Shock collars are useful tools in dog training as well as in correcting undesirable behavior in canines. However, owing to its very nature of delivering some form of electricity to the body of our pets, it is a very controversial gadget. In the hands of a skilled and dedicated canine trainer or handler, an electric dog collar can be an invaluable tool. Unfortunately, this strength somehow diminishes if one doesn’t fully understand the true implications of such a device especially in terms of the correct circumstances where its use can be considered to be the last resort. This is why we’ve talked with experts on the matter to share with you their views on this controversial device and how you, too, can find the confidence to use it judiciously. And we’ll start off with a presentation of the 10 best shock collars we’ve reviewed and tested for your pooch this 2019.
The 19 Top-Rated Dog Shock Collars
- Up To 330 Yards Remote Range
- Long Battery Time
- Security Keypad
- 3 Training Modes
- Multi-Channel Single Remote Control
When training your dog, reinforcing positive behavior is necessary and you also need to nip bad habits in the bud very early on. That’s when the use of the Rechargeable Dog Shock Collar comes in. Despite the slightly scary name, these dog collars pose no harm to your pets and are actually very instrumental in proper training.
This rechargeable shock collar offers different features to ensure your dog’s safety throughout the training period. For one, the collar offers an in-built security keypad that drastically reduces the chances of accidental shocks which have remained one of the main problems with dog collars in the past.
What’s more interesting is that this ingenious product has an impressive remote range of 330 yards and if that’s not reason enough, a single remote can control up to 9 different collars – this way, you can train multiple dogs and puppies at the same time.
This Rechargeable Dog Shock Collar also comes with three different safe modes (Beep, Vibration, and Shock) to help teach your dog basic command and obedience. These modes are such that you can easily choose which works both for you and your feline friend. However, this feature is not to your fancy, you can always set it at Vibration or Beep. At the end of the day, the Rechargeable Dog Shock Collar seeks to find a middle ground that works for all pet owners. This consideration sets it apart from many dog collars have offered, hence why it earns its place on our list of the best dog shock collars on the market.
- The keypad lock prevents accidental shock
- Adjustable settings work smoothly
- The three settings make a viable training tool
- Some users reported that may not be as effective for smaller dogs
- Tricky for dogs with thicker fur
- Dual Charger
- Lithium-Polymer Rechargeable Batteries
- User-Selectable Stimulation Levels
- Mini Ergonomic Stopwatch Transmitter
- Two sets of contact point
- ½ Mile Range
The Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar is easily considered one of the best training collars for dogs but beyond that, it is also one of the best selling products in its niche. There are multiple reasons why this dog collar thrives in the pet care industry; one of which includes the fact that it is relatively comfortable when placed on. It delivers a tap sensation, very similar to a vibration; as opposed to a jolt or a shock. This makes it a suitable option for when discretion is necessary.
What’s more, the intensity of the vibration makes it quite an effective product, however, if you prefer a stronger or weaker option, you can always increase or decrease the stimulation to more favorable levels in order to get the appropriate result from your pup. The good news is that the Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar also provides a clean stimulation without the common neck jerking motion that other training collars are known for. In addition, both its receiver and remote control are waterproof which helps keep the discomfort of excess moisture at bay. This moisture-wicking feature is also seen as a testament to its durability and many pet parents appreciate that it’s a long-lasting device.
Overall, this is a top-notch product to make use of. As well as being a dog training collar, it’s also animal-friendly and is in no way designed to harm your puppy. However, it’s best to keep in mind that it should only be used for behavior modification purposes.
- Very comfortable on the neck for all dog breeds
- Delivers a light tap sensation as opposed to a jolt
- Option to increase or decrease the stimulation
- Might be tricky to figure out at the start
- Shock level adjustment needs time to figure out
- Waterproof collar is safe for outdoors
- Available in five colors to suit any dog
- Recharge time of only 30 minutes
- Three basic training modes include
- Seven shock sensitivity levels
The NBJU anti-barking collar helps to really focus your dog’s attention during training sessions. Many electric dog collars are not recommended for use in water or wet environments due to the nature of using an electrical current during training exercises. However, this model does have a waterproof design, meaning they can take a dip in the local lake whilst out and about without having to worry about your dog’s neck getting wet and affecting the shock feature. The NBJU collar is available in five fun colors to add a bit of personality as well as having a quick-charge design, meaning the collar will charge fully in 20 minutes.
Many owners have found the waterproof feature to be extremely useful, as well as the NBJU dog training collar reviews mentioning how the LED display face helps owners to monitor the strength of the shocks being received. However, the lack of a remote makes adjusting the collar a bit more difficult than other models. Additionally, this collar has been known to shift around whilst in use, which could alter the effectiveness of the shock output.
- Waterproof design is great for dogs that like water
- LED display makes setting clear to owner
- Fully adjustable size suitable for all dogs
- No remote control for shock levels
- Collar can shift whilst being used
- Includes long and short contact points
- Features 18 levels of stimulation
- Has a range of half a mile
- Features three training configurations
- Water-resistant control and dog device
Garmin is a well-established dog supply brand that produces well-thought-out electric dog collars make to create the ideal experience and minimize difficulty that could affect your dog’s behavior negatively. The smoother the transition to an e-collar, the easier training will be for both of you. This particular collar has 18 stimulation levels, so you can raise the level in small increments during training. Furthermore, it has a half-mile range and is water-resistant, making it a great collar for training recall with particularly wayward pups.
With such a good range of stimulation levels, owners have found it to be reassuring that if they should accidentally knock the controller and bump the stimulation level up a notch, it won’t be a severe change that may cause upset. Furthermore, the beeper and vibration functions serve as brilliant training devices for close-up training such as tricks and agility sessions. The only real issues are that the beeper tone is not particularly loud, especially when outdoors, and the shock current is not massively effective for dogs with thick coats such as huskies.
- Both the transmitter and collar are safe for outdoor use
- Range of stimulator levels easy to customize
- Beeper and vibration mode work well for close-up training
- The tone feature is not very loud
- Not very well suited to dogs with thick coats
- 7-level static stimulation with additional burst or continuous modes
- With shock, tone, and vibration stimulation
- Fully waterproof up to 25 feet
- Battery lasts 50-70 hours after 2-hour charging
- Maximum effective range: 500 yards
- Recommended for dogs weighing at least 8 pounds
Priced at over $150, the SportDOG Brand FieldTrainer SD-425 Remote Trainer electric dog collar is definitely the most expensive in this lot. A closer evaluation of the SD-425 reveals that it basically comes with almost the same features as most of the products in this list, with the exception of a 500-yard range which it shares with the ALTMAN. It is fully submersible up to 25 feet, though, making it an exceptional dog obedience collar for those pooches that have outdoor adventurers as human masters. Unlike other systems that only allow for the simultaneous training of up to 2 dogs, the SD-425 transmitter allows for 3 dogs; you’d have to purchase the additional collars, though. Also, you can provide continuous or momentary stimulation to your pooch, a feature that you don’t see anywhere else. Unfortunately, it may have a rechargeable battery, but this only lasts 50 to 70 hours, a far cry from the 20 days of Casfuy or even the 10 days of Casfuy. Technically, it’s a great buy, except that there are other better products at a significantly lower prices.
- Range of transmission is exceptionally wide, allowing for better control of dog’s freedom of movement
- Fully customizable settings and levels of stimulation for better fine tuning
- Provides either momentary or continuous stimulation
- DryTek technology allows it to be fully submersible up to 25 feet
- Allows for simultaneous training of 3 dogs
- Comes complete with training DVD
- Batteries don’t last as long as other brands
- Comes with only 7 levels of correction; many times less than competing brands
- Very expensive compared to other brands
- 100 fully customizable training stimulation modes
- Available in tone or beep, vibration, and static modes
- Power saving feature: memory function, auto protect, and auto standby
- With low-light mode
- Maximum effective range: 330 yards
- Recommended for dogs weighing at least 15 pounds
- 5 years warranty: full refund or unit replacement
It’s inexpensive and provides you exceptional control over your pooch’s obedience and behavior training needs. The Petrainer PET998DRB Dog Training Collar is a remarkable piece of equipment that allows you to fine-tune the various modes and levels of stimulation that you can deliver to your pet dog. While it comes with a light mode, this has nothing to do with training purposes but rather for increasing the visibility of your hound, especially in low light conditions.
In various online commerce platforms, the PET998DRB is favored by many dog owners and trainers alike because of its excellent combination of affordable pricing, remote controllability, weather- and waterproofing, and ultra-lightweight design. It also comes with a 5-year warranty so it should really be a great deal, although having a lifetime guarantee would have been a lot better. Perhaps that would be asking too much considering it is already priced considerably lower than the competition despite the various customization features and power-saving technologies that it comes with.
- Provides exceptional value for its great combination of affordability and functionality
- Substantially wide transmitter range
- Very popular among canine trainers
- Excellent stimulation customization options for greater fine-tuning
- Superior weatherproofing
- Comes only with 5 year warranty
- Doesn’t come with visual stimulation or correction
- May not fit dogs with neck circumference greater than 22 inches
- 3 training modes with 100 levels of customization
- Static shock, beep, and vibration modes
- Maximum effective range: 900 feet
- Recommended for dogs weighing 10 to 100 pounds
- 5 year warranty: full refund or unit replacement
iPets entry into our list of the best shock collars for dogs is considered as one of the best-selling when it comes to entry-level units. Unfortunately, we find the price to be somewhat higher than the Petrainer considering they both have the same technical features. The only difference perhaps is the more unique styling of both the collar and the remote controller of the iPets PET619S. It is programmed with the same customizable stimulation options so you get to determine just the right or correct amounts or levels of correction for your dog’s needs. It even comes with the same 5-year guarantee that allows you to obtain a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase or something’s amiss with the electric dog collar that you want it replaced. It doesn’t come with a light mode, however, which is quite a shame since its heftier price tag should mean it has a much better offering. Perhaps it is in the lower weight limit of 10 pounds that it finds its appeal especially among folks with smaller dog breeds.
