How Loose Is Too Loose for a Dog Collar? (Solved!)

Fitting a collar for the first time is a nervous experience. After all, you don’t want it to be so tight that it’s constrictive, but you also don’t want it to be so loose that your dog escapes on a walk and possibly hurts themselves! The good news is that you can test it quite easily on your own to ensure a perfect fit.

Hold up your index and middle finger and press them together, so that you can push them in-between the collar and your dog’s coat and skin. The collar should be firmly pressed on all sides of the neck, but should still allow you to push your fingers through.

If it’s hard to do, then your dog’s collar is too tight, but if the collar is loose on any part of the neck or your fingers go through too easily then you’ll need to tighten it – otherwise your dog is likely to slip a paw in and possibly get stuck trying to pull of their collar.

In this article, we’ve collected popular questions trending this week on the subject of dog collars and fitting them right. We’ll answer questions such as whether or not your dog can wear 2 collars, if puppies outgrow their collars, and more. Read on for important information that you need when you are collaring your furry best friend!

How loose should dog collars be?

Dog collars need to be loose enough that you can easily fit two fingers in-between the neck and the collar. Any looser than this and your dog might well be able to slip it, which can put them in danger when you are outside.

To test it thoroughly, push your index and middle fingers through while they are pressed together and if they go through easily, hook your fingers a little and gently pull the collar up. You want to make see if you can easily pull it off your dog’s head – if you can, then you need to tighten it.

How do I know if my collar is too loose?

You want it to be tight enough that your dog can’t simply start moving backwards and then easily slip out. Test it with your fingers and if you can easily push them in, but the collar still feels snug, then it’s perfect. Anything looser than this means that you need to tighten the collar.

This is very important, as results can be tragic if your dog slips out of their collar in a busy neighborhood with cars! So, check the tightness and you can even test the collar in your yard with the dog first just to make sure. This is very important before you go on the first walk outside!

How tight should a collar be?

The collar should press firmly against your dog’s throat, while also being loose enough to admit 2 fingers in between the collar and your dog’s neck, but not so loose that your dog can push a paw in there. Many puppies and dogs have managed to get their paws stuck in a loose collar, so you need to be careful to avoid this.

Also, make sure while your dog is getting used to their collar that you are always around. Until you know that the fit is perfect and that there is no danger of it getting snagged, collar wear should always be supervised.

Where should a dog’s collar sit?

The dog collar should sit snugly a few inches below your dog’s head and should be snug completely around the neck. It should be loose enough to push 2 fingers through, but not so loose that it can be easily snagged on something or that your dog could get a paw inside on purpose or by accident.

Make sure that it fits uniformly on the font and the back and presses lightly against their coat.

Should I take my dog’s collar off at night?

Many dog owners like to take their dog’s collar off at night and it’s actually a good idea. This gives your dog a little ‘freedom’ from the constant rubbing and pressure, so that their skin is less likely to become abraded and so that the fur is less likely to start thinning there.

While this is optional, it’s a good idea, and you’ll also get to see your dog’s enthusiasm to have you put the collar back on in the morning for a walk in the park!

Are collars uncomfortable for dogs?

While your dog will generally get used to it and even learn to love it once they associate it with fun walks, most dogs are definitely not fans of their collars in the beginning.

Rescue dogs may sometimes even associate collars with abuse, and this can take a lot of love and treats to help get your dog comfortable with their collar.

Should dogs wear collars 24 7?

It’s up to you, but your dog can certainly wear their collar24-7 if you like. That said, many owners will take their dog’s collars off at night and this is fine, but you should avoid taking it off during the day except when necessary.

Dogs are most active during the day, so there is always the possibility that they might get outside and if they do, that collar is what hosts their identification tags. As such, you can take the collar off at night if you like, but it’s best to leave it on during the day.

Can a dog wear two collars?

Yes, provided that your dog isn’t too small so that they can still flex their neck properly, you can fit your dog with two collars, such as a regular collar and a vibrating training collar.

Just be sure to do the ‘2-finger test’ to ensure that you can easily push your fingers in between each collar to make sure that they aren’t too tight.

Do puppies outgrow collars?

Yes, puppies can grow quite quickly, and so this means that you will need to test their collar from time to time to make sure that it’s not getting too tight.

This is easy to do and if you have a larger breed of dog, you might even purchase a spare, larger collar to have handy for a quick switch when it’s time to upgrade to a larger sized collar.

Can a collar be too heavy?

Collars can be too heavy, though this is generally only a problem with puppies and very small breeds such as Teacup Yorkies or Chihuahuas. More often than not, it’s a leather collar, as the leather and accompanying buckles can sometimes be a bit on the heavy side.

So, be sure to stick to lightweight collars if you have a pup or a smaller breed so that your dog isn’t lugged around any heavy weights on their fragile neck.