Leather vs Nylon Dog Collars: Know What’s Right For You

leather vs nylon

In this article, we’ll explain the key features of your dog’s collar, what to look for when buying a collar, and the pros and cons of leather vs nylon in dog collars.

Dog collars are a critical accessory for any dog owner. They ensure your pup’s safety, identification, and show off her personality. 

But with the range of materials and types, some dog owners are at a loss when shopping for a collar! Especially when it comes to the question of leather vs nylon. 


The overwhelming majority of dog collars come in either leather or nylon. But which is better for your dog, and how do you choose? 

Leather vs Nylon Collars – Does My Dog Need a Collar?

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The short and easy answer is yes. Collars are critical for your pup’s safety for two main reasons.


A collar immediately signals to anyone who sees your dog that it belongs to someone. If they somehow get lost and are wandering around without you, people will know that they belong to someone and needs to be returned home. 

Additionally, the collar is what holds her ID tags, so people know how to contact you. ID tags should include:

  • Dog’s name 
  • Your phone number
  • Rabies tag
  • Health issues if your dog has anything that might be pertinent to someone who finds her
  • Microchip info if applicable


At its most basic, a collar is what you attach a [easyazon_link identifier=”B074CR329H” locale=”US” tag=”regaldog-20″]leash[/easyazon_link] or line to, so you can ensure your dog stays with you. In some public places, leashing your dog is a legal requirement.

Leather vs Nylon Collars – The Basics of Dog Collars

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  • ADJUSTABLE / CUSTOMIZABLE FIT: This handmade dog collar fits small, medium, large, and big dogs. It can be used for neck sizes ranging from 13...
  • VIRTUALLY INDESTRUCTIBLE: This heavy duty waterproof dog collar is constructed with rust resistant, nickel-plated double buckle which lets the...
  • COMPLETELY WATERPROOF: Does your pup love the beach? This is the perfect collar for you! vinyl-coated webbing is more durable than rubber, nylon,...

So we know that dog collars are critical to your pup’s safety and should be worn nearly all the time. This means that the materials that make up a collar are also necessary. But how are dog collars made?

Types of Collar

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The basic design of a collar is a circular loop of material that buckles or snaps to itself. The most popular type of collar is a “flat collar,” which is a strip of flat material that can rest comfortably against a dog’s neck. These usually secure with a buckle or plastic snap closure and have a ring for your dog’s ID tags.

Other types of collars for specialized purposes include GPS collars, flea/tick collars, vibrating collars, and shock collars.


To find the right size collar, gently measure your dog’s neck with a tape measure. Look for a collar with that measurement in its range. We recommend looking for a collar with a total length of about three inches longer than the circumference of your dog’s neck. 

For example, if your dog’s neck is 15 inches around, look for a collar with a range of about 13-18 inches. 

Be sure to keep note of any changes in your dog’s neck size as well. This might happen if your dog is a puppy and still growing, if your dog gains and sheds a lot of coat throughout the seasons, or if your dog gains or loses significant weight. 

Always use the two-finger test to make sure your dog’s collar is the right fit. When you put the collar on, it should be loose enough that you can fit two fingers underneath it, between your dog’s neck and the collar. 

Leather vs Nylon

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While some collars, like flea/tick collars, are made of a specialized material, most collars are either made of nylon or leather. Dog owners need to pick which they prefer for their dogs. 

How do you choose between the two?

Let’s look at a few of the key factors to consider as you shop for a collar and then outline the pros and cons of leather vs nylon.

When shopping for a collar, you should consider the following. 


Leather is more expensive than nylon but may last longer. If you are willing to take care of the leather, the cost may pay off in the long run.

Longevity & Durability

Nylon collars tend to be tougher and more durable to weather conditions and even other dog’s teeth.

However, if you maintain it well, leather will outlast nylon. Nylon collars are very durable, but they will wear down over time or simply lose their luster. 


Both leather and nylon are comfortable for dogs if you find the right fit and ensure your dog has no adverse reactions to the material. 

Some dogs are allergic to nylon. Leather, if not given proper care, can cause chafing and irritation.


Both materials are safe for dogs. Make sure to check if your dog is allergic to nylon before buying a nylon collar. Also, be sure you check the size and fit of the collar regularly.


Leather has a classic, sleek appearance when maintained well. You can now also get leather collars in multiple colors and designs. However, if you like bright colors or patterns, you may want to go with nylon, which can be designed almost any way you imagine. 


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Nylon is extremely easy to care for. You can simply put it through the washing machine with your laundry. 

Leather is a bit more finicky. To clean, you should hand-wash with water and your dog’s shampoo. The shampoo ensures that any soap residue won’t irritate your dog’s skin. Let it dry completely, and then apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather supple and soft. 

Both leather and nylon need regular cleaning to keep any bad smells at bay.

Leather vs Nylon – Leather Collars

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Leather collars are a great choice if you want a timeless look. 

These collars are made, like all leather, from cowhide. They can be designed flat or rolled and can have designs imprinted or stitched on them. A rolled leather collar may be best for dogs with long hair, as they do a better job of preventing matting. 

Leather collars usually come with buckle closure, and you can also have a nameplate attached. 


  • Timeless, more classic aesthetic
  • Long-lasting
  • “Breaks in” to your dog’s neck and becomes very soft and comfortable over time.
  • Natural material does not typically irritate dog’s skin


  • More expensive than nylon
  • Requires more work for care and maintenance
  • If not treated, leather can become brittle and cause chafing 
  • Not waterproof

Leather vs Nylon – Nylon Collars

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Nylon collars are made from – you guessed it, nylon. Nylon is an incredibly strong material woven together as nylon webbing, creating a slightly elastic, extremely durable collar. These collars usually have a plastic or metal snap buckle.

Nylon is surprisingly lightweight for such a durable material. Because of its slight elasticity, nylon makes an excellent fit for a collar. 

You can find nylon collars in nearly every color and pattern. If you are looking for a collar that can show your or your dog’s personality, nylon might be the way to go.  

Overall, nylon may be the most popular material for dog collars


  • More affordable than leather
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Extremely durable
  • Waterproof
  • Versatile in style and color


  • It may start fraying and not last as long as leather
  • Some dogs are allergic to nylon

Leather vs Nylon: Which Is Right For You?

In the end, the decision is all about you and your dog. For most dog owners, nylon is an affordable, accessible option that gives them versatility in design and looks. However, some dog owners will be drawn to the leather collar’s timeless look and the investment’s longevity.

In the end, both provide a safe, versatile choice for your pup.

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