- Dedicated buttons for different stimulus to prevent accidental application of unnecessary stimulus
- Fully customizable settings and levels of stimulation
- Simultaneous fast-charging of transmitter and collar for improved efficiency
- Complete with power-saving features to extend battery life
- Excellent transmitter range of up to 900 feet
- Comes only with a limited 5-year warranty
- No light form of stimulation
- Light, tone, vibration, and shock training modes
- 100 levels of customizable stimulation
- Maximum effective range: 330 yards
- Recommended for dogs weighing 10 to 100 pounds
- 5-year guarantee: replacement or refund
The Petronics dog shock collar with remote is one of two products in this list that is priced slightly above $25 which is, to many, is a great bargain especially if you’re talking about essentially the same features found in similar products. Surprisingly, Petronics enjoys a best-selling reputation in online commerce platforms in the category of head collars. The remote control unit looks like a standard 2-way radio transceiver but is a lot smaller. What is even more remarkable is that the Petronics comes with 4 different training modes, with the vibration and static electricity modes fully capable of 100 customizations for better fine-tuning of corrections. It is ideal for dogs at least 10 pounds in weight and can provide for exceptional control even from 330 yards away. For its price and the addition of a Light mode as a means of training, the Petronics remote shock collar is a viable alternative to more expensive products that don’t even come close to giving what Petronics can offer.
- Easy-to-use controls on the handheld unit
- Greater control of stimulation via 4 different modes and in various levels
- More classic, more elegant design
- Fully adjustable dog collar
- 330-yard maximum effective range of radio transmitter
- Fully rechargeable and weatherproofed components
- Less expensive than most brands
- Comes only with limited 5 year warranty
- 4 training modes: light, tone, vibration, and static
- Battery saving auto-power protect feature
- Maximum effective range: 1,200 feet
- Recommended for dogs weighing 10 to 100 pounds
- Lifetime replacement guarantee or full refund
Designed specifically for aspiring dog trainers and handlers, the PetTech Remote Controlled Dog Shock Collar comes with an amazing range of 400 yards, although we’ve seen some units that can reach even up to 500 yards. If any, it is its lifetime guarantee that appeals most to a lot of folks. Moreover, it provides exceptional one-on-one expert advice for aspiring dog trainers and newbie pet owners. It is perhaps for these reasons that it costs higher than most of the dog training collars that we have on this list. The PetTech also comes with fully customizable 4 mode training stimulations including 100 different points for either static electricity or vibration modes. PetTech also strongly recommends the use of its static mode only when necessary such as during emergencies. The wireless unit comes with auto power protection to help extend the life of its lithium-ion battery. The straps are fully adjustable for a more snug fit and the LCD comes in blue backlighting for improved visibility even during the day. If you think the price is rather daunting, just think about the lifetime warranty plus the one-on-one support and advice you’ll get to make you a much better dog owner or handler.
- Exceptionally wide transmitter range for greater freedom of movement of pets
- 4 different modes with 100-level customization options
- Longer lasting and fast charging battery for greater versatility
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee
- Comes with complimentary dog training from the experts
- Ingenious power protect mode for improved electrical safety
- Quite expensive
- Waterproof certified dog training collar
- Slim and streamlined collar design
- 3/4 mile range for transmitter
- 127 correction levels enable delicate adjustments
- LCD screen displays settings
The best dog training collars need to be reliable in all conditions. Fortunately, Dogtra’s electric dog collars are streamlined and waterproof, meaning you will have no worry of affecting the electrical currents running through it, should your pup decide to take a dip during one of your daily walks. Dogtra has also designed this collar with a 3/4 mile range, so it is ideally suited to long-distance training (such as recall). And with 127 adjustment levels to play around with, you can tailor this collar to your individual dog.
The leather collar guarantees comfort around the neck whilst also providing reliable durability with repeated use. Moreover, the collar is available in a camouflage pattern, which is ideal for owners looking for a training collar for their hunting dog. Although, the excess collar material does not have anywhere to neatly tuck away after being adjusted, meaning it may need to be cut away or you may have to come up with your own solution to hold it in place.
- Available with camo pattern for hunting dogs
- Waterproof design is great for outdoor training
- Leather collar is durable and comfortable for the dog
- The excess collar material has nowhere to tuck away
- Battery life is not the best when compared to other brands
- Available in five color options
- Three training modes include beep, vibrate, and static
- Receiver is waterproof for outdoor training
- Comes paired with a transmitter control
- Suitable for dogs 15-100lbs with trimmable collar
The best dog shock collars should be waterproof to ensure there is no malfunction in wet environments, as well as being easy to control. Thanks to the simple-faced transmitting controller, you can up the ante or relinquish control easily, especially with the clear and concise digital display screen that clearly indicates the current shock level being used, along with any additional features you may be utilizing and a battery level to help you know when it is time to head home.
This particular dog training shock collar is suitable for a good range of dogs going from 15 to 100 pounds in weight owing to the fact that the electric shocks being administered can start from exceptionally low currently to much more powerful currents for particularly strong and stubborn dogs. Though be mindful that if the silicone covers come away from the shock prongs the experience can be quite unpleasant for your pup. Furthermore, there can be a noticeable jump in strength between currents, so stick with a strength you know your dog can handle unless absolutely necessary.
- An effective way of getting a headstrong dog’s attention
- Great customers service for dissatisfied customers
- Lowest shock settings are extremely gentle
- Protective silicone caps can be easily lost
- There is a significant jump in shock strengths
- Designed for single handed operation with easy turn dial and positive clicks for each adjustment.
- Four training buttons for momentary stimulation, vibration, tone, and continuous use
- Inbuilt LED beacon light which can be switched on with the controller for low light conditions.
