Martingale Collars

Pick a style, choose your colors & engrave your buckle. Start designing now.

dog with matching collar and leash set

Matching Collar and Leash Sets Are Available!

Experienced trainers, veterinarians, and rescues recommend our martingale collars. These collars are the perfect tool to help take control of your walks. We offer matching martingale collar and leash sets to get the most out of your walk. They are reliable, safe, and comfortable for dogs of all shapes and sizes.

A custom look in three simple steps

Pick a style and start building. Choose your color, options & laser engraved buckle.
buckle personalize

Personalize your buckle.

Keep your dog safe, without any annoying jingling pet tags! Add your dog’s contact information and name to the buckle for safety.
choose colors

Choose your colors.

You have your favorite colors, whether it’s a sports team, a holiday, or just your own personality. Now, your dog can wear that same style too!
choose size

Select the perfect fit.

Your dog can have a perfectly fitting collar with no extra charge. Just add your dog's necks size to ensure the collar is cut to the right fit.
matching striped leash and collar

Ultimate guide to martingale collars

No matter what lifestyle you and your dog enjoy, a safe and secure way to take them for a walk is a necessity. With a skittish pup or a tough puller, walks can quickly become a stressful activity for you and your dog. Experienced trainers and rescues recommend our martingale collars because they are the perfect tool to help take back control of your walks. These collars are reliably safe and comfortable for dogs of all shapes and sizes. If you are instead looking for a flat collar, you can find our selection here.

Escape-proof Functionality

Martingale collars are composed of two sections: a fixed portion (neck loop) and a control loop. The leash is attached to a D-ring on the control loop, which adjusts. This loop can only tighten to the length of the fixed portion -- allowing enough tightening to keep your dog from slipping out no matter how hard they pull, but ensuring the collar will not be able to tighten so far as to injure your dog. Rescue organizations, such as Lucky Dog Rescue, use and recommend martingale collars “because shelter dogs can be more skittish at times, [Martingale] collars are the safest way to prevent escapes".

Escape-proof Functionality

Martingale collars are commonly used for dogs who need to be reminded of their manners when walking on a leash. The tightening of the control loop does not hurt the dog but does cause discomfort that encourages them to stop pulling while on leash. It is important that your dog does not lean into the collar and consistently pull. Martingales are designed to tighten when necessary and remain relaxed the majority of the time. When your dog pulls, gently pull back. Stop walking if necessary. As soon as your dog releases the pressure applied to the collar, continue walking. Your dog will quickly learn not to put pressure on the collar. If you find your dog pulls constantly, we recommend seeking the assistance of a trained professional to help you with some basic loose leash walking skills and training.

Benefits of a Martingale Collar

  • Reliable safety features provide peace of mind on every walk
  • Escape-proof even if your dog pulls very hard, suddenly, or from an unexpected direction
  • Comfortable to wear for dogs, easy to use for humans
  • Hundreds of color combinations to choose from to keep your dog looking stylish
  • Fabric neck loop does not snag or chafe fur like other materials are known to do
  • Suitable for any size, shape, or breed of dog (although not recommended for new puppies)
  • Pressure is evenly distributed around the neck so that the collar doesn’t pinch or choke

Standard vs buckle

The standard martingale is a collar without a buckle. This style must be adjusted large enough to be slipped over the dog’s head, then adjusted again to be properly fitted. This lightweight design is a good choice for smaller dogs that would not appreciate the added weight of a buckle but is still durable enough for the strongest of dogs.

The buckle martingale was made with convenience in mind. These collars sport a quick release buckle, removing the need to readjust the collar for each use. This style is an excellent choice for dogs with large heads or those that do not tolerate their ears/face being touched. Martingales with buckles are also preferable for skittish dogs that may be fearful of something being pulled over their head.
standard vs buckle martingale

Buckle Material Choices

Plastic - Plastic buckles are lightweight, durable, waterproof, and are included in the base price for all of our collars. They are strength rated for even the toughest of pullers.
Aluminum - Aluminum buckles are the heaviest option, providing both style and security in a compact package.

Benefits of a Personalized Buckle

You can eliminate the jingle of traditional tags by having the buckle on your new collar personalized.
dog collar with personalized buckle
  • Safer than wearing traditional ID tags, that can get snagged while your dog is exploring or playing
  • Never have to re-order lost dog tags again
  • Less bulk compared to tags, perfect for small dogs
dog collar measuring guide

Measuring for a martingale collar

Step 1 - Measure Dog's Neck: Using a (soft) sewing tape, measure around your dog’s neck where their collar normally sits. Pull the tape until it is snug but not tight.  Record this measurement, it will be the primary factor to consider when selecting a size.

If you do not have a soft tape, use a piece of string (or similar) and measure around your dog’s neck using the above instructions. Lay the string flat and use a ruler or tape measure to obtain the measurement.

Step 2 - Measure Dog's Head: If you are ordering a standard martingale (without a buckle), the collar will need to comfortably fit the dog's neck, but also adjust to be large enough to fit over their head and ears. Using the same method from Step 1, measure the head starting at the throat and going over the ears.
Record the measurements and use while determining the correct size collar to order.

