Picture of a dog with a collar on

The Best Dog Collars (Chosen By a Vet) (November 2022 Reviews)

Our veterinarians research and recommend the best products. Learn more about our process. We may receive a commission on purchases made from our links.

I get pretty stressed buying most things for my dog. When he was a new puppy I was constantly researching trying to figure out the best products for him. There are a lot of important considerations! If you’re looking for a dog collar, you need to consider:

  • Sizing for your dog’s comfort (and so they don’t slip out of the collar), particularly if they’re a puppy that may grow.
  • Durability to make sure the dog doesn’t escape the collar and to make sure you’re not purchasing a new one
  • Price since you’re probably spending plenty on things like dog treadmills or high fiber dog food or whatever

And even more – lots to consider!

For that reason, we tested and asked our veterinary advisor Dr. Jennifer Coates to review the top dog collars on the market and make her recommendation for the best models for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Best overall
  • Best budget
  • Most comfortable
  • Best body collar
  • Best tracking collar

You’ll leave this post confident you can purchase the right dog collar for your dog.

As a side note two other resources you may find helpful: Dr. Coates also developed a great dog collar size chart for us and veterinary advisor Dr. Jennifer Masucci provided an in-depth answer to the question how tight should a dog collar be?

We also created a breed-specific dog collar guide for Poodles if you have a Poodle at home.

Dog collar size chart

What’s The Best Dog Collar?

The short answer is that Dr. Coates chose the Made to ROAM Premium Dog Collar as the best overall dog collar.

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Below are Dr. Coates’s top picks. Compare the ratings and key features of each of the collars to decide which one is the best collar for your dog.

Vet’s Picks Model Rating Material Closure Type Notable Feature
Best Overall Made to ROAM Premium Dog Collar 4.7 Nylon Buckle Double layered nyon, metal buckle
Best Budget Joytale Reflective Dog Collar 4.7 Nylon, Neoprene Buckle Nylon with padded neoprene rubber material
Best for Comfort Black Rhino 4.6 Neoprene Buckle Neoprene padding, reflective material
Best Dog Body Collar RUFFWEAR, Front Range Dog Harness 4.7 Nylon Buckle Padded, adjustable, 2 leash point attachments
Best Tracking Fi Smart Dog Collar 2.9 Nylon Buckle GPS tracking, escape alerts, and activity monitoring


*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy a Dog Collar?

  • If you’re training a dog and believe that a collar is the best tool for teaching a dog to follow your lead on walks, a dog collar will be a fit for you and your dog.
  • If your dog will have issues with a harness (which can be hard on the back and chest, or for some dogs can be difficult to fit and/or to get onto the dog) then a collar is a good fit for your dog

Who Should Not Buy One?

  • The major concerns about collars are typically that they’re tough on a dog’s neck and trachea – if you have concerns here and have a dog who is a puller, a dog harness may be a better bet (we have a series of guides on choosing the right harness for your pup as well).

If you’re not sure about whether a collar or harness is right for your dog, this is a great video from veterinarian Dr. Gary Richter:

And, if you are settled on a collar for your dog, below are some additional tips for making the right call from our vet advisor Dr. Coates.

“Collars are essential dog gear, but the right one depends on a dog’s lifestyle and personal needs. All collars should be fitted correctly for comfort and so that a dog can’t easily slip it off.

Attachments for an identification tag and leash (ideally separate) are standard. Plastic buckles will work for many dogs, but metal buckles are sturdier and last longer.

Some dogs need a body collar or harness in addition to a collar when they’re out for walks, hikes, etc. They are especially helpful for dogs who have a tendency to pull or might need some help getting over obstacles since pressure is distributed around the dog’s body rather than across the neck.

Purchasing a dog tracking collar is a good idea if your dog is an escape artist or you let your dog roam off-leash. GPS collars work at much greater distances than do those that rely on a Bluetooth signal.

