar as 14 inches falls between 11 and 15 inches.

Generally speaking, you would select a smaller width for a smaller dog, and thicker width for bigger dogs. A wider collar will distribute the pressure across a larger area of your dog’s neck making it more comfortable. There is no right or wrong answer but think small, medium and large in relation to the size of your dog and the width of the best size collar to order. Strong dogs, heavy pullers or dogs bordering on the next size up we may want to select a wider collar.

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 Neck Measurement  Collar Size*  Collar Width
 8-11"  Extra Small (XS)  3/4"
 11-15"  Small (S)  3/4"
15-22"   Medium (M)  1" or 1.5"
19-30"   Large (L)  1" or 1.5"

*If It Barks also offers custom sized collars, specifically tailored to your dog’s measurements.
The smaller the collar the less amount of adjustability when compared to large collars. We recommend ordering a custom size collar for small or hard to fit dogs.

Custom Size - Recommended

  • Not sure what size to order?
  • Is your dog’s measurement bordering between two sizes?
  • Want the absolutely best fitting collar for your dog?

If you agree with any of the statements above then having your dog’s collar custom sized is the perfect option. When ordering from If It Barks you have the option to select “Custom” and enter your dog’s measurements. We will take care of the rest for you and create a custom tailored collar for the perfect fit. We will make the collar with your dog’s neck measurement at the center position of the collars expandable area.

Buckle Options

buckles-etsy-plain.jpgStandard quick release buckles allow for safety and convenience.

  • Plastic - If It Barks buckles are the strongest on the market. The 1” version is rated between 300-350 lbs. This standard design is lightweight, waterproof, military grade and scratch resistant.
  • Metal & Plastic - A good combination of lightweight plastic and metal finish. *Not recommended for use in saltwater.
  • Aluminum - Ultra heavy duty, ideal for larger dogs and strong pullers. Smooth design allows for easy release. *Not recommended for use in saltwater.

Personalized Buckles

amazon-347-v2.jpgYou can eliminate the jingle of traditional tags by having the buckle of your new dog collar personalized. This option is available on all 3 of our b

uckle styles. If It Barks uses the latest in fiber laser technology to give a nice, clearly readable marking on the buckle. Now your dog can wear their ID as part of their collar.

Benefits of personalized buckles:

  • Safer than wearing traditional ID tags that can become hooked or caught while your dog is running or playing.
  • Save money on not having to re-order lost dog tags.
  • Less bulky for small dogs to wear.
  • NO MORE JINGLE!

Adjusting Your Dog Collar

All collars need to be appropriately adjusted to function and fit properly. Flat collars should be snug but never tight. When the collar is on your dog you should be easily able to slide two fingers under the collar. Wearing a collar that is too loose can allow it to be caught on other objects. Supervision should always be used during play with other dogs or remove the collar completely.

See our sizing guide to learn how to measure your dog for their perfect fit. If your dog is not very well leash trained, backs out of their collar, or their head is smaller than their neck, we recommend using our martingale style collar.

How to Care For Your New If It Barks Collar

If It Barks collars are machine washable! We recommend removing any ID tags before placing the collar or leash in a lingerie bag or pillowcase tied with a knot in the top and wash on a normal cycle in cold. Remove from bag and allow to air dry.

Always inspect your collar for damage before use including torn webbing or worn buckles.