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Best Dog Collars And Leashes For German Shepherds

You know you need a collar and leash for your German Shepherd – but with so many choices, where do you even begin!?

Well, you’re in the right place. Welcome to my complete guide to all the best German Shepherd collars and leashes. Here, you’ll find loads of important information on dog collars and leashes, including the different types available and what they’re used for.

Once I’ve covered all the basics, I’ll give you a few of my top German Shepherd collar and leash favorites for everything from daily walks to training. And as we all know, German Shepherds can be a bit stubborn at times – so I’ve kept that in mind as well and included the best collars and leashes for a German Shepherd that pulls.

With all these helpful tips and suggestions, you’ll have no problem making the right choice for you and your dog!

*This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you 🙂 .


Purpose of a Dog Collar

Probably the most obvious reason for a dog collar is to keep your pooch safe and under control. If your dog encounters an enticing distraction while out on a walk, you don’t want it running away or darting into traffic. Even well-trained dogs run the risk of not behaving under stressful or exciting circumstances. A collar is a huge factor when it comes to your dog’s safety.

If your dog gets loose, you want it to be easily identified and returned quickly. So it’s crucial to keep ID tags with your name and phone number (and rabies tag) on your dog.

Collars are also an essential training tool. Some are specifically designed for behavior training and help you teach your dog good leash manners. If you have a strong-willed pup, like many German Shepherds, you’ll definitely want to implement one of these collars during the early stages of training.

Always remember, a collar (and a leash) is only a tool to help you train your dog – it is not a substitution for training!

And don’t forget about fashion – every dog needs a dash of style!

Types of Dog Collars

When it comes to choosing a dog collar, arm yourself with a little knowledge before hitting the pet store or you can easily get overwhelmed. There are a ton of options out there, and most pet stores dedicate an entire aisle to just dog collars and leashes. Don’t tackle that aisle before learning about the basic types of collars and their uses.

Flat collars

This is your basic, everyday dog collar, typically made from nylon or leather with metal or plastic buckles. You can find these at just about any store, and they often come in fun colors and patterns. As a pet parent, I can’t resist buying Allie her own “wardrobe” of flat collars!

Martingale collars

A Martingale collar is a flat collar that tightens if you tug on the leash or if your dog pulls, but it’s designed with a mechanism that limits it from tightening too much. Because of this, Martingale collars are also known as limited-slip collars. The slight tightening of the Martingale collar is primarily so the dog can’t slip out of its collar, but it can also be a gentle reminder to your dog not to pull.

Choke chains

A choke chain (or choke collar) is a chain link collar that tightens when your dog pulls. If used correctly, choke chains can be used effectively for training purposes – but rarely are they used correctly! And if used incorrectly, they are not safe for your dog.

Personally, I don’t recommend these collars, as they are too easy to misuse. It’s inevitable that your German Shepherd will pull during leash training, and these collars do little to correct that behavior. Instead, they tighten and choke your dog, interfering with its breathing and possibly causing injury to the neck. There are simply better options out there for teaching good leash behavior.

Pinch collars

Pinch (or prong) collars are similar to choke chains but are actually safer in many ways. These chain link collars have metal prongs around the inside of the collar. When a dog pulls, the prongs pinch the dog’s neck and work as a self-correcting training tool. Because the prongs are spaced out, these collars put less pressure on the dog’s neck compared to a choke chain.

Allie does own a pinch collar, but I used it only for training purposes, as recommended by her trainer. Like choke chains, a pinch collar can cause injury if used incorrectly. But if you have a strong-willed German Shepherd, it can be an effective tool to learn a behavior. Just keep in mind that a pinch collar should be used for training purposes.

Measuring Your Dog’s Neck for a Collar

Before choosing a collar, you’ll need to figure out what size to buy. An adult German Shepherd will typically wear a large-sized collar. But not all German Shepherds are the same, and of course, a growing puppy will have different size requirements. So it’s important to measure your dog’s neck to get the right fit.