- 10 stimulation levels available for a variety of training styles.
The Garmin Sport Pro has been used by dog trainers and owners for some time now, with owners bragging about the effectiveness of its design. It offers four functions, so that once your dog has been trained with the stimulation controls, you can simply switch it to tone or vibrate to get a reaction from your pup without the need for a shock. Additionally, this design has an LED light built in which can be visible from upto 100 yards away, and is switched on using your controller.
You will need to take some time to familiarise yourself with the available functions of the Garmin Sport Pro, as well as the 10 simulation levels, before putting it on your dog. The battery on this shock collar is extremely long lasting, with customers saying they can use it for over three weeks for an hour or two a day before needing to charge it. Not only that, but it is durable, and reliable, so you don’t have to worry about it falling off whilst you’re out for a walk with your pooch.
Find out more about Dog LED Collars.
- Trains dogs up to ¾ of a mile away from the trainer.
- Especially well suited for use with recall training.
- An automatic fail safe shut off on the stimulation setting at 20 seconds.
- A solid product that can last over 3 weeks on one charge with 1-2 hour daily walks.
- Not suited to every dog – some owners do not get the response they’re looking for.
- Can be difficult to get the collar to work on thick-furred dogs.
- 3/4 mile (1,312 yards) long-range signal
- 10 levels of continuous or momentary shock
- Vibration and beep settings also available
- Fully charges within two hours
- Clicker provided for clicker training
Pet Resolve’s electric dog training collar bundle provides all of the essential pieces needed for electric shock training use, along with additional training tools such as a vibration mode and beep alerts. Vibration can be used as an alternative deterrent where you may feel a shock to be needlessly harsh. Seeing as shock create a sort of tingling sensation when being used, vibration can imitate the experience without causing discomfort.
This collar charges fully within two hours and has a 3/4-mile range, perfect for recall training or hunting. Furthermore, Pet Resolve encourages the use of clicker training alongside their shock collar by providing a free clicker! They have designed this system to work for up to 3 dogs at any given time (provided you have enough collars). However, some owners have also commented that the battery life leaves a little something to be desired. And that the busy 9-buttoned remote control has proven awkward when it comes to needing a quick reaction to something.
- Capable of training up to 3 dogs with additional collars
- Lights built into the unit help with low-light areas
- The included clicker helps to focus dogs during training
- Control can be awkward to use due to amount of buttons
- Battery is not as long-lasting as some of the shock collar brands
- Specifically designs for small breeds of dog ranging from 5-15lbs.
- Available in four colours with interchangeable plates for styling.
- Shock setting has nine levels, with vibration and sound functions as options if needed.
- Has a long range antenna and waterproof design – ideal for outdoor use.
The eXuby shock is the smallest shock collar in the world, ideally suited to dogs weighing between 5-15lbs such as chihuahuas and terriers. This collar has been designed with style in mind, with it being available in four different colours with the option of changing the front plate with another color. It comes with nine levels for the shock function, however, if your dog does not respond well to shocking as a deterrent, there is also a vibration and tone function built in for a more gentle method of coercion.
Owners that have used this collar previously have remarked on its ergonomic design, and fast charging time thanks to the quick-charge plug provided. Additionally, the illuminating screen of the controller makes this shock collar the perfect choice for little dog owners that have to walk their dogs in the evening, especially in winter months with low visibility. The waterproof design of both the collar and controller also make this a great choice for puppy parents who live an active outdoor lifestyle in all weathers.
- The clear illuminating screen is ideal for low light conditions such as evening walks.
- Comes with a fast charger to help get a quick charge before heading out.
- The split charging cable means you can charge both units at the same time.
- There are two different prong lengths to help you get the right fit for your dog.
- The first shock setting can still be a little strong for some dogs.
- Battery will need charging once a week which is more frequently than some other brands.
- Shock function has 99 levels for customization
- Includes 5 sound levels and 3 vibration levels
- 750-yard transmission range
- Bark sensitivity can be set between 60-160dbs
- Customizable voice recording option
The Dr. Trainer remote training collar provides a fantastic range of sensitivity options for all of the available functions included 5 levels for the beep volume, 3 vibration settings, and 99 shock levels. Additionally, they have calibrated the collar to have a sensitive range between 60-160 decibels, therefore covering the entire volume range for a bark – ideal to train your dog to stop excessive barking. This makes a refreshing change in customizability that is rarely seen with a dog training collar.
Another safety feature we very much appreciate with the Dr. Trainer training collar is the use of a double-tap safety feature, wherein dog owners using the collar can calibrate the control to require a double-tap on the button before engaging the selected function. This is to prevent accidental activation whilst the control is being carried or is in a pocket. The major downfall with this collar, however, is the app, which, according to the previous customers, does not operate very well and has a weak Bluetooth signal – so room for improvement there.
- Simple controls and clear instruction make for easy use
- Automatic bark detector sensitivity range suits most dogs
- Double-tap failsafe feature prevents accident activation
- Not suitable for smaller for sensitive dog breeds
- The accompanying app still needs to be refined
- Available for between 1-4 dogs
- 1/2 mile transmission range for controller
- Backlit LCD display screen
- Five stimulation modes to choose from
- Fully waterproof, lightweight design
Easy Educator’s EZ-904 training collars are designed with a controller that can accommodate training multiple dogs at once, with the option to purchase four collars alongside the transmitter. This makes it a great tool for professional dog trainers. The seven vibration modes include high constant vibration, medium constant vibration, low constant vibration, high tapping sensation, medium tapping sensation, low tapping sensation, or 2-second tapping followed by continuous stimulation.
