When you bring your new golden into your home, one of the first bits of kit you’ll need is a collar. It’s right up there with a leash, high quality food and water bowls, a brush and toys.
But, what collar should you get for your four-legged friend, and how should you go about choosing it?
Buying the right collar for your golden retriever can be overwhelming, especially for a first time dog owner. There are all kinds on the market, so it can be tough to know which is right for you and your dog.
That’s why we’ve put together this list featuring ten of the best collars for golden retrievers, along with some handy general buying tips.
You’ll soon be picking out a collar like a pro!
Table Of Contents
What Is A Dog’s Collar For, Anyway?
This might seem like a silly question, but it’s good to start with the basics! What is a dog’s collar for and why do they need one?
One of the primary purposes for many people is to attach a leash for walking their dog. However, not everyone walks their dog on a collar. Many people opt to use a harness or halter to walk their dog, as they can offer more control or increased comfort for the dog. So, does your dog still need a collar? In short, yes.
The main reason your dog should always be wearing a collar when they’re out and about is because you they need to wear an ID tag with your name, address and contact details on it, in case they get lost.
Your pup should be wearing a tag even if they’re micro-chipped, because any good Samaritan can read this info, whereas they would have to be taken to a vet’s office or animal control to have their microchip read. In some areas, it’s even a legal requirement for your dog to be wearing this kind of tag.
In places where licensing your dog is an option – or a requirement – you’d also need to affix the license to their collar.
Should Your Golden Retriever Have A Flat Or Rolled Collar?
When it comes to regular snap or buckle collars — which we believe are the best, safest and most humane option for your canine companion — there are two main types: flat and rolled. So, which one is best for a golden retriever? The jury’s out on this one, but we’ll go through the arguments.
Some people claim that rolled collars are the best option for long-coated dogs, because flat collars can rub long fur and cause breakage. The more collar in contact with the coat, the higher the chance for fur breakage.
However, other people use flat collars on long-coated dogs and report no rubbing away or breaking of fur whatsoever.
If you’re planning on having your golden wear their collar all day, we’d recommend going with a rolled collar, to minimize the chance of damage to their fur.
On the other hand, if your dog only wears their collar when out on walks, it’s unlikely a flat collar will break their fur. In which case, choose whichever variety you prefer.
How Wide Should Your Golden’s Collar Be?
As a large breed, golden retrievers need fairly wide collars. This is for reasons of both strength and comfort.
When choosing a flat collar, pick one that is at least 1 inch wide, but probably no more than 1.5 inches.
Rolled collars are measured according to the width of the material before it’s rolled. Again, a width of between 1 and 1.5 inches is ideal, but don’t be surprised that the rolled part is actually thinner than this.
How Long Should Your Golden’s Collar Be?
The ideal length of collar for your golden retriever will obviously depend on the circumference of your dog’s neck.
Depending on various factors including age, weight, muscle mass, and more, the size of a golden’s neck can vary by quite a large degree. But the average neck size is 18″ to 22″, though it can go as low as 15″ and as high as 24″.
Your best bet is to measure around your dog’s neck with a cloth measuring tape. Remember, that the fit of a collar shouldn’t be pulled tight, you should be able to fit a couple of fingers between your dog’s neck and their collar.
Bear this in mind when doing the measuring so that you get a good fit.
Buying Tips For Your Golden’s Collar
When you go to pick a collar for your golden, don’t just grab the first thing you see that seems vaguely suitable. Put some thought in to pick a collar that’s going to be safe and comfortable for your dog.
- Choose a collar of an appropriate size and weight. The exact choice will depend on your dog. For instance, if you have a puppy, a thinner, lightweight webbing collar is best, whereas for an adult golden, you want something strong enough, that’s still going to be comfortable.
- Pick a regular flat or rolled collar. We absolutely would not recommend using any sort of correctional collar, such as a choke chain or prong collar. Not only are they generally inhumane and not in keeping with a positive reinforcement approach, they can do some nasty damage to your dog’s neck and windpipe.
- Select your fastening of choice. Most collars have either snap or buckle fastenings. There’s no right or wrong choice here, so select whatever you prefer. That said, for a puppy, snaps can be better as it’s quicker and easier to get the collar on and off.
- Make sure you get a well-fitting collar. If you’re buying a collar for a young dog, make sure you get one that fits well now, not something they can grow into. As said above, you should measure around your dog’s neck before buying so that you get a collar that fits correctly. For a comfortable fit, you should be able to get two fingers in between your dog’s neck and the collar.
Our Pick of The Best Collars for Golden Retrievers
To help you out, we’ve compiled this list featuring ten of our favorite collars for golden retrievers.
That said, there are a lot of great collars out there, so if you don’t fancy any of the collars on this list, take a look for yourself. It’s always a good idea to look up online reviews or ask for recommendations from your local pet store, as this will give you an idea of the collar’s quality.
Leather Padded Collar From Soft Touch
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This soft leather collar comes in black or brown with a cream inner. What we like about it is the good amount of soft padding on the inside, so it’s comfortable for your dog.
It also has a strong brass buckle fastening and D-ring, both of which are stitched in well and should be secure even if your dog pulls hard on the lead (that said, if your golden is a habitual puller, it’s better to attach their leash to a headcollar or harness to avoid neck damage).
