9 Different Types of Dog Collars (Most Popular Collar Types)

Last Updated on July, 2024

If you’ve got yourself a new puppy, that means it’s time to go shopping! There are lots of things that you’ll need to raise and train the little guy, and this includes dog collars.

The problem with this is all the different options. When you’re out looking for things to buy, and there are so many things to choose from, it gets a bit confusing. The same goes for dog collars, which are available in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

Purchasing a dog collar isn’t easy, but we’re here to help out. If you’re struggling with all the options out there, this article is for you!

Continue reading to learn all about the most popular different types of dog collars in the market. Also, learn about their important pros and cons.

Quick Summary

Some of the most popular types of dog collars include flat collars, head halters, bark collars, martingale collars, pinch collars, choke collars, shock trainer collars, dog’s neck harness, and smart collars.

It is important to choose the right type of collar for your dog based on their size, behavior, and specific needs, to ensure their safety and well-being.

Different materials, sizes, and shapes of collars make them suitable for various dog breeds.

Listing the Main Different Types of Dog Collars

When it comes to buying a dog collar, it is not easy to decide with all the variety put in front of you. We’ve done some research about all the most popular different types of dog collars out there. So, let’s start discussing them!

1. Flat Collar

Flat Collar for Dogs

One of the most popular types of dog collars out there is flat collars.

The reason why this particular option is so standard is because of how versatile it is.

Thanks to the materials, shape, and different sizes available for them, these fit about any dog with ease.

Regardless of the type of pup in question, the little guy should have no problems wearing a flat collar. Not only is it comfortable, but it’s also safer compared to some other collars out there.

This is why it’s considered the standard collar by many.

You can leave your furry friend alone while he’s wearing it, and he shouldn’t be able to hurt himself with it. But that doesn’t mean you should keep it on all the time. Unfortunately, this is a common mistake that lots of dog owners tend to make.

The dog’s collar is there because you wish to train him or keep him in check during walks. However, if you keep this on the puppy all the time, he’ll get so comfortable that controlling him with a flat collar won’t work.

Additionally, wearing a collar for too long might lead to harmful skin conditions and other issues. As for other details worth noting, this standard collar also comes with a metal ring that’s near the dog’s head.

This ring helps attach tags and a leash around the collar. The Personalized Name Plate Dog Collar from Yellow Dog Design is a recommended option for those interested in this type of collar.

You can cut it apart with a knife to adjust the size, so it suits your dog better. There are all kinds of different options available. So, that shouldn’t be an issue in the first place.

2. Head Halter

Head Halter for Dogs

Another great option is the head halter or head collar, a type of dog collar that goes around your dog’s neck and mouth.

It’s excellent for restraining most types of dogs, as it uses their momentum against them.

If your dog pulls away often, this is an excellent choice for you.

Dogs can’t pull on the leash as the collar uses its force to move in the direction you want them to move. 

After a bit of getting used to it, the halter collar also makes the puppy feel safer while on walks with you.

He’ll give up control and give in to walk where you want to move, stopping him from pulling altogether.

Make sure that the halter isn’t put on too tight. It can be comfortable for the dog as it goes around your dog’s neck and even restrains their mouth. However, it could be painful and cause damage to the dog’s fur around their face as well.

But, these are the only things you have to worry about if the head collar is too tight or if you’re pulling harder than recommended. If you avoid such things and use the collar as intended, it can be one of the best options out there.

Keep in mind that it isn’t a good idea to use head halters on especially aggressive dogs. They’ll pull on the leash and try to bite people as they try to put the head collar on them. A head collar is best suited for smaller and calmer dogs.

One popular option when it comes to this variety of dog collars is the HALTI Optifit Headcollar. This comes with a safety ring that makes it possible to keep control of the dog even if it breaks free of the head collar.

It comes in three sizes which are further adjustable to match the needs of your dog. This headcollar can fit narrow heads and huge ones alike. It also comes with a training guide that makes it easier for the dog and dog owner to work with it.

3. Bark Collars

Bark Collars for Dogs

These dog collars are used for puppies and even some older dogs that tend to bark too much.

They are a more modern option compared to some others mentioned in this guide.

Some dogs like to bark an awful lot, up to the point where it gets annoying for everyone around them.

These collars stop them from doing that. Most bark control collars will use a harmless electric shock to stop the dog from barking.

