What Size Collar Does a Jack Russell Need? (Solved & Explained!)

Jack Russells can vary in size and structure around the neck and chest. Narrower Jack Russells will need collars 10-11 inches in length whereas broader Jack Russells will need a collar 12 -14 inches long.

Jack Russells are highly-energetic and require a collar that meets their needs. Jack Russells love to jump and play about and are often on the move. Making sure they have the right sized collar is essential for their comfort.

How Do I Know What Size Collar To Get My Jack Russell?

The best and easiest way to find out what size collar your Jack Russell needs is to measure them.

Measure the neck circumference by using a measuring tape, but make sure to measure loosely. You should be able to slide your fingers between the tape and your dogs’ neck comfortably – this would be the optimal fit.

On average, a collar should be 2 inches larger than the dogs’ neck. For very small dogs and toy breeds, this is adjusted to 1 inch.

Can My Jack Russell Wear a Collar All Day?

Yes, they can wear a collar all day but they do not have to. If the collar you have is of the right size and comfortable, there is no reason why you cannot keep your Jack Russell in it all day.

If you do intend to keep a collar on your Jack Russell all day, it must be of good quality, and not irritate their sometimes sensitive skin.

Make sure not to do it up too tight. The rule of thumb is that if you can snugly fit a fighter in between their collar and their skin, then the collar is correctly fitted.

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Should Jack Russell Use a Collar Or A Harness?

If your Jack Russell is a chronic puller, which most of them are, then a harness is an ideal solution to this problem.

A harness is not a magical solution that will stop your Jack Russell pulling overnight, but it makes pulling a lot more difficult for them and they will pull less, or not as hard.

Collars do not restrict movement at all, but this can lead to excessive choking if your Jack Russell tends to pull a lot.

In a nutshell, whether a collar or harness is best depends entirely on your Jack Russell, their size, their behaviors, and your preference as the owner.

Can My Jack Russell Go Without A Collar?

If you do not wish for your Jack Russell to wear a collar, that is entirely up to you. However, there may be consequences to such a decision. Before you ditch the collar, consider the following:


The main reason that all dog owners have collars on their dogs is for safety. A collar gives you something to quickly cling onto should your Jack Russell decide to throw itself into dangers way.

If your Jack Rusell is walking without a leash, then at least a collar is optimal for safety. Even the most highly trained dogs have urges from time to time and grabbing hold of your Jack Russells collar before they dart across a busy road could be the difference between life and death.


Some collars are flea and tick-resistant, which is a great option for the more forgetful owner that fails to schedule regular de-ticking and fleaing treatments.


Most dogs have microchips inserted with their owners’ details, but having your dog wear a collar with your address details greatly increases the chances of your dog being returned quickly and safely should they ever escape.

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In some states, it is illegal to walk your dog without a leash in some or all areas. Leashes require collars or at least a harness.

Jack Russells require walks daily, and regular walks should not be forfeited because you do not wish to put a collar or harness on your pet.

However, if you really do not want your Jack Rusell to wear a collar that is fine, there are ways to work around the situation.

How Do I Keep My Jack Russell Safe Without A Collar?

There are many dog owners that dislike collars. If you do not wish for your Jack Russell to wear one, there are some options to ensure their safety and security.

Consider A Harness

Harnesses are a great alternative to collars. They do not constrain your Jack Russells neck and instead distribute the pressure evenly across the chest.

Harnesses can be more comfortable for Jack Russells, and while they may be reluctant to put it on at first, they will get used to it after a few attempts.


Make sure your Jack Rusell is microchipped. This ensures their safe return should they get out and are found.

Dogs that have no identification information on their collars are taken to local vets or shelters that use scanners to scan the chip which brings up the owner’s address details and contact information.

Just be sure to keep the information up to date with your microchip provider.

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Inflatable Collars

If your Jack Russell is recovering from surgery or an injury around their neck and their collar is uncomfortable for them, inflatable collars are a gentler alternative that will be far more comfortable while they heal.

Inflatable collars are lightweight and similar to inflatable neck pillows that humans use. 


It is always wise to have one distinguishing feature about your dog, in the event they escape or run away from you while you are in a public place.

Being able to describe what your dog was wearing when last seen, is very helpful for people who help you look for them.

Try a bright colorful neck-a-chief. Neck scarves designed for dogs look great and are safe. Just make sure to select one that does not have excessive frills or anything that can be easily caught or trapped.

Jack Russells look particularly dashing in a well-designed neck-a-chief and will certainly stand out in the crowd.

It also gives you something to quickly grab onto to prevent your Jack Russell from getting into trouble.