Measuring is simple. You can use a sewing tape if you have one. If not, a dog leash or even a shoestring will work – basically, anything that you can gently wrap around your dog’s neck to get a length.

Take the measurement around the neck where the collar normally sits. Make sure you keep the tape loose enough to slide two fingers in between it and your dog’s neck.

Then, measure that length against a tape measure or ruler.

A few other things to note:

Some Martingale collars will not have a buckle, so the collar will have to slip over your dog’s head. For this type of collar, you’ll need to measure both your dog’s neck size and head size (just behind the ears at the widest point).

Also, if you have a growing puppy, keep in mind that you will need to check the tightness of the collar regularly. Your dog’s collar should always be loose enough to slip two fingers underneath.


Best Dog Collars for German Shepherds

Now that you’ve got the basics, let’s get into some of my personal favorite collars for German Shepherds. I’ve used each of these types of dog collars with Allie at different times in her life, and there’s something here for everyone, no matter what stage you’re at with your German Shepherd.

Soft Touch Dog Collar

If you’re looking for stylish comfort for your dog, this luxury leather collar can’t be beat! This is Allie’s everyday collar, and I really love the leather look.

The Soft Touch Collar is handmade from genuine, high-quality leather and comes with a lifetime guarantee. I can attest to the quality – Allie wears hers every day and it still looks new after years of use.

The two-tone leather comes in several colors, and Soft Touch also makes a matching leash (another of my favorites, as you’ll see later).

And the soft padding on the inside of the collar is a nice touch as well.

What I love:

  • Stylish leather look
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Padded for extra comfort

Possible downsides: 

  • Double check when choosing a size, as some people report these collars run a bit big.

And the verdict is…

Style. Comfort. Quality. Need I say more? This is my favorite everyday collar!

Hamilton Nylon Deluxe Dog Collar

Do you have a growing puppy? Then this nylon collar is a great choice.

The Hamilton Nylon Deluxe collar is great for puppies because they’re durable yet inexpensive, making it easy to replace every couple of months.

And there are lots of fun colors and patterns available, as well as many size options for a growing puppy.

Also, I prefer these metal buckles as opposed to plastic clasps, which break easily.

What I love:

  • Durable
  • Inexpensive
  • Metal buckle
  • Lots of sizes

Possible downsides: 

  • Again, double check when choosing a size. These collars reportedly run small.

And the verdict is…

This is a great, inexpensive collar – especially for your growing German Shepherd puppy.

Mighty Paw Martingale Dog Collar

As I talked about earlier, Martingale dog collars really come in handy during training.  The Mighty Paw Martingale collar also boasts some other cool features that make it one of the best.

Like all Martingales, this collar offers the limited slip feature for easy, controlled correction.  But it also has a plastic buckle, which not all Martingale collars offer, so it’s easier to take on and off your dog.

Another cool feature is the bonus d-ring attachment, so you can change it from a training collar to a regular collar that doesn’t tighten under tension.

Allie had a martingale collar when she was younger and working on basic obedience training. Once she aced leash training, I switched to a standard flat collar for her daily walks.

What I love:

  • Great for training
  • Durable and secure
  • Reflective stitching
  • Versatile non-cinch leash attachment

Possible downsides: 

  • Your dog should only wear this collar under supervision.

And the verdict is…

If you’re still working on behavior training, you can’t go wrong with this Martingale dog collar. This is one of the best collars for a German Shepherd that pulls.

Herm Sprenger Prong Training Collar

Herm Sprenger tops the list as the number one brand for prong/pinch dog collars.

As I said before, German Shepherds can be particularly strong-willed  when it comes to leash training.  Because of this, a prong collar is an essential training tool for shepherds.

The Herm Sprenger collar is made of high-quality steel and includes a center plate to make the pressure more even around your dog’s neck.

