Collar or No Collar: What’s Best for Your Puppy’s Sleep?

Should your puppy sleep with a collar on? It’s a question many new puppy owners ask themselves. While collars can help keep your puppy safe, there are also potential risks to consider.

No, there is no reason for a puppy to sleep with its collar, and leaving it on might make it harder for your puppy to sleep. It’s a good practice to remove it before bed and whenever you bring your dog inside.

This gives them a little break from the collar and it’s also good for the skin and fur on your pup’s neck.

One concern is the risk of the collar getting caught on something while your puppy is sleeping, which can cause injury or even death. Additionally, collars can be uncomfortable or even painful for your puppy to wear for extended periods.

However, there are also reasons why you may want your puppy to wear a collar while sleeping, such as if they are prone to escaping or if you want to attach identification tags. Ultimately, the decision should be based on what is best for your puppy and its specific needs.

Safety Concerns

It’s important to keep your puppy safe and healthy, and that includes making sure they’re not wearing a collar while sleeping. Leaving a collar on can lead to serious safety concerns.

Here are some reasons why:

  1. Strangulation: Collars can easily get caught on something, causing your puppy to choke or even die.
  2. Skin irritation: Wearing a collar constantly can cause skin irritation and hair loss on your puppy’s neck.
  3. Accidents: Your puppy can get caught in something and be unable to free itself, leading to serious accidents.
  4. Training collars: Training collars should never be worn unsupervised, as they can cause harm and even death.
  5. Identification: If your puppy needs to wear identification, consider a collar with a breakaway feature or a harness with a tag.

Comfort and Health

When it comes to your puppy’s comfort and health, you want to make sure they are getting the best care possible. This includes ensuring they are sleeping comfortably and safely.

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While it may seem like a good idea to leave your puppy’s collar on while they sleep, it’s important to consider the potential risks.

Firstly, a collar can be uncomfortable for your puppy, especially if it’s too tight or if they are not used to wearing one. This can cause them to have trouble sleeping and may even lead to them becoming anxious or stressed.

Additionally, leaving a collar on your puppy while they sleep can pose a choking hazard. If the collar gets caught on something, your puppy may not be able to free itself, leading to a potentially dangerous situation.

It’s important to note that if you do decide to leave your puppy’s collar on while they sleep, you should ensure it’s a breakaway collar.

This type of collar is designed to release if it gets caught on something, reducing the risk of choking.

Overall, it’s best to err on the side of caution and remove your puppy’s collar before they go to sleep. This will ensure they can sleep comfortably and safely, without any unnecessary risks.

Training and Behavior

Training your puppy to sleep without a collar is important for their safety. Collars can get stuck or caught on something, which can lead to choking or injury. Additionally, collars can cause discomfort or irritation, which can lead to behavioral issues such as anxiety or aggression.

Start by gradually increasing the amount of time your puppy spends without their collar during the day.

Make sure to provide plenty of positive reinforcement and praise when they are calm and relaxed without their collar. If your puppy is struggling to sleep without their collar, try providing them with a comfortable and secure sleeping area.

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Consider using a crate or bed that is specifically designed for puppies.

Remember to always supervise your puppy when they are without their collar, especially during training. It is important to ensure that they are safe and secure at all times.

In summary, training your puppy to sleep without a collar is important for their safety and well-being. With patience and positive reinforcement, you can help your puppy feel comfortable and secure without their collar.


When should a puppy start wearing a collar?

10 weeks is a good age to start your puppy on using its collar. While you could certainly do it sooner, 10 weeks is optimal for several reasons. Your puppy will be a little better developed, for one thing, but more importantly, any walks done before vaccines are completed (around 16 weeks) must be carefully done.

Avoid other dogs, don’t let your puppy sniff droppings either, and stay away from any stagnant ponds. Until vaccinations are completed your puppy is still quite vulnerable to disease. Also, you should limit walks to 10 to 15 minutes at a time – think in terms of 5 minutes for every month of age and you should be fine.

