Your dog can be your best friend but that doesn’t stop them misbehaving every now and again, especially if you are trying to teach them obedience. If you want to get your dog learning tricks but fear it will be too difficult or they will not listen to you, the best dog shock collars can be used. Although slightly controversial because you will be delivering a form of electricity to the body of your pet, a dog shock collar can be a great tool to help train your dog when in the right hands. However, it can be difficult to know which dog shock collar is best, what you should be looking for in a shock collar and whether they are actually going to be safe for your canine.
Below, we have put together a buying guide so you can take a look at dog shock collars and decide if they are right for you and your dog.
What is a dog shock collar?
A shock collar, also known as an electric collar, is pretty similar to a standard collar worn around the neck of your dog but deliver a static shock correction when your dog misbehaves, providing behavior modification therapy for problematic canines. A dog shock collar has many uses, such as pet containment, anti-barking, dog training and canine safety. They are also often used within obedience and agility training to help the dog learn new tricks.
If you have a large property or worry about your dog wandering off, you can use a shock collar to keep them behind your property line. They are often used together with an invisible or electronic fence system, delivering a stimulus to dogs as they get near to the no-go zone. This makes it easier for you as you don’t need a fence around your property to keep your dog in.
Nip It In The Bud
Some shock collars deliver a correction every time your dog barks and can be programmed to recognize the sound of your dog’s bark and distinguish it from other dog’s bark. If your dog continues to bark, the collar delivers longer, more powerful shocks until your dog stops or until it reaches the time limit that can be set by you.
As we mentioned above, dog shock collars can be used with obedience and agility training, especially when the dog is off the leash and is being commanded by you. It can also be used by pet owners to help with the dog’s aggression towards other dogs or food aggression. You must be aware though that a shock collar does not correct the underlying reason for the aggressive behavior, it just stops it within that instant.
Many hunters also use dog shock collars to train their dogs to avoid dangerous objects and animals so they can stay safe. For example, dogs can be trained to avoid rattlesnakes by knowing the sound of a rattlesnake. In training, a rattlesnake will be caged and when the dog gets close to it, the collar will deliver a shock. Then, in the wild, if the dog hears a rattlesnake it will associate the sound with the shock from the collar and know not to go near it.
How does a dog shock collar work?
We have talked above about what dog shock collars can be used for and what they are, but how to they actually work?
Dog shock collars deliver an electrical stimulus to the body of your dog, startling them and stopping them from doing whatever they are doing. Depending on the type of collar, the unit will deliver various types of stimulation such as visual, auditory, vibration and static electricity. They can be programmed to activate automatically, for example you can set the collar to recognize the sound of your dog’s bark and the collar with activate when they bark.
Shock collars often combine an electric unit on the collar and a handheld remote control so you can activate the shock collar, especially in situations such as training if your dog gets distracted by another dog or an object so they can refocus.
However, a dog shock collar can deliver other forms of stimulus aside from a static shock, such as light, tone and vibration. It still works the same — if your dog misbehaves, you can activate a stimulus to get them back on the right track. It should be noted that an electric shock should be the last resort after trying the light, tone and vibration methods or if they have stopped working, as often these are enough to control your dog and make them understand they are doing something wrong.
You should also remember that the shock collar should only be used to attract your dog’s attention, not to punish them. When your dog starts behaving again, you can reduce the intensity level of the collar or you can stop it entirely. The dog shock collars can be adjusted to the size and weight of your dog to ensure it is at the right level, and a training session should be no longer than 10 to 15 minutes so your dog can remain focused, hopefully without much use of the collar.
What are the different types of dog shock collars?
There are three main types of dog shock collars on the market today — training collars, anti-bark collars and invisible fence collars.
Dog training collars are primarily used in the obedience training of dogs and deliver a stimulation to dogs to make them understand that their behavior is wrong and helps to correct their actions.
Training is something most owners do when they get a dog, but it can be very time consuming and take a few weeks and even months for your dog to understand what you want them to do. Hiring a professional trainer can be beneficial as they will know how to handle your dog and perhaps be able to train them quicker, but they can be expensive. Ordinary dog owners themselves are very busy and can find it difficult to find time to train their dog, especially when they are taking them for walks and playing with them.
Because of this, a dog shock collar can be really great for new dog owners trying to train their dog. It can substantially reduce the amount of time it takes to see results from your pet and this is why it can be so beneficial. Dog shock collars can work when they are off the leash with the range generally being around 1000 feet to 500 yards, although it’s not uncommon to see dog shock collars that have a larger range. This is great because it means you can deliver your dog with corrections via a remote control, even when you are far away from them.
