Best Martingale Collars

Almost all dog walkers and trainers use and recommend martingale collars because they are the most versatile, safe and simple dog walking and correction solution you will find. Though there are a few different types and materials to choose from, the end result is the same, controlled, escape proof walking.

In our many years walking and training dogs in shelters, we have used a wide range of martingale collars extensively. We discovered that a few stand above the rest in durability, ease of use and effectiveness.

Product Details

Winner

Featured Best Martingale Collar 2019

RUFFWEAR - Chain Reaction

  • Smart Functional Design
  • Light, Strong, Soft & Easily Adjustable
  • Comfortable Enough For Full Time Wear

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Runner Up

Featured Runner Up Martingale Collar 2019

Mighty Paw Nylon Martingale

  • Heavy-duty Weatherproof Nylon
  • Easy To Use Snap Buckle Clip
  • Second D-ring For Regular Collar Use

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Best On A Budget

Featured Most Affordable Martingale Collar

Country Brook Heavyduty Martingale

  • 100% Durable Nylon
  • huge Color Selection
  • Simple, Straightforward Slipover Martingale

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Best Wide

Featured Best Wide Martingale Collar

CollarDirect Martingale

  • Wide 1 1/2 Inch Collar Width
  • Strong Attachments & Slip Rings
  • Three Colorful & Fashionable Designs

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Best Leather

Featured Best Leather Martingale

Mighty Paw Leather Martingale

  • 100% Genuine Soft Leather
  • Easy To Adjust And Secure Buckle
  • Stylish Leather And Stainless Steel Design

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Finding the Best Martingale Collar for Your Dog?

The best martingale collar will keep your dog safe, help you reach your training goals, and give both of you pleasant walks and training sessions. Martingale collars are equally effective at preventing escape for nervous dogs and training energetic or powerful dogs not to pull or lunge. The martingale that you choose and the way that you employ it, however, will be different depending on your needs. Here are some things to look out for in the ideal martingale collar for you.

  • Strength. If your dog is very strong, choose a slip over martingale collar, a snap buckle with an added security measure, or a belt buckle style collar
  • Adjustability. If you are using a slip over martingale collar for a dog with a large head, it is important that the martingale is easily adjustable since you will need to adjust it every time you put it on your dog
  • Smooth Tightening. Martingale collars should tighten instantly and evenly around your dog’s neck, so that pressure is applied all the way around the neck
  • Durability. You want your dog’s collar to hold up to wear and tear and the elements through the years
  • Comfort. Shouldn’t pinch or hurt your dog or cause her to struggle to breath
  • Color Fastness. Choose a material and dye that won’t bleed onto your pet’s coat
  • Sound. If you are choosing a martingale with a chain tightening portion in order to provide audio correction for your dog’s pulling or lunging, you want a martingale that provides a consistent sound, every time it is pulled.If your dog is nervous, choose a silent martingale

Product Reviews

#1 RUFFWEAR – Chain Reaction:

Best Nylon & Chain

  • Material: Ruffwear-designed Tupelo webbing
  • Sizes and Widths:  
    • Small – Length: 11-14” – Width: ¾”
    • Medium – Length: 14-20” – Width: 1”
    • Large – Length: 20-26” – Width: 1”
  • Snap Buckle, Belt Buckle, Slip Over: Slip Over
  • Easy to Adjust: Yes
  • Good for Constant Wear: Yes
  • Colors: Red, Green, Purple, Gray
  • Reflective Stitching: Yes

PROS:

  • Stylish fun colors
  • Great for walking, training, and everyday wear
  • Leash attachment points for martingale cinch and standard collar
  • No buckle, so you don’t have to worry about the buckle breaking
  • Ruffwear-designed Tupelo webbing is strong, but light and soft
  • Tight chain is better than a looser chain for long-haired dogs

CONS:

  • Some people found that the collar seems to run big on their dog’s neck, even after they measured and ordered
  • Attachment point for ID tags is plastic and may be too flimsy for long term durability

This is an attractive, functional collar that is great for walking and for everyday wear. It comes in a range of stylish colors, so you can choose the perfect design for your dog. The chain cinch creates a clear sound that warns your dog when the collar is tightening.

