Whether you’ve recently brought a Golden Retriever into your family, or you’re looking for an upgrade for your furry companion, a good quality collar is a must-have. Golden Retrievers are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and kindness, and they deserve the very best we can give them.
When it comes to collars, there are several factors to consider, including comfort, durability, and style. Not all Goldies will have identical needs, but these dogs are usually very eager to please, are active, and they have beautiful long fur—all traits that should be considered when shopping for a collar.
Keeping the above traits in mind, we’ve reviewed the 10 best collars for Golden Retrievers this year.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
The 10 Best Collars for Golden Retrievers
1. Major Darling Martingale Dog Collar – Best Overall
The Major Darling Martingale Dog Collar comes in six sophisticated two-tone color variations, including “Olive/Dandelion,” and “Navy/Evergreen.” Aside from looks, these dog collars are hand-made in Austin, Texas, from heavy-duty nylon and brass hardware—so they’re durable, as well as stylish.
While a Major Darling Martingale collar may be higher priced than other Martingales, we think that it deserves the best overall spot in our reviews, simply because it is well made—so you won’t have to worry about it breaking apart or having to get regular replacements.
The Major Darling collar works well for dogs that try to slip out of their collars. The unique design means that it fits comfortably and loosely around your Golden Retriever’s neck, but becomes tighter as they pull away—without putting too much pressure on their trachea—making them ideal for training as well as everyday walking.
On the downside, it doesn’t have a clip, so you’ll need to loosen it before placing it over your dog’s head, and then readjust it to the correct size.
2. PetSafe Quick Snap Buckle Nylon Martingale Dog Collar – Best Value
When it comes to best value, it’s difficult to beat the PetSafe Quick Snap Buckle Nylon Martingale Dog Collar. This collar is affordable and stylish. It comes in five different colors and five adjustable sizes.
The Martingale design responds to your dog’s proximity, becoming tighter if they try to run away. It is made from durable yet soft nylon that shouldn’t cause matting or bald spots.
This collar features a quick-snap buckle, so you won’t have to worry about loosening or readjusting straps just to get it on and off your dog.
Some people have reported that the buckle can break under stress, while many more argue that it’s well-made. Overall, it’s the best Golden Retriever collar for the money.
3. Logical Leather Padded Dog Collar – Premium Choice
If you’re looking for a dash of luxury for your Goldie, take a look at this handcrafted, full-grain leather collar, available in five vibrant colors. On the inside, it’s padded for comfort, while on the outside it is water resistant, so it won’t get soaking wet as other collars might. If it does get dirty, it should be easy to wipe clean, and the clasp is made from nickel-plated solid brass that doesn’t rust—altogether, this collar is made to last.
Some customers report that the buckle has a habit of coming undone by itself, so be sure to secure it well and keep an eye out for your dog when you’re out and about.
4. GoTags Nylon Personalized Dog Collar – Best for Puppies
As your puppy gains confidence and becomes more independent, it may try to run away during your walks. This is one of every pet parent’s worst nightmares! The GoTags Nylon Personalized Dog Collar allows you to pick up to 25 characters to be embroidered straight onto the collar—perfect for your dog’s name and your phone number—so that if ever the worst happens, your dog’s information will be available to whoever finds it.
The collar comes in five different colors, while there’s a whole range of thread colors to choose from for personalization. The collar itself—which comes in four adjustable sizes—is made of soft premium nylon, which is machine washable.
The collar does use a plastic buckle, which can be great for quick removal and reattaching, but it can also break under heavy strain. We think this collar is best for puppies, because they’re less likely to be strong enough to break it, but they’re more at risk of running away.
5. Blueberry Pet Multi-Colored Stripe Polyester Reflective Dog Collar
If there was a style award, then the Blueberry Pet Multi-Colored Stripe Polyester Reflective Dog Collar would be the one to get it. As the name suggests, this collar has 3M reflective strips woven into the intricate polyester webbing—to make your dog extra visible at night. If you plan on going out in the dark, this collar will help you spot where your furry friend is, but it will also alert cyclists and drivers who might otherwise not take notice.
