Collars: Martingale, Limited slip or Side Release Buckle?

Not sure which style to pick? Here’s what you need to know:

Martingale Collar

Originally designed for sighthounds (ie, greyhounds, whippets, Italian greyhounds, etc)  and other dogs who have necks that are larger than their heads.

When these types of dogs put resistance on a flat buckle collar, the collar can easily slide up and off, granting the little speed demons wide open spaces to run to their hearts content. Enter the martingale.

Martingale collars gently “cinch” tighter when pressure is put on the smaller control loop.  This snugs the collar up on the neck, preventing the wearer from backing out of or slipping off the collar. 

To size a martingale:

Measure the widest part of your dog’s noggin & measure their neck size – make sure the size will fit over their head!

To wear a martingale:

Slide the martingale on. The smaller loop is the control loop and this is where you will clip a leash. The D ring on the side of the collar is for hanging tags. Adjust so that when the collar cinches the two metal loops come together. Adjust for the amount of cinch you want. Hook up a leash and off you go!

Limited Slip Collar

A cousin to the martingale, limited slip collars are also designed to cinch when resistance is applied to the collar, with a limit to the amount of cinch the collar can do. (You can’t over cinch the collar and choke your dog).

This can help keep a pup from backing out of the collar or give a puller some correction. 

Unlike martingales, there is no control loop that can droop when a leash is attached. Limited slips feature a D ring threaded through an O ring that slides to a 2nd D ring. At rest, they lay flat. 

The 2nd D ring acts as the stop as well as a tag holder. 

Each limited slip is approx 2.5-3 inches of cinch. 

To size a limited slip:

Measure the widest part of your dog’s noggin & measure their neck size – make sure the size will fit over their head!

To wear a limited slip:

You’ll notice there are two D rings on your limited slip. One acts like the stop for the cinch, while the other is threaded through the O ring (if you have a 2 inch wide limited slip it will have all O rings). The one threaded through the O ring is for the leash, the stop D ring is for tags!

To wear correctly – the spare D ring needs to be on the same side as you when the collar is relaxed. 

So if your dog walks on your right, the spare D ring needs to be on the LEFT side of your dog when relaxed. If your dog walks on the left then the spare D ring needs to be on the RIGHT.

Flat Buckle

Classic and classy, the flat buckle (aka side release buckle) collar is a staple in any dog’s wardrobe. Easy to put on with a quick clip, easy to undo with a pinch of your hand, sturdy enough to hold back any dog on the squirrel chase.

One D ring for leash and tag attachment plus a slider for sizing adjustments make up all the components of a side release buckle collar.

To size a flat buckle:

Measure your dog’s neck size with a couple fingers of wiggle room and viola!

To wear a flat buckle:

Open the flat buckle, put around your dog’s neck, click the buckle together, adjust for the perfect and your dog is ready to go!

House Collar aka Tag Collar

Just need a place to put ID tags? The house collar (aka tag collar) is perfect! Fully adjustable with a single O ring, clip on your tags and lounge around the house. No D ring, this collar is not for using with a leash, only for holding tags. 

Wear a harness? House collars are awesome ways to have a bit of pizzazz, be tagged and still wear your harness!

Narrower widths will look more like necklaces especially on bigger dogs while wider widths will look more like a regular collar. 

To size a house collar:

Measure your dog’s neck size. Decide if you want your house collar to fit more snugly or looser and then pick the proper size. Blue wears his house collars very loose. The hope is that if he were to get caught on anything he could back out of the collar. 

To wear a flat buckle:

Slide over your dog’s noggin, adjust for snugness, attach tags and viola! You’re dog is damn dapper!

Breakaway Collar

Want the extra security to know that with enough pressure the buckle will pop open and your dog can not be choked whether in play, in a crate or on a tie out? Then the breakaway collar is ideal! 

Designed just like a flat buckle collar, the breakaway buckle will pop with roughly 8 lbs of pressure. DO NOT use the breakaway collar with a leash! The pressure if your dog pulls can pop the buckle and off goes your pup!

Great for kitties as well as pups who can wear a collar to doggie day care! Heck we can even make a matching set of a breakaway collar and a regular collar for walks!

Different collar widths on different dogs

Jack / 20-21 inch neck //  3/4 inch, 1 inch, 1.5 inch and 2 inch

Lucy / 16 inch neck //  3/4 inch, 1 inch, 1.5 inch and 2 inch

Yuuna / 13 inch neck //   3/4 inch, 1 inch, 1.5 inch and 2 inch


The EPIC colors of webbing you can pick to give your dog’s collar even more personality! Colors might vary a little bit from screen to i but this gives you a solid idea about each color. Did you see the two new in 2023 colors?

All the OTHER info:

Shipping / sizing / care of your collar / FAQ

Shipping info:

Shipping: flat rate $5 / shipped throughout the United States

Ready to Wear Collars & Scarves:
Packaged and shipped in 1 week from ordering.

