The Advantages of Waterproof Dog Collars

Alpine Dog Co. ™

When I first owned a Newfoundland, I bought a sturdy leather collar. Well, this breed is a water magnet. It loves swimming and playing in puddles. The collar didn’t last. It absorbed water and became stiff, cracked, and warped.

I don’t want to forget how the mold grew and the odors it produced. I had no option but to go searching for waterproof dog collars. Having used waterproof collars for several years now, I have finally compiled the advantages of waterproof dog collars, the things to look for when shopping for one, and, of course, my top recommendations. 

The Advantages of Waterproof Dog Collars

When switching from leather and nylon collars to waterproof collars, all I wanted was an easy-to-clean collar that wouldn’t make my Fido smell. But when I started using waterproof collars, I discovered they were even more sturdy.

For instance, biothane collars outlast leather and nylon collars under normal use. At the same time, waterproof collars don’t cause skin infections, inflammation, or irritations. Enough of that. Let’s jump right into the advantages of waterproof dog collars over other types of collars.    

No Odors

Collars are in direct contact with the dog’s coat. If the collar is made of absorbent materials like leather, it will absorb grime, dirt, and skin oils from the dog. If it’s a dog that loves water, like the Portuguese Water Dog, you’ll find water trapped between the collar and the coat.

Remember that microorganisms thrive in warm, moist environments and feed off trapped organic materials like saliva and dead skin cells.  Dogs are no exception. These conditions favor the overgrowth of the lipophilic Malassezia yeast, leading to skin infections, irritation, inflammation, and odors.

The condition also favors staphylococcus pseudintermedius bacteria, leading to infection and bad odors. For waterproof collars, well, there’s no moist environment. So, no favorable conditions for bacteria growth, and no odors.   

Easy to Clean

The type of collar material won’t change your dog’s natural instincts. Your Newfoundland will play with muddy water puddles as usual, and you’ll need to clean the collar. That’s when things get different. If the collar is made of synthetic materials, you’ll need to soak it in hot water mixed with baking soda and vinegar.

Scrab the collar with a toothbrush and dry it with a towel. You'll then need to hang it until completely dry. Note that drying can take several hours depending on the weather. Putting it back on your Fido before it’s completely dry causes yeast infection issues we discussed.

Even with the above steps, the collar might still have a horrible skunk smell. For me, these cleaning hassles are a no, and that’s why I prefer waterproof collars. You only need to take a damp cloth and wipe. If the collar is covered with mud or dirt, just use a mild soap solution, rinse it in clean water, and let it dry. 

Reliable and Durable

Waterproof collars are made of materials like neoprene and biothane. I’ll later discuss how these materials vary, but let me first show you how these neoprene and biothane compare with other collar materials. To start with, both neoprene and biothane are synthetic materials, not natural like leather. As a result, waterproof collars don’t warp or stretch over time like leather collars.

Another thing to note is that leather collars are expensive. When I compare leather collars’ durability in relation to price with waterproof collars’ durability in relation to price, the latter offers a better value for money.

Leather aside. Nylon fades easily when exposed to the sun. The bright attractive colors become dull and discolored. Another thing, nylon collars fray easily, especially if the dog is a heavy chewer like the Golden Retriever.

Another thing, when a nylon collar gets wet, it stretches! A dog with a narrow head like the Greyhound easily slips out of nylon collars. So, when you compare the durability and reliability of neoprene and biothane collars with nylon collars, neoprene, and biothane collars still win.

Comfortable and Hypoallergenic

If you love swimming, you must be familiar with neoprene. It’s the soft and flexible synthetic rubber used in wetsuits. You know how snugly the wetsuit fits on the body. Even if the neoprene in wetsuits and the ones in collars have different thicknesses, the feel is almost the same.

Neoprene collars conform to your dog’s neck. That means when you put pressure on the leash, neoprene and biothane collars put pressure on the entire neck muscles. The feel becomes comfortable compared to a chain collar that puts pressure on the front of the neck where the chain rests.

Another thing is that neoprene and biothane materials used in waterproof collars are hypoallergenic. That means you can use the collar on all dogs, without worrying whether they have sensitive skins or not. 

Features to Consider in Waterproof Dog Collars

All waterproof collars aren’t the same. They are made of different materials, designs, qualities, and sizes. So, buying the right waterproof collar is not just a matter of hitting the buy button on any collar indicated as waterproof.

