When choosing a collar for your dog, there are a few things to consider, but a common question among owners is – are leather dog collars better than nylon collars?
The truth is, neither is better than the other. They both have different pros and cons, so it depends on what you’re looking for. There are many other types of dog collars to choose from, some are specifically engineered to be comfortably worn by large dogs, or to be used as training collars.
Leather vs Nylon Dog Collars
Let’s get into the biggest differences between leather and nylon dog collars. Which is better?
First and foremost, leather dog collars are super classy. So, wearing a leather collar definitely gives your dog a stylish edge! They mostly come in neutral colors, but you can find some in fun colors and patterns, too.
That said, it’s a lot easier to find nylon collars that come in different colors and patterns, but they don’t have the luxurious look of leather.
Arguably the most important factor, the comfort of a collar ensures that your dog enjoys wearing it and it doesn’t irritate their neck. Leather is ideal for comfort because it is super soft, flexible, and breathable, and it is significantly less likely to cause skin irritation because it is a natural material.
However, nylon collars are very lightweight, which may suit puppies and older dogs better. For supreme comfort, buy your dog a collar with internal padding.
Although the basic design with buckles and D-rings suits most owners, some need collars with special designs. For example, different training collars such as martingale collars, smart collars, or reef collars for Greyhounds and Whippets.
This is where nylon collars have an advantage. Although special collars like these are available to buy in leather, there are far, far more designs to choose from in nylon. Safety features like reflective stitching are also a lot more common in nylon collars.
Durability and longevity are essential to stop you from wasting your money. This is where leather truly outperforms nylon because a good leather collar can last your dog a lifetime, whereas a nylon collar should last 3-4 years. However, it will require a lot of care.
Leather does not react as well to water as nylon does, and most dogs like to get wet and dirty. So, if your dog is a wet weather dog, a weather-proof nylon collar might be the better choice for you.
As we mentioned above, leather requires a little more TLC than nylon ones, as it is more sensitive to wet weather. That said, they both need some maintenance. Neither leather nor nylon is immune to getting a bit smelly or carrying germs, so they both need semi-regular cleaning, at least as often as you wash your dog, or when they get particularly dirty.
Nylon collars are usually okay to go in the washing machine with some non-bio washing detergent on a low-temperature cycle, but it’s best to avoid the washing machine with leather collars, as it risks changing the look and feel of the leather.
To wash a leather collar by hand, use a cool, damp cloth with some saddle or castile soap. You should also condition it using a natural oil or beeswax to prevent drying and cracking. To hand-wash, a nylon collar, soak it in some warm water and scrub it with some baby shampoo, dog shampoo, or natural soap, and always let them air dry before putting them back on your dog.
Leather dog collars are far more expensive than nylon collars, which are generally pretty inexpensive. Because, as mentioned above, they are high quality, luxurious, and seriously long-lasting. Nylon collars will still last you a few years, though, and are pretty good value for money as well.
Leather dog collars are a by-product of the meat industry, so if you’re vegan, they may not be for you. However, they are natural and biodegradable, unlike nylon, which is a type of plastic. Neither are super sustainable or great for the environment, although there are getting to be more and more ethical leather companies, sadly, none of them are making dog collars yet.
However, lots of leather collars are sourced and made in the USA or Europe, which is a lot more eco-friendly than outsourcing to places like China. Some nylon collars are made in the USA, too, but a lot more of them are made in China, which is also known for having little to no standards for pet product manufacturing.
Other things you may want to consider
Other factors you may want to take into consideration when buying a collar for your dog include:
- The size of the collar
- Buying from trusted brands
- Good product ratings & reviews
Coolest Leather & Nylon Dog Collars
Now that we’ve discussed the differences between leather and nylon, let’s take a look at our favorite leather & nylon collars for dogs.
1. Aolove Basic Classic Padded Leather Collar
Aolove‘s leather collars come in five size options, ranging from extra small (8 – 10 inches) to extra large (17 – 22 inches). They also come in ten fun color options including pink, blue, red, and yellow, and feature nickel-plated buckles and D-rings, with a padded interior for comfort. The collars are an Amazon best-seller and super affordable for real leather, with many reviews remarking on the great value for money.