Many owners particularly appreciate the fact that there are multiple buttons that can each be calibrated to a single collar, so when training multiple dogs there is no need to switch the settings around before utilizing the stimulation mode. Furthermore, the sound setting has proved an effective training device that can be likened to clicker training. The only real difficulty some owners have experienced is the complexity of the controls being a lot to handle and feeling too complicated for some.
- Separate buttons for each dog when used with multiple dogs
- The sound setting works well in replacement of clicker training
- Works well with both long and short-haired dogs with the right prongs
- Multiple settings can feel overwhelming for owners wanting simplicity
- The dial on the controller is very sensitive
- Recommended for dogs over 10lbs
- 100 correction levels to use
- 0.5-sec bursts or 12-sec constant stimulation
- Capable of working with two dogs
- 400-yard transmission range
Many dog owners have mentioned their appreciation for the effectiveness of the vibration mode. Vibration is offered with most dog shock collars but often doesn’t have the desired response, where a popular opinion with the Dogtra collar is how the vibration has helped to reduce the need for a shock response. For owners that need the shock feature, they have designed the unit to have 100 stimulation levels that are easily adjusted using the rolling wheel on the controller. The transmission range also reaches as far as 400 yards, for especially fast-moving pups.
This may not be the best dog training collar for frequent outdoor use, however, as the remote is not waterproof which can affect the collar’s usability. Furthermore, the battery generally lasts around three days before needing to be charged again, so owners that enjoy long walks should be aware of the battery life before setting out. Fortunately, the unit does come with a split charger though, so you can charge both the collar and the controller together between uses.
- The lightweight, compact receiver makes the collar is easy to fit
- The vibration training mode is highly effective
- A split charger is provided to charge both units at once
- The battery typically lasts only a few days before needing charging
- Not suitable for wet environments or submersion
- Designed for dogs from 8-120 lbs
- Trains two dogs at once
- 1,000ft transmission range
- 6 to 27-inch adjustable collars
- 100% waterproof collars (not controller)
Unlike many other dog shock collars, BOUSNIC has designed a collar that looks much less severe, with a smooth case containing the vibration, tone, and shock functions required for training. The adjustable collar can also be made to fit dogs in a wide range of sizes, though the excess does need to be cut away as there is nowhere for it to be tucked out of the way once fitted. Most modern shock collars do have a failsafe mode of some kind, with the BOUSNIC collar having a sleep mode. Unfortunately, the sleep mode with this collar has proven to activate at awkward times, causing hiccups in training when the collar fails to activate. So this collar would be better suited to shorter training sessions.
Nevertheless, the BOUSNIC shock collar is one of the best electric dog collars on our list when it comes to range, with a transmission range of 1,000 feet, which is perfect for agility training and recall practice. As a remote training collar, it has additional features such as vibration and tone that prove extremely helpful. However, the controller cannot be attached to a lanyard, meaning you have to carry it in your hand to prevent accidental triggering that could cause confusion and unnecessary stress.
- Tone and vibration strengths are both good
- Long transmission range great for outdoor training sessions
- High-quality collar and controller built to last
- No way of attaching a lanyard to the controller
- Sleep mode can cause awkward inconsistencies whilst in use
- Seven levels for bark correction
- Includes sound tone and vibration modes
- 1-16 static training levels
- Receiver is waterproof and remote rainproof
- Textures distinguishing buttons
A unique feature of the PATPET that we can appreciate is the use of texturing on the three main buttons in order for owners to be able to tell each button apart without needing to remove the remote from their pocket. This is a helpful feature for owners that want to keep the remote out of sight whilst training to prevent causing a negative association with it. has up to 16 shock levels meaning you can slowly increase the shock strength until you find one that your dog is comfortable with, but still reacts to.
It’s worth noting that the receiver is fully waterproof, meaning your dog can get soaked whilst wearing it with no problems. However, the remote is only rainproof, so avoid dropping it into any bodies of water as it could cause the controls to malfunction. Additionally, this particular collar is unfortunately not very effective when it comes to fluffy dogs with especially thick fur, as the prongs struggle to penetrate the dense fluffy layer.
- Works well to curb negative behavior with all three settings
- Beep training works really well in replacement of clicker
- Fantastic customer service and focus on customer satisfaction
- Not the most effective with dogs with double or extra-thick coats
- Shock prongs can come away from the collar with active dogs
Best Dog Shock Collar Buying Guide & FAQ
Buying a dog shock collar can be quite a headache. There are a lot of things to ask yourself first even before you start picking the best one for your pooch. For many newbies, an understanding of what dog shock collars are for is crucial to making a buying decision. Equally important is an understanding of how these gadgets work as well as the different types of electric shock collars available in the market. Only then can you start mulling about the various considerations for buying such a device for you and your pooch.
What are Shock Collars Used For?
