What is a Dog Training Collar and How it Works

Unlike the usual cotton or nylon dog collars that you can usually find in a pet store, a dog training collar, or more popularly known as a shock collar, is a type of collar that disciplines a dog just in case he’s being really naughty or stubborn. Think of it as a small cane used to spank a child if he is misbehaving. With the best dog training collar, even an unruly dog can be easily tamed.

Now, shock collars are worn around the neck like a regular collar. The only difference is that a shock collar gives a small shock to the dog so that it behaves. Aside from that, the shock collar usually has a voice-activated speaker which lets you scold your dog from a distance.

The collar is connected to a walkie-talkie device where you can warn your dog if it is about to do something naughty. While this may sound like something that may hurt your dog, you don’t need to worry about your dog getting hurt.

The shock collar doesn’t leave any lasting pain on your dog. It just gives him a small shock that will deter him from doing anything bad like dashing across the flower bed or running after the neighbor’s cat. The whole principle behind this device is to teach the dog association.

Once the dog is used to associating with doing naughty things with a shock, he’ll most likely won’t do it anymore. You also have a speaker there that warns your dog before he’s about to do something bad. That’s another thing that your dog associates with the shock.

If you’re already sold on the idea to buy one, which one would you choose? To make choosing a lot easier, we’ve provided a list of the best dog training collars you can find in the market.

Top Picks

You can also use the buying guide we’ve made below to help you make your decision.

How to Choose the Best Dog Training Collar

Stimulation Modes (Intensity)

This is probably the most important factor to think about when buying a dog collar. The stimulation mode determines the intensity of the collar. The more the stimulation modes, the more control you have over the intensity.

Usually, there are three main stimulation modes that most collars have: continuous, momentary, and warning. The continuous mode shocks the dog continuously (much like what an invisible dog fence does), the momentary mode sends one short shock, and the warning mode warns the dog by vibrating or ringing before the shock comes.

Others come with more advanced modes. There are some that come with run and point modes so that you can hear what your dog is doing in the walkie-talkie. The stimulation modes you want will really depend on you. Decide on what you think you need.

Collar Size

Of course, you have to take into consideration the collar size. The collar size depends on the neck size of your dog. In order to measure this, let your dog try on a collar and try to fit your two fingers inside. If the two fingers can perfectly fit between the neck and the collar, then it’s the right size.

After that, measure the size and use it as a basis when you buy your shock collar. Take note that this factor determines whether your dog is comfortable or not. This is why you have to measure accordingly.

Distance Range

The range will determine how far you can reach your dog with your device. The usual range of most training collars is ½ up to 1 mile. However, this really depends on how far you allow your dog to roam without you monitoring it. We recommend that you just stick to the standard.

Comfort

Aside from size, the material of the collar also plays a very important role in comfort. Most shock collars are made of nylon, but there are also some that are made of leather. While nylon is usually the first choice for most dog owners, not all dogs like nylon collars on them. If that’s the case, you can take the leather ones instead.

Price and Brand

The last thing that you have to think about is the price and the brand. Since this device might “hurt” your dog a little bit, you want to make sure that your dog isn’t too shocked by the collar. The cheaper ones might hurt your dog too much or might not have that many levels of control.

This is why we always recommend that you buy products from well-known brands of shock collars so that you can be assured of your dog’s safety. After all, you’re doing this to discipline your dog and not to hurt him. Therefore, you have to make sure you buy the brand that is high quality and safe.

Fortunately, all of the brands that we have below are all tried, tested, and trusted by existing dog owners. We suggest you choose one from the list below.

10 Best Dog Shock Collars in 2019

SportDOG Brand FieldTrainer 425

sportdog brand fieldtrainer 425

A Wide Range Collar with a Ton of Features

This is one of the best hunting dog training collars in this list as it sports a 500-yard range and is able to fit dogs that are 8 pounds or bigger. It has 7 levels of intensity that allow you to control the stimulation you give your dog. It is controlled by a remote control and a receiver.

Lastly, it’s also waterproof because of the DryTek technology.

What We Like:
  • Comes with a 500-yard range
  • Fits neck sizes of up to 22 inches
  • Features 7 levels of stimulation
  • Waterproof and able to submerge up to 25 feet deep
  • Weatherproof
What We Don’t Like:
  • The battery doesn’t last that long before the next recharge

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Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar

educator e-collar remote dog training collar

An Effective Training Collar with 100 Stimulation Levels

This is probably the best training collar for small dogs you can find. It has a very low level of stimulation which is good for sensitive dogs and puppies. It’s tested, trusted, and widely loved by dog lovers.

What We Like:
  • A range of ½ miles
  • Can fit dogs weighing 5 pounds and above
  • Features a stopwatch transmitter
  • Provides a vibration type stimulation
  • Only requires 2 hours of charging to last it the whole day
What We Don’t Like:
  • The batteries have a short shelf life of only 6 to 9 months before needing replacement

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Dogtra 1900S 3/4 Mile Range 1 Dog Training Collar System

dogtra 1900s 3 4 mile range 1 dog training collar system

A Reliable and Fully Waterproof Option

This is one of the most comfortable dog training collars in the market. It’s made of mostly polyester and a bit of nylon to give it a rather soft texture which is comfortable on your dog’s skin. It has a very accurate stimulation of 0 up to 127 and has three main modes.

Additionally, it is designed to be fully waterproof, thus making it ideal for dogs who love swimming.

What We Like:
  • Features a very precise stimulation
  • It can fit dogs up to 35 pounds
  • Waterproof construction
  • Made of a very soft fabric
What We Don’t Like:
  • Not as durable as the other brands

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Garmin Delta XC Bundle

garmin delta xc bundle

An Affordable Yet Highly Durable Training Collar

The Garmin Delta XC sports 18 different levels of stimulation, all of different intensity levels. It offers ½ miles of range and 3 configuration or training styles for various behavior issues. All of these training levels come with their own respective buttons.

What We Like:
  • LCD display monitor
  • Long and short adjustable contact points
  • 3 training style settings
  • High durability
What We Don’t Like:
  • It has a rather short range
  • The battery life isn’t that long before it dies out

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PetSafe Yard & Park Add-A-Dog Collar

petsafe yard park add-a-dog collar

A Budget-Friendly Choice of a Training Collar

PetSafe is one of the more well-known manufacturers of dog collars. They’re in fact very known for making some of the best dog training shock collar models you can ever find. This particular model provides a 400-yard range with 8 adjustable levels and 2 intensity levels. It is also waterproof and allows you to train 3 dogs at one time with just one remote controller.

What We Like:
  • A 400-yard range
  • Comes with rechargeable batteries for the collar and remote
  • Allows you to train three dogs with separate collars
  • Able to fit dogs 8 pounds and heavier
  • Can fit dog necks up to 28 inches
What We Don’t Like:
  • Not very durable

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DT Systems IDT-PLUS Micro Dog Trainer Collar

dt systems idt-plus micro dog trainer collar

Compact and Lightweight Collar for Lightweight Use

This training collar is known for its extremely long range which can reach up to 900 yards. It also has 16 levels of stimulation which includes continuous, momentary, and gentle to mild. It allows you to train up to 3 dogs with just a single remote. It also comes with an auto shut off system for added safety.

What We Like:
  • Allows you to train 3 dogs at once
  • Very lightweight and compact
  • Comes with long-lasting nickel rechargeable batteries
  • 16 levels of stimulation
  • A range of 900 yards
  • Contains a safety auto shutting system
What We Don’t Like:
  • Some parts are not fully waterproof
  • It has transmission problems when training more than one dog

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Petrainer Waterproof and Rechargeable Dog Shock Collar

petrainer waterproof and rechargeable dog shock collar

The Best Value for Your Money

This dog training collar from Petrainer has a total range of 330 yards or 900 feet. This allows you to reach your dog even from a considerable distance. It can be used for various behavioral issues like excessive barking, unruly behavior, and aggression. It comes with 3 modes of training from level 0 to 100.

What We Like:
  • A range of 330 yards
  • Comes with an adjustable TPU collar width
  • Very good customer service
  • Waterproof design
What We Don’t Like:
  • The shock may be inconsistent at times when pressed

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PetTech Remote-Controlled Dog Shock Collar

pettech remote-controlled dog shock collar

The Ultimate Training Collar with a Huge Display

With high-end features, the PetTech dog collar is a favorite among younger dog owners. With a big LCD remote and monitor along with 4 modes of stimulation, it easily allows you to train your dog and correct his behavior. It also comes with an audio warning to warn your dog if a zap is incoming.

What We Like:
  • Audio warning enabled
  • Comes with a blue backlight
  • Has 4 modes of shock
  • A long battery life
What We Don’t Like:
  • The remote has an auto sleep feature

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Dogtra IQ Remote Trainer

dogtra iq remote trainer

A Remote Trainer with a Wide Range

This is another one of the best shock collars for small dogs with a range of 400 yards and features three main vibration modes. With its reduced receiver, it won’t hurt smaller dogs. It also has a quick charge feature that allows a charging time of only 2 hours.

What We Like:
  • Has a stimulation which ranges from 0 to 100
  • Can cover a range of 400 yards
  • Ideal size and design for small dogs
  • Waterproof
  • A battery indicator
What We Don’t Like:
  • The contacts can’t penetrate dogs that are too hairy

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DOG CARE Dog Training Collar

dog care dog training collar

Great Collar That Allows TO Train Up to 9 Dogs at Once

This product is known for its security padlock that locks up the remote if you’re not using it. This prevents you from accidentally pressing the button and shocking your dog. It also has 9 transmission channels which allow you to train 9 dogs all at the same time.