These will interrupt the dog as he’s about to go off, stopping him from barking altogether. Some collars use vibrations instead of shocks. 

Whenever they sense that the dog is about to bark, the collar will start buzzing. This interrupts the dog and stops the dog from barking.

It can be beneficial to wear at home or in different private places. It keeps the dog quiet and makes sure that they realize that making too much noise is wrong. But, it isn’t recommended in public.

Other dogs barking will trigger the collar, and your poor little puppy will get reprimanded by it. So, it’s recommended that you only use this to get the dog’s attention. Then, make him follow orders when no other dogs are around.

Related: The Difference Between Bark Collar And Training Collar

Check out our best picks of bark collars for dogs.

4. Martingale Collar

Martingale Collar

Martingale collars are an excellent choice for anyone that has a narrow-headed dog.

This includes dog breeds such as greyhounds, harriers, and others.

That’s because the two rings on each end join with an extra ring to form two loops.

One of the ring loops is for the dog’s neck, whereas the other loop is for tightening the neck. This lets you adjust the shape and fitting of the dog’s collar in any way that you want. It also makes it possible for even the most narrow-headed dog breeds to wear this.

The Martingale collar is entirely safe. Thanks to a built-in limitation that makes it impossible for the collar to tighten around the dog’s neck beyond a certain point.

Martingale collars are a must-have if you own a fearful dog or a dog that often likes to retreat towards home. Whenever they try to scamper, the Martingale collar will tighten around them and prevent them from doing so.

The rings are also compatible with any accessories or a leash that you might want to put on Martingale dog collars. It allows your dog to enjoy loose leash walking. There’s no need to tighten the leash since Martingale collars take care of it for you.

If you own an incredibly slippery dog, we recommend the 1.5″ Martingale Collar for Dogs manufactured by If It Barks. These are entirely safe no-choke Martingale collars which make it very easy to keep dogs under control.

Pet owners don’t have anything to worry about pulling while they’re using these. The anti-pull design keeps him in check no matter how hard the dog pulls. They’re pretty comfortable for dogs too, and as a bonus they’re also stylish.

5. Pinch Collars

Pinch Collars for Dogs
Ultra-Plus Prong Dog training collar

Next up is a relatively controversial option on this list that not many people like to use.

Also known as a prong collar, this is great for training dogs.

Again, many trainers want to use these because of how simple and effective they can be.

But, it’s essential to keep in mind that this refers to more challenging training purposes instead of simpler ones like “sit” and “wait.”

Pinch collars are great for aggressive dogs that like to pull on the leash too much.

If a walk with your dog is too difficult because they like to pull away, this might be a good option. These feature many fang-like prongs on them, which is where they get the prong collar name from.

As you might’ve guessed, these pinch the dog’s neck when they pull too much. This is because the collar tightens, and it usually isn’t a hurtful pinch. However, it is uncomfortable, which is sometimes a good thing, as dogs won’t do what makes them feel uneasy.

One important thing to keep in mind is that these are easy to misuse. Make sure to do more research about the specific pinch collar you’re using so you use it correctly. Buy the one most suitable for your dog’s neck size to ensure the dogs aren’t hurt.

Another great option when it comes to these is the Ultra-Plus Prong Dog training collar. This is manufactured by Herm SPRENGER in Germany and features individual prong links.

These can be removed or added at will to tighten or loosen the collar for your dog’s neck. Because of this, you can use this specific option on any dog, no matter how big or small they might be.

6. Choke Collars

Choke Collars for Dogs

Speaking of controversial dog collar types, it doesn’t get much hotter than a choke collar.

These tight little things are also called choke chains.

That’s because they choke the dog wearing them if they pull too much.

Choke collars are wholly comfortable and loose, while both pet owners and their dogs are relaxed.

But, the second the dog gets too excited and starts to pull, the choke chain starts to do its thing.

A choke chain is an option for those that prefer force-based dog training, which is highly unethical. In addition, these choke chains cause nerve damage, neck sprains, and other pain to pups. They can even damage the dog’s trachea. 

In some cases, a choke chain could even end up being fatal. However, dogs are living beings like us, and under no circumstances should they be hurt. 

As there are so many more humane, ethical, less-painful, and more effective options out there, we recommend trying out something other than choke chains. Any of the other options listed here are great alternatives.

Still if you’re considering to train your dog with choke collar, here’s a complete guide to how to use them!