Anti-bark collars are collars used to control your dog’s nuisance barking. They work by recognizing the sound of your dog’s bark and activating when heard. They also distinguish against your dog’s bark and the bark of any dog near-by, so your dog won’t be unnecessarily shocked. However, it is important to remember that barking is a natural way for your dog to communicate and you should refrain from using a shock collar for their barking.
Invisible Fence Collars
Invisible fence collars can be considered a type of training collar, as your dog is being trained to stay within a certain perimeter on your property. If your dog goes close to the fence, the collar will beep. If they choose to ignore the beef and go closer, it will vibrate, and if your hound chooses to ignore this, then the shock will be applied.
Unfortunately, invisible fence collars can be quite expensive because you need to have the wires of the invisible fence placed under the ground. There are models that don’t require any digging, however these are still more expensive than a regular dog shock collar.
What should I look for in a dog shock collar?
There are a few things to consider when buying a shock collar to ensure you get the best dog shock collar and the one that is right for you and your pooch.
Multiple signalling modes
In addition to the shock mechanism, many dog collars include two or three more signalling modes. These can include light, tone and vibration. It is good to look for a dog collar with more than one mode, as the idea is to always start with training methods that are the least threatening to your dog, such as attracting their attention with a light. If this doesn’t work, you can then move on to another mode, with the shock mode being the last resort if they will not pay attention to any of the other modes.
Levels of Stimulation
With the advanced shock collars today, one of the most impressive features is the ability customize the amount of stimulation that the collar gives to your dog. These devices can have over 100 different levels of stimulation, giving you lots of opportunity to work with your dog before you ever have to reach the highest level of shock.
Maximum Effect Range
The distance that you can be from your dog and their collar with a handheld control is important, depending on how much you are going to use the collar and in what circumstances. A good range is great if you are trying to teach your dog to come to you when you call their name. Dog shock collars normally range from 500 feet to 1000 yards away, although you can get collars that have a bigger range. If you are planning on using the collar when you go hiking, then a range of something like a mile might be useful. However, if you just plan on using the collar in your yard, a smaller range will be fine.
You may want to look for a collar that is fully weatherproofed. Most dogs don’t mind going out in all kinds of weather, so if you’re spending a lot of money on a collar you’ll want to make sure that it will survive any kind of weather and not break as soon as it rains.
A user-friendly shock collar is essential for any owner who has not used one before. Your shock collar should come with a clear instruction manual and the collar itself should have clear labels and buttons so you can adjust the intensity of the shocks easily to be sure you are not hurting your dog.
Level of Comfort
It is vital to choose a collar that is adjustable, so your pooch is comfortable while wearing the collar. If you have more than one dog and one breed is big and the other breed is small, if the collar is not adjustable then it isn’t going to fit them properly. You should also be careful of the material and make sure it does not rub your dog’s neck in a painful way.
It has been said that the more expensive the collar is, the safer the shocks are. However, this cannot be proven to be true. You can buy a collar at $25 or a collar at $300 — either way, you need to make sure that the collar is safe and is right for your dog, can easily be adjusted to change the intensity of the shocks and will not hurt them.
If you’re ready to find the best dog shock collar for you and your hound, take a look at the best shock collars we recommend below, all available to you on Amazon.
The Best Dog Shock Collars
This training collar by DOG CARE comes with three different modes — beep, vibration and shock modes — for you to teach a dog basic obedience commands and solve uncontrollable behavioral problems. Because of the three modes, you can use the beep and vibration first to train your dog, working up to the shock mode if the other two do not work. The static level is also adjustable if you do have to resort to the static mode, raining from 0-99 so you can change is depending on your dog’s size.
With a wireless control that works from up to 330 yards away, you don’t need to be standing right next to your dog when using this collar. There is also a security keypad lock on the remote to prevent any misoperation, so you do not have to worry about accidentally giving your dog a shock while you are carrying the remote around when they do not deserve it. The remote control also supports a maximum of nine collars, so you can train up to nine dogs at once with one remote. This is perfect if you have more than two dogs in the house. The dog collar is adjustable and also has a long battery life.
This collar from PATPET is great for dogs of all sizes and breeds. The adjustable collar fitting 0-27” in length has three different modes — a beep mode, a vibration mode and a static shock mode. The vibration mode has eight different levels while the static shock mode has 16 levels, so you can be sure you are customizing the mode to your dog’s size and temperament. These three modes allow you to work up to the static mode, so you can try the beep and vibration mode first.