The collar comes in six different color combinations, so you can choose one to compliment your dog’s coat. Unfortunately, some people have reported that the tag falls off the collar.
6. Soft Touch Collars Leather Two-Tone Padded Dog Collar
Easily one of the best collars for Goldies this year, the Soft Touch Collars Two-Tone Padded Dog Collar is stylish and robust. Handcrafted and hand stitched, the outer layer of the collar is made from full-grain leather, but it’s lined with soft sheepskin leather to give your dog a more comfortable experience.
The clasps for this collar are made from solid brass hardware that should be able to withstand even a strong dog’s pull. Last but not least, the collar is available in various colors, all of which seem to complement Goldies nicely.
Some customers have noticed an odd smell coming from the leather or the sheepskin, but if your dog doesn’t mind the smell, it’ll probably fade away quickly.
7. Euro-Dog Quick Release Leather Dog Collar
The Euro-Dog Quick Release Leather Dog Collar is made from full-grain American leather and comes in a variety of colors. As its name suggests, it has a quick-release buckle that takes the stress out of putting your dog’s collar on and off. The buckle is made of high-quality, robust European steel for extra durability.
Some customers report that the collar loosens by itself after a while, so if you are going with this one, be sure to regularly check that your dog’s collar is adjusted correctly.
8. Alcott Adventure Polyester Reflective Dog Collar
Available in seven vibrant colors, the Alcott Adventure Polyester Reflective Dog Collar is a sturdy collar with reflective stitching throughout, making your pooch more visible in night-time conditions. The reinforced structure of the collar makes it durable, but some people have mentioned that it feels a little too heavy.
That said, this collar does come with a plastic buckle for ease of use, and price-wise, it is great value for the money.
The Alcott Adventure collar is available in five adjustable sizes, and seven different colors, so you can choose the perfect color and fit for your dog.
9. WAUDOG QR Passport Cotton Dog Collar
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option for your Golden Retriever’s collar, the Waudog QR Passport Cotton Dog Collar may be the perfect fit. This collar is made from environmentally friendly recycled raw materials. The breathable fabric is designed to wick away moisture, which should result in a more comfortable fit for your dog.
This collar features a quick-release buckle for ease of use, and reflective stitching is used throughout to help your dog stand out against the dark.
The extra feature, a customizable QR code tag that comes with the collar—allowing you to add all of your dog’s details—is a fantastic idea. Unfortunately, some customers have reported that the tag can fall off after a while.
The Waudog collar is available in five beautiful colors and four adjustable sizes.
10. Awoo Marty Martingale Dog Collar
Available in six solid colors, the Awoo Marty Martingale Dog Collar is both durable and chic. This collar is made from recycled plastic bottles that have been turned into polyester materials—so it’s environmentally friendly, as well as dog friendly.
The Martingale design stops your dog from running too far. Unlike most Martingale-type collars, this one features a fast-release buckle for easy use.
The only downside is that this collar is a little expensive in comparison with others of its kind, but a lot of people are willing to spend that little extra knowing this product is better for the environment than other options.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Collars for Golden Retrievers
With so many different types of collars out there, it’s easy for first-time dog owners to feel overwhelmed. What are the differences between flat collars and rolled collars? Should I use a harness or a Martingale?
In this guide, we’ll cover all the main types of collars available for your Golden Retriever, so you can make an informed decision on which one to buy.
Does My Dog Need a Collar?
While some people love the idea of getting a collar for their new puppy, others worry that their dog might not like it. It’s natural to feel either way, but just remember that the collar serves several purposes.
The main reason most pet parents will use a collar is to make sure their pet always has an identification tag with contact information attached to them in case they ever get lost. While you may argue that a microchip will solve this problem, having an ID tag will mean that your pooch can get returned to you much sooner since anyone can read the information and give you a call.
