4 Reasons to Use a Martingale Collar for your Dog


Sometimes it’s hard to know what kind of collar would be best for your dog, especially if you’ve recently adopted the dog.

The martingale collar is a good choice for a variety of dogs because it gives you a little more control than a regular collar. Plus, it has some safety benefits. It’s my go-to collar for when I’m fostering a dog.

This post goes over some of the details on why I like using martingale collars.

Dog wearing martingale collar

What is a martingale collar?

Martingale collars fits loosely on a dog’s neck but tightens when it needs to.

It has two loops. The first looks like a traditional nylon collar that is adjustable and hangs around the dog’s neck. The second is for control when the leash is attached. When the dog pulls, the collar tightens and will stay snug around the dog’s neck without choking the dog. When the tension is released, the collar loosens again.

Reasons to use a martingale collar

1. The martingale makes it hard for a dog to slip free.

Some dogs can slip out of their collars easier than others, depending on their fur texture and the shape of their neck compared to their head. If your dog has ever slipped out of or backed out of his collar, you may want to think about getting a martingale collar for safety reasons.

Martingale collars are especially safe for dogs with narrower heads such as whippets, shelties and greyhounds, as these dogs often have an easier time slipping out of a regular collar.

2. Martingale collars are helpful for training.

The martingale collar tightens slightly if the dog pulls on the leash, but not so much where it will choke the dog or harm his neck in any way. If you prefer to give your dog slight tugs on the leash while working on leash manners, the martingale is a nice option.

Dogs that are still learning good leash manners are also more likely to pull or try to twist out of their collars when they see other dogs and other distractions. As mentioned above, the martingale collar is a good tool to prevent your dog from slipping out of his collar.

Two Martingale Collars

Shop Martingale collars

3. They’re gentler than a choke collar or prong collar.

The martingale collar allows you to give slight corrections if you’d like, but it is much gentler than a choke (or slip) collar or a prong/pinch collar. This makes it a nice option for a variety of dogs, even puppies or senior dogs.

4. They’re stylish.

Martingale collars come in all sorts of colors so you can find the right style for your unique dog. For example, dogIDs carries a chain martingale collar that is made with heavy-duty nylon material for the first loop and a steel chain for the second loop. If you prefer an option that’s all nylon, check out our embroidered nylon martingale option. We also offer a new waterproof martingale collar, which works great when training a dog that loves the water.

The martingale collar works great as your dog’s normal, everyday collar. Or, it can be used specifically for training. It just depends on what your needs are.

Do any of you use a martingale collar for your dog?

What more information about dogIDs collars? Check out these blogs.

Martingale Dog Collars for Training 

How to Choose the Right Collar for Your Dog

About Lindsay Stordahl

Lindsay Stordahl is a blogger for dogIDs.com. She has a black Lab mix named Ace and two naughty cats named Beamer and Scout. Lindsay owns a pet sitting business called Run That Mutt and also maintains the blog ThatMutt.com. ... Add Lindsay to your Google+ circles at . You can follow Lindsay on Twitter @ThatMutt.

  1. We have two bully mix dogs with thick necks..a regular flat collar does nothing for correction with these types of dogs..and a regular chain slip collar is ineffective because the narrowness keeps them from really feeling it until they are pulling too hard..the only benefit for chain for them is the click sound of a snap correction. But we have found that in most cases, martingales work best. We use a 2″ wide one on them both since the wider coverage makes them more aware when it does tighten..and does not run the high risks of injury associated with a CC. They are perfect for being tied up out back too. We do use prong collars for walks and crowds..but I would also Only recommend them for people who are trained in how to use them. PC are NOT meant for sustained tension and should Never be used for tying out your pups! But are a useful tool when properly used, especially on thick necked and/or stubborn pull/lunge dogs. They are meant for just a quick tension and release, or “snap” action. So that it only gets their attention, gets their brains back focused on what you are asking of them.
    I guess the best advice is that use of Any restraint requires research, training and practice. Each dog responds to different things..and sometimes breed also plays a Huge factor! It’s all about Everyone’s safety, including your furbaby!

  2. I have 2 female Vizsla’s that are 8 month’s old and they both wore Martingale Collars. One of them got her teeth caught in one of the loops on the collar of the other female and could not get lose from it. The harder she tried to get her mouth free the tighter the collar got on the other one’s neck. We were not able to release the collar to get it off of her neck and was choked until she passed out. If we had not been able to cut the collar off we would not have her today. After a very large vet bill and a lot of loving care she is back to her normal self. We are now afraid to put collar’s on either one of them!!

    • Totally agree! I just bought one and read on the tag that you cannot leave your pet without supervision while wearing it. I was so shocked. The collar looks pretty nice but it is an absolute NO for leaving your dogs alone wearing them. Not even with the buckle added. Dogs are mischievous and I just wouldn’t like to find and accident happened while back home and couldn’t stop it because of not being on the right time to open the holy buckle.

  3. I like that you mentioned that a martingale collar is much gentler than a choke or pinch collar. I just bought my wife a puppy, and we want to train him early on because we want him to behave around our children and not pose a threat. Thanks for the information–I’ll be sure to look for a martingale collar when I go to the pet store today!

  4. This article gave me some peace of mind today. I was given a martingale when I adopted our puppy and have used it until she was too big for it. I recently bought a new one and was pretty much accused of animal abuse and choking my dog because the petco dog trainer said I should be using a harness instead. I was so annoyed because I haven’t had any problems with it and i would never hurt my baby.

  5. Martingale collars are great for all the reasons you mentioned. Greyhounds have been wearing them for years, and now they are becoming popular with all breeds. There are some safety factors to consider however. They should not be left on a dog unattended as they can pose a choking hazard. For our greyhounds we use them for walks only, and keep tag collars on in the house. In addition, tags should never be placed on the “D-ring” of a martingale collar, which is the ring the leash attaches to. Again, caught tags can pose a choking hazard. Tags should be placed on the side hardware of the collar.

  6. I have been looking for a dog collar for my greyhound and I think I found it already in the martingale collar. And as you’ve said, they are best for dogs with narrower heads because it has features that make it hard for dogs to slip free. I will find a dog store soon to buy one of these.

  7. Great review. I have never tried this on my dog but it looks very interesting and nice. I must say that I like all of those mentioned above and price. Thanks for this post!!

  8. My husband put a marginal collar on our 8 month old dog. It wasn’t 10 minutes later it was tight around your head and her mouth. So tight he had to cut it off. Now she is drooling out the left side of her mouth for 5 days. She is playing , eating and seems ok. She goes to vet tomorrow. Did he put ot on wrong?? I am very upset. Knee surgery so I could not take her to vet

  9. Are the fabric martingale collars better than the half chain martingale collars as I have the one in the first picture . Are the both as secure as each other

  10. Petco trains their employees to sell useless junk, don’t go there. Find trainers that have trophies from legit competitions, like AKC obedience.


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