Martingale Dog Collar: How to Use It The Right & Safe Way?

Martingale dog collar is a beautiful choice for dogs with narrower heads than the neck. It provides enough pressure to prevent the dog from slipping out, but not so much as to choke the animal. Traditionally used on whippets and greyhounds, it has become more mainstream. Nowadays, dog owners of all types are using martingale dog collars. Put them around their neck, adjust the size as comfortable for your dog, and you are good to go. 

What Is A Martingale Collar?

A Martingale collar, or limited-slip collar, is a type of dog collar that supports and controls dogs, especially those who pull on the leash. However, it’s not just another type of dog collar; it is meant to help you teach your dog more reliable behaviours. It was first invented by a French trainer named Henri Martin in the late 1980s. Superficially, they may resemble a flat collar but are not. 

How Does A Martingale Collar Work?

A martingale collar comprises two parts. 

  • Smaller loop: It has a D-ring to attach it to the leash. 
  • Adjustable loop: It goes around the dog’s neck.

As the name suggests, the second loop (adjustable loop) enables control over the collar band. While it secures the dog’s head, it is also helpful in mitigating any chances of slipping off or choking. For instance, when your pet tries to pull or slip out, it creates tension in the smaller loop which eventually causes the larger loop to tighten up. 

In other words, a martingale collar will tighten when it becomes too loose and loosen when it becomes too tight – which creates a vigorous behaviour that will make your dog stop or reduce pulling during walks. The loop is only so tight so as not to hurt the dog. 

How Do You Use A Martingale Dog Collar?

After finding the right size for your dog’s neck, you are now required to fit it around his ears. To do this:

  • Loosen the collar and slip it down around your dog’s neck.
  • Pull it down gently behind the ears.
  • Adjust the straps while using the tri-glides to tighten the collar   
  • Attach the leash to the D-ring on the collar 
  • Test it with your fingers

That’s it. Now your dog won’t be able to back out. 

How To Find The Correct Fit For Your Dog’ Martingale Collar?

To buy a collar that fits perfectly, measure three areas so that you pick nothing but the right collar. Measure the size of your dogs head:

  • Behind the ears (smallest part)
  • Around the head (largest part)
  • Just where the collar sits

Note: Add two more inches to the measurement when buying a martingale collar for bigger dogs. Add 1.5 for smaller-sized dogs.

Should I Use A Martingale Collar?

If you decide to have a martingale collar, you will receive multiple benefits, and not one. Main among them include:

  • A martingale collar can be adjusted to a comfortable size.
  • It also loosens when it is too tight, which prevents injury to your pet’s neck.
  • It can make walking more enjoyable for both dog and owner as the dog will no longer pull on the leash. 
  • Martingale collars are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. 
  • It can make walks more pleasant without heavy training methods, such as choke chains.

Where Should A Martingale Collar Sit?

The martingale collar should sit at the middle of the dog’s neck. If it is tight around the ears, it may cause discomfort for your dog. 

Can I Leave A Martingale Collar On My Dog?

No, it is not recommended to leave the martingale collar on your dog. The tightening feature of the martingale collar can turn life-threatening if left unattended. For instance, in an attempt to free himself from the collar, your dog may snag a branch or a small piece of furniture. This can get dangerous.

Therefore, when at home, use a tag collar or narrower buckle as it fits loosely and poses no risk even if it snags. Your furry friend can come out of it easily without harming himself. 

Do Martingale Collars Help With Pulling?

Yes, this is their primary function. It helps tell the dog he is not behaving appropriately and should stop doing that immediately. 

Can Martingale Collars Hurt Dogs?

Martingale collars are specifically meant for dogs at risk of pulling or backing out while walking. They are by no means walking aids for dogs who keep pulling. This can turn hazardous for the dogs because the non-stop pulling action will tighten up the collar repeatedly. This sustained tightening will make your pooch uncomfortable. Though the collars are safe, the dangling loop may get caught in various things and can hurt your dog.

Why Are Martingale Collars Better?

There is nothing more upsetting than a dog slipping away while you both were out and about enjoying a pleasant evening. Luckily, you can prevent this by using a better collar – a martingale collar. The design comes in handy in multiple ways.

  • It is a training aid

A dog who is learning to walk on a leash tends to pull more while walking. This behaviour can be hurtful. If not choking, he may receive serious injuries. This is especially true for ordinary collars. But with martingale collars, the risk is minimal. While walking, if the dog pulls, the adjustable loop immediately tightens the grip. This mechanism teaches him not to pull or else it will lead to tightness and discomfort. Eventually instilling in him good leash behaviour.

  • Martingale collars speak style

Martingale collars come in various styles and colours, giving you ample choices to align them with your dog’s colour and breed. 

  • Martingale collars are safe and gentle

Martingale collars are more humane than you can think of. The size is customizable, and you can even adjust the length. Once done, it won’t constrict beyond the limit set. Moreover, when tension is created due to pulling, it distributes evenly. They are also customizable.

  • Martingale collar won’t let your dog slip

If you are worried about your pet a’s behaviour of slipping away now and then, you need a martingale collar. Once tied perfectly, slipping out of this collar is hard regardless of the texture, size of the head, or head shape. 

  • It suits all dog breeds

It may have been invented for dogs with narrower heads (compared to necks), but these are found to be helpful for all kinds of dogs. They are perfect for owners looking for greater control over their dogs who have a habit of slipping out more often. 

  • Martingale collars use comforting materials

Martingale collars use comfortable fabrics such as cotton, nylon, rubber, and leather to keep your dog happy and enjoy stepping out.

How Are Martingale collars Different From Standard Regular Ones?

The main difference between a martingale collar to a regular collar is that you can use the former for training. Plus, the owner has complete control over the tightening mechanism, thus preventing any health hazard.  


The martingale collar not only looks much better than your regular collar, but it is also way more stylish. You may choose to replace it with the latter or use it only for training purposes; the choice is yours. Also, you may feel tempted by the variety of martingale collars available, but you should choose only the proper size suitable for your dog. Please take the correct measurement, and fit it gently. Do test before you venture out with your dog, and rest assured you and your dog will love the walk.