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What Are the Best Materials for a Dog Collar?

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

double collar

Purchasing a collar may seem like a brainless task. You look at them, pick the color you like best, and buy it—right? Not necessarily. If you want a durable, long-lasting collar that will hold up through the test of time on your dog, the material aspect is essential.

Do you have a chewer, a Houdini, or a dog with sensitive skin? Is the collar for identification purposes, lead training, or strictly the look? Depending on their individual needs, the answer to what makes the best collar could be very different. Let’s explore the various types, and what kinds of dogs could benefit from them the most.

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Of all collar types, nylon webbing may well be the most popular choice. They come in various color selections with different buckles. Most of them have plastic buckles with a metal hook for tags. While most nylon webbing has very similar durability, you will want to check to make sure the plastic buckle can hold up.

While these collars are quite standard, they may not be for every dog. Some dogs have a nylon allergy, which would irritate the skin around the collar. That could cause hair loss, blistering, scabbing, and general discomfort. It isn’t common, but it can happen.

Nylon can also take quite a beating if your dog gets ahold of it. They absolutely can chew through a nylon collar if they stay at it long enough. However, it can come away unscathed if you catch them in time. The nylon webbing provides very tight-knit stitching that won’t come unraveled without excessive perseverance.

Also, if you are using this to tie your dog out or walk them, and they tend to pull, it can loosen over time. While this won’t be a huge issue, since most of these are adjustable, it still may deter you.

hunting dog with training collar
Image credit: PaigeWhite, Shutterstock
  • Generally affordable
  • Easy to replace
  • Lightweight
  • Many style choices
  • May stretch out over time
  • Some dogs may be allergic


Leather Collar
Featured Image Credit: Pikrepo

Leather is another prevalent choice for dog collars. It’s really no surprise, as leather is stylish and versatile. You can get the item personalized to your liking or choose from a wide selection of predesigned picks.

Genuine leather can last a very long time and looks incredibly dapper. You can customize the collar with personalized embossing or metal plating. They tend to fit belt buckle-style, so you can easily adjust their collar with growth.

There is a misconception that leather can never get wet, which is not valid. They can undoubtedly handle moisture, but you do have to treat the leather regularly. Even still, it’s advisable to remove the collar when you are bathing your dog to give their neck a break. It also helps to get under the collar for fresh cleanliness, allowing the area to air dry after.

Leather may be a bit tricky to clean and care for as well. These collars tend to be the more expensive choice and are time-consuming to care for, so make sure you have the time for upkeep. If you don’t use a treatment such as leather wax to clean the collar and keep it in top shape, it can develop odor or stiffen over time.

  • Stylish
  • Long-lasting
  • Transitional for life phases
  • Customizable
  • Higher maintenance
  • More expensive



If you have a dog that loves splashing around in the water and is ready to jump in at a moment’s notice, the BioThane collar may be a perfect fit. BioThane material is flexible and water-resistant. They are incredibly beneficial to dogs that get into everything since they repel water and don’t stain.

They wipe down quickly, so if you have a dog who will run right to a puddle or mud hole when they are let out or insist on getting into the trash, you can clean it without issue. The material is very smooth and you can rinse it off or wash it up with plain old soap and water.

BioThane collars come with both metal belt style-buckles and traditional adjustable hard plastic buckles, so you can choose the style you like best. You can even buy selections that mimic leather, so you can have the good looks without the hassle.

When it comes to cost, that part can vary. Specific BioThane collars can be relatively cheap, while others are much pricier. However, the coated material is terrifically well-made. It can stand up against heavy chewing without breaking apart, so if your dog gets ahold of it, no worries.

  • Perfect for dogs who love water
  • Easy cleaning
  • Flexible
  • Virtually indestructible
  • Can get pricy


Featured Image Credit: Pxfuel

If you wanted to opt for an eco-friendlier dog collar, hemp is all the hype these days. They consist of all-natural materials that are safe for your dog and the planet. Most selections are lined with fleece, providing extra comfort for your pooch.

While they can get a little dirty, most of them are machine washable. So, if your dog is out roughhousing in the elements, you can toss it into the washer for a quick cleaning when they’re done. They come with both metal or plastic clips and buckles.

These are super soft and environmentally safe, but they can stretch out with long term use. That is especially true if your dog is a puller. Also, if you have a chewer, they can likely chew this up quicker than some other materials.

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Most are machine washable
  • Can stretch out
  • Dogs can chew through easily

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So, What’s Your Pick?

Sometimes, collars are the same as toys, leashes, dog beds, and other items— trial and error. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be well-informed on the types of dog collars so you can make the best selection. Remember that what may work for one may not work for all. Try to consider your dogs’ health and personality in your purchase. They need a collar that will last, and you probably could do without constant replacement, too.

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Featured Image Credit: Pikist

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

Authored by

Nicole is a lover of animals of all sizes but is especially fascinated with the feline variety. She’s the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese, and works every day so he can relax in the sunshine or by the fire. She’s always had a cat in her home and has spent countless days with others, observing behaviors and softening up even the grouchiest of the lot. Nicole wants to share her kitty expertise with you so you and your cat ...Read more

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