The tightly woven chain is less likely to snag the hair of long-haired dogs than a wider chain, but you should still be careful when using any chain with a long-haired dog. A V-ring is provided for an additional leash attachment point, for when you would rather use the collar as a standard collar, instead of a martingale.

A separate attachment point is provided for ID tags, so your dog’s tags won’t be tangled with the lead, whether you want to use the collar as a martingale or a standard collar.

#2 Mighty Paw Leather Martingale:

Best Leather

  • Material: Stainless Steel Chain and Leather
  • Sizes and Widths:
    • Small – Length: 10.5-14” – Width: ¾”
    • Medium – Length: 13.5-17.5” – Width: 1”
    • Large – Length: 16.5-20.5” – Width: 1”
  • Snap Buckle, Belt Buckle, or Slip Over: Belt Buckle
  • Easy to Adjust: Yes
  • Good for Constant Wear: No
  • Colors: Natural Brown
  • Reflective Stitching: No

PROS:

  • Stylish leather and stainless steel
  • Easy to adjust and super secure, belt buckle style closure
  • Won’t change shape or bleed over time
  • 100% genuine soft leather is comfortable for your dog

CONS:

  • The chain on the small sizes is a little heavy for smaller dogs
  • Leather may be scratched during rough play

This stylish and durable leather and stainless steel martingale is the perfect choice for the fashion conscious, as well as being one of the most secure buckle martingale collars you are going to find.

The chain makes a distinctive “clink” when pulled, warning your dog that the collar is about to tighten, so it prevents pulling. If you want the convenience of a buckle collar, but are concerned about your dog breaking a snap buckle, you’ll love this sturdy belt buckle closure.

A 100% genuine leather strap and stainless steel chain makes for a durable collar that will last through the years without deteriorating or bleeding color onto your pet’s coat, no matter what weather your dog encounters.

The leather is soft and buttery right out of the package, so you won’t have to worry about oiling it before it is comfortable for your dog. These leather collars have been endorsed by thousands of dog trainers for their durability.

#3 Mighty Paw Nylon Martingale:

Best Nylon

  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizes and Widths:
    • Small – Length: 12-14” – Width: ¾”
    • Medium – Length: 14-17” – Width: 1”
    • Large – Length: 17-22” – Width: 1”
  • Snap Buckle, Belt Buckle, or Slip Over: Snap Buckle
  • Easy to Adjust: Yes
  • Good for Constant Wear: Yes
  • Colors: Gray
  • Reflective Stitching: Yes

PROS:

  • Heavy-duty weatherproof nylon and extra-strong reflective stitching
  • Second D-ring, so the collar can also be used as a standard buckle collar
  • Easy to use snap buckle clip

CONS:

  • Only comes in a couple of colors
  • Dogs that chew on their collars may chew through the second ring if the collar is left on for daily wear

This durable collar is made for the rough-and-tumble pup, thanks to the heavy-duty weatherproof nylon and extra-strong reflective stitching for nighttime safety. A second D-ring is provided, so you can also use the collar as a standard buckle collar, making this a great collar for constant wear.

You can hang your dog’s identification tabs from the extra D-ring and you can clip the leash to it when you want a standard buckle collar. This is great for clipping your dog to a car seatbelt or any other time that you don’t want the slip function.

Heavy-duty construction means that this collar can stand up to play dates at the park and the abuse of all-day wear. The sturdy snap buckle clip makes it easy for you to put the collar on and take it off, without needing to adjust it. The entirely-nylon design gives you plenty of security without the clink of a chain that could frighten nervous dogs.

#4 Country Brook Heavyduty Martingale:

Best On A Budget

  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizes and Widths:  
    • Small – Length: 11-15” – Width: ¾”
    • Medium – Length: 15-21” – Width: 1”
    • Large – Length: 18-26” – Width: 1”
    • Extra Large – Length: 23-31” – Width: 1”
  • Snap Buckle, Belt Buckle, Slip Over: Slip Over
  • Easy to Adjust: Yes
  • Good for Constant Wear: No
  • Reflective Stitching: No

PROS:

  • Very affordable 100% nylon collar
  • Comes in a huge range of bright, colorfast colors
  • Simple, straightforward slipover martingale
  • Soft, comfortable nylon

CONS:

  • No separate place to clip lead for standard collar wear or for tags
  • Some people found that the metal hardware parts have sharp edges

This affordable color gets the job done without any extra bells and whistles. It comes in a huge array of fun colors. This collar can easily be adjusted while the dog is wearing it, which is important in a slip over martingale.