In size large, this collar is 1.5 inches wide and fits necks with a circumference of between 18 and 21 inches, which should be sufficient for most golden retrievers.
Angus Padded Collar
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The Angus padded collar is made from a durable 100 percent cotton material, with a comfortable neoprene padding on the inside.
It comes in two patterns: a nice fawn with one red stripe, and in a more distinctive red, white, black and fawn stripes, which is quite different from most collars you see on the market.
It has nice, durable silver-colored metal buckles and reinforced holes, making it stand up to plenty of wear and tear.
Another handy feature is that it’s completely machine-washable, which is great for when your golden gets themself in some muddy trouble.
The extra-large size fits necks of between 21.5 to 25.5 inches, which could be a bit large for younger or more slender goldens, so be sure to measure your dog’s neck carefully.
Auburn Leathercrafters Rolled Leather Dog Collar
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This rolled leather collar from Auburn Leathercrafters is ideal for anyone who wants a classic looking collar for their dog, and who might be concerned about a flat collar breaking fur.
There are a number of different sizes available, so you’ll be sure to find a collar to fit your golden. But, maybe more exciting is these collars come in a huge range of colors, from basic black and brown to bold blue, red and purple.
They’re made in the USA and seem to be of extremely good quality, getting consistently good Amazon reviews.
Dutch Dog Amsterdam Eco Friendly Van Gogh Dog Collar
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Here’s one for all the art fans out there. This is a gorgeous webbing collar emblazoned with a Van Gogh Starry Night print.
This one’s certainly going to turn heads at the dog park, but it’s not all style over substance. This collar is eco-friendly, made from recycled non-toxic PET webbing, which is softer and lighter than nylon, but equally durable.
It has a snap fastening, which is great for a golden who doesn’t like to sit still to have their collar put on.
This adjustable collar in large fits necks of any circumference between 20 and 25 inches, but does come in smaller sizes, if you have a puppy or an adult golden with a slimmer neck.
Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Neoprene Padded Dog Collar with Jacquard Pattern
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This neoprene collar from Blueberry Pet is tough and durable, while still being soft and comfortable for your dog. The interior is even padded to provide extra comfort.
Although this is a fairly basic collar, what we like about it is the choice of colors in an attractive jacquard pattern and the fact it has some reflective stitching, which makes it great for late-night walkies.
The large size should fit most goldens, as it’s designed to fit necks of 17 to 21 inches in circumference, but, as ever, we’d recommend measuring your dog’s neck before making a purchase.
Very Vintage Organic Cotton Collar
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For those of you who like natural and eco-friendly materials, this collar from very vintage is made out of 100 percent organic cotton. It’s also handmade in the USA, which is perfect for those who like to buy American. The hardware is also sourced in the USA, and is tested for durability.
What’s more, it comes in an absolutely adorable seasonal print, featuring acorns on a dark green background, which would look gorgeous on a golden retriever.
The large size of this collar is 1 inch wide and fits necks with a circumference of between 15 and 24 inches.
Mighty Paw Reflective Padded Dog Collar
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This collar from Mighty Paw was designed with the active dog in mind, so it’s highly durable and can stand up to the elements and all the swimming, running and getting dirty that your golden can manage.
Another central design point was its comfort, it has soft neoprene padding and should be pleasant for your dog to wear even on all day hikes.
Although it’s comfy and lightweight, it’s extremely hard-wearing with heavy duty hardware. It should last for years, even with repeated exposure to moisture. There’s even a 90-day money back guarantee if you don’t think it’s going to stand up to your needs.
The reflective stitching gives you some extra safety and peace of mind for after-dark excursions.
East Side Collection Faux Suede Cozy Sherpa Dog Collar
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The chestnut brown faux suede material of this collar is ideal if you like the look of leather or suede collars, but want a cruelty-free alternative.
In addition to the faux suede outer, there’s also a synthetic fleece inner, which is cozy and comfortable next to your dog’s skin. Although, being white, it might end up picking up some dirt.
It has a sturdy nickel-plated buckle, D-ring and grommets in the holes for extra durability.
This collar is 1 inch wide and will fit necks of between 18 and 22 inches.
Circle T Rolled Leather Collar
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This rolled collar from Circle T is made of high quality leather that’s been vegetable tanned. It also has a leather core which helps ensure it won’t lose its rolled shape.
As mentioned above, rolled collars may be better if you plan on leaving your golden’s collar on all day, as some people report hair matting or breakage from flat collars on longer coated dogs.
The version linked above is tan in color, but there are other shades available, such as dark brown and black.
Perri’s Padded Leather Dog Collar
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If you’re looking for a quality leather collar that’s a bit more fun in appearance than most plain leather collars, this collar from Perris might be the one for you.
They come in black with silver hardware or black with bronze hardware, but then you get to choose from a range of options when it comes to to inner padding. You can go for bright pink, turquoise, hunter green or even a snakeskin print.
Not only is the padding decorative, it also makes these collars more comfortable for your dog and less likely to rub or break hair.
These collars are Amish made in the USA to a very high standard.
There isn’t one single collar that’s head and shoulders above the rest. Any from above list of 10 best collars for golden retrievers would do nicely, and there are also more good options out there.
As long as you follow our buying tips and make sure the collar is sturdy enough for your golden and fits them nicely, you should have a good collar on your hands.
Product images: © Amazon.com
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