Custom Sizing is Important for Martingale Collars

It is recommended that Martingale Collars be ordered as close to the true size of your dog's neck as possible. This will ensure not only the best possible fit but also the accurate functionality of the collar. To help you find the perfect fit, we offer custom sizing for all of our collars.
  • Custom sized martingale collars are typically made with your dog’s neck size at the center position, allowing the collar to adjust both smaller and larger in size
  • The smaller the collar, the less material it will have to adjust (when compared to large collars) -- ordering a custom sized collar gives you the most possible room for smaller dogs
  • For puppies, custom sizing allows you to purchase a collar slightly larger than currently needed, giving your pup room to grow into the collar
dog collar width illustration

Choosing a Width for Martingales

In general, we suggest ordering a martingale in a 1" or 1.5" width. A wider collar will distribute the pressure across a larger area of your dog’s neck, making it more comfortable and more effective. For strong dogs, heavy pullers, or puppies expected to grow rapidly, a wider collar would be ideal.
  • 3/4" may be appropriate for very small dogs
  • 1" is perfect for medium-sized and larger dogs -- this is the most common size for Martingale Collars
  • 1.5" is best suited for large dogs or those with long, delicate necks such as sighthounds

Multiple Functions

There are two different adjustments for martingale collars that you should be aware of, detailed below. Please note that none of our buckles are strength rated for continuous jerking and as such should not be used with a tie-out -- martingale collars especially should not be used without supervision, on a tie-out, or with a retractable leash. Doing so may endanger your dog's safety.

Walking and Training: On-Leash

  • To ensure the proper fit, pull the collar up to the top of your dog's neck, so that it sits just behind the ears. You want to adjust the collar to be snug in this location, as this is the smallest part of the neck (before going over the head). This will prevent your dog from being able to slip out of the collar.
  • Once tension is relieved from the collar it should sit comfortably mid-neck and be slightly looser fitting than a flat collar. The measurements of a martingale collar are that of the collar in use. When in use and pulled tight the hardware on the control loop should never touch! There should always be two fingers width (about 2") between the hardware.

Supervised Use: Off-Leash

For safety, many professionals recommend only using a martingale collar under direct supervision, (during walking or training) and removing the collar when not in use. Should you choose to leave the collar on your dog while off leash, the collar should always be loose enough to slide off of your dog's head -- this will prevent accidental strangulation should the control loop get caught on anything. The two slides on the control loop should easily touch when adjusted in this way. The collar should sit comfortably, roughly mid neck once adjusted. It will be looser than a flat collar, and looser still than a martingale used for walking. You should easily be able to slide your entire hand under the collar.
correct way to adjust a martingale
 ** The first image is CORRECT. The second and third are INCORRECT.

  • The control loop on the collar should have enough slack to pull into a symmetrical triangular shape when a leash is attached and pulled
  • If the control loop is flush against the collar and does not provide slack when pulled, the collar is too tight
  • If the hardware at the base of the loop is touching, the collar is too loose
how a martingale works
It is important that your dog does not lean into the collar and consistently pull. Martingales are designed to tighten when necessary and remain relaxed the majority of the time. When your dog pulls, gently pull back. Stop walking if necessary. As soon as your dog releases the pressure applied to the collar, continue walking. Your dog will quickly learn not to put pressure on the collar.

If you find your dog pulls constantly, we recommend seeking the assistance of a trained professional to help you with some basic loose leash walking skills and training.

Safety Comes First

Not for Unsupervised Use - Martingales should not be left on your dog when they are unsupervised, they can be snagged and pulled off or pulled tight on your dog.

Not for Sole Restraint for Constant Pullers - Dogs that constantly pull against the leash should have a harness to restrain them in addition to the martingale.
Not for Off leash Play - Because martingale collars sit looser on a dog's neck than flat collars, they may be more easily snagged when a dog is playing with other dogs or adventuring. For this reason, it is best to switch to a flat collar with your dog's ID after your walk to the dog park.

Not for Retractable Leashes - The constant tension from retractable leashes can tighten the martingale collar at inappropriate times and make it difficult for your dog to understand whether she is pulling too hard or not. Additionally, these leashes come with their own safety concerns and should be used wit caution.
Not for Tethering or Use on a Tie Out - Martingale collars should never be used to tether your dog to an object, even for an instant. Always be within reach of your dog's leash when they are wearing a martingale collar.
Not for Use When Crating - Most experts recommend removing your dog's collar before crating, no matter the style. Crating your dog with a martingale collar could result in potentially life threatening consequences.

Not for Pet Tags (Unless an Extra D-ring is Added) - Pet tags should never be hung from the d-ring on the control loop of a martingale collar for safety reasons. Tags can be hung from the slides or an optional extra d-ring.
dog trainer holding dog

What trainers are saying!

For health and safety reasons, these collars are the best!

"The main reason I chose If It Barks is their martingale collars and the effectiveness in teaching leash training. The collars add control and do not allow dogs to back out. The way the collars fit on a dog, when done correctly, distributes pressure around the entire neck and avoids simply putting pressure on the trachea like a typical dog collar. So, for health and safety reasons, these collars are the best. I use If It Barks collars for all 5 of my dogs"

- Kate Jackson Trainer Jabula Dog Academy