Common Dog Collar Hardware

Dog collar hardware ranges from a very simple buckle-only collar to a collar that features D-rings or split-ring fasteners for identification tags and snap hooks for leash attachment.

The amount of hardware you want on your dog’s collar is completely up to you as long as the collar fits safely around your dog’s neck and stays securely on his neck. You may be able to find exactly what you want at a pet supply store, or you may opt to make your own collar, using kits found at fabric stores or online. Let’s look at some common collar hardware components to see what they do for your dog.

Buckles Keep the Collar Secure

Collar buckles are generally available in two styles:

  • traditional metal buckles that fasten by slipping the metal tongue into a pre-punched hole in the other end of the collar and securing it through a loop that holds the collar end flat
  • snap-lock buckles, which are usually plastic and provide a method by which the collar opens quickly in the event your dog catches in on something like a branch or fence

The metal buckles often resemble belt buckles, while the plastic ones look like backpack fasteners.

If your dog is prone to catching his collar on branches or fences, he may benefit from an additional piece of collar hardware, which is a quick-release buckle. These buckles are, as their name suggests, designed to open easily if your dog’s collar becomes entangled and he is unable to free himself otherwise. If a quick-release buckle doesn’t solve the problem, you may want to consider a breakaway collar that features an elastic inset to provide extra space in the event your dog needs to get out of his collar quickly.

D-Rings and Split Rings Give You a Place to Put the Tags

In addition to a reliable buckle, you will need some sort of loop on your dog’s collar onto which you can attach his identification tag. You can use a D-ring or a split-ring fastener for this purpose, depending on your preferences and the style of collar you select for your pet.

Snap Hooks Make Connecting a Leash Easy

Now that your dog has his collar and tags on, he may be ready for a walk, which means he needs a leash. Many leashes feature a snap hook that allows them to connect to a D-ring or split-ring fastener, but you may also be able to find (or make) a collar that comes with its own built-in snap hook.

Other Collar Hardware Needs

Although it’s not technically collar hardware, an identification tag with your contact information is an important add-on to any collar that belongs to your dog. If your community requires your dog to be licensed or vaccinated for rabies, he may need those tags on his collar, as well, so that he can be identified in case he runs away from your home and so that you aren’t cited for failure to have your dog properly licensed.