Yonder Dog

How to Fit a Dog Collar the Right Way

How to Fit a Dog Collar the Right Way

Our Guide to Comfort & Style for Your Pooch 

Unlike your flexible wardrobe, your dog’s collar is their everyday outfit. They may not have your sense of style, but your bestie is very comfy-conscious when it comes to the accessories they wear. Your pooch is probably sending you a thousand hints that they’re not happy with their collar fit—but are you listening? 

How Good is Your Pup Parenting? 

Too many dogs suffer silently from poorly fitted collars. As dog owners, we’re taught to go through the natural stages of training and bonding with our pups. But rarely will anyone give us the advice we need on how to properly fit accessories for our growing puppies! 

Signs That Your Dog’s Collar is Fitted Too Tightly

  • Itching around their collar
  • Rubbing their collar against your legs or furniture 
  • Hair loss under their collar
  • Red skin or a rash where their collar rubs their neck 
  • Difficulty breathing on walks or running 
  • Slow and visibly difficult eating 
  • Trying to remove their collar with their paws

Tip: If you notice that your dog’s collar is irritating them, don’t just inspect it. Fully remove their collar to check for sand, dirt, or other nasties that might be rubbing against their skin. 

Signs That Your Dog’s Collar is Fitted Too Loosely 

  • Uneven fit around their neck 
  • Their collar moves excessively when they walk and run 
  • Their collar stretches too much when pulled by a lead
  • Your dog can remove their collar with their paws 

Choosing the Best Collar for Your Dog

Step 1: Choose the right size collar for your dog. 

The size of your dog’s collar is the very foundation of a good fit. It’s surprising how many new pet parents don’t take the time to measure their dog properly for a collar and expect to make any collar work for their pup. Your furry friend will not be impressed. 

We recommend following the size guide provided by your favourite dog accessory brand. Relying on the physical size of your dog alone (like matching a medium breed to a medium-sized collar) isn’t always a winning strategy—some pups are all floof! 

Heads-up: Our dog collars are adjustable with FIVE different buckle settings, so you can fine-tune how their dog collar fits once you have their general size. 

How to Fit a Dog Collar: The Easy Two-Finger Test 

The two-finger test is simple: If you can’t easily slide two fingers between your dog’s collar and neck, then their collar is too tight. Time to loosen it a notch and give them some breathing space! 

Likewise, if you can fit more than two fingers under their collar, then their collar has more real estate than it needs. Try tightening their collar one notch—redoing the finger test to ensure you haven’t overtightened it. 

How Often Do I Need To Do the Two-Finger Test?

Do this test every time you kit your fully-grown pooch out in a new collar or notice your dog is irritated by their current collar. 

Help! My Puppy is Growing Out of Their Collar 

Puppies grow like weeds. One month, they’re like a tiny teddy bear, but six months later, they’ve become opinionated teens stubbornly pulling on the lead. But there’s no need to get two or more new dog collars while they’re growing. You can easily adjust the collar to be smaller while they’re a puppy, and gradually loosen the fit as they grow. 

A dog in a Yonder walk set

How Often Should You Be Checking & Adjusting Your Puppy’s Collar?

Check weekly! We also recommend doing the two-finger test after your puppy eats, plays, or when you groom them. Their movement and activity level can affect how their collar is fitted. 

Tip: The more you handle every part of your dog while they’re a puppy (e.g. paws, ears, neck, mouth), the easier it will be to adjust their collar when they’re older. Not teaching your pooch to be comfortable with you touching every part of them can result in a hand-shy dog.  

When Should I Replace My Dog’s Collar? 

Your designer dog collar is made to last, but no dog accessory lives forever. Especially with all the mischief and adventures your pup gets up to. Our recommended reasons for replacing your dog’s collar are:

  • Your bestie’s collar is fundamentally the wrong size
  • Their collar has been worn to death, looks like it, and needs to be retired
  • Your puppy used their collar as a chew toy 
  • Your dog’s collar doesn’t match the rest of their trendy walk set!