Another reason to have a collar is to attach a leash to it. There are other options, of course—some people opt to use a harness instead. Many pet parents choose to use an everyday, comfortable collar with an ID tag, and simply get their Goldie to wear a harness as well when they’re going out.
What Types of Collars Are There?
Flat collars are the most common types of collars available. As their name suggests, the flat collar is a flat, wide strip that closes with a clasp. Some flat collars are padded for extra comfort, and usually, they come with a D-ring for attaching an ID tag.
Flat collars are best for well-behaved dogs that do not attempt to pull away. If your dog pulls hard, the pressure can cause them to choke, so most flat collars are designed to break away under strain.
For active dogs like Golden Retrievers, flat collars are fine for everyday use, but we recommend using something more suitable when going for a walk.
Rolled collars are usually made of leather that’s rolled narrow. These collars are popular with breeds that have a long coat, such as the Golden Retrievers—however, be aware that the rolled collar can pose even more of a choking hazard than the flat collar when using a leash.
Overall, rolled collars are a great option for Goldies, as long as you’re switching to something else—like a harness or a different collar—when using a leash.
Dog harnesses are designed to take the pressure off your dog’s neck when you’re using a leash. Instead of fitting around their neck, the harness fits around your dog’s front legs and fastens at the back. The leash is then attached to a clip on the harness.
A harness is not suitable for aggressive or hyperactive breeds, but for obedient Goldies who are so often eager to please, harnesses are an excellent option.
Slip Collars & Choke Chains
Slip collars and choke chains are used by some professional trainers with very strong dogs that may be a danger to themselves or others. As the dog pulls, a slip collar or choke chain tightens around the dog’s neck, and the idea is that the sensations should make them stop lunging. If used incorrectly, it can cause damage to the dog’s trachea.
We don’t recommend using slip collars or choke chains with Golden Retrievers—these dogs are usually very easy to train using positive reinforcement. According to the American Kennel Club, Goldies are the fourth most trainable dogs breeds out there.
Martingale collars are designed to help you control your dog without the risk of choking them. The clever design means that the collar sits loosely around your dog’s neck, but as they try to move away, it starts to tighten—but only to a point. As your dog slows down, the collar loosens around its neck.
Martingales shouldn’t be used for dogs that are constantly pulling or lunging away, as consistent pressure can still cause neck strain. For adult Golden Retrievers, Martingale collars can work excellently, but we wouldn’t recommend them for Golden Retriever puppies. For Golden puppies, consider using a harness instead.
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Collar for Your Golden Retriever
Goldies have beautiful long coats, so ideally, you’ll want to use a collar that prevents their fur from getting tangled. A flat, padded leather collar that’s around one inch wide should be fine for everyday use and for carrying your Goldie’s tag. For walking, a good quality Martingale, or a harness may be best.
Some pet parents like to use rolled collars for their Goldies because the design is even less likely to catch long fur compared to flat collars. That said, rolled collars are no good for attaching a leash, as they can lead to trachea damage if your dog pulls.
Size-wise, a Golden Retriever’s neck is usually around 16–24 inches. When fitting your dog’s collar, you should be able to slide two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck—if you can’t, the collar is too tight.
Overall, we think the Major Darling Martingale Dog Collar is the best option available for Golden Retrievers. It looks great for everyday use and for attaching an identification tag, while it also provides a safe way to attach a leash, all at a fair price.
If you’re looking for the best value for your money, the PetSafe Quick Snap Buckle Nylon Martingale Dog Collar is affordable, easy to use, and looks great.
For a premium option, the handcrafted Logical Leather Padded Dog Collar is water resistant, made from full-grain leather, and the colors compliment Goldies excellently.
Remember, you can use more than one collar interchangeably if you wanted to. In fact, we recommend owning at least two collars: one for everyday use and one for walking—or if you use a harness for walking, then a second collar with ID tags for backup, in case your everyday collar and ID tag gets lost or broken.
Either way, we hope our reviews have helped you figure out which collar is best for your Golden Retriever!
Featured Image Credit: Pavlo Baliukh, Shutterstock