How safe is your dog’s collar?

We have been making collars and leashes at K9 Pro for many years and have taught as many dog owners as possible about the dangerous of leash and collar breakage. We speak to many dog owners who have experienced leash or collar breakage, but there are still far too many owners risking their dogs lives by putting their trust in equipment that is almost guaranteed to fail under even small amounts of pressure.

Having good quality equipment on your dog isn’t just for look or fun, it is about safety – whether your dog is a pet, competition or working dog it is always critical to make sure any equipment you put on your dog won’t fail.

Take a look at this picture:

1075092_10151544685103244_1662782762_nWhat are the biggest differences you see in these collars? They both have stitching, buckle clasps, both look like leather and have what appear to be brass fittings. The style is very similar and aside from colour, there aren’t too many differences, right?


Here’s a closer look at the red collar.

broken collar
A close up of the red collar – looks can be deceiving!

The red collar belongs to a client of ours, she had it on her mild mannered Labrador as a fun, every day collar. Just last week we had the Labrador on a tie out while our client worked her younger dog on our training field. All of a sudden the lab appeared out of no where, it had decided to come down to the field to have some fun too and with barely any pressure broke the collar apart as though it was a piece of cardboard.

A close up of the red collar's D-Ring
A close up of the red collar’s D-Ring

Sadly this is NOT uncommon. On a closer inspection of the red collar you can see it isn’t real leather. The fittings are are actually nickle, not brass, the stitching is cheap twine and when you look at the D-Ring that the leash attaches to, it isn’t soldered together which means even if the collar material had been strong enough to hold up to a small amount of pressure, the D-Ring could bend breaking away from the collar.

Even if a collar may looks ok superficially, you really need to take a closer look to make sure you are putting a piece of equipment on your dog that is safe, quality and isn’t going to fail under pressure.

The brown leather collar we are using in this comparison is one of our K9 Pro soft hide leather collars, these collars are hand made, hand stitched with heavy duty 277 commercial stitching, and have solid brass snaps. The leather is the best quality leather we have found world wide and is extremely tough and durable, suffice to say, these collars will not break.

Our 2" Tactical Deployment collar.
Our 2″ Tactical Deployment collar.

However, it is also crucial to make sure you select equipment that is appropriate for your dog. While our equipment is super tough you still need to make sure you are using the right tool for the job. For example we have 2″ leather agitation collars that are designed to use on large powerful breeds in bite work, you wouldn’t want a 3/4″ collar on these dogs, or to do agitation work with our 1/2″ puppy leash.

If you aren’t sure what equipment is best for your dog, be sure to ask us! We fit 100s if not 1000s of dogs with equipment every year and we can definitely assist you with choosing the right equipment for your dog.

We have sold 1000s of leashes and collars at K9 Pro and we have never had one of our leashes or collars break under pressure, equipment safety is something we take very seriously at K9 Pro, especially when we are handling dangerous and aggressive dogs here daily.

So please – take this blog post as a reminder to check your dog’s equipment – will it stand up to the test?

About SteveK9Pro

Steve Courtney is a Nationally Accredited Canine Behaviour Specialist, Obedience Trainer, Law Enforcement Dog Trainer and ANKC Breeder. Steve has been training dogs all his life and in these articles he shares with you his experience...

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  1. She bent the D ring.

    I have a little 37 lb adopted mix breed dog named Kim (about 8 months old) that really likes to pull. In case it is important she looks like she has some Husky and Heeler in her. I’m still working on getting her to walk with me without constantly tugging on the leash but the real problem is I have to work and be away for 8-9 hours a day so I leave her tied in the yard. I come home one day and she is sitting there like a little angle not attached to her leash. My first thought is she slipped her collar but nope. Instead I find a warped D ring with a full centimeter gap between the steel ends that should be touching. I only got the collar about 1 month ago, 1 and a half tops.

    When I got her I knew she was going to need a strong collar so I found what I thought was the best from the local store. It was a Leather collar for a large dog and I punched holes into it so it could fit her. I knew she was strong but this is impressive especially since I don’t think she is near fully grown yet. Since it lasted about a month I am going to get another one but I don’t want this to be a monthly thing. What type of approach should I have for finding a strong collar for my little Amazon dog? I don’t want her roaming around after all. Also would Nylon be better than leather for a collar? I really like having a leather collar for her but if nylon would be a better choice I am considering it.

  2. The Tactical Deployment Collar made ALL THE DIFFERENCE in the world with my Zeus.

  3. Fascinating, hadnt really thought about this, but I definitely will next time I purchase one. Dont want any major issues, coming because of a poorly designed collar

    • Hi John, a lot of people don’t think about it until their equipment fails. It is all too easy for poor quality equipment to fail!

      • When I got my Dobe I went & bought a lead & collar (not a cheap one) I had it for a while but one day out walking my Dobe she spotted a cat, a big lunge & the clip on the lead just snapped & off she went if the road had been close she would have been run over, I called her & she can back. I thought the lead & collar had brass attachments but they were nickel, when I rang the manufacture they told me it had never happen before ??? from then on I have bought leads & collars from Steve K9

  4. Timely post, my son was taking Roxy and Jedda for a walk late at night when, Roxy’s decided to chase a balloon (maybe she thought it was a cat), her collar broke, she ran straight across the road, luckily no cars. It gave my son a scare, someone could have had a dead cat and I could have had a dead dog.

    • Hi Cynthia, thanks for sharing your experience with us, great to hear nothing more serious happened! It really does show how easily leash or collar breakage can happen.

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