Photo of Kristen Levine

Kristen Levine

Professional Pet Expert

Dog Walking Collars

Featured On:

  • Good Morning America
  • USA Today
Signs of spring are all around us. What better time to grab a leash and take your best friend for a walk!

By the tail end of winter, Bowzer is surely bored with the back yard or those brisk ‘hurry up and go’ walks. So now is a great time to renew that loving bond with your dog by getting outdoors. Your dog will enjoy all the new spring scents and you both can benefit from the exercise!

Walking the dog requires just two simple tools: a leash and a collar. You may not have put much thought into choosing these items in the past, but you should. A leash and collar play a very important role in controlling your pet and keeping them out of harm’s way.

Leashes (or leads) connect you to your pet. They come in a variety of lengths, materials and styles. Pet parents typically have a preference of lead for comfort and convenience.

But our focus here is choosing the collar or harness that the leash attaches to. This key “active wear” for dogs requires some careful thought as it’s the equivalent of great walking shoes for humans! Keep in mind, a collar wraps around your dog’s neck, so you want to be sure to choose carefully. Material, functionality, and fit are critical factors to consider when choosing the right one for your best friend.

For maximum enjoyment on walks or adventures with your canine, chose a collar or harness that takes their breed, size, activity level, and personality into consideration. The following recommendations are intended for leisure walks and outings with your dog. (Training collars should be discussed with a professional dog trainer.)

But before digging into the Best of the Best, please remember that any collar or harness you choose should have the following features:

1) Secure closure, either a buckle or a snap closure that doesn’t wiggle when closed
2) Durable metals or plastics - no rusty hardware or weakened plastic
3) A secure ring or place to attach your dog’s identification and license
4) A proper fit

Fitting your Fido properly with a collar is also essential for comfort and safety. A good rule of thumb for most collars (excluding choke chain/prong collars) is that you should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between your dog’s neck and the collar. Too tight may cause discomfort or difficulty breathing; too loose and your pet may be able to slip out of it. And please remember, if you have a young dog that is still growing (18 months or less), check the collar’s fit weekly so that it doesn’t become too snug as they grow!

My final collar comment before getting to the goods - keep a comfy collar with identification tags on your pet AT ALL TIMES. You never know when they might slip out an open door or fence. Identification tags are the quickest way for someone to identify your pet and return them to you. (A microchip for ID is essential too - it’s permanent!)

Best Dog Walking Collars by Kristen Levine

The Best You Can Get

  • The EZ Collar

    Kristen says: Little dogs have delicate necks and the EZ Collar is easy on them! Designed with form and function in mind, the EZ Collar puts an end to you fumbling for adjustments and the martingale style means your pup can’t back out of their collar. It’s padded, and slightly tapered around the neck with soft velour on the inside for comfort. Neck sizes range from 6 1/2 to 14 inches and they come in black, red, purple or blue. The EZ Collar comes complete with a matching leash connected by a swivel ring to prevent your pup from getting tangled up!

    • For petite pooches
  • Blocky Dogs Collar

    Kristen says: Blocky Dogs collars are designed for large and giant breed dogs (a.k.a. “Blockheads”) and working dogs. Special features include double-ply nylon webbing with an average strength of over 12,000 pounds! Two-inch nylon width lessens pressure on the dog’s trachea if they pull. Stainless steel, nickel-plated and brass hardware are used, all welded. The durable collars are double stitched and boast a double-tongue buckle. Most importantly, your big dog can get a perfect fit because collars are available in hard to find sizes, including half sizes.

    • For big & giant dogs
  • The Web Master Harness

    Kristen says: Ruffwear’s “on the go” harness is an excellent alternative for dogs that pull or manage to escape a traditional collar. Harnesses offer better distribution of pulling force to prevent choking and the design makes it nearly impossible to slip out of.

