How Tight Should an E-Collar Be?

Pet Care


September 21, 2022

Dog owners everywhere make use of e-collars for training purposes. When used properly, these collars can make for a highly effective means of training your dog. But there is the matter of fit to consider.

The question of “How tight should an e-collar be?” can feel like a tough one to answer. But let’s take a closer look into the e-collar, the desired tightness, and the impact of a properly-fitting collar on the training process.

How Tight Should an E-Collar Be?

While there is no hard and fast rule as far as how tight the e-collar should be, there are two things to look for. The first is whether the collar is too tight. When the collar is too restrictive, it can not only become uncomfortable or even choke your dog, but the prongs from the collar can jab them as well.

On the flip side, the collar can be too loose. When the collar is too loose, it becomes easier for them to get out of it. Not only that, but the prongs will be too far away to deliver the shock needed to aid in training.

Ideally, any collar should be snug but not restrictive. You should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. Anything more means it is too loose and anything less indicates that you have the collar on too tightly.

Proper training is contingent on the effectiveness of the collar. By ensuring that it is the proper size, you can ensure that it is doing its job.

Dog Fur Too Thick for a Shock Collar

Training a dog breed that has longer than average fur can be challenging. There can even be the feeling that your dog has fur that is too long to really fit a shock collar around. But the good news is that there are shock collars for even long-haired dogs.

The concern with long-haired dogs is not that the collar will not fit—they are adjustable, after all—but that the shock will not reach the dog. There are a plethora of different shock collars that are perfect for long-haired dogs.

One of the most important questions when using an e-collar for training is, “How tight should an e-collar be?” The collar should be just snug enough that it is not restrictive or choking the dog but not loose enough that the shock will not be able to travel to the dog.

It helps to measure your dog’s neck before ordering the collar. You can get in the general range for thickness, adjusting the collar when you get it to ensure that it fits as snugly as it should.

My Dog Won’t Let Me Take His Collar Off

From time to time, you may find that your dog isn’t willing to let you take its collar off. There are a few reasons for this, so let’s take a closer look at just what might be causing the issue.

Go for a Walk?

There are basically three reasons why your dog might not be so keen for you to take their collar off. The first is simply because it associates its collar with going for a walk. If the dog doesn’t want you taking the collar off, it is because it likely wants to go for a walk and thinks by taking the collar off, that is not happening.


Here is also the chance that your dog may find it intimidating to have its collar taken off. Part of this depends on the approach. If you come up to it quickly and from the front, your dog may perceive it as a potentially threatening move. This is especially common if you have not had your dog for very long.

If you and your dog are still getting acquainted, try slow, gentle, deliberate moves to show your dog that there is nothing to be scared of.

It Hurts

The final reason that your dog might not be so keen to have its collar taken off is that it hurts. Generally, though, you will notice this because in this situation, dogs tend to yelp or cry. There is also the chance that an improperly fitting collar could cause them to scratch a lot. In that case, moving the collar could agitate their skin, which would cause them to pull back.

Should your dog be okay with letting you take the collar off sometimes but not others, take note of your behavior. What are you doing that is making your dog recoil and become reticent to remove the collar? Sometimes with pets, you need to observe your actions as well as their behaviors to determine what is going right and what is going wrong.


If you have been considering implementing some sort of vibration or shock collar into your training plan, make sure that the fit is right. You will be doing both yourself and your dog a disservice by not having the right size before beginning.

Finding the right-sized collar means measuring your dog beforehand and making the necessary adjustments along the way. It takes a little time and patience, but you can find the right fit for your dog in no time.