You can also purchase extra links to make the collar bigger, so it can grow with your dog.

What I love:

  • Extra links available for adjustable size
  • Safe and effective
  • Quality, durable construction

Possible downsides: 

  • Your dog should only wear this collar during training sessions, and you must educate yourself on the proper use of a prong collar. Remember – no collar should serve as a substitute for training.

And the verdict is…

If you have a particularly strong-willed German Shepherd, this is a great dog collar for safe, effective training.



Purpose of a Dog Leash

As a pet parent, it’s your responsibility to keep your dog safe and under control in potentially dangerous situations. As with a dog collar, a leash is a huge factor when it comes to your dog’s safety. And for that reason, it’s against the law in many places to have your dog out in public without a leash. So even if you’re just going out for a quick stroll with your four-legged friend, don’t forget to leash up!

Your basic, everyday leash will mostly be used for walks, and a 4 to 6-foot leash is the best size for daily strolls. But a leash also serves another purpose as an essential and effective tool for training. It’s VERY important to teach your puppy proper behavior while on a leash – this is a crucial skill once your German Shepherd pup grows into a powerful adult.

For training purposes, you may need a different sized leash. For example, when teaching your dog to heel, you’ll want a shorter length, while other types of training (i.e. recall training) may require a much longer lead (20+ feet).

Types of Dog Leashes

As I mentioned before, most pet stores dedicate an entire aisle to just dog collars and leashes, so it can be an overwhelming task to choose the right one. First, ask yourself – what will I be using the leash for? Then, read through the types of leashes below to narrow down your choice and select the right dog leash for the job.

Standard leashes

This is the type of dog leash everyone is probably most familiar with. A standard dog leash is your common, everyday leash used for going on walks and basic training. They come in a variety of materials, widths, and lengths, as well as lots of cool colors and patterns – the choices are endless!

The two most common fabrics used for standard leashes are nylon and leather.

  • Nylon: These leashes will be the most inexpensive option. Typically, a nylon leash is flat and comes in various widths. Because a nylon leash is relatively lightweight, it’s a great choice for puppies.
  • Leather: A leather leash is a more durable option, making it perfect for a strong, full-grown German Shepherd. And they’re stylish, too!

Chain leashes

This is another variant on a standard leash. However, because it is made of chain links, it is much more durable for dogs that love to chew their leashes. It’s also super strong for heavy pullers.

Adjustable leashes

An adjustable leash is similar to a standard leash, but it allows you to adjust the length. There are several loops or extra clips along the leash, so you can lengthen or shorten it for different uses. For example, if you are working on training your dog to heel, you may want to shorten the length to keep your dog closer to you.

Retractable leashes

A typical retractable leash consists of a nylon cord (ranging from around 5 to 30 feet long) that retracts into a plastic case. By pushing a button, you can retract the leash into the case, or lock it in place.

I don’t recommend a retractable dog leash for German Shepherds for several reasons – most importantly because it can actually encourage your dog to pull!

A retractable leash allows for a little too much freedom, making your dog think that it is the one in control of the walk. They’re also more breakable compared to other leash options. So I would steer clear of a retractable leash for your German Shepherd.


Best Dog Leashes for German Shepherds

Ready to shop again? Here are my favorite dog leashes for different uses – from everyday walking to training. Durability and strength are both super important, so all my recommendations are tough products that will be the best leashes for a German Shepherd that pulls.

Soft Touch Dog Leash

This handsome leather leash matches the Soft Touch Collar in my “best dog collars” section, and I love this leash just as much as I love the collar! It’s Allie’s everyday walking leash.

Just like with their collars, Soft Touch uses genuine, high-quality leather to handcraft these 6 ft leashes, and they are made to last. I’ve had Allie’s leather leash for several years, and it still looks new.

The two-tone leather comes in several colors (Allie has the black one), and the leash also has braided details on both ends – so sharp!


