Are you struggling to choose a collar for your husky? In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of various husky collars, before listing our five top picks.
Siberian huskies are also notorious escape artists and can quickly “back out” of collars. Once loose, a husky can be difficult to catch – especially if their prey drive kicks in.
With these traits, it’s easy to see why Siberian husky owners have many questions when choosing a collar. Which types of collar are suitable for huskies? Are there any that should be avoided? And are collars even safe for a husky (or other large dog) to wear?
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of collars, why they shouldn’t be used for walking, the types available, and the science behind why aversive collars – such as shock, martingale, prong and choke collars – shouldn’t be used. We’ve also listed five of the best collars for huskies to help you choose the right option for your pet.
Note: This article is specifically about choosing the best collar for a husky, but the information can be used for similar breeds (such as a malamute.) For other breeds, check out our complete guide to choosing a dog collar.
Strong and cushioned collar that looks great on a husky
My top pick for a husky collar is the excellent OneTigris Military. It’s a stylish collar with a strong design, cushioned padding, and a 1.49″ width, making it perfect for huskies.
The short answer is both – at least on a walk. The collar for identification and harness for the leash attachment.
Why can’t you attach the leash to your dog’s collar though?
Huskies were originally bred to pull sleds across long distances. Pulling is a natural instinct for them – especially on a walk. Huskies are also strong dogs.
Pulling on a dog leash attached to a collar puts a lot of strain on the neck. This can cause choking, spinal injuries, neck pain and, in severe cases, tracheal collapse.
There’s also evidence that pulling on a collar can cause eye glaucoma. A study by the University of Madison-Wisconsin found that pulling increased pressure within the eye, due to the force exerted on the veins in the neck.
For this reason, I always recommend walking a dog on a harness. This is true even for dogs that are trained to walk with a loose leash, as you never know when the prey drive is going to kick in.
There are other benefits to using a harness. The best Husky harnesses are much more difficult to “back out” of, which keeps your pet safe and secure. They are also durable, spread force across the chest rather than neck, and make it easier to control a strong dog.
Even though harnesses are safer for walking, your husky should still wear a high-quality collar displaying his name and your contact information.
While some harnesses have ID tag pouches, your dog typically only wears a harness outside the house. Huskies are well-known for escaping homes and gardens, so a collar with contact information is essential. If your husky jumps the fence and runs off, you need to know he’s wearing an ID tag!
A simple collar with a D-ring (as a backup for a broken harness) and identification tag is all you need.
The best husky collars typically have a flat-buckle design. Rolled leather collars are also a popular choice for this breed.
The Dog Clinic is firmly against aversive collars or punishment-based training. This includes using a martingale collar, half-check chain, choke chain, prong collar or electric collar. Anything that shocks, spikes, pinches or causes pain should be avoided.
The science of dog training is beyond the scope of this article. But, in short, negative methods that rely on pain and fear have been shown to make unwanted behaviours more likely, as the dog feels scared and frustrated. A pain-based training collar can also make dogs anxious about walks.
Additionally, a review of relevant studies found no evidence that punishment-based training was more effective than positive training – and it may actually be less effective.
This is without considering other factors like the dog’s welfare, bond with the owner, and stress levels, all of which can be negatively impacted by punishment-based training.
Aside from the mental impact, aversive collars can be physically dangerous.
Choke chains, for example, have been linked to spinal injuries, whiplash, crushed windpipes and even death by strangulation.
This isn’t surprising. If “regular” collars can cause injury, a chain that tightens enough to even cause mild pain is always going to be dangerous. Prong collars can also cause fear, which leads to aggression, while leading to the build-up of scar tissue around the neck.
The long-term goal should be to train your husky to walk politely using positive reinforcement. But if you want to discourage pulling in the short-term, try a front-attachment dog harness – sometimes called “no pull” harnesses – rather than pain-based collars.
Now we know the types of collar to avoid, here are some tips for choosing a husky collar:
It’s also essential to choose a husky collar that’s the right size for your pet. A dog collar that’s too big is easy to escape from, while one that’s too small can be dangerous and uncomfortable.
As a general rule, you should be able to slide two fingers under the collar once it’s been fitted. You should also check the collar can’t easily slip over the head.
If you’re not sure which husky collar to buy, here are five of my top picks. Please make sure you read each mini-review carefully to find the right option for your pet.
