Karen is always looking for ways to improve her collars with better materials, more choices of colors and trims, and more choices in basic materials. When Karen started making sighthound collars as a hobby in 1994, she had only one type of material, Ultrasuede, and only a few basic trim selections.

Now she has four choices of materials (Ultrasuede, Ultraleather, leather, and premium leather) in about 85 colors, almost 100 choices of trims, 3 choices of protective inner linings (imitation fleece, genuine fleece, and soft leather), a choice of D-rings (standard or solid brass), and, most recently, collars with integrated leashes.

Over the years, the number of combinations of choices has exploded from a couple hundred to over 100,000! Deciding what to order isn't simple anymore!

If you're having trouble deciding what to order, we hope this page will help you!

Tips:   Getting started  |  Materials  |  Colors  |  Trims  |  Linings  |  D-Rings

Getting started

1. With over 100,000 combinations to choose from, it's best not to jump into "decision mode" too soon. Just relax and browse around our web site to "get a feel for things."
2. Be sure to look at the photos. Many photos show an enlarged view when you click on them. The enlarged photos show details much better.
3. Be sure to visit our photo album where you will see a variety of colors and breeds of dogs in a variety of collars.
If you want to submit a photo of your dog for our photo album, send it by mail or email. To be eligible to appear in the album, it must be a high quality photo that shows off the collar well. (Photos cannot be returned. Karen's Kollars is the final judge of whether a photo is suitable to appear in the album.)
4. The quality of the photos, color swatches, and trims will vary from one monitor to another. They all look much better if your computer and monitor support "millions of colors" (and you have that option set). They look okay in "thousands of colors." But, if you get down to only 256 colors, they look pretty bad (like someone did a "paint by numbers" painting!). So set your monitor to display as many colors as your system will support!
5. How many Karen's Kollars does one dog need? To be honest, one will suffice, but a lot of people buy more than one collar per dog. Some people like to have an every-day collar, and a second (or third) just for special occasions. Some also buy seasonal collars. (The only seasonal ones available at this time are the Christmas collars.)

Tips for selecting materials (Ultrasuede, Ultraleather, Leather, Premium Leather)

1. If "wash and wear" convenience is important for you, then select Ultrasuede or Ultraleather, as they are machine washable. They give the look of suede or leather with "wash and wear" convenience. (Air dry or machine dry on fluff or low heat.)
2. There are more Ultrasuede color choices than Ultraleather, so if you don't find a color of Ultraleather that suits your dog, then consider Ultrasuede.
3. Ultrasuede and Ultraleather are cheaper than leather or premium leather. (Please refer to the price list.)
4. If durability is more important than convenience, then select leather (standard or premium). They are easy to clean, but do require the same care as any other fine leather product. Both standard and premium leather are strong and durable, as you would expect.
5. The standard leather is a fine quality leather, something your dog would be proud to wear. The premium leathers are #1 quality leather, the best Karen can buy, and are softer than the standard leather. The premium leathers are also available in a wider color selection than the standard leathers, but they are more expensive than the standard leather. (See the price list.)
6. The premium leather collars come with a genuine fleece inner lining, which is not available on the standard leather, Ultrasuede or Ultraleather collars. You can also order premium leather collars with fake fleece or smooth leather linings. The standard leather collars come with a smooth leather lining, but can also be ordered with a fake fleece lining.

Tips for selecting colors

1. Select colors that contrast well with your dog. Most dogs are happier with a color that doesn't "get lost" in the color of their fur.
2. Some people prefer to pick out the trim first, and then pick a fabric color that matches the trim. The trim pages give recommendations of matching fabric colors for most trims. (We're working on providing such recommendations for all trims.)
3. Most dogs prefer a color which matches the trim (see below), but also has some contrast with the trim. (All the trims are multi-colored, so it's easy to find a suitable fabric color to go with any trim.)

Tips for selecting trims (there are almost 100!)

1. Take your time looking through the trim pages. There are lots of choices! -- so just relax and take your time. Remember, it really comes down to personal taste, so if you and your dog like it -- go for it!
2. If your dog scratches a lot, select a sturdy trim (e.g., one without metallic threads).
3. If your dog is really hard on its collar, consider ordering one without any trim. While many of the trims will last 2 years or more with normal wear, it is possible for a dog to snag any of the trims within a few months (or even a few hours!).
4. If you are ordering for a small dog (e.g., a "toy" breed), the collars will be more narrow, so don't pick a trim any wider than 1 1/8 inches.

Tips for selecting inner linings

1. There are 3 different inner linings (the part that goes against the dog's neck): fake fleece, genuine fleece, and soft leather. However, they aren't all available with all materials.
2. Ultrasuede and Ultraleather collars come only with fake fleece lining. The other linings are not available with Ultrasuede or Ultraleather.
Standard leather collars come with a soft leather lining (typically lamb skin), but you can request fake fleece if your prefer. Genuine fleece is not available on standard leather collars.
Premium leather collars come with a genuine fleece lining, but you can request smooth leather or fake fleece if you prefer.
3. If you are ordering a standard or premium leather collar, and have a choice of lining, we don't have enough experience yet with the smooth leather or genuine fleece to advise you which of the three linings would be coolest in hot, muggy weather. We would guess that the fake fleece and genuine fleece linings would be warmer in cold weather than the smooth leather.

Tips for selecting D-rings (nickel vs. solid brass)

1. The standard D-rings Karen uses are nickel on the D-ring the leash attaches to, and brass-plated nickel on the two side D-rings. Solid brass D-rings are now also available for an extra charge, except for Italian Greyhounds -- they are now standard for IGs at no extra charge. (See the retail price list for more information.)
2. The brass plating on the standard D-rings will eventually (after a long time) wear off, exposing the nickel underneath. This doesn't look "bad," it just doesn't look like new. None of our own dogs are wearing collars with solid brass yet (as of 4/28/00), and their collars look just fine. We don't "push" the solid brass D-rings over the nickel and brass-plated nickel ones, but they are available as an option.
3. For dogs other than toy breeds, the D-rings are 3/4". The solid brass D-rings are available in the standard 3/4" size, and in an optional 1" size. (The solid brass D-rings for IGs are 1/2".)

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Last updated:  26 Dec 2002