A dog's collar size is important for his comfort and health. A traditional flat buckle collar will have a metal or plastic buckle that allows for size adjustments. If your dog is small and his collar with a traditional buckle is too large for the dog to wear even set to the hole that's farthest from the collar end, or if you wish to create a collar for your dog on your own, you can make new holes so the collar fits properly.
Measuring for Size
A dog collar that fits correctly will allow you to slip two fingers under the collar against your dog's neck. A flat buckle collar may be tighter than other types of collars, but you should never allow the dog to wear a collar that's too tight, as this may restrict the dog's airway. An ideally sized collar is higher on the dog's neck. It is too loose if it is grazing his shoulder blades. Measure a puppy's neck often, as a puppy grows quickly and may need frequent adjustment.
Dog collars made of leather or nylon may allow you to add holes. If you are making your collars from nylon webbing, a strip of leather or an old leather belt, you will need to add holes for the collar buckle to fasten. Accomplish this by using a leather hole punch, which you'll find at a crafts or hardware store. First, measure the collar on your dog and mark the material where the holes are to be placed. Next, space the holes at 1-inch distances, using a ruler to mark from the center. Last, use your punch to create the holes in the dog collar on the marks.
A traditional flat buckle collar, while a very common type of collar, is not the only collar type. Other varieties include martingales, harnesses, halters and choke collars. Not all collars are made of leather or nylon, but each should allow for size adjustment. Martingales do not buckle; they slip over a dog's head and pull tight. Harnesses and halters give greater control over a dog that pulls during leash walks. Choke collars, used for training only, are controversial, as some people feel they are cruel and instill fear in dogs.
Pet Store Alternatives
When you cannot find a collar in the design or size you desire, consider making your own. Several DIY craft websites provide instruction for this project. To avoid having to add holes each time your purchase a new collar, seek out vendors that offer a great variety of styles and sizes that fit your dog. Find collars online, through local animal shelters and at pet expos, craft shows, veterinarians' offices. These sellers may even handcraft a collar that meets your dog's needs.