Should My German Shepherd Wear a Collar All of the Time? (Answered)

Categorized as German Shepherd
German shepherd wearing a collar outside

For German shepherd owners, one of the common questions is whether or not their dogs should wear a collar all of the time.

While there are pros and cons to both choices, ultimately it comes down to what is best for the individual dog. Our article can help answer that question by taking a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of having your German Shepherd wear a collar.

Reasons for Your Shepherd to Wear a Collar

1. Easier to Walk

If you’ve ever been on a walk with your German Shepherd, you know that he has a tendency to pull on the leash. And if you’re like most people, you don’t particularly enjoy being pulled along by a dog with power that can easily outweigh your own.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to this problem: a collar. By putting a collar on your German Shepherd, you’ll be able to exert more control over them and make walks more enjoyable for both of you.

Also read: How To Measure & Fit A Collar for a German Shepherd

2. Identification

If your German shepherd happens to escape from the yard, the first thing you’ll want to do is find them. And if they’re not wearing a collar, that task just got a whole lot harder.

That’s why one of the reasons why your German Shepherds should wear a collar is for identification purposes. If they ever happen to escape from the yard or get lost on a walk, a collar with your contact information will help ensure that they find their way back home.

And while you may think that your dog’s natural good looks will be enough to get them noticed, trust me, there are plenty of other sheep out there who could easily pass for a German Shepherd.

So do yourself (and your dog) a favor and make sure they’re always wearing a collar with your contact information. It could be the difference between a happy reunion and a lifetime of sadness.

3. Keeps Them Safer

You might think that because your German shepherd is so obedient, there’s no need for them to wear a collar.

However, there are actually several good reasons to keep your dog collared at all times. For one thing, a collar can provide some much-needed protection if your dog comes into conflict with another dog.

Additionally, if your dog is ever in danger of crossing a busy road, their collar will give you the ability to quickly pull them back to safety.

4. Makes Training Easier

If you’re planning on doing any sort of training with your German shepherd, a collar will make the process much easier. That’s because most training exercises require the use of a leash, and a leash can’t be attached to a dog without a collar.

So if you want to train your German shepherd to do tricks, walk on a leash, or anything else, you’ll need to put a collar on them first.

5. Easily Tether Them

There will be times when you need to tether your German shepherd for their own safety. For example, if you’re working in the yard and don’t want them to wander off, a collar and leash will do the trick.

Reasons for Your Shepherd To Avoid a Collar

1. Uncomfortable

One of the reasons your dog may avoid a collar is because it’s uncomfortable. A poorly fitting collar can rub and irritate your dog’s skin, causing discomfort. Even a well-fitting collar can cause chafing if it’s made from a material that isn’t breathable.

2. Skin Irritation Around the Neck

One of the last things you want to deal with as a pet owner is your dog having an allergic reaction or skin irritation. Unfortunately, these are both common problems that can be caused by something as simple as a collar.

That’s right – dog collars can actually be one of the leading causes of skin irritation around the neck. The constant friction from the collar can irritate the skin, especially if your dog has sensitive skin.

In some cases, this can even lead to hair loss. If you notice your dog scratching their neck more than usual, it’s definitely worth checking if their collar is causing any irritation.

3. Fur Matting

The next reason your German shepherd may avoid a collar is that it can cause fur matting. When your dog’s fur rubs against the collar, it can quickly become matted and tangled.

Not only is this uncomfortable for your dog, but it can also be difficult to brush out. If the matting is bad enough, you may even have to take your dog to a groomer to get it removed.

4. Redundant if They’ve worn a harness

One of the reasons you might want your dog to avoid a collar is that it can be redundant if they’ve already worn a harness.

A harness serves the same purpose as a collar – to provide a way to attach a leash – but it also offers additional benefits.

For example, it can distribute the force of the leash more evenly around the dog’s body, which can be more comfortable for them. It can also give you more control over the dog, which can be helpful if they are particularly strong or energetic.

5. Possible Choking Hazard

One type of object that poses a choking hazard for dogs is a collar. Though collars are essential for keeping dogs safely tethered, they can also be a safety hazard if not used correctly.

When choosing a collar for your dog, be sure to select one that is the appropriate size and that has a quick-release mechanism in case your dog becomes caught on something.

So, Should Your German Shepherd Wear a Collar All of the Time?

The answer to this question depends on your individual situation. If you feel that a collar is necessary for your dog, then, by all means, put one on them.

However, if you think that a collar could be uncomfortable or pose a safety hazard for your dog, then it’s probably best to avoid using one. Ultimately, the decision is up to you as the pet owner.

In my opinion, I still recommend using a collar for certain activities, such as leash training.

When Should You Remove Your Shepherd’s Collar?

If you choose to put a collar on your German shepherd, this doesn’t mean that they have to wear it all the time. In fact, there are certain situations when you should remove their collar to prevent any discomfort or hazards.

Some of these situations include:

1. When They’re Sleeping

One of the times when you should definitely remove your German shepherd’s collar is when they’re sleeping. Not only is it more comfortable for them, but it can also help prevent skin irritation.

2. When They’re Playing With Other Dogs

If your German shepherd is playing with other dogs, it’s a good idea to remove their collar. This way, they can play without the risk of getting their collar caught on something.

3. When They’re Staying In a Crate

Another time when you should remove your German shepherd’s collar is when they’re staying in a crate. This will help prevent them from getting their collar caught on the crate and potentially injuring themselves.


Though there are some risks associated with wearing a collar, I still believe it is important for German shepherds to have one on during certain activities. However, it is ultimately up to the pet owner to decide whether or not their dog should wear a collar all of the time.

And if you need recommendations for the best German shepherd collars, then check out our list of the ten best ones.

Our best collar for german shepherds page can help you find the perfect collar for your dog. We’ve curated a selection of collars that are specifically designed for german shepherds, taking into account their size and weight.

We’ve also included a buyer’s guide that covers all the important considerations when choosing a collar, such as materials, fit and adjustability.

I hope this article has helped you in your decision-making process!