Which Slip & Martingale Collar for dogs is best?

There are any number of distractions, disturbances and other triggers that a dog can encounter when out in the world, especially a puppy or a rescue dog. That’s why owners turn to slip and Martingale collars when training dogs so that nervous pups don’t try to break free and escape.

Martingale collars are safe, humane and effective; the collar tightens slightly when the dog pulls, but it doesn’t tighten so much that they choke. This Martingale collar from If It Barks is a top pick for its durability and comfort. Knowing which collars are effective and which are potentially dangerous is important for the safety and successful training of your dog.

What to know before you buy a slip & Martingale collar for dogs

What’s the difference between a slip collar and a martingale collar?

A Martingale collar is a type of dog collar that provides added security without sacrificing comfort or safety when on a walk. They resemble standard collars, but feature a secondary loop with a D-ring where the leash attaches. When the dog pulls, this secondary loop restricts. The collar does not choke the dog; owners adjust the secondary loop to a tightness that is comfortable but secure.

Slip collars, however, don’t feature the secondary loop and instead continuously restrict as the dog pulls. If a dog pulls too hard consistently, it can cause serious damage to their throat.


Martingale collars are popular for training dogs to walk and obey outdoors. They are frequently used with younger dogs as well as rescues or recently adopted dogs whose history is uncertain. Any dog that may be spooked or engaged by the outside world for any reason, whether they are reactive to other animals or scared of loud noises, will benefit from a Martingale collar that prevents their escape.


It’s important to buy the right fitting collar to avoid discomfort or ineffectiveness. Measure the part of the neck a couple inches down from the head for the most accurate reading. Use a flexible tape measure or a piece of string that can later be stretched out against a ruler. Measure tightly around the neck but not so much that it causes discomfort. It’s advised to add about an inch to that measurement for smaller dogs and up to two inches for larger dogs.

Most collars are adjustable within a 5-inch range. When affixing it to the dog, you should be able to fit two fingers between their skin and the inside of the collar.


Most Martingale collars need to be loosen and placed over the dog’s head, at which point it can be adjusted accordingly. These will feature adjustable buckles that are durable and hold up to frequent training. Some options feature a plastic quick-release button that is more common in traditional collars. These may be favorable to smaller dogs that have less power behind them, but larger dogs may not be suited to a quick-release that lacks the strength and stability of a buckle.

What to look for in a quality slip & Martingale collar for dogs

Color and patterns

While color does not affect the quality of a collar, it’s a feature that can add some style. Most Martingale collars come in a wide range of colors so that owners can find their favorite. Others may feature various patterns, including floral or camouflage designs. There may be some that feature characters from pop culture as well.


Martingale collars should be made of nylon or polyester. Nylon is most common, offering a cheap yet durable collar that is light and breathable. However, they can at times attract smells, especially if submerged in water, and cleaning isn’t the easiest. Polyester is similar but tends to be easier to clean and is longer lasting. 

Some options may incorporate neoprene, which comes at a higher price but offer more comfort, especially to sensitive skin, and dries quickly.


The safest Martingale collars feature a sturdy, metal D-ring that is fused together on the straight side. Reinforced stitching is also a common added feature. Some options also include reflective strips to add a bit of visibility when walking at night.

How much you can expect to spend on slip & Martingale collar for dogs

Most Martingale collars cost between $10-$20 with price fluctuations based on size and extra features.

Slip & Martingale collar for dogs FAQs

Should I keep my dog in a Martingale collar?

A. As Martingale collars are used for training on walks and to prevent escaping, it’s advised to remove them once inside, especially when the dog is left alone. Some owners may replace it with a standard collar while others may let dogs be free entirely. It should not be used to tether a dog outside. As dogs become obedient and walk as instructed, they may be able to switch to a standard collar or harness.

Are chain or shock collars safe tools for walking and training?

A. Choke chains, also known as chain collars, as well as shock or bark collars are part of a class of aversive tools that use physical pain to create a desired response. Since these collars cause harm to the dog, they are considered inhumane by the Humane Society of the United States.

Any pain caused during a walk is not only cruel, but creates a negative association with walking where fear will dictate their behavior. Instead, positive reinforcement should be used so that the walk is pleasurable and the dog is eager to obey.

What’s the best slip & Martingale collar for dogs to buy?

Top slip & martingale collar for dogs

If It Barks Martingale Collar

If It Barks Martingale Collar

What you need to know: Durable nylon collar that caters to various size dogs and comes in a variety of exciting colors.

What you’ll love: Effective Martingale collar that deters pulling and prevents escapes. Multiple size and color options suit most dogs. Quick-release snap available as alternative to buckle.

What you should consider: These collars can be expensive and the thicker width may be uncomfortable for smaller dogs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top slip & martingale collar for dogs for the money

Blueberry Pet Training Martingale Collar

Blueberry Pet Training Martingale Collar

What you need to know: From a trusted name, this inexpensive, yet effective Martingale collar offers safety and reliability.

What you’ll love: Light and breathable nylon collar made by a popular name in dog accessories. Available in a range of bright colors at a low price.

What you should consider: Relatively thin, may not be ideal for larger dogs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

PetSafe Martingale Dog Collar

PetSafe Martingale Dog Collar

What you need to know: Simple, yet effective Martingale collar at a low price that offers comfort and peace of mind.

What you’ll love: Nylon collar keeps dogs safe, while being easy on the skin and avoiding matting of fur. Offered in different colors at an affordable price.

What you should consider: Lacks long term durability.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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