The nylon is comfortably soft. The colors are rich with a colorfast dye which won’t fade or run when it gets wet. You can feel good about buying these collars, as they are made in the USA with aluminum and stainless steel hardware of superior strength and a mirror finish.

#5 Max and Neo Martingale:

Best Easy-On Buckle

  • Material: Chain, Leather, Nylon, Fabric
  • Sizes and Widths:  
    • Extra Small – Length: 10-12” – Width:½”
    • Small – Length: 12-14.5” – Width: ¾”
    • Medium – Length: 14-17” – Width: 1”
    • Medium-Large – Length: 16-19” – Width: 1”
    • Large – Length: 19-24.5” – Width: 1”
  • Snap Buckle, Belt Buckle, Slip Over: Buckle
  • Easy to Adjust: Yes
  • Good for Constant Wear: Yes
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Teal
  • Reflective Stitching: Yes

PROS:

  • Escape proof snap buckle with lockable tab is easy to put on, but won’t accidentally release
  • Reflective stitching for nighttime safety
  • Comes in lots of attractive colors and a wide range of sizes
  • Company donates a collar to an animal shelter for every collar it sells
  • Convenient tab on metal adjustment slider for tags

CONS:

  • Chain is a little bit bulky in smaller sizes for smaller dogs
  • Chrome-plated metal adjustment slider sometimes rubs off on white fur

Sturdy 32-mm nylon and an attractive stainless steel chain make this collar strong and stylish. Reflective stitching increases visibility during nighttime walks and looks good all the time. The nylon snap buckle has a lockable tab, so it will not be accidentally released.

If you want a buckle martingale for its convenience, but your dog is an escape artist, you will appreciate the easy-on and escape-resistant buckle clip.

A tag ring is attached to the metal adjustment slider, keeping tags well out of the way of the lead and not dangling under your dog’s chin. The tag ring is made of sturdy metal, so although it is small, you won’t have to worry about it breaking or bending.

You can feel good about buying from this company, which donates a collar to a dog rescue for every single one that it sells.

#6 PetSafe Martingale:

Runner Up Best On A Budget

  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizes and Widths:  
    • Petite – Length: 5-8” – Width:⅜”
    • Small – Length: 8-12” – Width: ¾”
    • Medium – Length: 10-16” – Width: ¾” or 1”
    • Large – Length: 14-20” – Width: 1”
  • Snap Buckle, Belt Buckle, Slip Over: Slip Over
  • Easy to Adjust: Yes
  • Good for Constant Wear: Yes
  • Colors: Green, Black, Purple, Blue, Red
  • Reflective Stitching: No

PROS:

  • Easily adjustable, great for growing puppies or dogs with big heads
  • Soft nylon is perfect for everyday wear
  • Smooth tightening action
  • Affordable and comes in several bright colors

CONS:

  • No designated tag-attachment area
  • Doesn’t have reflective stitching

Here is a straightforward nylon and metal martingale that gets the job done safely and stylishly. Vets and trainers alike recommend this easily adjustable collar for everyday wear. It’s also great for growing puppies or dogs who have big heads and need the collar adjusted every time it is put on.

The smooth tightening action is fast enough for even the quickest escape artist. It tightens quietly so as not to startle nervous dogs.

The loose fit and soft nylon is ideal for constant wear and is unlikely to cause rough spots, like a standard buckle collar. There is no designated loop for attaching tags, but the company encourages you to attach tags to the rings on the tightening portion, rather than using the D-ring where the leash is attached.

#7 CollarDirect Martingale:

Best Wide / Most Fashionable

  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizes and Widths:  
    • Large- Length: 15-20” – Width: 1½”
    • X-Large – Length: 19-24” – Width:1½”
    • XX-Large- Length: 23-30” – Width: 1½”
  • Snap Buckle, Belt Buckle, Slip Over: Slip Over
  • Easy to Adjust: Yes
  • Good for Constant Wear: Yes
  • Colors: Three distinctive patterns
  • Reflective Stitching: No

PROS:

  • Thick width is a good choice for sighthounds or dogs with very thick necks
  • Beautiful, interesting designs with bright colors
  • Thick and dependable D-ring for attaching the lead
  • Independent metal loops allow the smaller collar loop to slide very easily

CONS:

  • No reflective stitching or space for attaching tags
  • Sizes and width only for large dogs

This beautiful collar comes in your choice of three stunning tribal patterns that will make any dog look glamorous. This 1.5-inch thick collar is perfect for sighthounds or dogs who have very thick necks and need a wide and supportive collar.

