dog collar material white dog sitting on couch wearing studded red dog collar

This Is How to Choose the Best Dog Collar Material

July 6, 2022

If you are one of the 48 million people who own a dog, you know they are considered family members. You would do anything for their happiness and well-being.

Choosing the correct collar for their breed, temperament, and size is part of keeping them content and healthy. The right dog collar will keep your furry friend comfortable and safe.

Dog collars come in many styles and materials. You want to find a material that is comfortable and easy to care for, like leather.

Ultimately, the type of collar you choose depends on your preference and your dog’s needs.

If the world of dog collars is feeling overwhelming, we’re here to help. Our guide covers the different dog collar material choices you have so you can pick the perfect one for your best friend.

Purpose of a Dog Collar

A dog collar is more than just a fun accessory. A collar serves several essential roles in the safety of your dog.


When you leave the house, the first things you grab are probably your phone and ID. A dog collar acts similarly to the form of ID you carry everywhere. Should your dog escape, the tags on the dog collar will help bring them back home.

Most dogs will have the following tags on their collar:

Your dog should wear a collar with tags whenever they are outside of your house. Even in your backyard, a dog must have its collar on in case something causes them to run off.


A collar is a safety tool for a dog. It can protect your dog and yourself from tricky situations.

Your leash will clip right into the ring on the dog collar. You can walk your dog safely and be in control around other people and dogs.

Training Tool

Dog collars are a beneficial tool when your pup is learning the ropes. Dogs of any size, age, or breed will need to know at the very least how to walk on a leash. The right type of collar will help aid this training until they have perfected the skill.

Make sure you choose a collar durable enough for a lot of use. You also want one that is very comfortable and easy for a dog to wear.

How to Choose a Dog Collar

Choosing the best collar for your dog depends on the breed, skills, and temperament. If your dog is still learning basic skills, he may need a collar to help aid with training. A dog who bolts will have different collar needs than one who stays put.

Although there are many kinds you can choose from, below are some of the most popular dog collar choices.

Flat Collar

This collar is a very standard kind that many dogs wear. It consists of either a quick-release or a standard buckle, a ring for the tags and collar, and a flat strap section that goes around your dog’s neck.

If you choose this collar, make sure it isn’t too tight. You should be able to fit one or two fingers under the collar when it is on your dog.

There are some benefits to choosing a flat dog collar for your pup.

  • different colors and patterns
  • easily adjustable
  • easy to attach tags and a leash
  • it is comfortable and your dog don’t mind wearing it

If you go with a flat collar, ensure your dog knows how to walk on a leash next to you. If they aren’t great at this skill, they can pull the collar and put pressure on the neck.

It’s good practice to take the collar off when your dog is alone. You don’t want your collar to become a choking hazard if a freak accident occurs.

Martingale Collar

Another popular collar type is the martingale collar. You used to find these collars on Greyhounds, but recently they have been a popular choice for many dog types. The purpose of a martingale collar is to keep the dog on a leash without choking or causing damage to the neck if pulling while on-leash is an issue.

These collars look like a flat collar but with an extra loop of fabric by the D-ring connector. If a dog pulls on a leash and tries to escape, the leash tightens the small loop.

This collar keeps your dog from slipping out of its collar by tightening when it pulls, especially if he or she tries to back up. The tightening should never be too intense, just enough so they can’t wiggle out.

It’s important to understand that these collars are not choking collars. If you fit them to your dog the correct way, they will never choke your dog. Unlike an actual choke collar, there is a limit to how tight this collar can get when the collar is properly fitted.

You can find a martingale collar in many widths. Most dogs tolerate a one-inch width the best. Before buying this collar, you need to measure your dog’s head to ensure it is the correct size.

Only use a martingale collar on a dog who already knows how to walk without pulling. Also, only use this collar for walks and please remove promptly, as you don’t want it getting caught on things in the home.

Types of Dog Collar Materials

Once you’ve figured out what type of dog collar you want to buy, you have to nail down the material you want. Don’t skimp on the quality when deciding on the dog collar materials you want for your pup.

You’ll find dog collars in many materials, but here are some of the most common you’ll see.

Leather Dog Collar

Leather is one dog collar option that you can’t beat. It may be a more expensive option, but the benefits of leather dog collars make the cost worth it.

Dog collars made from leather will last the longest of any collar. The oil from your dog’s skin will soften the leather over time, so the collar will look more worn in and better as it ages.

Leather is an nataural choice that will keep your furry friend cool and comfortable. Vegetable Tanned Leather is a natural material is also great for dogs with sensitive skin.

You can’t beat the look of leather. There are many types of leathers that can be used for collar and leathes that are offered in numerous patterns and colors, making your options even more interesting.

Leather is a safer collar and leash choice because it is easier to grip. This is very useful if you need to hold onto the collar or leash with a gloved hand in winter!

If your dog loves the water, you’ll want a leather collar. This material is waterproof and won’t get damaged as they splash around. However, we recommend removing your leather collar while swimming in chlorine or salt water.

