How to Fix a Dog Collar that is too Big?

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Collars for dogs are an essential element of keeping your dog safe. Collars not only provide vital identification information in the event that your dog runs away, but they also help keep your dog secure on its leash on walks when correctly fitted.

It is one thing to get the correct measurements for the size of your dog’s neck, it is another thing to get a dog collar that fits perfectly. Not to worry, should in case your delivery comes in and the dog collar that was delivered to you is a bit too big, it can surely be corrected.

However, to be sure that the fault is not entirely from your end, you must measure your dog’s neck accurately with a sewing or tailor’s tape. If this tape is not available, you could use your dog’s old collar, a shoestring, or even a dog leash that can be used to wrap around the dog’s neck and get a length.

How do you know if your dog’s collar is too big?

You should constantly double-check that the collar fits your dog pleasantly and securely when you receive it. The “two-finger” test can be used for this. Make sure your dog has adequate room to roam around after you’ve secured the collar around his neck. The collar should not press against your dog’s skin; if it does, it is too tight.

Place two fingers between your dog’s neck and the collar. If the collar feels snug, it’s the right size. The collar is excessively tight if you have to force your fingers below it. It’s too loose if there’s a lot of space between the dog’s neck and the collar.

You should also make certain that the collar does not slip over your dog’s head. If the collar can slip past your dog’s ears, it is too loose and should be tightened.

How to Fix a Dog Collar that is too Big? – Ultimate Guide

How to Fix a Dog Collar that is too Big?

To fix a dog collar that is too big, you have to shorten the collar. The collar can be shortened in 3 simple steps which I’m going to walk you through. 

Step 1:

Cut the stitching: The configuration of all plastic collars is almost the same. The webbing is attached to the plastic buckle on one end and the slider on the other. Cut the stitching on the loop attached to the middle of the slider with a sharp knife to free that end of the webbing.

Step 2:

Adjust the Collar length. Pull the newly freed end of the webbing through the slider, tightening the collar’s diameter. Use an old collar to adjust the approximate size of the new collar if you have one. Cut off the free end of the webbing, leaving a couple of inches extra for adjustment.

The collar tension prevents the webbing from moving through the slider, so this configuration is self-tightening. In most cases, you’re now finished. Some collars, on the other hand, have a smooth surface and will gradually loosen over time.

In this case, you can readjust the collar size and, using a needle and thread, sew the free end back to itself, reforming the loop. Only a few stitches are required to keep it from slipping. Finally, use a lighter to melt the cut end of the webbing to prevent fraying.

If you don’t want to permanently shorten the collar by cutting off the end, you can control the excess webbing with tape or velcro wrapped around the collar. We keep some collars like this on hand for foster dogs of various sizes.

Step 3:

Optional. Install the Electronic collar unit.

Remove the electronic unit from the old collar and use the holes as a template to mark locations on the new collar with a marker. Burn holes in the new collar with a wood burner or soldering iron and screw the electronic unit into them. The heat from the metal tool melts the nylon, leaving no frayed ends.

Also Read: How Tight Should a Dog Collar Be?

How Can I Make My Dog’s Collar Smaller Without Sewing?

You don’t want to sew your dog’s collar even though you want to shorten it? Don’t worry, there are other options for you. What you’ll require.

The following materials will be required for this project:

  • Webbing or ribbon 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide
  • King or Queen
  • Scissors
  • A pen or a marker
  • Fabric adhesive

1. Measure the circumference of your dog’s neck:

The first step is to cut a piece of fabric the size of your dog’s collar. If you’re not sure how to do this, measure the circumference of your dog’s neck and add an inch or two for overlap. Assemble the collar so that it fits snugly but not too tightly around your dog’s neck.

2. Using hot glue, attach the buckle:

Using hot glue as an adhesive, glue the buckle to the centre of your fabric. Before you start glueing, make sure it’s in the right place! Sewing is the alternative you want to avoid in this situation.

Fold the fabric over so that the raw edges are hidden, then stitch around the entire perimeter of the buckle with a needle and thread. This prevents the collar from unravelling.

Attaching the leash is as simple as poking a hole in the fabric near the buckle and threading the leash through it. You’re finished!

A word of warning: This DIY collar is not intended for heavy pulling or chewing. If your dog is a chewer, you should think about a more durable option.

Also Read: Can You Add Another Collar To Petsafe Wireless Fence?

How to Shorten a Nylon Dog Collar?

Nylon collars are typically constructed of nylon webbing with a plastic or metal side release buckle. Nylon comes in a variety of colours to match your dog’s unique personality. These collars can be embroidered, or a simple hangtag or ScruffTag can be used instead. 

Nylon dog collars are easily adaptable to fit your dog’s neck because it is such a flexible material. If you notice that the nylon collar you have purchased for your dog is quite loose, move the tri-glide away from the buckle by looping the extra nylon through and pulling tight on the buckle to shorten the collar.


We can see that collars can be the best things to get for your dogs as a dog owner but if not purchased properly, collars can be a big problem. Whether too loose or too tight, collars that do not fit perfectly or pass the 2 hand rule test should not be used for dogs. Even at that, if the wrong sizes were mistakenly purchased, adjustments can be made easily.

Maria Martinez is a dog lover who likes to write about different dog products. She likes to share those products which she owns and uses and provide honest reviews about them.

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