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What Collar Color Looks Good on My Dog?

by on August 18, 2016 - Leave a Comment

Choosing a Collar Color for Your Dog

Choosing collar color that looks good on your dog can be tough, and even tougher when you have as many choices as there is in dog collars today. So what collar color should you choose for your dog? Keep in mind that colors that appeal to you may not look as good on your dog, so you’ll want to choose a color that will compliment your dogs coat.

There’s 2 simple rules that will guide you in selecting a collar color that is just right for your dogs coat.

Rule 1: Think Temperature. Does Your Dog Have a Warm Coat or a Cool Coat?

Colors can be divided into cool, warm and neutral categories. Blues, purples and greens are considered cool colors. Reds, browns, and tan are warm colors. Black, white and grey are neutral. Your dog’s coat color will fall into either the warm or neutral color category. Once you determine the temperature in terms of cool or warm,  shop for opposites in your dogs coat temperature. For example, if your dog’s coat is a warm color like brown or red, shop for cool colors, like blue or green. Other warm colored coats would be tan, chocolate, and buff. If your dog’s coat is black, then you are a lucky one. There’s not too many colors a black-coated dog can’t wear.  If you have a white dog, you have as many choices as you do with a black dog. Grey is neutral – you can go warm or cool with a grey dog, but you should pick something with contrast, which takes us to rule #2.

Best collar color for a black, grey, red, brown, tan dog coat

Rule 2. Does Your Dog Have a Light Coat, or a Dark Coat?

Think about lightness and darkness, and choose a color collar that is the opposite of your dogs coat. If your dog has a dark coat, then shop for lighter color collars. If your dog has a light coat, go with a darker color collar. For example, if your dogs coat is a dark brown, even though navy is a cool color, it’s dark, and won’t stand out as much as a royal or light blue collar would. If your has a buff coat, lilac or pastel blue isn’t going to be very complimentary either. However bright bold cool colors (royal blue, emerald green) will look good on both light or dark coats. If your has a cool dark coat, don’t go with chocolate brown or maroon – find a nice light or bright red or pink.

Due to many requests, we’ve added a couple of pictures of a white dog and a dark grey dog that are good examples of complimentary colors. The white poodle (Oki) can wear anything, but her owners choice of our Teal Damask is great because it has a bit of off-white in the design, making it look great! And the grey poodle looks super in red – what a stand out!

In spite of all this advice, you should still select something you like – after all, if you like it, your dog will like it too! The Artful Canine has a great selection of collars and colors to suit almost any dogs coat color, whether it be a boy or girl. For more examples of different dog coat colors and complimentary collars, check out our Irish Dogs and Collars post.

Good Collar color for White Dog

Teal on Oki’s white coat is perfect!

Good collar color for grey dog

Tak looks great in Red!




















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  1. Liv30911 says:

    I have a medium Red/Blue heeler mix named Mercy. She has light cream tones running through a red coat with a place on her tail being gray/black from the blue heeler. She has ears that stand up with one broken so it folds over the front, and she has black “eyeliner” around her brown eyes. I was thinking a brown leather collar with sunflowers or something rustic looking. What do you think would work?

  2. Jill says:

    I have a 15 lb male yorkie mix so he is black with some tan/brown to his fur. I would like to get a plaid martingale collar for him. I love a Blackwatch plaid but not sure that will be a good choice. Open to suggestions. Thank you.

  3. Cat says:

    I have male a liver and white English Springer Spaniel. What color collar would work best for him? How would a grey and teal collar look?

  4. Kaitlyn says:

    My dog is a little bit tricky. He’s a brindle boxer/pit mix. He has a white chest, but his entire face and back of his body is lighter brown with dark brown striping. He has greenish/gold eyes that are stunning as well and I’m not sure what to do for a color. He’s still a puppy, and he outgrew his last collar so we went out and got a cheap $3 collar but I do not like the color and want to buy something of better quality anyway. His current collar color is red, but it brings out the redness in his eyes (since they’re light they’re more red than brown/black) and it makes him look rabid. I was thinking a hunter green/olive might look good or maybe even blue. He’s had previous collars that he outgrew before as well and they were both brown leather and they were stunning, but the leather gets hard to take care of. Please help! Thank you!

  5. Jane says:

    i’m adopting a female cream groodle (golden retriever x poodle), what colour should i chose? she’ll grow up to 40 kgs but for the meanwhile she’s a small puppy

  6. Angelina says:

    So I have a brown and white female Pomsky which has the markings of a husky. I think she is a warm tone dog but I feel like brown, orange, olive green or blue would look nice but I am not sure. I feel Blue would be nice as it would make her eyes pop but I already have a dog with a blue collar and theme.

    • Hi Angelina – With a warm coat, the Olive green will work very well, as it is still in the cool color category. When combined in a pattern with other colors, it can still work – so if you see something that has other colors in it (like brown, or a soft orange) that will work too – so long as they don’t overpower the most complimentary color (in this case, the green). BTW – if there is a lot of white in your dogs coat (or around her neck) you can do just about any color!

  7. DeAnna says:

    What color collar should I get my dog? She is mostly black with a white neck and a white patch on the back of her neck with brown socks

    • Hi DeAnna,

      With a white neck, I would suggest something brighter and darker – not as dark as black, but brighter – royal blues, purple, red and the like. These colors will contrast nicely against her coat, but won’t get lost in the surrounding black coat.

