10 Best Martingale Dog Collars for Your Big and Small Dogs

If you find your dog pulling on the leash, you may understandably be resistant to using choke chains or shock collars.

There is an alternative, though, and it comes in the form of the martingale collar.

Dog wearing martingale collar laying on grass

What is a Martingale Collar?

Martingale collars come in many names including limited-slip collars and no-slip collars.

Originally developed for use with greyhounds and sighthounds, these collars offer you more control over your dog without the choking effect a slip collar brings about when your dog pulls on the leash.

Why are Martingale Collars Better?

These collars are made with a pair of loops. You pop the larger of these loops over your dog’s neck and then clip a leash to the small loop. This small loop is typically made of nylon or stainless steel. Tension causes the small loop to tighten, preventing your dog from slipping his leash reliably and humanely.

Where choke chains have no limit on how tightly they can constrict your dog, a martingale collar tightens to a much lesser degree. 

Perfect for all slim-headed breeds, and also for any breed prone to backing out of a regular collar, martingale collars are not designed as a walking aid for dogs that constantly pull. If this issue is cropping up when you walk your dog, you may want to explore some loose-leash dog walking skills. [1]

Can you leave a Martingale Collar on all the time?

So, is it safe for your dog to leave on its Martingale collar? As a general rural you should always supervise your dog when he’s wearing one of these collars, similar to many dog collars.

The issue with these collars is the way they tighten. If your furball is left to his own devices, he could get snarled up with the martingale collar becoming a choking hazard rather than a training aid.

Since it’s a smart move to keep ID tags attached to your dog at all times, you could consider using a tag collar or a narrower collar with a buckle when you’re out at work and Rover is home alone.

If you’re impatient for the main event, here is a snapshot of our favorite half-dozen martingales.

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Products & FeaturesImage & Price

Best Overall: NICKYLAB Martingale Dog Collar

  • Affordable and effective
  • Plenty of space for ID tags
  • Quick-release buckle

Best Price/Performance Ratio: Country Brook Petz Collar

  • Soft but long-lasting collar
  • Stitching strongly reinforced
  • Great for larger breeds

Best For Small Dog: Blueberry Pet Martingale Dog Collar

  • Durable nylon build
  • Perfect solution for smaller dogs
  • Attractive design

Best Martingale Collar For Strong Dog: Max and Neo Stainless Steel Collar

  • Great for nighttime visibility
  • Long-lasting collar
  • Dog-friendly brand

Best For Nighttime Use:Max and Neo Martingale Collar

  • One of the most reflective collars
  • Wide of choice of sizes
  • Highly adjustable collar

Best For Good Looks: SGang Handmade Martingale Collar

  • Handmade collar
  • Supportive and secure
  • Tightly put-together

Top 10 Martingale Dog Collars

1)Best Overall: NICKYLAB Martingale Dog Collar Set (4.5 out of 5 Stars)

Features

  • Material: Nylon
  • Neck size: 16 to 19 inches
  • Dimensions: 11.22 x 3.27 x 1.54 inches 

For anyone looking for a great training collar for larger dogs, NICKLAB serves up this martingale collar that comes with a leash bundled giving you great value in an attractive presentation box, making this a great gift for any dog lover in your life.

The buckle enclosure lets you snap this collar on and off in a flash. The extra security offered by this martingale collar makes for seamless walking with as little pulling as possible. The best thing? You won’t need to veer into choke chain territory to achieve this.

This collar is only available in large and extra-large, but the highly adjustable nature makes it a neat fit for most breeds.

Stash your doggie treats or poop bags on the D-ring built-in. There is an extra triangular D-ring you can use for ID tags, too.

Things We Liked

  • Impressive build quality
  • User-friendly quick-release buckle
  • Leash included

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Some snags were reported with buckle

2)Best Price/Performance Ratio: Country Brook Petz (4 out of 5 Stars)

Features

  • Material: Nylon
  • Neck size: 23 to 31 inches
  • Dimensions: 3.74 x 2.4 x 0.94 inches 

Country Brook Petz make some cheap and cheerful dog collars that don’t force you to compromise in terms of build quality. Aside from some snags with the color fading, this martingale collar is consistently well-reviewed and comes in a wide choice of color schemes to suit your pooch.