    Rehabilitation centers use the harness for lifting and assisting injured or paralyzed dogs through their therapy. Owners of older dogs or dogs with hip dysplasia use the harness to lift and assist their dogs up and down stairs, around the house, and into the yard.

    Features include ample adjustability, a generous, ergonomic cut for full range of motion, and assistance handle positioned to improve lifting balance. Five sizes are available.

    • A great collar alternative for all dogs
  • Kurgo's Tru-Fit Smart Harness

    Kristen says: Do you have to drive Fido to his favorite doggie destination? Annually, 1.5 million auto accidents are caused by distraction - and pets are the third biggest distraction in cars, according to When riding in a vehicle with your canine, restrain them for the safety of all passengers.

    The Tru-Fit Smart Harness is easy to use and fits dogs 10-100+ pounds. It’s designed with high quality automotive seat belt webbing and has a comfortable fit. A broad, padded chest plate provides extra protection and comfort during travel and it includes a seat belt loop so the harness can be used with any vehicle seat belt.

    • Getting your hound around town
  • The Gentle Leader Head Collar

    Kristen says: This revolutionary head collar removes the dog’s natural tendency to pull by placing gentle pressure on calming points of the dog’s head, and eliminates uncomfortable pressure on the throat.

    It won’t choke because pressure is applied at the back of the neck, not front of the throat. When fitted properly, dogs can open their mouth comfortably to eat, drink, fetch or bark. It comes in five sizes, fitting dogs under five pounds and over 130 pounds. It’s fully adjustable and has a lifetime guarantee!

    • Head collars for dogs big and small

You will be happy with any of these

  • Hamilton's Sporty Nylon Dog Collar

    Kristen says: A great all-around collar for medium to super-sized dogs, the sporty collar has a special ID feature. Nylon and adjustable, the collar has brushed silver tone hardware and a plastic ID tag for your dog's name or contact info. This collar has a plastic snap closure and comes in yellow with black contrast stitching, red with black contrast stitching, or black with red contrast stitching. Five sizes and matching leashes available.

    • Great all-around collar
  • Visiglo Glowing Safety Collars

    Kristen says: Before dawn or after dusk, protect you and your pet with these fashionable and functional, flashing collars. Powered by high capacity CR 2025 batteries, the collars come in three styles, fashion, sport and L.E.D. with increasing levels of visibility and durability. Collars available in three sizes and nine colors, with leashes to match.

    • Dog walks in the dark
  • Ruff’in It Organic Collars

    Kristen says: Eco-conscious canines will appreciate these 100% certified organic cotton, cultivated using no chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Cotton is made into webbing then dyed with low-salt, Earth-friendly ink, and the product is assembled in New England—truly made in the U.S.A.

    Collars have solid brass ring, are machine washable and come in four earthy colors: moss green, canyon red, goldenrod, and storm blue. Available in five sizes.

    • Earth friendly
  • Dot-A-Lot On-The-Go Harness

    Kristen says: This one’s a mouthful, but super cute and practical for the small and fashion conscious canine. The adjustable harness is lightweight and features a comfortable cushioned mesh panel with a chic polka dot pattern and stylish crochet details. Machine washable, the Dot-A-Lot On-the-Go Harness is available in aqua blue + peach pink, sizes X-small - Large to accommodate smaller pets.

    • For pint-sized pooches
  • Keepsafe Break-Away Collar

    Kristen says: A warning for dog parents, your pup’s collar can easily become snagged or tangled on a fence, crate, kennel, even a shrub or branch outdoors. And if unsupervised, the consequences can be tragic.

    Designed for accident prevention, the Keepsafe Collar has a patented break-away safety buckle that releases when pressure is applied. To walk your dog with this collar, just override the safety buckle by attaching the leash to the two D rings.

    This uniquely designed collar uses ratchet-and-pawl technology from the skiing and snowboard industry. The rugged material is non-toxic and completely waterproof. It’s a great blend of safety, form, and function.

    • Injury prevention

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