Despite repeated warnings from animal experts as well as animal rights groups against the use of electric dog collars, a lot of people still do actively search for such devices. According to the Humane Society of the United States, shock collars are doggie contraptions that are pretty much similar to a standard collar worn around the neck of a dog and are typically used in dog obedience training and behavior modification therapy for problematic canines such as those with nuisance barking.
But why would you want a dog shock collar? Here are some of the more common uses of shock collars.
If you don’t want your pet dog to be wandering beyond your property line, a shock collar can be quite useful especially when used together with an invisible or electronic fence system. These gadgets deliver a stimulus to dogs as they get near a predesignated off-limits zone. You no longer need a physical fence to keep your pet well within your property.
There are some devices that deliver a correction every time a dog barks. These are typically embedded with a sensor that allows it to identify the bark of the dog wearing the collar and not any other dog that may be near. If the dog continues to bark, the device delivers more forceful, longer, and even more frequent corrections until the dog stops barking or until a preset time has been reached.
Check out our guide on barking collars for dogs.
Dog Training and Behavior Modification
As we have already said above, the main use of these devices is in the training and the modification of the behavior of dogs through the process of aversive training. It is typically used in off-leash dog training where the pooch is let off the leash to roam around and pay attention to verbal cues or commands issued by its master. It is also used by pet owners in correcting behavioral issues in dogs like aggression towards other dogs and even food aggression. What it does is that it delivers the correction at the right moment to put a halt to the aggressive behavior of the dog. Understand, however, that this does not address the reason behind such problem behaviors. It only stops the current behavior at that instant.
Training About Canine Safety
Many hunters as well as outdoor adventurers use shock collars to train their dogs to avoid dangerous objects and animals. For example, they are taught to avoid rattlesnakes by conditioning them to the sound of a rattlesnake. A caged rattlesnake is often used in such training and the dog is shocked quite hard once it gets near the caged rattlesnake. It then associates the shock with the sound of the rattlesnake so that when it is outdoors and it hears a rattle, it will not go to that area where the sound emanates.
How Does a Shock Collar Work?
We’ve been talking about shock or electric collars for dogs. But how do they work exactly?
As the name implies, shock collars are devices that deliver an electric stimulus to the body of dogs to startle them and stop them from whatever it is they’re doing. Depending on the type of collar, these devices always have an electronic unit that delivers various kinds of stimulation such as visual, auditory, vibration, and static electricity. When a preset threshold is met, the device is activated. For example, if it is an anti-bark collar, then it delivers the stimulus only when the correct trigger – your dog’s bark – is registered in the device’s sensor.
Dog training collars typically combine an electric unit on the collar and a remote control transmitter held and operated by the person. If a given command is not followed by the dog or if it gets distracted from its training by other objects or circumstances, the pet trainer can activate the device using the remote control unit. The device then delivers a preset stimulus to either correct the pooch or to have it refocus on the task at hand.
As we have explained in the preceding section, a shock collar doesn’t only deliver static electricity. It can also provide other forms of stimulus such as light, tone, and vibration. The mechanism is still the same, though. The dog performs an undesirable action, the device senses it or you notice it, and a stimulus is applied to correct the behavior or stop your dog from whatever it is doing. The static training mode of these devices should only be used when all other modes have been proven ineffective or are no longer working.
How to Use a Dog Shock Collar Without Hurting Your Pup
First and foremost – anyone looking to purchase a dog training shock collar must only do so as an absolute last resort. A shock collar should not be used regularly, nor should it be used as the principal form of training, but as a list-resort deterrent in a potentially dangerous or urgent situation (be it dangerous for the dog itself or others around it).
It is also vitally important that if you’re thinking of training your dog alongside the use of a shock collar, you know how to use it correctly. Understanding the technique and limits of an electric shock collar can prevent injury to your pup – which can have the opposite effect on their behavior than what you may have been going for. Son in order to ensure you are using it correctly and safely to avoid harming your pup follow these simple pointers before moving forward:
Test Any Dog Training Collars on Yourself First
Starting from the lowest setting tap your fingers or the palm of your hand against the prongs when the collar is active. This will give you an idea of what your dog will experience when it is being used and also give you a level of empathy with them during training. If you find the shock painful, the chances are that your dog will too – this is not the aim. The aim is for it to cause discomfort enough to prevent them from continuing what they are doing without traumatizing them.
Consider The Size of Your Dog
Large dogs have a higher threshold for shock collars and generally are able to withstand a stronger current. The same goes for muscular dogs such as pit bulls. However, you should still start low and slowly work your way up in order to figure out what they are comfortable with.
Shock collars for dogs are not generally recommended for small dogs because most shock collars can still start quite high on the lowest setting, and small breeds have a weaker disposition when it comes to being shocked. However, with particularly stubborn dogs you can find collars suitable for small breeds – just be sure to check it against your own skin first and remember they can’t take as much as you so aim for something a bit lower than your own limit.
Do Not Use Them on Puppies
Puppies are still developing and learning about the world. They will inevitably go through troublesome phases, during which you should focus on training them using alternative methods such as positive reinforcement and clicker training. Using an electric training collar on a puppy can have an adverse effect on your dog’s behavior if you accidentally shock them too strongly. It is very easy to traumatize a young dog if you use the collar improperly, which at such a young age can be much more difficult to correct and affect their behavior and responses in the future.