My top pick for a husky collar is the excellent OneTigris Military Adjustable Collar. It’s a tough and durable collar that’s perfect for bigger dogs – plus it has a cushioned design for extra comfort.
OneTigris has designed their Military Collar to be easy to adjust. It has five adjustment points, along with a dual prong buckle for extra security (this isn’t a prong collar – I’m just talking about the buckle design!)
It’s also a relatively wide collar with a strong metal D-Ring. Both the “Medium” and “Large” sizes are 1.49” wide and the strap has cushioning for extra comfort. While I don’t recommend walking a Siberian husky without a harness, the extra width can reduce pressure if you need to use the collar for walking in an emergency.
There are several colour options available – brown, grey, green and black. You can also add a military patch for identification or decoration.
If you don’t like the tactical style and want something a bit more light-hearted and cute, the GoTags Personalized is a fun alternative that makes it easy for your dog to be identified.
The GoTags is a flat-buckle collar with a quick-release clip design and metal D-Ring. It’s made with nylon webbing and, while relatively durable, isn’t designed to withstand heavy chewing.
The most interesting feature is that the collar comes with your dog’s name and phone number stitched into the nylon collar. This is a more reliable way for your dog to be identified, as you don’t need to worry about the ID tag getting lost or torn off when your dog is running through undergrowth.
You can also choose from five colours (blue, orange, pink, red and black) and four sizes. It’s worth noting that the width of the collar varies depending on which size you get, with the largest size having a 1” width.
The Black Rhino Comfort Collar has soft neoprene padding and a durable design, making it an excellent choice for Huskies. It’s also 1” thick and available in several colour schemes.
While the core collar is made with 1” nylon webbing (aside from the “Small” size which is slightly thinner), the Black Rhino also has additional neoprene padding. This makes the collar a bit wider and more comfortable for your husky to wear.
It also has reflective stitching to make your dog more visible in low-light conditions – although I wouldn’t rely on this alone if you’re walking at dawn or dusk.
At the time of writing, the Black Rhino is available in five colours: blue, aqua, pink, red and black. If you want a durable, heavy-duty collar that doesn’t look as “serious” as some of the military collars on the market, it’s a great choice.
The Tuff Pupper Heavy Duty Dog Collar is a durable collar that looks great on huskies. It’s available in a variety of colours and has neoprene padding for extra comfort.
Like the Black Rhino, The Tuff Pupper is made with a combination of nylon collar and neoprene inner padding. This, along with the metal D-Ring and nickel buckle, make it a strong collar that still feels comfortable if fitted correctly.
The Tuff Pupper also has an integrated bungee handle. I don’t recommend using this, as it could put a lot of pressure onto your dog’s neck. With that said, it could be useful in an emergency when you need quick control of your dog.
If you’re looking for an alternative tactical dog collar, the Excellent Elite Spanker is a decent choice – especially for larger breeds like huskies. It’s made with strong nylon, has a sticker ID panel, and is available in several colours.
As with many tactical dog collars, the Excellent Elite Spanker has a dual pin design. This provides greater reliability, as you’re not relying on a single pin. It also has soft padding on the inside of the collar to make it more comfortable for your pet.
The collar is available in three sizes and five colours (all tactical styles), so there’s almost certainly an option that suits your husky.
I don’t think this is the most durable tactical collar on the market, but it’s still a strong choice. It’s also available for a great price.
All collars come with a sizing chart. You’ll need to measure the girth of your dog’s neck to ensure you choose the right option.
Once you receive the collar, adjust it so you can fit two fingers between the collar and neck. Don’t be afraid to send the collar back if it’s not the right fit.
Almost any collar can be used with a puppy. Be prepared to replace the collar before your husky reaches his full size though – and always use a harness when walking to protect your puppy’s throat.
The most important thing to remember is that puppies grow…fast! Check the size regularly to ensure you can still fit two fingers between the collar and neck.
While I don’t recommend walking your husky on a collar – a harness is a safer option – collars are still important for identification and as a backup if the harness fails.
My favourite Husky collar is the excellent OneTigris Military Collar. It’s a stylish collar with a loop panel for military patches, cushioning for extra comfort, and a metal buckle for extra strength. It’s also available for a great price.
Do you have any questions about choosing the best collar for your husky? Please let me know in the comments section below.