The sturdy, dependable D-ring will give you confidence that this collar can hold up to some powerful pulling. There are separate metal rings for each section of the nylon collar, so it can tighten quickly and smoothly, despite its width. It is easy to adjust this collar significantly, so it is good for growing dogs or dogs with big heads.

What is a Martingale Collar?

Martingale collars are as simple as they are ingenious. They are composed of two loops. One goes around the neck of your dog and the other connects the larger loop. The lead is connected to the smaller loop, so that when it is pulled, the smaller loop tightens and draws out, pulling the edges of the larger loop together. The collar can only get as tight as the larger loop.

The collar portion of martingale collars can be made of leather, fabric, or nylon. The tightening portion may be either nylon, fabric, or chain. Martingales may either slip over a dog’s head or buckle on.

Martingale compared to slip and buckle collars

Unlike buckle collars, which can easily slide over a dog’s head, or slip collars, which tighten continuously, martingales keep your dog from escaping, no matter how they pull. But they are also gentle enough not to damage their neck.

The tightening action of martingales also discourages pulling. Dogs experience pressure evenly all the way around the neck. This feeling is very present and unpleasant, although not painful. When the martingale hangs loose, your dog will barely notice it. Because the collar feels so different when it is tight, compared to when it is loose, dogs quickly learn not to tighten the collar.

Buckle vs slip over

The traditional design for martingales was without a buckle. The martingale would simply be slipped over the dog’s head. Since sighthounds have such narrow heads, no adjustment was needed for a proper fit.

Dogs with bigger heads may need the martingale to be loosened in order for it to fit over their heads. The collar may then lie too loosely on the neck, falling far down on the neck where it won’t be as effective.

For these dogs, a buckle collar may be a better option, since it can be adjusted and then snapped on and off, rather than needing to be adjusted each time. For powerful dogs who may break snap buckles, you can choose a snap buckle with a safety tab or a belt buckle style, which won’t break.

Chain vs nylon or fabric

Martingales with a chain tightening loop are designed to make a distinct sound as they tighten, telling dogs that the collar is tightening and that they should reduce pressure. This can be especially effective for dogs who impulsively lunge, as the click of the chain happens instantly, unlike any kind of reprimand from the human handler.

Some dogs find the click of the chain frightening and long-haired dogs can get their fur caught in the chain. For dogs who are nervous, don’t know you well, or for long-haired dogs, it is better to choose a collar made entirely of nylon or fabric. Such collars prevent escape without choking, but they do so silently and without snagging hair.

Martingale safety

Martingales are considered one of the safest options for walking since they prevent dogs from escaping, but also do not damage the throat. While martingales can also be appropriate for all-the-time wear, there are some considerations to keep in mind.

Off leash safety

There are a couple of options to keep your dog safe when you take off the leash. One choice is to loosen the martingale so it easily slips off if it is snagged. Another is to keep it tight and treat it as a buckle collar in the home and take it off when the dog can’t be supervised, such as in the crate.

Many people choose to take off the martingale collar when the walk is over and put a standard buckle collar on their dog instead. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you keep your dog’s safety in mind

General Tips

  • If you pull on the martingale from a part of the collar that is not the tightening loop, the collar may slip over your dog’s head, even if it is fit tightly.
  • Never put your dog in a crate or allow them to play outside unattended when wearing a martingale collar as tight as a standard buckle collar.
  • Dogs that pull constantly can wear a harness and a martingale for safety without choking

Why Do Professional Trainers and Dog Walkers Use Martingales?

Professional trainers, dog walkers, and animal shelter workers all use and recommend martingales. Martingales are ubiquitous throughout the professional dog world because they safely prevent escape. Used properly, martingales are also effective at preventing pulling, lunging, and other unwanted behaviors. No other tool will provide as much versatility and security.

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