  8. Lisa says:

    I have a American bulldog girl. She is red and white in colour. Atm she has a red collar but we fancy a change, any ideas?

  9. Heather says:

    Hi Joanne, I’ve tried a few colors on my male 6 month old American Bully. He is a blue Tri, blue being the predominant color and white and tan points. I thought a deep hunter green would look pretty and it does with the white and tan but it doesn’t look so good with the blue grey of his coat… Any ideas?

    If only he were a girl I’ve had him in a pastel pink collar which would look beautiful on his Blu-gray coat…but he’s not 🙁

  10. Chelsea says:

    What about a chocolate and tan female dachshund?

    • Sorry for the delayed reply, Chelsea. Chocolate and tan are warm colors. So consider the collar colors we mentioned in our article (blue, green, purple, etc). In terms of light or dark, we would suggest using the most dominant of the colors you mentioned, and choose based on that – particularly if it is around your dogs neck. So if the dark chocolate is around your dogs neck, go for a lighter cool color. (lavender if girl, light green or blue if boy).

  11. Angel Warren says:

    Hi! I wanted to hear your suggestions for a black tri aussie. He is white on his neck so would a dark blue or green be good? Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Hi Angel –
      So sorry for the delayed response on this. I say go bright – and go red! Red is great for boys or girls, and will pop with all the colors your dog has. If you don’t like red, go bright – royal blue, lime green, hot pink – your Aussies coat, even though tri-color, will look great in almost any color, but if you want it to pop, look for bright colors.

  12. Beth says:

    I have a pon puppy that will be dark gray and white like an old English sheepdog’s in a bearded collie. I was thinking of a Pink and white leather collar with some gray will that work

    • Yes, Bet, anything in the pink family (pink, fuchsia, rose, etc.) will look great. Leather is good, but sometimes uncomfortable for your pup and hard to keep clean. You may want to consider a fabric/nylon collar that you can wash and keep your pop pup looking fresh all the time!

  13. Kenzie says:

    I’m getting a Belgian shepherd mix puppy. He’s got a silver coat, but with a tan hue on his shoulders and back, and a black face. I was going to match warm colors with his silver, but his mother is golden furred, so his tan might come out more as he grows. Any suggestions?

  14. Jo says:

    I’m getting a white and black, male Zuchon puppy, so he will have longish fur and I have been advised to put him in a harness. He will be called Mr Darcy (ok Darcy but you get the idea) . What colour would you recommend?

    • Hi Joanne-

      Both white and black are neutral colors, so almost anything will match. Stick to the middle hues though – bright colors (vs. pastel or dark), so that no matter where the fabric shows on your dog (black parts or white parts), the colors will stand out.

  15. Heather says:

    Could I put a gray and white collar on my tan colored dog?

  16. Rhonda says:

    What colours would you suggest for a male liver spot Dalmatian and a male black spot Dalmatian?

    • Hi Rhonda – While it can be tough to select a color for a spotted or brindle coat, you can still find some colors that will work nicely. Go bright and cool for liver colors – Kelly Green, Royal Blue, even Yellow will look good. Bright colors will not get lost in the spots!

    • Hi Rhonda – While it can be tough to select a color for a spotted or brindle coat, you can still find some colors that will work nicely. Go brightand cool for liver colors – Kelly Green, Royal Blue, even Yellow will look good. Bright colors will not get lost in the spots!

  17. Mark says:

    Black standard schnauzer female…What do you think?

    • You are a lucky man, Mark, because a black dog looks great in almost any color. Just stay away from dark colors like darker purples, navy, brown, etc. Red will look great (if you don’t want a feminine color). If you want something that a little feminine but not pink, try lavender, teal or raspberry (a rosy-pink color).

  18. Erica says:

    My dog is almost an orange light brown color. What collar would look best on her?

  19. Syd says:

    I have a blue merle dane…suggestions for paracord collar using three colors?

    • Hi Syd –
      Ah, a beautiful dog! Well, with muti-colored coats, it can get tricky. If there is one predominant color that is pretty even and consistent on your dogs coat, you can use our guide (warm colors). But if its kind of spotty, focus on the neck area – is there more white or other color than anything else? If it is, then focus on contrast (e.g., predominantly white, then contrast with darker colors). Possible combos (if white neck): brown/tan/black; red/orange/black; gold/black/orange …. or any warm color combo you choose!

  20. Irving says:

    What if i have a light brown boxer

  21. Samantha says:

    My dog is chocolate color with tan brindle markings. Should I use a light blue collar color option for him? If you can help with that and give me a list of possible collar color options I’d greatly appreciate it!

  22. Kristan says:

    I have a lime green collar on my black shepherd and it’s amazing! Green is also NOT my favorite color

  23. jim says:

    I have a female black and white staff and want to purchase a expensive leather collar what collar would work best

    • Joanne Wood-Ellison says:

      Hi Jim –

      Whether it be leather, fabric or nylon, a black dog can wear almost any color. IN color theory, something bright, feminine and colorful (Hot pink, Raspberry, Turquiose) will work best. However with leather, keeping it clean won’t be easy. While a darker color won’t pop as much, it will no show the dirt either. Hope this helps!

  24. Alissa says:

    For a red/black or tan/black german shepherd would a purple or green/blue collar collar look good?

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