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Martingale Collar Guide

Purpose of martingales?

The intention of a martingale collar is to exert greater control over your dog whilst on a walk. Martingales are also called limited slip collars as they are designed to prevent your dog from backing or slipping out of the collar.


Martingale collars are the preferred dog collar of many dog owners and professional dog trainers as they:

  • Escape Proof
  • Help to avert neck injuries
  • Ideal collar for ‘stop-pulling’ training

This is why Martingale collars are considered effective, safe, and humane.


How does it work?

Martingale collars consist of two parts. A normal flat collar component and the control loop. In some collars the control loop is made from the same fabric as the collar itself, whilst others use a metal chain.

A well fitted martingale sits loosely around your dogs’ neck. The extra control will be provided when the leash is attached to the d-ring. The small loop tightens when your dog pulls on the leash, which makes it escape proof, but again, it won’t choke your dog or cause damage to your dog’s neck.


A martingale collar is the humane option to train your dog to not pull on the leash. The tightening when pulling will signal your dog to pay attention, but it won’t choke or injure your dog’s neck as it distributes the pressure evenly around your dog’s neck and loosens again once your dog stops pulling. In contrast, choke chains and prong/pinch collars, constantly place concentrated pressure on your dog’s neck. You can test this by yourself by placing a choke collar around your arm or leg and then pulling. Next, do the same thing with a martingale collar. Did you feel the difference? Did you feel the excessive pressure when pulling on the choke chain?


Do martingale collars injure or hurt my dog?

Martingale collars are considered to be the safest and most effective collar for training your dog. They have been recommended and approved by many veterinarians.


Key features and benefits

  • Fits loosely, but tightens evenly around the neck when necessary
  • Therefore, provides better control over your dog
  • Makes it perfect for leash training
  • Hinders ‘escape artists’ from slipping out
  • And is more comfortable for your dog compared to choke chains that always sit tight


For Which Dog Breeds are Martingale Collars?

They were originally designed for Sighthounds but are suitable for any dog breed unless contraindicated. They are especially beneficial for dog’s with same or bigger neck size than their head, like Sighthounds (e. g. Greyhounds, Whippets), Dachshunds or Collies. This body structure makes it easier for dogs to slip out of a normal flat collar. In contrast, if your dog’s head is wider or larger than their neck, it is much harder for them to slip out of their collar.


Is a martingale the right training collar for you and your dog?

  • Do you want to teach your dog or puppy the leash-walking basics?
  • Is your dog a master of escaping out of their normal collar?
  • Have other training methods, like clicker training or hand signals, been unsuccessful?

If any of the above apply to you and your dog’s situation, then a martingale collar might be right for you.

The right fit is key. If you are buying a martingale collar for the first time, make sure you measure your dog properly. You can find a martingale measuring guide here.


Please keep in mind that there is no such thing as a collar that is suitable for every kind of dog. Every dog is different. Even though martingale collars are generally safe, they can’t make up for untrained dogs that strongly and relentlessly pull on the leash. Martingales, like other dog collars won’t replace a proper dog training. Instead, Martingale collars are great for supporting you during leash training as your dog will receive immediate feedback (tightening) when pulling.


Interested in giving a martingale collar a try?


Rather than just reading about the benefits of a martingale, why not give one a try? You be the judge.

You can find beautiful and unique designs that are durable yet comfortable and give you and your dog all the safety you need. You can browse our Martingale Collection here.