7. Shock Trainer Collar

Shock Trainer Collar for Dogs

Out of all the different types of collars out there, shock collars are something that most are no doubt familiar with.

These deliver a static shock to the dog at will and are great for training purposes. 

Many pet owners dislike them because they think the shock collar hurts dogs, but this isn’t true.

In the modern-day and age, electricity is nothing too difficult for us to control.

If you want an example, look at how you’re reading this article through any device. 

If we can manage something like that, shock collars aren’t technical marvels anymore. That’s why it doesn’t come as a surprise that you can control the intensity of the shock these collars deliver. 

Attach them to your dog’s neck and use the remote. This remote lets you control when the shock is delivered along with the intensity it has. The safest settings feel like a sudden vibration, which is why these are also called vibrating dog collars.

Adjust these settings according to the breed of your dog. Each specific breed has its capabilities and durability. That’s why it’s essential to know more about your particular dog, so you don’t overdo or underdo the shock.

All in all, getting your hands on a great shock collar is no easy task. There are many factors to take into consideration, and lots of different options to choose from. We’ve got your back though!

8. Dog’s Neck Harness

Dogs Neck Harness

Some people don’t know this but harnesses also count as dog collars.

Not only that, they’re some of the best ones out there, thanks to how secure they can be.

Instead of putting the tension on the head or neck, this handy little tool focuses on the entire body.

This provides a comfortable balance that allows dogs to walk without any worry.

Harnesses are available in many shapes and sizes. This makes them great for large dogs and small dogs alike. Short-nosed dogs such as pugs are especially fond of this option because of the lack of pressure on their neck.

Harnesses come in two varieties, which are the front-clip and the back-clip harness. Front-clip harnesses have a holder for the leash on the dog’s chest, whereas back-clip ones have it on their back. 

Nowadays, most of the popular options have a clip-on on both the front and the back. This lets you choose whichever works best for you and your dog.

When it comes to harnesses, an option we recommend taking a look at is the Step-in Air dog harness from Voyager.

It’s made out of durable and breathable mesh, which is comfortable to wear during any time of the year. In addition, the vest-like design makes it very easy for the dog to wear or remove. 

There’s nothing to worry about, though, as it won’t be able to do so without your help. There are safety locks, a leash securing buckle, and other procedures.

These all work together to ensure that your dog stays safe. It’s also available in many sizes and colors, letting you get the perfect fit for your dog.

9. Smart Collars

Smart Collars for Dogs

This next option here is much different compared to your dog’s regular collar.

They’re a very modern take on the old tool, which is actually why they are smart collars. 

These look like regular old collars on the surface, but they’re loaded with all kinds of features inside.

They have standard features such as a holder for the leash and advanced ones like a GPS fitted inside.

This lets you keep track of your dog at all times.

There are also features in these collars that help identify the dog’s behavior. These inform you of any changes that are worth taking note of. However, they aren’t especially suited to any specific dogs.

They can be used with pretty much any breed regardless of how calm or aggressive. The only thing to keep in mind is that the size and shape must be comfortable for them.

Most smart collars are great for any dog trainer, thanks to the different features they have. This includes training and behavioral correction modes. An example of a tremendous smart collar loaded with features is Dr. Trainer’s Dog Collar with APP Control. 

This collar can be completely tailored according to your dog’s needs. There are modes for training, walking, and other situations. It also comes with a shock feature and other behavioral correction tools.

It is compatible with smartphones, making the collar easy to use. It also gives you a report about your dog’s condition. For example, you can see how it’s been doing recently during exercises and training.

From what we’ve seen, Dr. Trainer’s dog collar with APP control has been very durable and long-lasting. It’s IP68 waterproof and has a sturdy design. Dog owners can let their dogs wear this without having to worry about the safety of the dog or the collar.

Check out our best picks of smart collars for dogs.


That’s a wrap for all the things you need to know about some of the most popular dog collar types out there! As you can see, there are many options out there, and all of them are tempting in their way.

We’ve shared some important details about all of them in the guide above. All these details come from extensive research, so you can relax and follow them.

Now it’s up to you to pick which one suits your furry friend most. No one knows your dog better than you, so make sure to get the one that’ll work best for them!

A good collar can do wonders for their attitude and well-being. This is exactly why choosing the right is a huge deal.


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Thomas Villalpando
Thomas Villalpando is the main author of Dogs Academy. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. He has been featured in MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Sun, Entrepreneur & More. You can find more about him here.

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