Is it OK to grab a puppy by the collar?

No, it is not a good idea to grab your pup by the collar. This puts pressure on your puppy’s fragile neck and you can harm them if you are not careful.

That said, if you use a harness for walking, then this is less pressure on the neck, as harnesses employ a back or chest clip, and often the harness will have a handle. You can use this handle instead of the collar and it won’t hurt your dog because the force distributes on their back or chest, instead of the neck.

Should I take my puppy’s collar off in the crate?

It is a good idea to take off your puppy’s collar whenever you aren’t there to supervise them – especially while they are still getting used to it.

When the collar is new, it’s not uncommon for a pup to try to put its paw in there, and this puts a lot of strain on its neck and the pup might even get its paw caught. Take off the collar when you put them in the crate and at night after you’ve walked them before bed.

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This way you’ll avoid any accidents and you’ll also give your puppy’s neck skin a little time to ‘breathe’.

Can I use a figure of 8 lead on a puppy?

No, a figure 8 lead is not a good idea for a pup or even an adult dog, in our opinion. This is because figure 8 will tighten on a pup’s nose and throat whenever they pull against it.

This can cause understandable panic, as your puppy won’t understand this, and they may try to run away and make it even tighter. Stick with a harness and leash for walking – it’s humane and won’t hurt your dog at all if you are only using the harness for walks outside.

What type of collar is best for a puppy?

A nylon collar is an inexpensive, yet lightweight and durable option for your puppy. You can get them in reflective colors as well, for those potty breaks at night, and they won’t weigh your puppy down.

Avoid leather collars at this age – your puppy will chew it if they can get at it – and the leather’s weight plus the buckles are often a wee bit heavy for your puppy’s little neck.

How long should a puppy leash be?

4 feet is a good leash length for your puppy or even for an adult dog. This gives you a lot of control, which is especially important when your dog has not yet learned to trod along next to you, but rather tries to pull you in every direction because of their excitement about being outside.

Use this in conjunction with a harness and you have a winning combination that will give you control without unduly straining your puppy’s neck.

Is a leather collar good for a puppy?

While it’s awfully cute to see an adorable puppy with a spiky, leather collar, it’s not the best idea unless you intend to always take it off when they are inside.

Leather collars tend to be heavier than standard nylon collars, due to the thickness and natural weight of the leather and because of the buckles (or those spikes!) that are part of the design. It’s better to stick with nylon for now and you can always get your dog a leather collar later when they get a little bit bigger.

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How do I know if my puppy’s collar is too tight?

Press your index finger and your middle finger together and try to push your fingers between your puppy’s neck and collar. If you can easily fit them inside, but there’s not a lot of room, then the collar is just about perfectly tightened.

If it feels loose, then you need to tighten it one more notch or your puppy might slip out, but if it is difficult to push your fingers through then the collar is way too tight and should be loosened.

This is important, as a collar that is too tight strains your pup’s neck and can even cause eventual nerve damage in their legs.

Can my puppy wear a harness all of the time?

No. While there are extra-padded, snug-fit type harnesses out there that have all-day wear as a selling point, it’s still not a good idea to leave the harness on all of the time. This is because a harness puts a little strain on your puppy’s shoulders.

The effect is slow but cumulative, causing eventual shoulder pain and potential may cause joint damage. This is easily avoided by simply removing the harness as soon as you get home and only putting it on for walks outside.

Is it better to train a puppy with a collar or harness?

A harness is the better choice. You can still use the collar but just don’t use it for walking. Put your puppy’s registration and identification tags on the collar and simply use it that way.

While the collar has long been the traditional spot for a leash, the harness is better, because it won’t strain your puppy’s neck when you pull the leash. Instead, a clip on the back or the front of the harness is where the force will go – giving you better control and a much safer option for your puppy’s fragile neck.