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Martingale FAQs - What is a Martingale Collar?

If you're new to martingales, welcome! Here are a few things that you'll want to know before purchasing.  If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us.

What is a martingale collar?

A martingale collar is a special kind of dog collar that was originally designed to keep sighthounds with small heads and thicker necks from backing out of their collars. However, martingales have become increasingly popular across many breeds, both because of their usefulness for leash training and because of their availability in a wide range of widths and designs.

Often referred to as a humane alternative to a choke collar, the martingale collar consists of a large loop that encircles the dog’s neck and is connected to a smaller loop with a D-ring for leash attachment.  When a human pulls on the leash to restrain the dog, the small loop becomes taut, causing the larger loop to tighten evenly around the dog’s neck, thus preventing the dog from backing out of the collar.  

How do I measure my dog for a martingale?

A martingale collar does NOT come with a buckle; therefore, the collar must be large enough at its maximum adjustable size to slide over the widest part of your dog's head.

To properly measure your dog for a martingale, please measure the circumference around the following three areas and then choose the size from our drop-down menu that includes all three of these measurements:

   1) the widest part of your dog's head
   2) the neck just behind the ears
   3) the neck where the collar generally sits

As an example, if the widest circumference point of your dog's head is 17.5", the neck behind the ears is 15", and the neck where the collar sits is 16.5", you want to choose the size range that includes all three of these measurements.  This dog would require a MEDIUM collar, which is adjustable from 14" to 18.5" inches.   PLEASE NOTE: If you feel your dog is between our pre-set sizes, choose the larger of the two sizes from the drop-down menu and then leave a note during checkout with your dog's measurements.

How do I adjust my martingale for a proper fit?

With martingales, achieving a proper fit is very important.  If the collar is too loose, the collar will not function as it should, and you will not have control over your dog.  A loose collar can also become a hazard if the dog gets his paw stuck in one of the loops.  For this reason, you want to be sure that the collar is tight enough that when you pull on the D-ring, the two connector slides (which attach the small loop to the large one) are about three fingers' width apart.  If you can't fit three fingers between these connectors, then the collar is probably too loose.


Can my dog wear a martingale all the time?

No, martingale collars should NOT be worn all the time. Because of the martingale's tightening function, martingales can become a choking hazard if left on unattended dogs.  If the martingale snags a piece of furniture, a branch, a stray paw, etc, it's very likely that your dog will not be able to free himself or herself.  If you wish to keep tags on your dog at all times, we recommend also using a separate, narrower buckle or tag collar that fits more loosely.  That way, if your dog's collar becomes snagged on something when no one's around, he or she can back out of it more easily.