The remote control that comes with this collar can reach up to 1000 feet, so is perfect for training your dog in the park or teaching them to come back to you when you call their name. With a dual channel, you can train two dogs at once with the same remote too. With a premium ergonomic design, the buttons are easy to see and use so you can help your dog to learn quicker even if you have never used a shock collar before. The battery is rechargeable and it only takes two hours to fully charge before working for 56 days without needing to be charged again.
With three effective modes, the Flittor shock collar for dogs is designed to correct aggression, peeing in the wrong place, sitting at the wrong time, unnecessary barking, and other inappropriate behavior. There is a beep mode, a vibration mode and a standard mode, with both the vibration and standard mode having an adjustable stimulation level of 1-100 so you can customize it based on your dog’s size and breed. It provides up to 2500 feet training distance so you can use the collar in your backyard or at the park, and you don’t have to be right next to your dog, making it perfect for obedience training.
This dog training collar has a clear LCD display that shows the vibration and shock intensities at the same time, as well as three different memory settings so you can train different dogs or different movements without having to reset the control every time. The receiver is 100% water resistant so your dog can get caught in the rain or even have a bath and the collar will still work. It only takes two hours to charge the collar and then it can work for up to fifteen days without needing to be charged again. In this bundle you will receive one receiver collar and one fabric adjustable collar. The remote also has a flashlight that makes your pup visible in the dark.
The Petrainer shock collar offers three types of corrective stimulation modes including shock, vibration and beep for dog disobedience, such as chewing, barking, biting and digging. The collar proves 0-100 levels of intensity for the vibration and shock stimulation so you can adjust the collar to your dog’s needs. The collar is made from nylon and will not irritate your dog’s sensitive skin and the collar is adjustable in size from 14-25 inches and therefore will fit small, medium and large dogs.
Both the transmitter and the collar are not only rechargeable but also waterproof, so you don’t need to worry about training your dog in the rain, and the remote ranges up to 330 yards so you can use it anywhere. There is also a light so you can see your dog when it is dark outside and the remote and collar are very easy to set-up with an easy pairing process. The collar also comes with a memory function, so you do not have to reset the collar every time you use it.
Similar to the DOG CARE training collar mentioned above, this DOG CARE shock collar comes with a security keypad lock to prevent any accidental use of the remote when you are holding it in your hand, ensuring your dog is not shocked when they do not deserve it. With three different modes — beep, vibration and shock modes — you can use the shock mode as a last resort after the beep and vibration modes have proved ineffective. This dog shock collar comes with an adjustable shock level ranging from 0-99 so you can change it depending on the size of your dog to ensure you don’t hurt them.
The collar size is adjustable and the remote can be used from 330 yards away and is therefore perfect for training in the park or in your garden. The remote can control up to nine collars at a time so this device is great if you have more than two dogs in the house, and the long battery life ensures easy and effective dog training. The receiver is also waterproof, so it doesn’t matter if your dog loves the rain or those muddy puddles!
This easy-to-use TBI Pro Professional remote dog training collar has an advanced microprocessor that provides a remote range of up to 2000 feet, making it perfect for training in the park or on the beach and teaching your dog to come to you when called. With a simple design, there is no risk of pressing the wrong button so you can ensure your dog is safe all the time. The collar operates three remote training modes of signal, vibration and shock with 100 adjustable levels so that you can find optimal stimulation for your dog, depending on their size, behavior and ambient noise.
The strap is adjustable and will fit a dog of any size and the collar is 100% waterproof and works well even when immersed in water, so your dog can safely walk in the rain with the collar on. A protective mode further eliminates the possibility of an accidental shock to your dog. The rechargeable battery lasts up to fifteen days without needing to be charged again and can be charged simultaneously with the remote in just two hours.
This waterproof shock collar from PATPET allows you train your dog wherever you are, even if they love jumping in the pool or lake or going out in the rain. With three different modes — beep, vibration and shock — this collar allows you to use the beep and vibration before resorting to the shock mode to ensure you don’t hurt your dog and use the least amount of shock as possible. The intensity level of the shock is adjustable, raining from 1 to 16 based on the size of your dog and their temperament.
The design is easy to use with the three different modes being distinguished by different button shapes, so you do not need to worry about accidentally pressing the wrong button and giving your dog the wrong stimulation. The upgraded receiver features thicker and longer contact points which ensure better contact with dog skin and conduction to stop bad behavior timely, and there is no issue of metallic conductors that could rust or hurt your dog. The remote control and receiver can be charged at the same time using the same charger and work for up to six days after a two hour charge.
This P620 collar by PetSpy is perfect for new dog owners or those looking to train their dogs for the first time. With three different training modes — beep, vibration and electric shock — you can start off with the beep and vibration stimulation and work your way up to the shock mode when the other two have proved ineffective. There are sixteen adjustable levels for dogs of different sizes and weights. The design of the remote control is very easy to use, with distinguishable buttons for the three modes so you don’t risk accidentally pressing the wrong button and giving your dog a shock when you did not mean to.