What I love:

  • Stylish leather look with braided details
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Padded handle

Possible downsides: 

  • The heavy brass buckle and leather may be a bit too much weight for young German Shepherd puppies.

And the verdict is…

This leash is extremely well-made and looks expensive and stylish. While it’s a bit more expensive than your standard leash, it will last a lifetime.

BAAPET Reflective Dog Leash

If you and your German Shepherd like to go for nighttime strolls, this is the dog leash for you.

This BAAPET dog leash is made of highly reflective threads to keep you and your furry companion safe and visible in the dark.

My other favorite feature is the soft padded handle. I usually put my hand through the loop on a leash, and other leashes can rub and really irritate my wrist during long walks. But this leash is super comfy!

Plus, now that daylight savings time is coming to an end, you can get even more use out of this leash during early evening walks.

What I love:

  • Highly reflective
  • Comfy padded handle
  • Extra durable

Possible downsides: 

  • Some people reported that their BAAPET dog leash came apart after just a few weeks. I’ve had no issues with mine, but the company does offer a 100% money-back guarantee on their leashes.

And the verdict is…

This is my go-to leash for evening and nighttime walking. Safety is super important, so a reflective leash is a great addition to any dog owner’s collection.

Paw Lifestyles Heavy Duty Dog Leash

With this leash, you basically get two leashes in one! It has two handles, one at the end and one further down the leash, so you can adjust the length when you need to.

In this way, the Paw Lifestyles dog leash is similar to an adjustable leash. If you need more control, you can use the shorter handle to keep your dog close, or you can allow more length for a relaxed walk.

As a young pup, Allie hated squirrels and deer (especially deer – in fact, she still can’t stand them). The shortened leash comes in handy to keep a deer crazed GSD under control when passing by those critters.



What I love:

  • Two handles for adjustable length
  • Reflective
  • Padded handles

Possible downsides: 

  • A few reviews noted that the clasp is easily broken. The clasp on Allie’s leash has stayed intact, but the company does offer a 100% money-back guarantee for peace of mind.

And the verdict is…

The best thing about this leash is its versatility. Buy just this one leash and get double the functionality!

Beirui Premium Chain Dog Leash

Do you have a German Shepherd puppy that loves to chew everything? Then this chain leash is a must!

The Beirui Premium chain leash comes in two lengths (4ft and 6ft), as well as different chain link widths depending on the size/age of your dog. The chain is carefully crafted to swivel easily and prevent tangling, and the heavy-duty hardware is guaranteed not to rust.

As a mouthy puppy, Allie sometimes thought it was such fun to chew on all her leashes, so I bought a similar version of this leash to break her bad habit.

What I love:

  • Great for power chewers
  • Padded handle

Possible downsides: 

  • The high-quality chain hardware promises maximum strength and durability for bigger dogs. But reviews are mixed for use with large, heavy pulling dogs.

And the verdict is…

While this leash may not be ideal for a full-grown German Shepherd, it’s excellent for puppies that are constantly chewing on their leashes.

Leash Boss Free Range Training Leash

Allie is trained for search & rescue, and tracking, and this type of training requires a longer lead. That’s why we love the Leash Boss Free Range Training Leash.

This nylon training leash comes in three extra-long lengths (20, 30, and 50 feet) and is great for lots of different types of training. The soft rubber handle gives you better control and protects your hand from leash burn (ouch!).

I also use this leash when I take Allie out to a park, so she can have more freedom to roam, explore, and play.




What I love:

  • Great for specialized training
  • Rubber handle for better grip
  • Extra-long length

Possible downsides: 

  • Long leashes aren’t ideal for all activities.

And the verdict is…

A great leash option for specific types of training, or for relaxed playtime that feels “off leash”.


Phew! You’ve learned a lot, and now you’re ready to head to the pet store and swagger down that aisle with confidence.

Which dog collar and leash do you have your eye on? Let me know in the comments below!

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