Guide to Measuring & Fitting Martingale Collars

If you are unfamiliar with a martingale collar or half-check collar, please read our articles, Martingale Dog Collars: Types & Uses and Martingale Collar Safety & Use

A martingale collar should fit like a regular collar when on your dog. The size ranges we cite on our website is the range of the collar (smallest to largest) and you should choose a size that your dogs neck size will fit within. If you don't have a tape rule to measure, Or, CLICK HERE for a downloadable/printable yardstick.

How to measure & determine the size you need for a Slip-On Martingale or Half-Check collar (slips over the head):

  • Measure 1) the largest part of your dog's head and the middle of his/her neck (where the collar will be when on leash). This is usually from the jawline to the top of his/her head (see video).
  • If your dog's head is larger than its neck, use your dogs head measurement to determine the size you need.
  • If your dogs neck is larger than his head, use your dogs neck measurement to determine the size you need.
  • Now add at least 1" (for dogs with a neck size smaller than 13"), and 2" (for dogs with a neck size larger than 13") more to to the above measurements (head or neck). For example, if your dogs head is bigger than his neck and measures 17", you will add 2" to that (19") and will need a collar with a size range that goes up to 19." If you are purchasing one of our slip-on martingale collars, you will need a Large (size range: 14" - 20").

 How to measure & determine the size you need for a Buckle Martingale or Buckle Half-Check collar:

  • Measure your dogs neck size (middle of his/her neck where the collar will sit). Because this collar buckles on, you do not need a head size.
  • Add 1 to 1.5" for smaller dogs (under 13"), and 2" to your neck measurement for larger dogs (neck size over 13") For example, if your dogs neck measures 17", add 2" to that (equaling 19" ). That would put your dog in our Large (12 - 20") or X-Large (13" - 24").

NOTE: If you are ordering a custom collar, be mindful of the width of the collar and how it will fit on your dog. While you may order any width you'd like, the wider the collar, the heavier and bigger the hardware will be. Especially with the chain loop martingales. The narrower the collar, the thinner and weaker the hardware will be. For best results, order the width that corresponds to our in-stock sizes: 

  • 5/8" wide for x-small, small collars;
  • 3/4" wide for medium collars
  • 1" for large, x-large collars.


How to fit your dog in your martingale collar or half-check collar once it arrives:

  • Adjust the collar it to it's largest size, working the nylon adjuster as far down as it will go
  • Slip the collar over your dog's nose and head. Once at the neck, adjust it down to a size for some wiggle room. You should be able to fit a finger or two in between your dogs collar and neck comfortably.
  • Attach your leash to the D-ring on the loop of the collar, and you are ready to go!


About The Artful Canine Martingale Collars

Our martingales are fully adjustable, comfortable, durable, washable, fashionable, and designed to last. All of our collars are made in our shop in the USA, and come with a limited 1 year guarantee. We offer several different martingale styles - a slip-on style,  half-check (chain loop) style,  a buckle martingale, and a buckle (chain loop) half-check. We have a huge selection of martingale collars in stock, and we offer half-checks made to order almost any way you want!