Here are the things to look for to make sure the collar meets your reliability and durability expectations and matches your dog’s temperament and training needs.


A waterproof collar means the collar material doesn’t absorb water and stays wet. There are several collar materials that can achieve this. But their durability and comfort levels differ. Here are the main materials to look out for when shopping.

Recycled Materials

As the name suggests, these collars are made of recycled materials like bicycle tires. This rubber is usually waterproof and durable. The good thing about recycled materials is that it’s an eco-friendly way of making collars. If you’re an ambassador of reducing landfill burden, then go for these collars.


Neoprene fabric is basically synthetic chloroprene stretched to make textile fiber. The material is generally an alternative to rubber. In fact, neoprene was developed by Nieuwland, a University of Notre Dame chemistry lecturer, when there was a global shortage of rubber.

The material served the purposes of normal rubber, from making swimsuits to jeep tires during World War II. So, when I talk about neoprene collars, I’m talking about elastic, impermeable, comfortable, and durable collars just like rubber products.  

PVC Coating

PVC-coated collars look like biothane collars. In fact, many people confuse them. PVC-coated collars are made of polyester woven fabric that is then coated with Polyvinyl Chloride synthetic material. These collars are 100% waterproof and are mildew and mold-resistant just like biothane collars.

However, PVC-coated collars don’t stretch like biothane collars. I consider them great for dogs with narrow heads like Salukis because they can’t stretch to allow the dog to slip out its head.  


Biothane is the most common material for waterproof collars. I also consider it to be the best anyway. The material is made of a strong polyester webbing, which is then coated with thermoplastic polyurethane.

Biothane collars like the Educator Quick Snap Dog Collar are waterproof, mildew and mold resistant, prevent chafing, and are incredibly durable. In fact, biothane collars have an incredible break strength of about 1,000 pounds per inch of width. 


Training a dog commands like sit, stay, come and heel takes from 6 weeks to months. As you can guess, it takes even longer to train advanced things like to stop barking excessively or pulling on the leash.

So, I recommend shopping for a waterproof training collar instead of trying to switch back and forth between normal non-waterproof training collars and standard waterproof collars. The good thing is that there are lots of waterproof training collars out there, from martingale and choke collars to bark collars.

Buckle Design

The buckle is as important as the collar material. If the buckle breaks, the dog gets loose. So, when choosing collars, consider the following buckle design differences.

Plastic Buckles and Metal Buckles

The material of these buckles is straightforward. One is metal, and the other is hard plastic. Plastic buckles are not sturdy and durable like metal buckles. Imagine a dog like Delbert who broke the world record by pulling 5,400 pounds. No way a plastic thing can handle that force.

However, plastic buckles work great for waterproof collars because plastic doesn’t corrode like metal. The lightweight nature of plastic is also great for small dogs like the American Water Spaniel. It doesn’t weigh their necks down.

I also use collars with plastic buckles on large gentle dogs that love swimming like the Newfoundland because he is gentle, he doesn’t pull so much, and I don’t want metal buckles to weigh him down when swimming. The main issue I have faced with plastic buckles is brittleness over time.

On the other hand, metal buckles are sturdy, reliable, and durable. If you choose a sturdy collar material like biothane, I recommend matching it with a metal buckle. This material combination is great for heavy pullers like the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, and Samoyed.

Remember you want a waterproof collar that works well for swimmers. So, make sure the buckle is made of corrosion-resistant metal like stainless steel or zinc alloy. Note that metal buckles are heavier than plastic buckles. So, avoid using them on miniature dog breeds.

Single Lock vs Double Lock

The common dog collars have single-lock buckles. The problem I have with this design is that if the closure mechanism snaps, your Fido is loose. The double lock adds an extra layer of security using a double D-ring. Again, the choice depends on the dog's size and temperament.

If it’s a small gentle dog, just use the single lock. It’s lightweight, and putting on and taking off is easy. But, if your furry friend shares DNA with Delbert, go for double-lock buckles.

Quick Release

Accidents happen, and your furry friend is no exception. For example, the dog is trying to escape from the compound, jumps over the fence, the collar is caught by the fence and snags. In 3 to 5 minutes, brain damage strikes. That’s why you need to get a collar with a quick-release buckle. You only need to press the button, and the collar is loose.

Size Adjustability

Dogs gain and lose weight just like humans. But, the collar should remain fitting. By fitting I mean you should be able to get your two figures between the collar and the dog’s neck. If the dog loses weight, the gap becomes big. For a narrow-headed dog like the Saluki, he easily slips out.

On the other hand, if the dog becomes obese, which is not a good thing anyway, the collar constricts the neck and causes chafing and skin irritations. In worse cases, the collar chokes the dog. That’s why I recommend waterproof collars with adjustable sizes.

Note that when I talk about adjustable, it’s within a reasonable range. Something like 11”-14”, 13”-18” or 16”-23”. Don’t expect to find a collar with a size range of 5”-40”. No way a collar that fits a Chihuahua will fit a Bernese Mountain Dog.

So, when choosing the collar, first measure your dog’s neck. Then go for an adjustable size collar that falls within that range. Just take a tailor’s tape, wrap it around the dog’s neck, fit two fingers to make sure it’s not too tight, and then take the size readings.    

My Top Waterproof Dog Collars Recommendation

As you have seen, there are lots of things to consider when choosing waterproof collars, and picking the right one is quite challenging. Thankfully, I have partially solved the puzzle for you. Here are the waterproof collars that I have seen work best on all dog breeds that love water. 

Nimble Waterproof PVC Dog Collar

You can tell that the Nimble Waterproof PVC Dog Collar is a high-quality collar right from the 4.5-star rating on Amazon. This collar is made of PVC-coated polyester, a sturdy material that withstands a force of up to 750 pounds. That means the collar is strong enough for use in active dogs.

This collar comes with an adjustable length. You have the flexibility to slightly increase or reduce its size depending on your dog’s weight fluctuations. However, the collar comes with three size variations designed for large, medium, and small dog breeds. If your dog is large like the Newfoundland, go for the 1" wide by 15.35"-24.8" adjustable length.

If the dog is medium like the Portuguese Water Dog, go for the 3/4” wide by 11.81"-18.5" adjustable length. On the other hand, if the dog is small like the Lagotto Romagnolo, go for the 5/8” wide by 9.45"-14.17" adjustable length. So, consider where your dog’s size falls and choose the right size category.

Educator Quick Snap Waterproof Dog Collar

The Educator Quick Snap Waterproof Dog Collar is the sturdiest collar on our list, and the best option for large, heavy-pulling dogs that love water, such as Newfoundlands and Saint Bernards. This collar is made of sturdy biothane material that we discussed above. So, don’t worry about color degradation or fraying issues common in nylon collars.

In fact, this is one of the collars that can last for the dog’s lifetime. The main thing I love about this collar is its compatibility with Educator receivers that allow you to transform the normal collar into a training collar.

For instance, if the dog is barking excessively, just buy an Educator anti-bark receiver and attach it to the collar. You don’t have to buy a separate bark collar.

Regal Waterproof Dog Collar

If you love the great looks of leather, but you want something waterproof, the Regal Waterproof Dog Collar is the best option. The construction of this collar is sophisticated, combining materials like vinyl, leather, plastic, and rubber.

The end product is a vinyl-coated webbing that looks like leather but is waterproof and more durable than plastic, nylon, rubber, and silicon. The collar is also chew-proof. So, if you want a collar for a heavy chewer like the Labradors, this is the option.

The thing I love most about this collar is flexibility. It remains flexible even during winter when temperatures are as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit. The collar has a double buckle, so don’t worry about the buckle snapping and the collar coming loose. It won’t!

Sportdog Brand Nobark Waterproof Collar

If you’re training your water-magnet dog against excessive barking, the Sportdog Brand Nobark Waterproof Collar is the right option for you. The collar uses patented technology to pick the unique barking of your Fido. It then starts the 10 levels of static stimulation to discourage the barking behavior.

Unlike other no-bark collars in the market, the battery and electronics of this collar are completely watertight, and you can submerge it in water up to 25 feet without any damage. What I love most about this collar is the neoprene material. It makes the collar flexible and comfortable, just like the feel of a wetsuit.  

Final Thoughts

If your dog loves water, the only way to prevent infections and odor resulting from trapped moisture is to get a waterproof collar made of neoprene, PVC coating, or biothane. The good thing: you don’t have to go through the hassle of finding a good waterproof collar. The above waterproof collars are high-quality, sturdy, durable, and easy to clean. 

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