2. Soft Touch Collars Leather Luxury Collar
This leather collar by Soft Touch Collars comes in three sizes; small, medium, and large. They also come in six color options and combinations including black and tan & turquoise. The collars also have easy-to-use metal buckles, D-rings, internal padding, and come with a lifetime guarantee.
STC is a small, family-owned company based in California that really loves dogs and take pride in the quality and craftsmanship of their products. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
3. Joytale Nylon Reflective Dog Collar
Joytale‘s nylon dog collars are made with a lightweight nylon material with soft neoprene padding for comfort. They come in 12 fun colors, including black, pastel pink, hot pink, and sky blue. They also come in four sizes; extra small, small, medium, and large.
It has a curved plastic buckle to comfortably secure to your pet’s neck and comes with metal D-rings for ID tag and leash attachment. It also has light-reflective stitching for safety on night-time walks. The collar is super durable and quick-drying. It’s also an Amazon bestseller and super affordable, with several reviews calling it excellent value for money.
4. Poohoo Leather Soft & Breathable Padded Collar
This super stylish leather collar by Poohoo uses breathable leather with soft PU lining for ultimate comfort. It has a super-stylish bone pattern and comes in four colors; beige, red, brown, and grey. It also has a heavy-duty, rust-proof brass buckle and D-ring, and comes in three sizes for medium-large dogs.
The brand prides itself on handcrafting its products using traditional methods, durable materials, and high-quality hardware. It’s also an Amazon bestseller and comes with a one-year warranty. Reviews love the quality of the product.
5. Max and Neo Reflective Metal Buckle Nylon Dog Collar
This nylon collar by Max and Neo is another Amazon bestseller. It comes in seven colors including red, blue, pink, and purple, and five sizes from extra small to extra large. It is double-layered for extra durability and has a heavy-duty metal buckle that has been anodized for a beautiful gunmetal finish. The collar also has reflective stitching for nighttime safety and an extra D-ring for charms and accessories.
The brand donates a collar to a dog shelter for each one that is sold, and this product has almost no negative reviews.
6. Challenger Floral Hand Tooled Padded Leather Dog Collar
This beautiful leather collar by Challenger is available to buy in two sizes for medium-sized dogs; 16 – 20 inches and 17 – 21 inches. It also comes in three striking designs; tan with yellow sunflowers and turquoise beaded inlay, pink sunflowers and white beads, or turquoise sunflowers and turquoise beads.
It’s handmade using heavy-duty grain leather that is superior in quality, padded, and wider in the middle for security and neck support, which is great for older dogs. It also has a rust-proof D-ring and buckle and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Although it’s on the expensive side, it’s fantastic value for the quality and reviews say it’s even well-suited to Greyhound and Whippet necks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Feel free to check out our Frequently Asked Questions section for more information.
Leather collars are super stylish, really comfortable, high-quality, durable, natural, and long-lasting. However, they are very expensive and take a little more looking after than other types of collars. They also don’t come in as many different designs for special purposes as nylon collars do.
Nylon collars can come in a lot of different colors, patterns, and special designs. They’re lightweight, weather-proof, and don’t take too much looking after. They’re also super inexpensive. However, they are manmade and not biodegradable.
Dog leather collar can last for years if it’s well maintained. Since leather collars are hand-crafted individually, it’s more durable and detailed compared to other collars. Most leather collars are also made from high-quality materials and made for your dog’s needs.
Yes. Some dog owners often think that a leather collar should stay dry but the truth is, as long as you maintain it correctly and regularly, it can handle moisture and can still last for years. When it comes to bathing your dog, it’s best to remove your dog’s leather collar.
There are no exact months or years when it comes to changing your dog’s collar. As long as they are in good shape then your dog can still wear them. This also depends on the quality of the collar that you bought since some collars can last only for days while others can last years.
Are leather dog collars better than nylon? You decide! Which one is best for you depends on you and your dog’s needs. Whichever type you choose, be sure to use our buying guides to point you towards the best products on the market.
If you are looking for other types of collars, check out our guides on: