size & measuring guide
It is important for your dog’s health, safety and security that items like collars and harnesses fit correctly. By properly measuring your dog for a collar or harness you can make sure you buy the right item in the right size.
A dog’s collar needs to fit such that it can’t be easily slipped out of, but it should not restrict or affect their breathing or swallowing. Age and breed can be a factor in sizing. Consider the likelihood that your dog’s neck will change size and buy a collar that adjusts accordingly. This is particularly important with puppies who will typically increase a whole collar size as they reach adolescence.
MEASURING YOUR DOG
Use a fabric tape measure (ideally) or a piece of string and a ruler.
With your dog sitting or standing, place the measure or string around their neck at a point around 5-8cm from their head. Pull the tape or string snug to the dog’s neck, but not tight.
This is your dog’s neck measurement.
You should be able to comfortably fit two fingers under the collar – not so tight as to discomfort the dog but not so loose that they might slip out of the collar. Look for a collar with a mid-range measurement of the size you’ve taken. For example, for a neck measurement of 32cm, look for a collar around 27-40cm. Our collar sizes list a minimum and maximum adjustment size.
Remember, collar size can change over time (especially if your dog is fond of treats) so always measure your dog before buying a new collar.
Lastly, if your dog is a sighthound – lurchers, greyhounds etc. – it’s usually best that they wear a special collar (sometimes known as a martingale) that is wider on one side. This protects them should they pull excessively when they see something they instinctively want to chase.
A dog’s harness should fit snuggly – secure but not restrictive. Age and breed can be a factor in sizing. Consider how likely it is that your dog will change size and buy a harness that adjusts accordingly.
MEASURING YOUR DOG
Use a fabric tape measure (ideally) or a piece of string with a ruler.
With your dog standing, place the measure around the broadest part of their body – usually the ‘armpit’ by their front legs. Pull the tape or string snug to the dog, but not tight.
Next, measure the widest part of their chest, roughly halfway between their front legs and the bottom of the neck.
These two measurements indicate the two sizes needed for a harness. Some harnesses also measure by weight.
If your dog is between sizes, always go to the larger size. We only sell adjustable harnesses, so a comfortable fit should be straightforward.
Always measure your dog before buying a new harness – don’t assume they’re the same size as they were when you last bought one.
A note on dog collars & harnesses
It can be easy to forget that wearing a collar or harness is not natural for a dog, and some training may be required. Allow your dog to become used to the sensation of putting on and wearing a collar or harness. Do this whilst they’re a puppy, and not at the last minute before you have to go for a walk. For more advice on collar and harness training, see this page from Battersea.