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The German Shepherd has remained one of the most popular dogs in America for many years for a very good reason. These dogs can learn to do just about anything for you and they are some of the most beautiful dogs around.
But like any dog, they need right gear which includes toys for entertainment, brushes to manage shedding and of course collars! Not only can the right collar help your German Shepherd look great but it’s also an important part of training.
We’re going to cover everything you need to consider about picking out the perfect collar for your GSD but if you want to skip ahead and see which collars made the list you can check out our favorites here:
- Best Leather Collar: Heavy Duty Leather Dog Collar
- Best Tag-Free Collar: Hipidog Personalized Dog Collar
- Best Collar for Shy Shepherds: GoTags Personalized Dog Collar
- Best Light Up Collar: BSEEN LED Dog Collar
- Best Comfort Collar: Black Rhino Comfort Collar
- Best Training Collar: Max and Neo Stainless Steel Chain Martingale Collar
- Best Working Dog Collar: Tactical Dog Collar Military Dog Collar
What to Look for in German Shepherd Collars
There are a massive amount of collars available all with different features.
While that’s a good thing, it can also make picking out the right collar confusing so let’s break down what you should look for in the prefect collar for your GSD.
Reflective or Light Up
German Shepherds are usually pretty hard to spot in the dark, since they are usually sable, tan, black, or a combination of these. Since these are very active dogs that need lots of exercise, you may often find yourself out after dark exercising your shepherd.
You may have the best of intentions about getting your shepherd out during the day, but you may run out of time. When you get home from work late and your shepherd is giving you the crazy eye, you know you’ll need to get them out or suffer the consequences of a hyped-up shepherd all night long.
German Shepherds are one of the breeds that can most easily be trained to be off-leash. This is one of the things many shepherd owners love best about this breed. After all, who doesn’t want a dog that can be under your voice command and doesn’t need a leash all the time? It’s very convenient, as well as making you seem pretty cool.
However, for your shepherd’s safety, it’s a very good idea to consider a collar that is reflective or even to choose a collar that lights up in the dark to pair with their typical ID collar. That way, your dog will remain visible to you and anyone who you encounter on your walks. Considering visibility is not only true for collars but for anything else your GSD wears including life jackets and leashes.
German Shepherds are powerful dogs, often weighing in at close to 100 lbs. They’re muscular and can put a lot of tension on their collar at times. Even if you’re pretty strong and don’t have concerns about losing control of your dog, you may worry about the equipment that you’re using to handle them holding up.
Naturally, you don’t want your German Shepherd to break their collar, so you want to choose an option that’s sturdy enough to hold up to this powerful breed. Look for collars that are double-stitched, made of heavy-duty nylon, and have locking clickable buckles or belt-style buckles for added security.
Of course, if you have the bragging rights of an exceptionally well-trained German Shepherd that doesn’t even need a leash to stay near you, you won’t be nearly as worried about choosing a very sturdy collar. In this case, go ahead and choose style over function.
However, if your dog isn’t yet trained or has some behavioral issues to consider, you will definitely want to keep sturdiness in mind when choosing the ideal collar for your dog. You’ll be glad to know that this doesn’t mean that you have to choose a super-utilitarian-looking collar. There are plenty of collars that are both good-looking and sturdy.
You chose the German Shepherd breed because they are intelligent, trainable, affectionate and loyal.
But let’s be honest, this also happens to be one of the best-looking dogs out there.
Why not use a collar that’s just as stylish as your shepherd is? Maybe you want to pick a brightly colored or feminine collar that matches your dog’s sweet personality and reassures people who may be frightened that your dog is not about to attack anyone. Your dog may look tough, but you’d like the world to know that they are in fact a goofy pushover.
You may also want a stylish leather collar that offers a timeless effect to go with the graceful good looks of your striking shepherd. There is no reason whatsoever to sacrifice good looks when choosing a highly effective collar to meet your German Shepherd’s needs.
Some German Shepherds can put a lot of strain on the leash. You may even encourage this kind of strain when training your dog for protection work, tracking, or doing some other activities. It may also be the natural consequence of a powerful dog that hasn’t yet had the training they need to control themselves.
Don’t beat yourself up, training takes time. In the meantime, however, a comfortable collar is essential.