Check Over The Collar Between Uses
The prongs of the collar which are made to connect with your dog’s neck should be covered with protective plastic, rubber, or silicone covers unless otherwise stated. These covers help to even out the flow of electricity and reduce discomfort for the dog. With certain models these covers can be removed – the removable ones then have the possibility of falling off which the collar is in use.
It is a smart idea to regularly check your dog’s collar whilst you are training with them anyway. But at the very least, make sure you check that everything is properly functional between uses by ensuring all the parts are there and that the shock level is fine (this can be done by checking the collar on yourself each time at a level you are comfortable with).
Types of Dog Shock Collars
There are three fundamental types of shock collars currently available in the market. These are often related to their primary use.
As the name implies, these types of shock collars are primarily used in the training and sometimes behavior modification of dogs. These deliver static stimulation to dogs to either correct their actions or to modify their behavior.
One of the most crucial aspects of training that training shock collars address is time. Many pet owners understand the need for canine training. Unfortunately, conventional training methods whereby you use a blend of stimulus-response-positive reinforcement looping often take time. Even the most seasoned dog handler can find training a pooch to be especially challenging and will require several weeks up to several months to get the dog to do what it is being trained to do. However, a dog trainer is a professional who devotes most of his time to the training of pooches. Ordinary pet owners simply don’t have the luxury of time. It would already be great if they can spend an hour or so walking or even playing with their dogs. Now, if you include training, then you’re looking at the additional time that they have to get from time they should spend for themselves and their families.
A dog shock collar can substantially decrease the time needed to see results from pets. And it is these faster results that really appeal to dog owners as well as aspiring handlers.
Training shock collars are used in off-leash training and as such have to provide ample coverage for optimum control. Generally, the range is about 1000 feet to 500 yards, although it’s not unusual to see some products further extending the coverage. What this simply means is that you can deliver corrections even from afar as long as it is within the range of the product.
As we have already described above, these are dog collars that are often used to control barking. It is natural for canines to bark as it is their way of communicating something. But if you’re already tucked in bed and your pooch suddenly feels the urge to bark, would you rather go out and check what it is your pet is barking at? For most pet owners, shouting at their dogs to shut up is a lot easier than getting up and checking what’s wrong. Unfortunately, we all know that this is not the correct way to address canine barking. As such, when you’re simply glued to your bed, you’d be glad that an anti-bark collar is working to stop your pooch from barking.
You may also like our guide on the Best Dog Silencers.
Invisible Fence Collars
These types of shock collars can actually be considered as training collars except that the trigger is an invisible fence that constantly sends signals over a pre-determined area. When your pooch goes near this area, the signal sends a message to the receiver on your pet’s collar which effectively triggers the application of the correction. It can be in the form of a beep. If your hound ignores this, then the device vibrates. If your pet still ignores this and decides to keep on going towards the invisible fence, then a static stimulus will be delivered.
The thing about these types of systems is that they’re more expensive than other types of electric collars as you are also talking about wires to be placed under the ground. Good thing there are other models that you can choose that don’t require any digging. However, they will still cost you somewhat higher than other systems.
Things to Consider When Buying a Dog Shock Collar
Looking at the market for dog shock collars today it is quite easy to get lost from the multitude of models and variants. There will always be products that stand out. One way you can determine the best one for you and your pet is by considering the following things before you even begin narrowing down your options.
Multiple Signaling Modes
In addition to the shock mechanism, many products also include 2 to 3 more signaling modes. These can include light, tone, and vibration. The ideal progression is to always start with training modes that are less threatening to your dog. In such cases, you can start with light or tone modes before you apply vibration stimulation. Like shock stimulation, tone and vibration stimulation can be fine-tuned to different levels, further extending the usefulness of the device in training your dog or even in correcting its behavior. It is thus, important to look for products that can provide you with the most number of different types of stimulus so you will not have to instantly resort to the application of static electricity.
Levels of Stimulation
One of the most important advances in today’s electric collar technology is the integration of processors and sensors that allow the user to dial in or customize the level of intensity of the shock that is delivered. For example, a device can have 100 different levels of increasing intensity using static electricity alone. This can actually go a long way towards training your pooch. Let us say that your dog can typically acclimatize itself to a particular setting in every training session that you have. Then this essentially means you have about 100 training sessions before you are going to use the maximum level of static electricity. And if you happen to train 3 times a week, then you’re essentially looking at about 33 weeks of use before you have to apply level 100. Of course, this is just hypothetical. The point is to get a device that allows you to fine-tune the intensity of the stimulus being delivered.
Maximum Effective Range
As much as possible you would want a device that allows you to control your pet over greater distances. This should give you the chance to try out your pooch’s mastery of the recall. As we have pointed out in the previous section, many dog shock collars typically come with a range of about 1000 feet although there are those that extend this to 500 yards or even further. Technically, it all depends on the location where you’re going to train or ‘control’ your dog. If you’re looking at a hilly terrain, then maybe you’ll even need a device with a mile range. Otherwise, if you are only going to use it in your neighborhood, the usual 330 yards should suffice.
You might want to get a shock collar that is fully weatherproofed. This is especially handy if you have a pooch that simply loves the water or even plays in puddles. But, if you’ve got a pet that doesn’t really want to get its feet wet, then you can skip this one altogether.