Talk to friends and family who have purchased dog collars to learn what types have worked well for them. Your veterinarian or dog trainer can also point to any features that might be ideal based on your dog’s specific needs. Closely read product descriptions to avoid unpleasant surprises. Looking at customer reviews posted on trusted sources can give you an idea of how satisfied pet parents are with their purchase.”

How Much Does a Dog Collar Cost?

Between $9 and $150

Dog collars cost roughly $9 to $150, but most tend to run closer to the $15-25 range, depending on the style and the size collar you’re buying, and what material they’re made from. Obviously whether the collar is a GPS / smart collar makes the biggest impact on price, with those collars being at the top of this range (and standard collars falling more in the 10-30 dollar range).

Budget-friendly collars are typically a less-frills option that are still effective but may not be as durable or have some of the specific features you’re looking.

Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily

At Pet News Daily we test the products we recommend, and we have a licensed veterinarian hand pick every product we recommend. Here’s a note from Dr. Coates, the vet who chose the list for this post, on her process for selecting the best products:

“Comfort and security are the most important features to look for in a dog collar. When we test products we look for comfort and security, even in selecting the best budget options. If you have questions beyond what’s covered in this post, I suggest speaking to your veterinarian, other dog owners, and reading the product reviews for guidance.” – Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM.

The Best Dog Collars: Full Reviews

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Made to ROAM Premium Dog Collar

A heavy duty double wrapped nylon collar with metal buckles.
Pros
  • Heavy duty, double-layered nylon webbing
  • Rust-proof metal, quick-release buckle
  • Available in 10 adjustable sizes (and 3 widths) for a perfect fit
  • Separate attachments for tags and leash
Cons
  • Most negative reviewers complained that the collar comes unclipped or pops open
  • Some complained about the weight and size of the collar

The Made to ROAM Premium Dog Collar is the best overall dog collar according to Dr. Coates.

This is by far the thickest and sturdiest-feeling collar on the list. The fact that it has double straps and metal buckles makes it feel very sturdy.

Overall the collar gets very strong reviews (tied for the best among the collars listed here):

Screenshot of Roam dog collar reviews

We’ve analyzed reviews from many dog products and the reviews for the top dog collars overall are among the best we’ve come across.

The negative reviewers centered around two issues:

  • Most negative reviewers complained that the collar comes unclipped or pops open
  • Some complained about the weight and size of the collar

That said many customers are very happy with the quality of materials and the collar as a whole, and we’d recommend this collar even more highly than the standard reviews.

Best Budget

Joytale Reflective Dog Collar

A breathable, light reflective collar.
Pros
  • Made of nylon webbing padded with neoprene
  • Reflective
  • Available in 5 sizes and 12 colors
  • Plastic quick-release buckle
Cons
  • Most common complaints were around the collar not fitting
  • Some complaints were around the durability of the collar and issues with the collar being chewed by a dog and the clasp not working

The Joytale Reflective Dog Collar is our best budget pick.

The collar feels very light and the colors available are very bright when you see the collar in person. While the collar feels light it still has some padding and doesn’t feel flimsy when you pick it up.

Here’s a quick video overview of how to use the collar that will let you see it on a dog:

Overall despite the low price the collar gets very strong ratings (tied for the best of those mentioned in this post):

Screenshot of the Joytale dog collar reviews

The negative reviews tend to center around two core issues:

  • Most common complaints were around the collar not fitting
  • Some complaints were around the durability of the collar and issues with the collar being chewed by a dog and the clasp not working

That said these are the most common complaints about collars we’ve seen after reviewing tons of negative customer reviews. All in all this is a good option for budget-conscious customers looking for a dog collar.

Best for Comfort

Black Rhino

Neoprene padded collar with reflective stitching.
Pros
  • Collar is lined with neoprene padding
  • Wider profile is more comfortable
  • Available in adjustable small, medium, large, and x-large sizes and many colors
  • Durable but lightweight
  • Metal hardware
  • Separate rings for tags and leash
  • Reflective
  • Weather/waterproof
Cons
  • The grommets on the inside of the collar changing color or causing discomfort for the dog
  • The neoprene in the collar shredding or wearing with use

The best dog collar for comfort is the Black Rhino.

