big dog wearing a mint blue collar made for big dogs

Top tips for finding safe collars for big dogs

If you own a big dog, you’ll know the hassle of trying to find nice collars for big dogs all too well. 

Not only does there seem to be a lack of ‘fashionable’ or ‘beautiful' collars for big dogs, there is also the added worry of whether collars and leads will be strong enough for your big dog, too. 

As a big dog owner (who has experienced a LOT of broken collars and leads over the years), I’ve put together my top tips for finding safe and suitable leashes and collars for big dogs. 

1. The width of the collar and lead 

In general, wide collars offer more protection around the neck and a more even distribution of any force when pulling on the lead (in turn, hopefully leading to less discomfort for your pooch should they decide to take you for a walk…)
Collars less than 1inch (25mm) in width aren’t suitable for big dogs, because a collar that’s too thin can cause more damage, especially if it were to tighten around your dogs neck. 

Personally, we find that 50mm is too wide and restrictive around our big dogs neck, so we like to stick with a 38mm wide collar. 

2. Hardware and fittings 

When it comes to collar fittings, make sure it has a nice chunky D ring if you will be attaching the lead to the collar and make sure there are several rivets (or ideally, sealed screws) either side of the D ring and any attachment points in the unlikely event that one screw or rivet does fail. 

In terms of leads for big dogs, I am most confident with a locking carabiner clip. These bad boys have a break strength of over 400kg, but they aren’t cheap! 

Not all dog accessory brands will make leads with locking clips, so the following clips are your next best option with a break strength of around 190-230kg. 

3. Things to avoid 

My number one top tip is to avoid any of the following hardware fittings on leashes and collars for big dogs: 
In my experience, and looking at the break strength of these fittings, they are not strong enough to hold the force of a big dog pulling or potentially jolting on the lead. 

Furthermore, flexi leads and big dogs are a danger waiting to happen in my opinion. If you need to provide your big dog freedom or are recall training, a thick and suitable waterproof long line is a much safer and stronger option. 

4. Materials used 

If you are purchasing a Biothane or fabric collar or lead, make sure you have chosen the correct width for your collar (as discussed in point 1).

For biothane leashes, I personally find anything under 19mm in width isn’t strong enough and can easily break under any force from a big dog. 

If you prefer rope leashes for your dog, the chunkier the better! We love our big boy Leadporium rope leads

5. Recommendations from other big dog owners 

If you’re new to owning a big dog, or just generally unsure, it’s always good to speak to other big dog owners and find out what has worked for them! 

I’ve put together this article in the hope it helps just one other large dog owner find safe collars for their dog. 

I hope this guide gave you some helpful hints and tips when shopping for collars for big dogs. 

(Disclaimer: I do not recommend attaching a lead to a collar on a very big or strong dog prone to pulling as this can cause injury. We have experienced a lot of broken collars and leads whilst training Busby not to pull and this guide is purely to share what we have found helpful and what we have learnt to avoid) 
Back to blog

Leave a comment