If your dog will be pulling a lot on their collar, they need a collar that is very comfortable. Look for a collar with neoprene lining that extends past the edge of the nylon or a collar that has a rounded design at the edges that won’t cut into your dog’s neck. You don’t want a collar that will rub the skin, break the hair, or cause your dog any discomfort when it is in use.
Good for Work or Training
The German Shepherd was made to have a job to do. If you have something that needs doing, chances are your German Shepherd will be able to do it. In fact, it’s a good idea to find something for your shepherd to do, otherwise, they may make up their own job, which you may not be thrilled about.
If you plan to train your dog for work, it’s a good idea to choose a collar that will meet your needs. A martingale collar made with a chain in the martingale portion is ideal for basic obedience and to train your dog not to pull. A tactical collar with a velcro attachment for labels is perfect if you are training your dog for doing serious work like protection or service work.
Best Collar for German Shepherds
Now that we know what we’re looking for let’s dive into our 7 favorite collars!
Best Leather Collar: Heavy Duty Leather Dog Collar
- BEST CHOICE DOG COLLAR FOR EXTRA-LARGE DOGS with a neck size between 22 to 30 inches; width is 1,5...
- TOP-RATED LEATHER DOG COLLAR - comfortable and featuring secure fastening with double buckle, two...
It’s hard to find a more classic dog breed than the German Shepherd, so it makes sense that you may want a very classic collar as well. If you want a dog and collar that presents a timeless effect, a German Shepherd with a leather collar may be the best combination for you to choose.
After all, who doesn’t want their German Shepherd to look dashing? This is a sturdy collar that will be able to hold up to pulling from even the strongest and biggest German Shepherd. It has passed a 400 lb pulling test with flying collars.
High-quality leather and a double buckle offer great security. There are two D-rings for you to choose from to attach the leash or tags. Both are strong enough for leash attachment, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally attaching the leash to a weaker attachment point designed for tags.
These are very good-looking collars, handmade from genuine leather. A dog bow tie that is also made of leather is included to give your German Shepherd that extra dapper edge. You can feel confident about purchasing this collar that comes with a two-year guarantee.
You can learn more about this sturdy leather collar and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I love about it: It’s hard to beat the classic good looks of this collar, and the included bow tie is an extra benefit.
What I wish it had: It would be nice if there were multiple leather colors or stains to choose from.
Best Tag-Free Collar: hipidog Personalized Dog Collar
- Hand Made ID Collars for Dog: Different from ordinary collars, the designers use double-layer idea,...
- Great Alternative to Pet ID Tags: No need extra ID tag for your dog, avoid losing it when walking...
Do you want a collar that will look great on your German Shepherd without having to worry about jangling tags? This may be the best option for you. It comes in a number of stylish patterns and textures to meet the personality of any German Shepherd.
The double-layer design provides sturdy nylon to hold up to even the strongest shepherds while the inside is very comfortable against your dog’s neck. This collar can stand up to 500 lbs of pressure, so you won’t have to worry about it giving out.
Hand-stitching provides great durability and ensures no harsh edges. You can have the snazzy stainless buckle engraved with your dog’s name and your number and address so that a tag isn’t necessary.
This makes it a great collar for your Shepherd to wear at all times without worries of snagging and with confidence that it will be comfortable for your dog. The laser engraving can hold up through many years.
You can see all 18 different style options and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I love about it: The engraved buckle is a convenient way to carry your dog’s identification without compromising on style
What I wish it had: Ideally, this collar would include reflective stitching to protect your dog at night.
Best Collar for Shy Shepherds: GoTags Personalized Dog Collar
- GREAT IDENTIFICATION FOR YOUR DOG. Our strong nylon dog collar comes personalized with your dog's name...
- DURABLY MADE WITH COMFORT IN MIND. Made of high-quality nylon webbing, a stainless steel D-ring for tag...
Shepherds can tend to be on the shy side, especially around strangers. Unfortunately, these intelligent dogs are occasionally escape artists as well.
If your shepherd has a tendency to slip out and if they are unlikely to let strangers approach them, this may be the perfect collar for you to choose. Your dog’s identification information is embroidered directly into the main collar, allowing it to be visible even from a slight distance.