What We Like:
  • Has 3 modes of training
  • Security keypad prevents accidental shocks
  • Allows you to train 9 dogs at the same time
  • Adjustable to accommodate dogs of all sizes
What We Don’t Like:
  • It has a limited range of only 330 yards

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Benefits of Using Dog Training Collars

While dog training collars should be used wisely and sparingly, there are a few benefits that you can get from them. Of course, you have to know how to use it properly though. Even the best dog training shock collar won’t give you benefits unless it’s used the right way. In any case, here are a few benefits that you might want to know of if you’re a first timer:

They Curb Aggression

This is especially true for newly rescued dogs. Most rescued dogs have very aggressive tendencies because of the harsh treatment they received in the past. Due to this, some dogs tend to pick fights with people or even other animals like cats or dogs.

Combined with a lot of TLC, a shock collar can help curb down your dog’s aggressive behavior. The collar lets your dog associate that kind of behavior with the shock. Due to that uncomfortable feeling, your dog will tend to not want to misbehave anymore so that he can avoid feeling the shock stimulation.

They Teach Your Dog to Obey

Dogs that are very playful or have a strong personality tend to disobey their owners a lot. If you ask them to sit, they’ll usually stand up or even run around. For these types of dogs, a vibrating training collar can be useful because it disciplines them.

First, it discourages your dogs from not following your instructions. Second, it sends off some kind of warning signal in the form of a vibration. The vibration warns them that a shock will come if ever they choose to disobey your orders.

They Calm Your Dog Down During Walks

Excited dogs often run around or go crazy during walks. This can actually be prevented by using a shock collar. The shock collar would calm your dog so that you two can continue having a peaceful walk. At the same time, you can control his behavior.

They Allow You to Train More Than One Dog at a Time

If all your dogs have shock collars, you can train all of them at the same time. If dog A is misbehaving, train him with a small shock. If dog B misbehaves at the same time, you’ve got another remote to control his collar too.

They Allow You to Monitor Your Dog from a Distance

One of the best benefits of having the best remote dog training collar is that you can monitor your dog from a distance. Most shock collars have built-in microphones that allow you to hear what your dog is doing. Hence, if your dog is eating plants while you’re in the house, you’ll somehow get an idea of what he’s doing.

FAQs

Q: Are training collars safe? Will they hurt your dog?

A: Generally, dog collars are very safe since they don’t really hurt your dog by any means. What they do is give your dog a slightly uncomfortable stimulation. This is done so that your dog associates misbehavior with that uncomfortable feeling.

Also, the best shock collar brands are known to have control settings that allow you to control the mode and intensity of the shock. As long as you keep the shock to a minimum, then you don’t have to worry about hurting your dog.

However, just to be safe, we don’t recommend that you buy shock collars that come from unknown brands. If you want to be assured of quality, get the known ones like the ones we’ve mentioned in our list.

Q: How long should I train my dog using training collar?

A: This is an age-old question that a lot of beginners ask whenever they want to know how long they should use a dog collar. Most pet owners would use the dog collar for a total of 20 minutes a day so that they won’t stress out their dog. You can split the 20 minutes into two sessions. The first session would be 10 minutes while the second session is 10 minutes as well.

However, during the first few sessions, you might want to allocate 20 minutes so that you can get used to using the collar. The next few minutes can be used for your dog training.

Q: How do I know what stimulation level to use?

A: The stimulation level refers to the intensity level of the shock used. In order to test which stimulation level is best for your dog, test it on yourself first. Put the collar on yourself and test out which one stings a bit. Take note that your dog is much more sensitive than you are, so if you put a level 4 setting, your dog might feel a level 8.

After that, try it out on your dog. Test it out on the lowest level first and see which one fits your dog. The idea is to sting just a little bit. You should just spook your dog a bit and not hurt him. Once you find that level, just stick to it.

Q: How old should my dog be before using a training collar?

A: As a rule of thumb, don’t use a shock collar on a puppy that’s less than 10 weeks old as much as possible. It’s quite possible to actually traumatize the puppy by exposing it to such a shock at a very young age. Hence, it’s better that you wait for your puppy to reach 10 weeks old before using a shock collar.

However, you might want to try positive reinforcement first. Try to discipline him by using a dog leash and some snacks. If they work, you won’t need to use bark collars or shock collars anymore.

Q: How long can my dog wear a training collar?

A: You might be tempted to leave the training collar on your dog for a long time during the day so that you can monitor him wherever he goes. However, you may also want to consider taking it out after 12 hours.

If your dog associates the collar with something bad, then he obviously won’t like the collar around its neck. In order to prevent upsetting your dog, you shouldn’t leave it there for more than 12 hours. You may also want to spread out the time you’ll be leaving the shock collar there so you won’t upset your dog too much.

Conclusion

Your dog might get a little spooked out by the shock collar; however, a little bit of discomfort is necessary to discipline him if he’s exhibiting any unruly behavior. Don’t think of using the shock collar as a form of punishment; instead, use it is a form of reinforcement.

That said, it’s very important that you buy the best dog training collar with the highest quality features available. At least with those features, you can control how much discomfort or shock you give. You don’t want to scare your dog too much now, would you?