What Size Collar For a Puppy? Ultimate Guide

When you first get a puppy, one of the first things you think about is its collar. A collar is a very important aspect of owning a dog. Collars hold their identification and are required by law. 

You always want to make sure that the collar you get for your puppy is fitted properly. To do that, you’ll need to understand how to properly fit your puppy with a new collar.

So, what size collar for a puppy is best? It depends on a few factors, such as breed, weight, and neck size. However, most puppies will need a collar under 18”. 

What Size Collar For a Puppy? How to Know What Size to Get

Several factors go into determining the proper size collar for your puppy. These factors include:

  • Your puppy’s breed
  • Your puppy’s neck size
  • Your puppy’s weight

When we consider each of these aspects, we get a better picture of what size collar for a puppy is right. The truth is that all puppies are going to be a little different, so you can’t just grab the first collar you see in the pet store. 

Consider the Breed

What Size Collar is Best for a Puppy
Consider the breed of the puppy to find the right collar

The first thing to do is consider the breed of the puppy. Each breed will have its own characteristics that will aid in choosing the right collar. 

For example, a Beagle puppy is going to have a smaller neck size and weigh less than a Great Dane puppy

A Yorkshire Terrier is going to have one of the smallest neck sizes at around 6” or less. A rottweiler, however, will have one of the largest neck sizes at over 28”.

So, if you’re wondering what size collar for a puppy is best, consider the breed first. This is a great starting point in determining the size you’ll need. The breed will give insight into how large the dog is and how large it will become. 

However, there are still a few other elements you can look at before deciding on a collar size for your puppy. 

Read More: Have a small dog? Check out the 12 best bark collars for small dogs! These are great for behavioral training purposes.

Use a Tape Measure

Sometimes you may not know the breed of your dog. When we get puppies that are a mixed breed, it can be difficult to determine how large they’ll actually grow. Whether you know your puppy’s breed or not, you should use a tape measure to make sure you’re getting the right size. 

Make sure the tape measure is soft and flexible to get an accurate size and ensure that your puppy is comfortable. You can then measure around its neck. Leave a little slack in the tape measure to account for comfort and future growth. 

If you use a tape measure, you’ll see exactly how big your puppy’s neck size is. This information will help you get a corresponding collar of the same size. 

What Size Should I Get?

Once we’ve checked what breed our puppy is and have measured its neck, it’s time to decide on a collar – but what size collar for a puppy should you get?

Consider the following recommendations for collar sizes based on weight:

  • Extra-Small Dogs: Extra Small dogs are dogs that weigh under 10 pounds. These dogs will generally need a collar around 6 inches up to 12 inches. 
  • Small Dogs: Small dogs are dogs that weigh up to 25 pounds. These dogs will need a collar around 10 to 14 inches. 
  • Medium Dogs: Medium dogs weigh up to 55 pounds. They’ll need a collar between 14 and 20 inches. 
  • Large Dogs: Large dogs weigh up to 75 pounds. These dogs will need a collar between 16 and 26 inches. 
  • Extra-Large Dogs: Extra-large dogs weigh upward of 76 pounds. These dogs will need much larger collars of around 24 to 30 inches. 

Keep in mind that there’s some overlap in collar sizes. This is why we recommend also using a tape measure to get a more accurate measurement. This will avoid getting a collar that’s slightly too big or small for your puppy. 

Once you have your collar for your puppy, it’s time to put it on. You don’t want to put it on too tight, so make sure you can comfortably fit two fingers beneath it. This will ensure it’s comfortable while not being at risk of falling off. 

What Types of Collars Are Available?

The most classic type of collar is a leather collar

The most classic type of collar is a leather collar, but nowadays collars come in a huge variety. For example, you can get collars made from rubber, nylon, and other types of fabric. 

You should aim to get something that’s sturdy and comfortable. However, it’s important to remember that your puppy will outgrow its first collar, so it’s best to not get an expensive material. 

Read More: Leather collars are classics, and we reviewed the 15 best leather dog collars in a complete guide! Be sure to check it out!

When to Get Your Puppy a Collar

Aside from wondering what size collar for a puppy is right, one of the first questions we usually ask ourselves is when we should get a collar. It may seem that they don’t need one right away, but it’s actually the perfect time to get one for them. 

The best time to get your puppy a collar is around 10 weeks. You want to get your puppy used to a collar as soon as you can, and if you do this at about 10 weeks, it’s ideal.

Before 10 weeks, your puppy is too small and unlikely to leave the house. However, by 12 weeks they’ll be large enough to be curious and playful. Therefore, giving them two weeks to get used to the collar is important. 

If a puppy goes too long without a collar, it can become much more difficult to fit them for one. When you train your puppy to wear a collar, it’s easier because they’re younger. However, the older they get the more resistant they’ll become to strange objects hanging around their necks!

The best time to fit your puppy for a new collar is as soon as they come home. It may seem quick, but it pays off in the long run. If you wait, you may find that they don’t want to put a collar around their neck. If you start sooner, your pet will see it as normal and something that’s always been a part of their life. 

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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