How to Measure a Dog for a Collar

No two dog breeds are alike, so a Pug dog collar measurement will look different from a German Shepherd measurement. To get a proper dog collar for your dog, you will need to measure the length around your dog’s neck.

In this article, you will see steps to teach you how to measure your dog for a dog collar. If you follow these steps, you should get an appropriate measurement and a happy, comfortable dog when it wears its new collar.

How To Measure Dog Collar

Step 1: Measure Your Dogs Neck Size

Before you measure your dog’s neck, you should have some idea just how big your dog is. Most collars are sold based on the weight of the dog to make it easier for people. Is your dog a small breed or a large breed? To double check that you are getting the right size collar, you will want to properly measure your dog’s neck.

Get a Measuring Tape

The best way to measure around your dog’s neck is with a soft measuring tape. Any people have these lying around their home somewhere. You can get this type of measuring tape from a craft store because these are usually sold with sewing kits.

*If you are unable to acquire a proper measuring tape with numbers on it, you can always use a piece of rope or a long string to measure the circumference of the dog’s neck.

Bonus Tip – lay the string you measured out and place a standard ruler next to it to measure it. Move the ruler up along the string and add the numbers together.

Add 1 to 2 Inches to measurement

Now that you have the initial measurement of your dog’s neck’s circumference, you will need to add 1 inch more to your measurement for small dogs and two inches for a medium to larger size dog.

The ultimate goal is to give your dog a comfortable dog collar that has some extra breathing room. You don’t want it to lose, or the dog will be able to pull its head out from the collar. Just an inch or two of extra space will be plenty to provide comfort. You also don’t want to collar to be too tight because then it could cause your dog to choke.

Measuring Dogs Neck

Compare Measurements with Real Collars

Now you are ready to make your collar purchase. If you are at a pet store, you can easily compare the various collars with the measurements you have taken beforehand. Check the inches of the collar as well as the recommended weight.

*Always check the sizing guidelines before making your purchase, as each brand is different and sized a little differently.

Step 2: Putting the Collar on Your Dog

Now that you have made your purchase of a brand-new dog collar for your dog, it is time to try it on. There are certain steps you must follow to ensure you are putting the collar on your dog correctly.

Place Around Your Dogs Neck

The collar should be placed around your dog’s neck under its jawline. Clip the collar into place, leaving a small amount of room for breathability. To check that you have done this correctly, slide two fingers under the collar. This is how you will know the collar is just right.

If you can fit only one finger, the collar is too tight, and if you can fit more than two, then the collar is way to lose. This will ensure your dog is comfortable, has room to breathe, but it is also tight enough that your dog can’t escape out of it.

Dog Collar Sizing

General Dog Collar Size Chart

Here you will find a size chart based on your dog’s weight for the size collar they might need. Remember, it is always good to measure your dog’s neck before making your purchase and reference your numbers with the size chart.

Extra Small Dog Breed: Weighing between 13-18 pounds and will need a collar size between 7 – 11 inches. (Examples: Bichon Frise, Miniature Dachshund, Jack Russel Terrier, Shih Tzu, etc.)

Small Dog Breed: Weighing between 14 – 45 pounds and will need a collar sized between 10 -14 inches in length. (Examples: Border Collie, Standard Poodle, etc.)

Medium Dog Breed: Weighing between 45 – 65 pounds and needing a collar 13 – 18 inches in length. (Examples: Greyhound, Dalmatian, Basset Hound, etc.)

Large Dog Breed: Weighing between 60 – 95 pounds and will need a collar sized between 18 – 25 inches. (Examples: Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, etc.)

Extra Large Dog Breed: Weighing between 95 – over 150 pounds will need a collar sized 25 – 34 inches in length. (Examples: Alaskan Malamute, Great Dane, Tibetan Mastiff, etc.)


Now you know the necessary steps on how to measure dog collars based on your dog’s neck size and weight. Just remember you want a collar that isn’t too tight or too loose. Always check with the two-finger method, and that’s how you know you have a perfect fit collar.

Do you have any tips that we may have missed on how to measure your dog for a dog collar? Share them down below in the comments section.

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