A martingale collar is traditionally used on greyhounds and whippets, but can be used on other breeds too. The martingale collar offers more support and control in certain situations, and if your dog is prone to slipping out of its current dog collar, then a martingale collar may be recommended. Importantly, if you have been recommended a martingale collar then it is key you know the facts, particularly related to safety of this style of collar. We answer some of the major questions on “what are martingale collars?” below.

What is the difference between a martingale collar and a regular collar?

The fundamental difference between a martingale dog collar and a traditional dog collar is that it has two loops. One is for adjusting size around your dog’s neck, whilst the other acts to offer extra control when a lead is attached. You can see all the Oscar & Hooch luxury martingale collars here.

Orange Neon martingale collar

How can they help in dog dog training?

If your dog starts to pull, then the collar will tighten around your dog’s neck without choking. Once your dog stops pulling, the tension is released and the collar will slacken. This offers a more humane alternative than choke collars or prong collars. Both of these, in our opinion, should never be used as they have the potential to cause harm as well as working as a negative training technique.

The mechanism means it will be harder for your dog to slip free. Very helpful if you are an owner whose dog is constantly backing out of its collar, and is particularly important if you live near busy roads! This explains why a martingale collar can be seen more often on greyhounds and similar breeds, who have a much narrower head and can slip their collar easily.

As with all advice relating to training, we don’t believe tools should be the first port of call. In other words try positive training techniques if your dog pulls before deciding to change your dog’s collar. Most dogs should be able to comfortably walk with a normal collar and lead with adequate training.

Neon martingale collar group

Are martingale collars safe?

Lots of dog trainers are now recommending martingale collars as a useful tool in the armoury. Used correctly, they should provide a safe alternative to others such as choke collars. If you have decided to use a martingale collar, it is imperative you understand how to adjust it. So before you start using it, make sure you have thoroughly checked the adjustment.

Because of the way martingale collars are used (to prevent dogs slipping their collars and to help in training) it is really important to note that a dog should never be left unsupervised wearing a martingale collar. When used without a lead there is the potential for the metal elements to slip down. This gives your dog the perfect opportunity to chew and worse still damage their teeth. Again, if a lead isn’t attached and your dog ventures outside it could easily get caught on a branch, fence or anything else sticking out, this clearly presents a danger to your dog.

What if my dog doesn't like wearing a martingale collar?

Finally, if you find your dog doesn’t take to the martingale collar then you should stop using one. Constant pressure on your dog’s neck from the tightening of a martingale collar could cause harm. Always consult with a professional accredited trainer or vet to see what recommendations and alternatives there might be.

We’ve discussed what martingale collars are, as well as when to use them, and when not to. We hope you have found these tips useful, for more tips and offers sign up to our newsletter here.


Is a martingale collar good for dogs?

Martingale collars are great for narrow-headed dogs, as well as dogs in lead training. They are easily adjustable and multi-functional.

Can a dog wear a martingale collar all the time?

No, martingale collars should not be worn all the time. Due to their tightening function, martingales can become a choking hazard if they are left unattended.

Is a martingale collar better than a harness?

A martingale collar prevents dogs from slipping the collar, as it tightens in response to a pull on the lead. Whereas a harness can distribute the force from a pull, which is easier on the neck of your dog. You should choose one or the other (or both) depending on your dog's needs.

What dogs should wear a martingale collar?

The features of a martingale work well for Sight hounds (like whippets, greyhounds, Borzoi, and Saluki) and similar breeds with a neck as wide or wider than their head.