This is a padded but light weight collar – it feels soft but also light as you pick it up. It does seem like it would be particularly comfortable for the dog.

This video will show you the collar in action on a dog if you’re curious about fit and feel:


The collar has strong ratings, though a couple of other collars listed here have slightly better ratings:

Screenshot of black rhino dog collar reviews

Complaints from customers who had issues with the collar included:

  • The grommets on the inside of the collar changing color or causing discomfort for the dog
  • The neoprene in the collar shredding or wearing with use

All of that said, a number of people were happy with the harness and if you’re prioritizing comfort this collar is the one we’d recommend.

Best Mobility Harness

RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness

A padded “body collar” or front range harness.
Pros
  • Comes is xx-small, x-small, small, medium, and large/X-large sizes
  • 4 points of adjustment for a perfect fit
  • Durable
  • Recommended for everyday use
  • Padded for comfort
  • Reflective
  • 2 leash attachments including on front of chest for no-pull training
  • Good video showing how to fit your pup and sizing guide
Cons
  • Some complaints about issues with the fit of the harness
  • Several complaints about the packaging and the way the harness was shipped

Our choice for best body collar is the RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness.

A body collar, or front range harness, is sort of an “in-between” step between a collar and a traditional collar for dog owners who want to have a snug fit around the top of the dog’s chest but not quite either a full harness or a straight collar.

This feels exactly like that. We’ve reviewed the Ruffwear Front Range Harness in depth on our site in the past, and found here again that smaller sizes particularly feel like a lighter weight harness that’s not a collar but does fit to the front of a dog in somewhat the same way, with two leash attachments so you can use the harness to lead the dog the way you would with a collar.

Here is a video overview (from Ruffwear) about the harness:

And if you do purchase it here is a video guide to putting it on:

Reviews for the harness are very strong, and it’s tied for the best reviews on the list:

Screenshot of Ruffwear front harness reviews

Major complaints from people who did have low reviews centered around:

  • Some complaints about issues with the fit of the harness
  • Several complaints about the packaging and the way the harness was shipped

All in all many reviewers were very happy with the product, however, and if you’re looking for a dog body collar this is a great option.

Best Tracking Collar

Fi Smart Dog Collar

This smart collar offers GPS tracking, fitness monitor, and escape alerts.
Pros
  • GPS works at any distance. Bluetooth tracking collars are much more limited.
  • GPS receiver built into collar so slim profile
  • Receiver is waterproof
  • Available with small, medium, large, and x-large collars in blue, pink, or yellow (other colors/patterns available through 3rd parties)
  • App allows for escape alerts, activity monitoring
  • Long battery life.
Cons
  • Price is significantly higher than a standard collar and towards the high end of the GPS collar market
  • Connecting the collar through the app and maintaining connectivity can be an issue for some users

The Fi Smart Dog Collar is our top pick for a dog training collar.

There are only a few smart collars on the market, and we recommend Fi due to the functionality offered by the collar. It’s worth noting that a “smart” collar is going to be much more expensive than traditional collars.

Here is a video overview of the collar and why it was developed:


And a video overview comparing some of the leading smart collar options if you’re interested in those:

Given a low number of reviews (only around 20) for the Fi collar we’d recommend ignoring those either way. The 20 reviews that did come in are primarily negative, with the primary complaint being that users have connectivity issues.

That said we recommend this highly, particularly among GPS collars.

Frequently Asked Questions

Conclusion: The Best Dog Collars

If you’re looking for a step in harness for your dog, here are our top picks (chosen by a vet):

Thomas Demers
Tom is a managing partner with Pet News Daily. He has been writing and researching on the web for over 10 years. He owns 3 dogs, 3 cats, and is a huge animal lover. His current obsession is working on training his (currently very good but very poorly behaved) 87 pound, 1 year old Bernedoodle named Pinecone.