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Best Collars for Whippets: How to choose the right style and fit

Long slender whippet necks need a special type of collar. Find out which collar is right for your hound.

With an overwhelming choice of collars for whippets available it can be hard to know what design to choose for your dog. Fishtail or martingale, do they need a house collar too? Long whippet necks suit an array of styles. But, you want to know which style will be safe to walk with and what types of collar will last and withstand years of use.

This blog will guide you through the type of collars whippets can wear so you can choose the best one for your hound and lifestyle, then discuss how to measure for it.

Redhound for Dogs offer Whippet Clothing, Whippet Coats and Whippet Raincoats

Puppy Collars

Whippet pups need to get used to wearing a collar. But, when they're younger than seven months, a wide collar with heavy metal fittings will be uncomfortable and isn’t appropriate.

However, by law your dog has to wear an identification tag which must contain: your name, telephone number, first line of your address and post code – the dogs name is not a legal requirement. Choose a straight leather or fabric collar for your pup, make sure it’s lightweight with a buckle or clip fastening.

Redhound for Dogs offer Whippet Clothing, Whippet Coats and Whippet Raincoats

Traditional Fishtail Collars

This is the type of collar often seen on whippets and sight hounds – it’s wide in the middle and slims down where it buckles up. Investment is key. A good quality, padded, leather collar will last for years if the leather is nourished and treated regularly, softening with age. Leather is also hard wearing and long lasting.

Collar makers are getting creative with this classic style and bio thane and rope is now being used to make fishtail collars in an array of colours.

Getting the size right:

Using a soft tape measure, pop it around your whippet’s neck, half way between the ears and base of neck. Most whippets measure between 10-14” (25-36cms) – you're looking for a collar that shows a range of fit – aim to fasten on the middle hole. You should be able to get your finger under the collar when on, you don’t want it too tight or too loose.

Redhound for Dogs offer Whippet Clothing, Whippet Coats and Whippet Raincoats

Martingale Collar

Favoured by those with hounds that can back out of other collars, a martingale is a style of collar that is designed with two loops. The largest loop goes over the dog's head and the small loop is designed with a large D ring where you attach a lead. When the dog pulls the smallest loop will tighten which in turn pulls to the large loop tighter making them extremely difficult to back out of. If fitted correctly it will only pull to the size of your hound’s neck. A martingale should never choke your dog, only tighten to prevent escape but never to put an extreme amount of pressure on the dog's neck.

Getting the size right:

You need to take two measurements for this style of collar – around the neck, and around the widest part of the head, for whippets it’s at the back of the jaw and over the ears. They are adjustable and the collar will be bigger than the widest part, so it’s easy to get on and off, and when adjusted to fit the neck, you should have room for at least one finger in between the collar and your dog’s neck.

Redhound for Dogs offer Whippet Clothing, Whippet Coats and Whippet Raincoats

Adjustable Fabric Collars

A well made fabric collar is a good choice if your whippet likes to roll because you can wash them. They look similar to martingale collars, but are fastened in one place. They come in a huge range of fabrics, colours and patterns, making them a popular choice for many whippet owners.

Again, buy quality, cheap fabric collars won’t last, the stitching will come apart, the fabric will fray and they will look tatty after just a few outings and washes. Webbing is a good choice as it’s long lasting, soft to wear and easy to adjust. Our friends at Brindle and Whyte make great quality webbing collars in a range of lovely colours.

Getting the size right:

These collars are more adjustable than the leather fishtail ones, and also come in a range of sizes, just measure midway down your whippet’s neck and select a size that has this in the middle of the range. Or contact the maker for advice.

Redhound for Dogs offer Whippet Clothing, Whippet Coats and Whippet Raincoats

House Collars

If you take your dog’s collar off when you’re at home, you might want to look at a house collar, something to keep the ID tag on at all times. This is especially useful when you’re on holiday, visiting friends, or if you have an escape artist that could sneak out of the door or garden. House collars are slim, lightweight and often slip over the head with a ring in the middle for the tag.

Getting the size right:

Because house collars slip over the head, you need to measure the widest part – the bit at the back of the jaw around the ears. However, check with the makers instructions as some only need your dogs neck measurement as ease is factored in.

Redhound for Dogs offer Whippet Clothing, Whippet Coats and Whippet Raincoats

Summary

You might favour a harness for your whippet, many do, but they still need to be wearing a collar with a tag on while outside. Harnesses need to be well fitted to provide support in all the right places.

If your whippet is pulling, training is key – teaching them with tasty treats to walk next to you will lead to less stressful walks. Gentle Leaders are a good solution while teaching your dog to walk beside you on the lead, useful if you have a rescue who isn’t used to being walked, or a very distracted young one.

There are thousands of collars for whippets available now, beware, they quickly become a replacement for buying yourself shoes – I admit that ours have seven each but in reality, they wear just two of them the majority of the time. At least now you will know what each type is and how to measure to get the size right.

Redhound for Dogs offer Whippet Clothing, Whippet Coats and Whippet Raincoats

Helpful Links

Video - How to care for your leather collar

Blog - Caring for your whippets wardrobe

Book - Life With a Whippet by Debbie Humphreys

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