Custom Made Collars, & Scarves:
These need to be brought to life for your dog – this will take 2-4 weeks 

(The holiday season will extend creation & ship time to 4-5 weeks, plan accordingly)

Collar sizes

X-SMALL fits 10-14 inch neck
SMALL fits 11-16 inch neck
MEDIUM fits 12-18 inch neck
LARGE fits 13-20 inch neck 
X-LARGE fits 15-22 inch neck

* need larger than 22 inch?
— We can custom size as big as you need!

3/4 inch, 1 inch, 1.5 inch & 2 inch webbing available in ALL styles 

** NOTE: the 2 inch hardware is a bit heavier and bulkier than the 1.5 inch hardware. Our dog Bender doesn’t mind it, but some dogs might. 

How to size for a collar:

Flat buckle:
measure around your dog’s neck, make sure there’s a wee wiggle room – two to three fingers is good. 

Match to size you need: 

  • Between 10-14″ a XS will be perfect!
  • Between 11-16″ the small size is perfect!
  • Between 12-18″, a medium OR large size will fit nicely!
  • Between 13- 20″, a large OR medium will work!
  • Betweem 18- 22″, a large OR XL will be perfect!
  • Bigger than 22 inch? Then 2XL is your jam!
All collars are adjustable to fit a variety of neck sizes!

Fitting a martingale or limited slip:

Measure around your dog’s neck with a couple fingers worth of spare wiggle room. Both martingales and limited slips are designed to slide over your dog’s noggin. 

** Note:
if you have a blocky headed dog make sure to measure around their head as well! That way the martingale will slide over their noggin and not get stuck on right above their eyebrows giving them a funky facelift!

Bender the pittie has a 17 inch neck and an 18 inch wide head – anything smaller than 18 inch won’t fit over his giant noggin even though his neck is an inch narrower!)

Neckerchiefs & Scarves


Tie on for awesomness! 

Picture a bandana but without a point and you’ve got a neckerchief! Playful, fun and different – an awesome way to accessorize for every season! 

Available in single, doubled, split and two fabric styles! Each will have either a serged or hidden edge, pending on style. All materials upcycled and limited in quantities. 


Cozy and smart, scarves are fastened with a snap and designed to look like an infinity scarf.  

All materials upcycled & found!

** Scarves are being retired! Many Christmas & Halloween patterns, snag yours while you can!

Neckerchief & Scarf Sizing:

Neckerchiefs are one size with wiggle room given for tying. Need a smaller size? Just tie a little snugger. 

      • Small fits upto 12″ neck
      • Medium fits up to 16″ neck
      • Large fits up to a 20″ neck
      • XL fits up to 24″ neck
      • 2XL fits up to 28″ neck

If you’re close to the top size, you may want to go up a size for a little more tying room. This will also make your tied tails a little bit longer. 

Fluffy dogs, you may want to go a size up to accommodate for all the floof!

Scarves are one size, no adjustability. 

      • Small fits upto 12″ neck
      • Medium fits up to 16″ neck
      • Large fits up to a 20″ neck
      • XL fits up to 24″ neck
      • 2XL fits up to 28″ neck

Aim for BIGGER than their neck size. These are suppose to fit looser – similar to how you might wear a cowl or a looped infinity scarf. 

Typically we recommend adding 2-3 inches to your dog’s neck or collar size to find the perfect fit. 

Meet the common Upcycled The materials we use:


— man made / synthetic found frequently in clothing & bedding. It has high water resistance and is highly stain resistant.

Have a dog who’s rough & tough on collars or likes water/mud? Look for the material to be listed as 100% polyester.


–Silk is a natural fiber and has a smooth, soft texture. Silk is one of the strongest natural fibers when dry!

For that touch of luxury, pick a silk material. Be aware: silk is absorbent to moisture & smells (this means you could end up with a stinky collar if your pup delights in lake swimming).


— natural fiber, often found in clothing and bedding. Pairs well with polyester. Cotton breaths, doesn’t retain odors and is super easy to wash!


— natural fiber, one of the warmest and softest materials, a definition of luxury. It breaths, wicks moisture, is lightweight, and not itchy. 

This may NOT be the best option for the mud loving, rough and tumble dog as the material is delicate & needs a little more care in washing. 


— man made fiber, does not breath, retains warmth (think sweaters & scarves), is lightweight & soft (a classic alternate to cashmere).

Acrylic may hold on to smells a bit so a collar with acrylic may be a big more “doggy” smelling or funky from swims in the lake. 

Other materials that may be found:

Wool, acetate & rayon

CARING for your Collar:

Caring for your collar is easy peasy!

