How Tight Should A Dog Collar Be? (Ultimate Guide of 2023)

How Tight Should A Dog Collar Be

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There have been a lot of incidents when a dog has slipped from the owner’s collar or has choked to death due to a too-tight collar. Then, how tight should a dog collar be?

Since there is no general size for a dog collar because of the breed-to-breed difference, you need a way to know the right collar size.

Therefore, I have created a short guide on how to take measurements for a dog collar. Plus, if you find it time-consuming, you simply go for the two-finger rule suggested by vets worldwide.

Then, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into the details!

So, How Tight Should a Dog Collar Be?

Even though the collar size varies from breed to breed and the dog’s fur coat, a general neck size cannot be formed for all dogs. Nonetheless, here are a few through you can determine how tight a dog collar should be. 

How Tight Should A Dog Collar Be

Let’s read further to know the ways in which you can determine a proper size for your dog’s collar and avoid wearing it tight.

Measure the Size Right with The Two-Finger Rule

If you prefer buying dog collars online, you can stick to their size chart for reference to get the right size for your dog. 

Dog Collar Guide

However, the accuracy of the size can still be doubtful. Therefore, vets worldwide suggest the two-finger rule to help owners get the right size collars for their dogs.

Here’s how you can determine the two-finger rule:

1. When two of your fingers slide into the collar, the collar is fixed perfectly, which will not be too tight or loose.

2. If you struggle to slide your fingers beneath the collar, you’ve fixed the collar too tightly on your dog’s neck.

3. If your fingers are not touching the collar and your dog’s neck, you can consider the collar too loose that it might fall off anytime.

Note: for small dogs, one finger is enough, and for big ones, you should use three fingers to imply this rule.

How To Take Measurements For A Dog Collar?

In order to put the collar on your dog’s neck without making it too tight and choking your dog, the best option would be to take measurements. It will also help you buy the right size collar the next time you buy one, online or offline. 

Refer to the following steps to get the right measurements:

Dog Collar Size Guide

1. Take measurements of your dog’s current collar

Measuring the previous collar your dog is wearing is one of the simplest ways to determine the correct collar size. 

Only if it is comfortable can it function. If not, you might need to improvise by adjusting the size by adding or taking away inches depending on how tight or loose it’s sitting on your dog’s neck

2. Use a Measuring tape

A flexible measuring tape is the main tool you need. Take an adjustable measuring tape that is typically used for clothing or bedding.

Please avoid using the metal ones, as you risk hurting the dogs’ necks. This is because dogs may become impulsive occasionally, and using metal ones can hurt them. 

Therefore, it is preferable to use lightweight plastic tape that won’t injure the innocent animal to complete your task.

How to Tight Dog Collar

3. Measure the dog’s lower neck size

Next, you need to know where you should measure exactly to measure your dog’s neck. The answer is you need to measure the area around your dog’s lower neck to take the right size for a collar. 

Wrap the collar around the lower neck and take note of the measurements of the intersected part of the tape.

4. Take reference from the manufacturer’s size chart

If you are a beginner, a size chart will help you better. That being said, when you buy a collar, you will find a size chart provided by the manufacturer either on a brochure or on the website if you bought it online. 

Therefore, you can compare your dog’s measured neck size with the chart and get the right fitting dog collar for your dog.

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Wrapping Up!

As a dog collar is a daily accessory of a dog, it is necessary to know how tight should a dog collar be before putting it on your dog’s neck.

Tying the collar too tightly can cause discomfort, and your dog might end up choking and coughing.

So, it’s better to find the perfect size for a dog collar with the help of a size chart and the infamous two-finger rule.


How would I know if my dog’s neck collar is too tight?

You can consider it too tight if you can’t slide a finger through your dog’s neck collar.

How should a dog collar be? Tight or loose?

 A dog collar should have a distance of two fingers from the dog’s skin, then you can consider your dog’s collar as a perfect fit.

How often should you wash a dog collar?

To save your dog from getting skin irritation and infections, you should wear your dog’s collar at least once a month.

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