That way, any good samaritan who finds your dog but may not be able to approach will be able to call you and let you know where your dog is. You can choose from a wide range of colors and patterns for the body of the collar embroidery. Five colors of collars and 15 thread color options give you 75 different combinations. You’re sure to find just the right combination to match your sense of style.
You can take a closer look at this collar and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I love about it: This is the perfect collar if you want your dog’s identification information to be visible from a slight distance, and the variety of collar combinations makes it stylish as well.
What I wish it had: It would be great if the identification information were reflective so that your dog could be identified in the evening as well.
Best Light Up Collar: BSEEN LED Dog Collar
- SAFETY PET COLLAR: Makes your pet dog be seen in low light conditions and vehicle, which can help you...
- CUTTABLE & ONE SIZE FIT ALL DOGS: You could cut to desired length while you receive the flash dog...
German Shepherds are some of the most trainable dog breeds out there. Many people find that they can train a German Shepherd to be off-leash safely and to come back and answer commands without being physically connected to the owner. There isn’t much that makes you feel like a better pet parent than having your dog under your voice control at all times.
If you would like your German Shepherd to be able to run off-leash in the evening, a light-up collar like this is essential. This collar doesn’t replace a basic ID collar, but it goes much further than a reflective collar for nighttime visibility.
The LED light is visible for over fifteen hundred feet. It is very easy to adjust the collar to exactly the right size for your shepherd just by cutting it. It is resistant to water and very durable. You can choose from four different collars and three different light modes. The collar is rechargeable and offers 6 to 10 hours per 1 ½ hour charge. A USB cable for charging is included.
You read more than 4,500 five-star reviews and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I love about it: It’s hard to beat the nighttime visibility offered by this LED light-up collar.
What I wish it had: It would be great if this collar could double as an identification collar instead of just offering light.
Best Comfort Collar: Black Rhino Comfort Collar
- SIZING - Please Note: Our sizing may differ from other brands. PLEASE Measure and Order Accordingly -...
- NEOPRENE PADDING - Give your dog the comfort he/she deserves. Each collar is lined with a soft neoprene...
German Shepherds are strong dogs, and some are prone to pulling, especially if their training has not been completed. If you’ve been struggling to train your shepherd not to pull, don’t despair. With time, exercise, and patience, I promise, you’ll get there. However, you may want to choose an extra-comfortable collar in the meantime.
There are some activities in which you may want your dog to pull but don’t want to attach a harness, such as in tracking or protection work. This collar is designed to be comfortable enough to keep your dog from experiencing discomfort even when they pull.
Neoprene padding extends past the nylon to provide superb comfort. This collar is strong too, with heavy-duty hardware that can withstand significant force. Reflective stitching makes your dog visible at night.
These collars are designed for durability under all conditions and are resistant to odor and weather. They come in several collar combinations, each with colored neoprene and black nylon.
You can see all 10 color options and today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I love about it: If your dog tends to pull, this is one of the most comfortable, sturdy collars you can find.
What I wish it had: It would be nice if you could choose different collar options in the nylon as well as in the neoprene.
Best Training Collar: Max and Neo Stainless Steel Chain Martingale Collar
- YOUR PURCHASE HELPS A DOG RESCUE: For every collar sold, we donate an identical collar to a dog rescue....
- DOG RESCUES: Each month we donate to different rescues throughout the USA. At the end of every month, we...
German Shepherds are the workhorses of the dog world, able to be trained to do a huge variety of jobs from herding sheep, to guiding people, to protection work and just about everything in between. A Martingale collar with a chain attachment point like this one is ideal for training. If your shepherd seems better at getting into mischief than responding to commands, you may find that the right collar can help.
A martingale like this one is also the best option for a German Shepherd that may try to slip out of their collar. If you’ve ever had the nerve-wracking experience of holding a leash taut while watching your dog wiggle out of it, you’ll never want to repeat it. A martingale can help.
This is a great collar for training your German Shepherd not to pull, and it also works well to back up training commands. When the collar tightens, your German Shepherd will be able to hear the chain clinking, which reinforces commands and remind them not to pull.
