Last Updated on 2021-05-03 by Admin
A Quality leather dog collar has specific elements and characteristics. The benefits of such a collar are comfort for the dog. The dog owner gets a product that is long-lasting, unique and gives pride of ownership. With also comes the peace of mind that the dog will not suddenly get loose because the collar failed.
Let’s look at all the parts that make up such a collar in detail.
Quality of the Leather
Most people will be familiar with the therm Genuine leather. That leather grade gets used for wallets, belts and many other products. In terms of quality, it is low-grade leather. It is not suitable for a robust, durable and quality dog collar.
Let’s look at how leather is graded, starting with the best quality first, and making our way down to the lowest grade.
- Full-Grain – Full-grain leather is thick and is very durable. It is hard to work with because it is so thick. It also is firm and hard to bend.
- Top-Grain – Top-grain leather is thinner than full-grain leather because the top layer got removed. Top-grain leather is a little easier to work with because it is thinner and is more pliable.
- Split leather – Split leather is even thinner than full-grain leather. It has the name split leather because it is created by splitting top-grain leather.
- Genuine – Genuine leather is a low-grade leather. It is, most of the time, thin and easy to handle. Genuine can mean many things, and the term is intentionally vague.
- Bonded – Bonded leather is made from shredded leather scraps and bonded or glued together with polyurethane or latex. The amount of leather can range from 10% to 90%.
Now that we know how leather gets graded, we can make a more informed decision on what grade is suitable for a high-quality dog collar. Dog collars get exposed to sun, snow, rain and mud. They also get a lot of abuse from pulling and even biting from other dogs. Thus, a quality collar will require either full-grain or top-grain leather.
The Thread and Stitching
The thread holds the many leather parts together. Therefore it must be strong and thick. A strong twine and even stitching are also signs of quality.
Padding for Comfort
The padding on the collar comes from softer but strong leather, and the width extends the main piece of leather. Padding makes wearing the collar more comfortable. As with many things quality, it is the attention to detail that is important.
Having padding on a collar makes a big difference to a dog. It makes the collar more comfortable because there is no rubbing against the neck. When the dog pulls, the padding prevents the leather from cutting into the skin. Let’s not forget that dogs may wear a collar for hours at a time. So comfort is essential.
A wider collar can provide more comfort because there is a broader surface to distribute the forces from pulling or jerking on a leash. The width should depend on the dog’s size, strength, and behaviour. And, of course, the dog owner’s preference.
In my case, to get a collar of proper width (1.5 inches\3.8 cm) for Annie, I went with a custom made collar. It was only slightly more expensive than an off the shelf one. The quality of the custom collar regarding leather, stitching, hardware and craftsmanship is superior.
Hardware on a collar is the pin, grommet, D rings etc. The parts that used to loosen and adjust the collar. A quality collar will have metal grommets\eyelet’s to protect the wholes from being worn out by the pin. The D ring keeps the loose end of the collar nicely in place.
The hardware must withstand a lot of stress. For that reason, when looking at a well-made collar. The hardware appears over-sized.
The options are the finer details that make a collar unique. Again, whatever gets added should be of good quality. The padding I talked about earlier on might be an option. Decorative stitching or the addition of studs, flowers, engraving etc., might be options.
Options are what makes a custom collar unique for dog and owner. The use of options can improve a dog breed’s appearance and image. When a pit bull has a wide collar with stainless steel studs, it makes a statement.
I wanted a wide collar with flowers on the collar for my female Boxer Annie. Flowers on a wide collar is not easy to find. When I got Annie’s custom collar made, I was lucky that they offered a choice of flowers as options. That gain makes a statement about a dog and its owner.
A good quality collar will last many years. The cost of such a collar might be a little higher. I had to resort to a custom made Dog collar for Annie in my case. It took me a while to find what I wanted. Now that I have a custom collar for a few years, I would never buy an off the shelf collar.
You would think that finding a high-quality collar is easy. But it for sure was not the case for me. You can read my article on Finding a quality dog collar if interested.
Wikipedia on leather: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leather