Despite the bargain basement pricing, the traditional weak points of stitching and closure are eliminated with this long-lasting collar that only applies pressure when your dog pulls on his leash.

The no-slip design of this collar makes it a superb addition to your training arsenal, but a poor choice for tie-outs or unsupervised play.

Things We Liked

  • A broad spread of colorways
  • Reinforced stitching at pressure points
  • Soft but durable nylon

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Not color-fast

3)Best For Small Dogs: Blueberry Pet Martingale Dog Collar (4 out of 5 Stars)

Features

  • Material: Polyester
  • Neck size: 12 to 16 inches
  • Dimensions: 6.38 x 2.91 x 0.87 inches 

For pet owner with petite furballs in need of some guidance to correct pulling on the leash, these dainty martingale collars from Blueberry Pet inject fun into walkies while providing you with more control over your dog.

This small 5/8-inch collar is intended for smaller breeds. When you’re measuring up, you should select a collar you can easily slip over your dog’s head without pulling his fur and ears.

A dense polyester webbing gives this collar the ability to stand up to some serious punishment, ideal if you have an energetic smaller dog.

Stick to using this collar outdoors and with a leash and you’ll find you can stop your furball from yanking you all over the park.

Things We Liked

  • Playful designs
  • For outdoor training
  • Slider streamlines aesthetics

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Not for use without a leash

4)Best For a Strong Dog: Max and Neo Stainless Steel Collar (4 out of 5 Stars)

Features

  • Material: Nylon and stainless steel
  • Neck size: 16 to 19 inches
  • Dimensions: 7.01 x 3.11 x 0.98 inches 

Max and Neo is a brand with a conscience, so you’ll be indirectly helping out rescue dogs if you buy one of these martingale training collars.

While some manufacturers throw in a couple of reflective threads and claim the collar is ideal for nighttime use, Max and Neo feature a broad band of reflective material through the stitching giving you the confidence to roam with Fido after dark.

There are multiple striking colorways and a selection of 5 sizes to ensure a snug fit for whatever breed you’re looking to train.  This nylon and stainless steel collar is perfect for strong dogs like Pitbull’s.

As with all the best martingale collars, this will only tighten when your dog starts to pull rather than applying continuous pressure. For humane but effective training outdoors and on a leash, this martingale is well worth popping on your shortlist.

Lightweight and with an enviable selection of colors and sizes, this is one of the best martingale collars out there, even though it’s one of the cheapest.

Things We Liked

  • Outstanding durability
  • Multiple colors and sizes
  • Highly reflective collar

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Quite bulky

5)Best For Nighttime Use: Max and Neo Martingale Collar (4 out of 5 Stars)

Features

  • Material: Nylon
  • Neck size: 13.5 to 18.5 inches
  • Dimensions: 4.72 x 1.97 x 1.77 inches 

Max and Neo have a deep bench of dog collars including this fine example of a martingale. This brand gives a dog collar to a dog rescue home for every collar they sell, so you’ll be paying it forward if you invest in this nifty training aid.

You’re spoiled for choice with colorings and sizes, with this collar ideal for medium breeds with necks up to 18.5 inches around. If this doesn’t sound like the right fit, you have many bigger and smaller collars to choose from. Each is highly adjustable, too.

Loaded with reflective stitching to make sure your dog stays seen in dark conditions. The reflective material comes in wide bands to more easily pick up light from flashlights. This stitching is also robustly reinforced for increased lifespan.

Things We Liked

  • Wide range of sizes
  • Easy to fit and remove
  • Rugged build and decent lifespan

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Some issues with latch reported

6)Best For Good Looks: SGang Handmade Martingale Collar (3 out of 5 Stars)

Features

  • Material: Metal
  • Neck size: 14 to 18 inches
  • Dimensions: 5.7 x 2.6 x 0.5 inches 

Last but by no means least in our collection of the best martingale collars comes this handmade example from SGang.

While martingale collars were first developed for use with sighthounds and greyhounds, they also work well with many other breeds, offering you control without causing your pup any discomfort like you would using a choke chain.

Just slip the larger loop of this collar onto your dog’s neck and then attach a leash to the other small loop. If your dog starts pulling, the tension created causes this smaller loop to tighten, and this should be enough to dissuade Fido from pulling.

As long as you fit this collar properly, it will be super-comfortable until your dog pulls on the leash, and then the discomfort induced is mild and not painful. It’s worth adding that you should always incorporate plenty of positive reinforcement when you’re training your pup.

Things We Liked

  • Eye-catching design
  • Durable welded hardware
  • Comfy for your dog

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Reasonably pricey

7) Best Budget: Hyhug Martingale Collar (3 out of 5 Stars)

Features

  • Material: Nylon
  • Neck size: 13.5 to 18.5 inches
  • Dimensions: 4.72 x 1.97 x 1.77 inches 

This classic martingale collar comes in a handful of bright colors to suit the temperament of your pooch and you also have a clutch of sizes, with this collar sitting in the middle of the line.

The manufacturer puts a disclaimer in place concerning the accuracy of the colors, and this is backed up with a handful of negative reviews from users claiming the colors come out quite differently.

There is no clasp on this martingale collar. Despite Hyhug’s suggestion, you can use this as a daily collar, we feel it’s much better for training purposes.

The majority of users sing the praises of this collar, but we found some grips about issues with German shepherds and other mutts with ears that perk up. Slip-on collars don’t tend to work as well when dogs have ears like a GSD, and this collar is not as stretchy as the manufacturer claims. We also found a few isolated complaints about feisty dogs slipping out of this collar.

Things We Liked

  • Smooth but strongly reinforced joints
  • Strong enough for boisterous breeds
  • Machine washable

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Not great for dogs with ears that stand up

8) Best for Simplicity: PetSafe Martingale Collar (3 out of 5 Stars)

Features

  • Material: Nylon
  • Neck size: 14 to 20 inches
  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 0.75 x 1.38 inches 

PetSafe is a brand that needs no introduction, and this simple but highly effective martingale collar gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Buying dog collars is a minefield. Some cause matting while other trigger bald spots. Choke collars are not to everyone’s liking and many regular collars allow dogs with a Houdini streak to escape. The simple design of this martingale collar gives you complete control without causing your dog undue discomfort.

Whether you use this training collar with a leash or using your hand to guide Rover, you’ll find you get less pulling and a stress-free experience.

Things We Liked

  • Impeccable brand heritage
  • Backed by trainer and vets
  • Adjustable fit great for growing puppies

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Not recommended for group play

9) Best For Those Looking For Color: Country Brook (3 out of 5 Stars)

Features

  • Material: Nylon, plastic, steel
  • Neck size: 15 to 21 inches
  • Dimensions: 4.6 x 1.65 x 1.85 inches 

Another entry from Country Brook Petz up next with this hardwearing martingale collar that comes with a double-handled leash thrown in.

As long as your pooch has a neck size between 15 and 21 inches in circumference, this medium 1-inch collar will make a good fit. You can adjust it so it fits loosely in place and then tightens if your dog starts pulling where he shouldn’t.

17 striking colors allow you to match your dog’s collar with his temperament, and all the collars come in solid colorways with robust metal clasps.

Box stitching adds a valuable extra layer of reinforcement, although we did encounter a few complaints about disappointing lifespan.

Things We Liked

  • Leash and collar included
  • US-made from rugged nylon
  • Durable metal hardware

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Some fraying reported

10) Also Good For Small Dogs: Blueberry Reflective Martingale Dog Collar (3 out of 5 Stars)

Features

  • Material: Polyester
  • Neck size: 12 to 16 inches
  • Dimensions: 5.98 x 3.39 x 0.94 inches 

Blueberry delivers another attractive and effective martingale collar.

The key selling point here is the way this collar allows your hound to stay visible at a distance at night.  3M reflective threads are easily picked out by car headlights or wandering flashlights.

Although the buckle on this collar is plastic, it’s well put together and shouldn’t come apart in your hands.

Sizing is limited to just 3 options, including this small collar ideal for dinky dogs.

The vibrant colors are subtly patterned and make a nice alternative to the multitude of plain collars glutting this space.

Gain more control with less slipping and no choking using this excellent martingale collar, even if it’s not the cheapest option at your disposal.

Things We Liked

  • Highly visible at night thanks to 3M threads
  • Double D-ring
  • Long-lasting buckle closure

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Leash and harness sold separately
[1] https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/behavior/teach-your-dog-walk-loose-leash

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