There is a buzz in the canine world saying that really expensive devices can guarantee safer ‘shocks’ for your pooch. Unfortunately, there really is no way we can gauge just how ‘safe’ the shock is since no manufacturer has ever published the actual voltage ratings of their products. That being said, it really doesn’t matter if you get a cheap $25 device or a really expensive $200 unit as long as you can be sure that it allows you the ability to fine-tune the stimulation being applied and possess a greater number of varying stimulation.
Will the Electric Stimulation from a Shock Collar Hurt My Dog?
Here’s the thing: there really is no way to gauge whether the electricity delivered by such devices will hurt our dogs. Unfortunately, there is also no objective evidence that shows it will not. Perhaps ‘hurt’ is not the proper term.
Electricity, no matter how minuscule, can lead to tissue inflammation and injury. That is why one of the most common concerns, and one that is duly acknowledged by dog shock collar manufacturers, is the occurrence of electrical burn injuries especially in areas where the electrodes come in contact with the dog’s skin. This typically occurs if the shock collar has been used more frequently than necessary or if it is worn by the dog for an extended period of time. Unlike chemical or thermal burns, electrical burn injuries are quite difficult to diagnose since tissue injury happens very fast and over a diffuse area. Also, the affected tissues are located much, much deeper. What this means is that your dog may not have any burn marks on the area where the electrodes touch its skin, but the damage may already be forming deeper in the skin and underlying tissues.
It is for this reason that many do not actually recommend the use of shock collars. And if you have read a majority of manufacturers’ recommendations, they strongly advise the use of static correction only as a means of last resort. Even companies are saying that other signaling modes be used first before the delivery of the shock. While they don’t openly admit it, what these manufacturers are saying is that using the static shock mechanism alone can result in tissue injuries secondary to electrical burns. That is why they strongly recommend using the tone and vibration functions first. And if they do recommend the static correction, it will always be at the lowest setting.
Will the electric stimulation from a shock collar hurt your pet canine? Of course! The only problem is that we really cannot gauge just how much ‘hurt’ your pet is getting for every level of static correction it is receiving. Just because it is not whining or crying doesn’t mean that it doesn’t feel anything.
Check out our ultimate article on the Best Dog Whistles.
Are Shock Collars Safe?
As an extension to the above section on whether the electrical stimulation from a shock collar will hurt your dog or not, the obvious answer to the question of whether shock collars are safe or not is ‘no’.
Shock-only dog collars are never safe for the simple fact that they still deliver electric current to your dog. Also, don’t fall for such words as “humanely” because there really is nothing humane in passing electricity down the body of a dog.
However, if you use the tone and/or vibration correction modes of the device, we’d say it is perfectly safe as your dog only gets startled. There are no tissue injuries that occur with vibration and tone modes.
The use of dog shock collars for training and canine behavior modification purposes is a deeply emotional one. Even manufacturers indirectly admit that shock correction is not the best way to train dogs; otherwise, they would have made their products shock-only devices. This doesn’t mean that it is not useful, however. There will always be problematic dogs that will never be responsive to traditional training and behavior modification strategies. In such cases, the aversive nature of dog shock collars can very well be the only answer.
- Jonathan J. Cooper, Nina Cracknell, Jessica Hardiman, Hannah Wright, Daniel Mills – The Welfare Consequences and Efficacy of Training Pet Dogs with Remote Electronic Training Collars in Comparison to Reward Based Training – PLOS ONE
If you’ve taken a look over our collar selection but decided maybe shock training isn’t for you, there are plenty of alternative ways to train your dog! Fortunately, multiple of these are also available as functions of some of the collars listed above: vibration, beeps, a silent whistle, clicker training, citronella, pheromones, positive reinforcement. Each of these methods of training do not require any physical contact with your dog (except if you are petting them as part of the positive reinforcement approach)
Veterinarians consider shock collars to be humane when used to maintain a boundary and keep your dog safe. Low voltage collars for training are also considered humane. However, they are not recommended. Non-physical means of training dogs out of unwanted behavior and getting your dog’s attention are preferred by vets.
This would depend on the trainer. Each trainer has their own method of control and cohesion when it comes to teaching a dog new behavior. If you are looking for a trainer that is able to use a shock collar, you will need to be careful to hire someone with experience and confidence in the use of shock training. As incorrect use of a shock collar can result in injury to the dog and potentially the trainer.
Police dogs are not TRAINED using shock collars, but e-collars are a part of the training process. By this we mean that police dogs are trained using standard methods, but an electric dog collar is sometimes used to bring a dog back to attention when they become distracted or to reestablish control during a high-stress situation. As opposed to shocking the dog for getting a command wrong. Additionally, police dogs will wear a shock collar when on duty as a reassurance that control can be regained should a dog become too aggressive or lose focus when it is most important.
A dog CAN wear a shock collar indefinitely if it is not active. However, dogs SHOULD only wear electric dog collars when the trainer or owner is present and in control of the device. This is because if the collar should malfunction when the trainer is not around to remove it or switch it off it has the potential to cause serious harm which could have lasting effects. You should only use the shock collar during training sessions or when it is necessary – not as a permanent accessory.
It is not recommended that you use a shock collar on dogs younger than 6 months, as dogs below this age are going through crucial development stages both in growth and personality establishment. Preferably a shock collar should be completely avoided with young dogs unless being used carefully alongside other, gentler training techniques such as positive reinforcement.