Because the Martingale has a limited-slip design, your German Shepherd won’t be able to pull hard enough to choke themselves, but they will feel the collar tighten all the way around their neck, which can also be beneficial for reinforcing commands and preventing pulling.
This collar has a lockable buckle that will prevent any accidental release but also makes it very easy for you to take the collar on and off. A tag attachment on the size adjustment slider gives you somewhere simple to hang tags where they won’t get in the way of training. This collar comes in six different collar options, each of which has reflective stitching to make your shepherd visible at night.
You can feel good about buying this collar since a collar is donated to dog rescue for everyone that is sold. Martingales like this one are ideal for shelters since they are nearly escape-proof.
Take a closer look at all 7 color choices, the pile of positive reviews, and today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I love about it: The chain martingale attachment is perfect for communicating training commands and preventing pulling, and the locking buckle is added security that your shepherd won’t be able to break out of this collar.
What I wish it had: A metal buckle might have been nice for fashion reasons, to match the chain and slider.
Best Working Dog Collar: Tactical Dog Collar Military Dog Collar
- 【 Premium Material 】-- Tactical dog collar is made by 1000D reinforced nylon fabric and strong metal...
- 【 Soft and Comfortable 】-- Adjustable Dog collar with quick realease is designed with soft&breathable...
The German Shepherd is one of the best working dogs in the world, especially known for their prowess in protection training and as seeing-eye dogs. If you want to train your shepherd to do a serious job, this may be the ideal collar for you to choose.
A handle stands up from the collar to enable you to get a tight grip on your dog to release them for a command such as is required in protection work. There is a velcro strap to hold the handle down so it won’t snag on anything when it’s not in use.
You won’t have to worry about this collar giving out under pressure since it is made of 1000 D reinforced nylon and has a tough metal buckle. Your dog’s long coat won’t get caught in the buckle since a layer of nylon runs underneath it.
The edges are rounded to provide comfort even if your dog pulls hard on the collar. A velcro patch along the collar gives you places to attach labels that say things like “Don’t Pet” or “Service Dog”. Choose from three practical colors: black, brown, or green.
You can read more reviews and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I love about it: This collar has all of the features you’d want in a tactical collar, including a handle for control and a velcro holder for patches.
What I wish it had: It would be good if this collar came in more color options.
Should your German Shepherd wear a collar all the time?
Whether your German Shepherd wears a collar constantly is up to you and your dog’s lifestyle. Shepherds that may be prone to running off or escaping from your house or yard should absolutely wear a collar with proper ID at all times.
Regardless of what a big baby your shepherd may be, this is a breed that many people find intimidating. A collar with proper identification makes it much more likely that a good samaritan will help connect you with your dog.
On the other hand, very well-trained shepherds that aren’t prone to running off may not always need to wear a collar. If you do choose to have your shepherd wear a collar all the time, be sure to choose one that is closely fitted, so not a martingale collar. Avoid collars with hanging tags that could be caught in things and become a choking hazard.
Will a collar ruin the hair around your German Shepherd’s neck?
German Shepherds have gorgeous coats that many owners are understandably protective of. Wearing a collar can break the hair around the neck, especially if it is tightly fitted or if your German Shepherd often pulls on it.
If you are worried about maintaining your German Shepherd’s coat, consider a training collar like a martingale that will prevent your German Shepherd from putting too much strain on the collar and take off the collar when it is not in use.
Do German Shepherds need choke or prong collars?
Many traditional training techniques involved the use of choke or prong collars in order to train breeds like the German Shepherd. These practices are now highly controversial.
Some trainers still recommend the use of choke or prong collars, while many others believe that they are harmful and get in the way of proper training. Great results can certainly be achieved without the use of these tools.
Most people find that when used properly, a Martingale collar is just as effective as a choke or prong collar, but without the harmful effects of aversive training tools like these. If you’d rather not use these kinds of collars with your fur baby, don’t allow a trainer to convince you. You can find a great trainer that can achieve results for your dog without the need for choke or prong collars.
German Shepherds are some of the most trainable and good-looking dogs out there, and they need a collar that is just as effective and stylish as they are. Keep your goals for your dog in mind, as well as thinking about their current training level and behavioral tendencies, and you’ll be able to find the perfect collar for your German Shepherd.