How to measure a dog's head and neck circumference


If you are looking to buy a new collar for your dog, it is important that you measure the neck and head circumference correctly. The wrong size can not only be uncomfortable for the dog, but also endanger its safety and put you at a disadvantage when, for example, training how to walk on a leash.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to take these measurements correctly.

Dog example Measurement of head circumference and neck circumference

General remark

You need:

  • a flexible measuring tape
  • Alternatively: a string/shoelace or similar + ruler/folding ruler


Make sure the measuring tape or string is really snug. Be careful not to choke the dog's breath or overlap his skin by pulling too hard.

Also note the thickness of the fur. Depending on how thick the fur is, you should use more or less measuring tape/rope tension so that your measurement is really close and can deliver a representative result.

Do NOT add any additional buffer, we will do that for you.

Variant 1 - measure directly on the dog (recommended)

Neck circumference (for collars and/or retriever leashes)

  1. Measure the dog standing or sitting. In no case lying down.
  2. Place the tape measure around the dog's neck, just under the jaw and around the neck where the collar will be

  3. Now read the measurement and write it down. If you use a string to measure, note the measuring point and then use a ruler/folding ruler to measure the length to the measuring point and note it down.
Neck circumference measurement in labrador brown dog

    Head circumference (for retriever leashes)

    1. Measure the dog standing or sitting. In no case lying down.
    2. Find the widest part of the head near the ear.
    3. Place the tape measure just below your jawline and at the widest part of your head
    4. Note the measurement result

    Further recommendation:

    If necessary, repeat the measurements several times to get an accurate measurement and use the average value.

    Brown Labrador head circumference is measured

    Variant 2 - measure directly on the collar

    Note on rope collars without adjustment options:

    If you have used this variant, please give us a short note about it in the order note in the shopping cart. It is no longer necessary to calculate tolerances when measuring directly on the collar. We take this into account during production.

    Neck circumference (for collars and/or retriever leashes)

    We do not recommend this variant. Only if the dog does not live in your household, for example, and you have no other way of measuring.

    1. Adjust the collar the way the dog would wear it if it were of the right size and lay it in front of you on a flat surface.
    2. Now measure the inner circumference with a measuring tape/cord. Make sure that the measuring tape is actually on the collar and that there are no gaps.
    3. Read the measurement and note it down
    4. If necessary, carry out a control measurement

    Incorrect measurement of dog neck circumference on the collarIncorrect measurement of dog neck circumference on the collar

    General information:

    - The tape measure is correct when it can no longer be pulled over the dog's head and is snug around the dog's neck

    - If you measure with "cord & ruler", mark the point at which the cord overlaps and then measure the length with the ruler.

    - Don't count any tolerances & no "finger widths", we'll do that for you !!

    - the neck circumference lists from the search networks (Google & Co.) rarely match reality and are oversized. It is best not to read any "orientation values" from this