What is a Greyhound collar? Does my Lurcher or Whippet need to wear a special sighthound collar?

by Dog Moda

Have you ever wondered why Greyhounds, Whippets and Lurchers often wear wide leather collar and what makes these collars especially suited for sighthounds?

Sighthound breeds, such as Greyhound, Whippet, Saluki, Afghan hound and Italian Greyhound, have long graceful necks. These breeds hunt by sight and, as any sighthound owner knows, sighthounds can get very excited and lunge on their leads on seeing any fast moving object which they consider good enough to chase.

It is no surprise that these special dogs need special sighthound collars to protect their neck and throat, which can be damaged when a dog pulls wearing a narrow collar. The wide part of sighthound collar will fit under the dog's throat and any pulling on the lead will not cut off his breath and arterial blood flow. See pictures below for illustration.

Sighthound collars are typically made of leather and have variable width being wider in the middle narrowing down at both ends to accommodate the buckle or martingale chain. Traditionally this style of sighthound style collars, sometimes referred to as 'fish tail' collar, were used for hunting and coursing Greyhounds, Whippets and Salukis. They range from plain leather to fully lined and padded models to highly decorated, embroidered and studded designs.

Relative to their necks, all sighthounds have fine narrow heads and can easily back out of and slip their collars. Therefore, it is important, that the collar is worn correctly just below the ears, which is much higher on the neck than is normal for other breeds. It should fit very snugly on the neck so the collar can not be shaken loose, but you should be able to squeeze two fingers in-between the collar and your dog's neck.

Many of the sighthound breeds have short and delicate coats that can wear out from constant contact with dog collars. The added benefit of wearing a wider than normal hound collar is that is spreads out the pressure on the dog's neck preventing damage to the coat and hairless patches on your dog's neck.

Examples of sighthound collars for Greyhounds, Lurchers and Whippets

Traditional sighthound collars for Whippets, Greyhounds, Lurchers and other sighthounds

On the image above you can clearly see the wide part in the middle of sighthound collar, which will fit under the Whippet's throat. Leather then narrows down at both ends to accommodate the width of the buckle.

Sighthound collars with hearts for Whippets, Greyhounds, Lurchers and other sight hounds

This image of the collar demonstrates how quality product is lined and padded for extra comfort. In addition, you can see that good Greyhound collars are double stitched and riveted in the place where D-ring and buckle are attached.

Animal print sight hound collars for Whippets, Greyhounds, Lurchers and other sighthounds

Another example of the wide middle part of sighthound collar. It will fit under the Lurcher's throat, so that any pulling on the lead will not cut off their breath and arterial blood flow. Leather then narrows down at both ends.


I have a question I don’t walk my lurcher on collar I walk her on harness. I have a normal collar for her. Should I get a special hound collar even-though when walking no pressure get applied to her neck?

Dog Moda's answer: Very good question Becky! If all the pressure goes via harness, then there is no need for you to put a wide padded sighthound collar on your Lurcher. However, most owners still use proper sighthound collars, because you never know when your dog decides to chase something. You still need a collar to attach a dog tag and to hold your canine while putting a harness on/off, therefore, you might as well have a special padded wide version. It will give you confidence that you are not going to damage your dog's neck when both of you act on your reflexes (them running away and you grabbing by their collar).
Another reason. We just introduced a new lurcher to our existing one. They fought and the collar of the new dog saved her from serious injury. The collar shows deep teeth marks now. They are ok with each other now
Thank you! Now I know what is a sighthound collar
Very useful information about collars for sighthounds and other long necked breeds.
Thank you very much for great informative article about sighthound collars.
Thanks. Now I know exactly why we need one.
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