Chances are it will get dirty in a degree of a speck of mud to wallowing in a mud puddle (we’ve all seen those videos… oh dear!). When dirt happens, toss your collar right into the wash on a regular cold or delicate cold cycle.

Yup, even the silks.

(Trust us, we’ve run silks and polyesters both through the wash – the above collar has been washed at least twice – the red is still vibrant and the touch is still silky/smooth!)

When they are finished in the wash, lay flat or hang to dry. Once dry, redress your pup and let the adventures continue!

For scarves, treat them in the same manner – pop into a delicate cold cycle wash (yes the silks too!) and lay flat to dry. When dry, pop back on your pup and continue on your adventures!

For neckerchiefs:

– Cotton: wash cold, tumble or hang to dry, iron if needed – avoid the Atomic Collar label and stitching
– Polyester: wash cold, most can be tumble dried or hang to dry – iron with care if needed. Avoid the label & stitching 
– Blends, unknown fabric remnants (as noted on each product): wash cold, hang dry, NO iron

Special consideration for Care: 


— as a scarf or collar, cashmere needs to be very delicately hand washed with super delicate soap – baby shampoo will work beautifully!

— use cold water and gently wash

— lay flat to dry


— handwash with delicate shampoo (froth the water to make suds) in cool to cold water

— depending on dirt level, soak up to 15 mins, rinse in cool to cold water

— lay flat to dry 


— handwash with delicate shampoo in COOL to WARM water – too hot or too cold is rough on acrylic fibers

— depending on level of dirt, soak up to 30 mins, rinse with cool to warm water

— lay flat to dry

*That being said, if you don’t have the time to hand wash a collar or scarf of cashmere, wool or acrylic, then toss them into the washer on a delicate or handwash setting with cold or cool water. Lay flat to dry ALWAYS!

Get rid of “DA FUNK”

There may be times when your dog’s collar gains “da funk” and smells like he’s been living in the swamps with the creature from the black lagoon.  Adorable, but the stink is nearly enough to drive you from home. 

If you haven’t, give the collar a solid washing. Da funk still present?

— a wash with baking soda
— a rinse with white vinegar (don’t mix them or there will be a volcano in your washer…)
— sun and air dry
— a laundry additive – try one for animal enzymes

If these don’t work, then its time to retire it to live in the garage for lake outings. Or get a new collar!

My dog wore out his collar…

Yes, the collars can wear out. If this happens, let us know! Send us the collar, pick your new found fabric and we’ll use the hardware in a brand new BOMB collar for your pup! (If the hardware is shot, best to get new!)

Every Atomic Collar that gets worn out can have its hardware recycled into a new collar for half off the cost of a new collar! Mega spiffy!

Where are they made?

These hunks of awesome are created by hand in the middle of the frozen land of Minnesota (pronounced Minne-SNOW-ta in winter) and shipped to dapper dogs all around the country.

Dapper Atomic Collars

You get to be well-dressed, why shouldn’t your dog have a wardrobe of BOMB collars and be well dressed too?

Know what dapperly declares well dressed? Neckties.

Those classic chunks of fabric tied in elaborate knottings at the throats of men, adorned in various patterns (some overly bold even for their retro days when new) and materials from every man to elegant (polyester to silk).

We started with neckties.

Bender wearing the original - Atom.

From neckties we adventured into the world of found articles of textiles – skirts, pants, blouses & sweaters, curtains, bedsheets, one zippy retro kitchen towel (Orange You Glad) nothing was safe from inspiration and the scissors and being transformed into wearable for dogs. 

Our favorite material sources to upcycle: neckties, sleep pants and pillowcases

Orange You Glad - from a dishtowel.


The year: 2015. The day: a blistering cold February day in the middle of frozen Minnesota. Foster pittie Bender (who ended up being a foster fail) was in need for a collar in the martingale style that was more than the basic, narrow width red, blue or black nylon options at the local big box stores. 

Not to mention, finding “cute” collars for big dogs was a task in itself (put a 1 inch wide collar on an 85 lb rottie and it looks like a teenie weenie G string!). 

To solve the problem: Start with a trip to the thrift store. 
Hmmm…. belts for webbing & hardware, neckties are dapper, bold and super unique. 

The finds: a couple of men’s belts and a classic dressed necktie in bold red, blue and cream. Two square loops and a D ring upcycled from two of the belts, the sewing machine lugged to the kitchen table and the birth of the Atom occurred. 

It had wonky sewing (crazy driving as its coined around here) and didn’t adjust, but it fit, looked BOMB and held up to wear and tear from Bender. 

From the Atom split a plethora of collars, each featuring wide collar widths (the narrowest here is 1.5 inches) and unique patterns found no where else. Which lends to utterly unique collars, collars as unique as the dogs wearing them.

Above: 6 of the original collar patterns. Chaotic Celtic, Pixel & Chaotic shown were transitioned into the personal collection.