Nylon Dog Collar

If you’ve ever wandered into a big box pet store, you may have seen the rows of bright and colorful dog colors there. These dog collars are usually made from nylon or polypropylene.

These collars are popular for puppies as they are light and can withstand chewing. They do well in the water for dogs who like to swim.

Both nylon and polypropylene collars come in any color or pattern you can think of.  But, before you buy, know that there are differences between these two types of synthetic materials.

Polypropylene is the more affordable of these two materials. It has moderate strength, low stretch, and fair UV resistance. It is especiallly interesting to water dog owners because of its ability to float! The next time you go to the beach and your pup’s leash slips from your hands, no need to worry…simply retrieve the leash as it floats on the top of the waves.

But, be aware that, because of polypropylene’s limited ability to stretch, it’s fibers will break down faster than nylon as the fibers wear.  At this point, the collar may snag on the pup’s fur, causing skin irritations and itchiness, and the leash will begin to feel rough in your hands. But, they may still be the correct choice for your needs: These leashes are easily replaced because they are very affordable and easily recycled.

Nylon is another great synthetic option for dog collars and leashes. Nylon is very strong, has the ability to stretch moderately, making it a little resilient if your dog lunges, has good UV resistance, and, because of its ability to stretch and not break the fibers, remains soft and comfortable for years. It may be more expensive than polypropylene, but it is a leash that you will be able to count on for many, many years.

Rope Dog Collar

The first thing that may come to your mind when you hear of a rope collar is what you’d use on a farm. Rope collars are, in fact, another popular choice for dogs.

A rope collar is durable, looks great, and doesn’t break the bank. These collars are soft on your dog’s neck. They are a great choice if your dog is a breed that has thin hair.

The thick rope on a rope collar is solid but secure. Collars made from this material can keep your dog safe while still being comfortable.

A collar made from a rope is good for the earth. The cotton the rope is made out of is biodegradable.

Dog Collars and Dog Leashes

Once you’ve decided on a collar, you’ll need to find a leash to go with it. Many styles of collars have leashes that are made specifically to work with them.

Flat Leash

Like your basic flat collar, there is also a basic flat leash. This is the tried and true leash, usually around four to eight feet long with a clip at the end for the collar. You can find flat leashes in leather, rope, or nylon or other synthetic material.

If you choose a flat leash, ensure you get the right thickness for your dog. You don’t want too much length on the leash, or it will be hard for you to control your dog. A four-foot leash is a perfect choice to start with as a dog begins learning the walking skill.

Slip Leash

A slip leash has a loop at the end that goes over your dog’s head and sits at the neck. Slip leashes don’t have a buckle or clip but rather create a lasso shape that your dog’s head will go through.

The ring at the back of the loop must rest at the top of your dog’s neck, right behind their ears. Any farther down, and it may cause your dog to want to pull.

This kind of leash will help you when you are training your dog. If your dog has a smaller head than neck, this may not be the best choice for you. You don’t want this leash coming off in the middle of a walk.

Martingale Leash

This kind of leash functions like a slip leash as it is both a collar and a leash. The difference is that the martingale leash is more adjustable than a slip leash.

Choose a martingale leash if your dog does have a smaller head or is prone to bolting. If they do try to get out of the collar, it will tighten and keep them from running away.

Why Leather Is the Number One Dog Collar Material

People have been using leather for dog collars for thousands of years. As the old saying goes, why fix it if it’s not broken? Leather is breathable, soft, and lasts a lifetime.

Although you’ll be paying more upfront, your leather collar should last your dog’s life. The patina on the leather will age with your dog and result in a classic look that never goes out of style.

You can choose a leather collar with no dye or find a leather collar dyed almost any color under the sun. Many leather collars come with embellishments, so you can find a style that makes it your own.

Caring for Your Leather Dog Collar

Keeping your dog’s leather collar clean will keep it looking and smelling great. Cleaning your leather dog collar couldn’t be more simple.

You’ll start by wiping any dirt or mud off with a damp cloth. If it is a colored leather and there are stains, use a minimal amount of clear dish soap on a soft-bristled brush to scrub them out.

Dampen another clean cloth and wipe away the soap leftover from the cleaning. Using a dry cloth, buff the face of the collar.

If you want, you can treat your leather collar with a leather conditioner after it has dried. If you do this step, buff it once more until it shines.

For a Long-Lasting Classic Dog Collar, Choose Leather

Soft, natural, and rugged leather is the undisputed top choice dog collar material to pick. When you choose to put a leather collar on your furry pal, you’ll know that you’ve kept their best interests at heart.

Auburn Leathercrafters has options you can trust if you are looking for a high-quality leather collar for your dog. Check out our selection today to find a collar you and your dog will love.



  1. Doodle Couture on August 4, 2022 at 11:18 am

    Great piece of writing with immensely informative contents! I really liked the writing style and the whole process of the story building. Waiting for more posts! Cheers!!

    • Anita Dungey on August 4, 2022 at 11:05 pm


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