The remote control works from up to 650 yards away so you can use it in the park, on the beach or in your backyard with no issue, and you can charge both the remote control and the receiver at the same time quickly. Both the receiver and remote are rechargeable and 100% waterproof and help to correct barking, wandering off, aggressive leash pulling, approaching strangers and more. This collar is safe for all breeds and sizes, ranging between the weight of 10 to 140 lbs. Also included is a free dog training guide to help you teach your dog.
The Garmin Delta XC dog shock collar comes with both long and short contact points on the collar, so you can interchange them depending on the size of your dog and the thickness of their fur. With three different modes, tone, vibration and shock, you can adjust the stimulation to the size of your dog, starting with tone and vibration and moving up to shock. There are eighteen different stimulation levels of momentary and continuous stimulation for the shock mode, allowing you to adjust based on your dog’s breed and weight.
There are also three different training configurations built-in to the remote so you can train up to three dogs at a time. The range of the remote is half a mile so the collar can be used in the park or at the beach with no problem, and it is also waterproof. The handheld controller is also easy-to-use with three buttons and an easily readable LCD display, making training your dog a breeze!
This collar by Trulrox is perfect if you are having trouble with your dog’s barking and you are unsure of what to do. The newest upgrade of this collar features the most precise trigger sensor that only activates when your dog barks, so there are no more false triggers when other dogs bark near your dog. In this advanced collar, there are two training modes — beep and vibration, and beep, vibration, static shock, no static shock. The way this collar works is, as a warning signal, the first bark will not trigger the shock mode, just the beep and vibration mode.
If the second bark occurs within 30 seconds of the first bark, it will trigger the shock mode and so on for all the next barks that occur within the 30 seconds. For any barks that occur after the 30 seconds, it will turn back as the first bark mode. There is the option to adjust the sensitivity and intensity of the bark, so you can choose the right mode for your dog’s size. The collar is adjustable to the size of your dog and it is also waterproof, so your dog can wear it out in the rain. The collar is rechargeable and charges in 1-2 hours for about 12 days of regular use.
With two electronic collars, this ieGeek package is perfect if you have two dogs that need to be trained. This electrical collar is designed to correct barking, walking, leash training, sitting, aggression and other behavior obedience issues and comes with three different modes to choose from — beep, vibration and shock. There is an adjustable shock mode so you can change it depending on the size and temperament of your dog, and the dual channel on the remote allows you to control both collars with the same remote. The collar is waterproof and therefore does not need to be taken off when your dog’s are playing in water or out in the rain.
The size of the collar is also adjustable, fitting a neck from 14 inches to 23 inches, and the material is soft and does not dig into your dog’s skin. The remote control can be operated from up to 300m away so is perfect if you like to train your dogs in the park. The collar and remote will not lose signal over obstacles on an agility course, so you can stay training them wherever you are. The remote also has three easily distinguishable buttons so you do not risk pressing the wrong stimulation while the remote is in your pocket. The collar is rechargeable and can last up to 15 days once fully charged.
With four training modes, this dog shock collar from FunniPets allows you to stimulate your pet by not just sound, vibration and shock, but also by light, giving you an extra method of training your dog before you have to resort to giving them an electric shock. The 0-99 level of customization for both the shock and vibration mode ensure this is an effective training tool for different sizes of dogs, so you can choose the most suitable level for your dog to correct barking, walking, leash training, sitting, aggression and other behavioral obedience.
The remote control range of this dog shock collar is up to 2600ft (875 yards) if there is no obstacle nearby or in the way, allowing you to use it in the park or in large open spaces. The receiver is waterproof so it can be used at the beach or in the rain and comes with a 2-in-1 charging cable so the remote and receiver can be charged at the same time. The adjustable collar fits neck sizes from 7.1 to 25.6 inches and there is silicone on the contact points instead of metal, keeping your dog safer and helping to avoid any injury.
With three different modes — tone, vibration and static shock — the Casfuy remote trainer shock collar can help your dog with a number of behavioral issues. Both the vibration and the static shock mode come with adjustable intensities so you can customize the levels to your dog’s size, breed and temperament and the easy-to-use large buttons make this collar much easier to operate, without the risk of you accidentally pressing the wrong button.
The remote has a range of 1000 feet and is therefore perfect for training your dog at the park or in large open spaces, and the remote features a dual channel so you can train two dogs at once. This collar is also waterproof and therefore does not need to be taken off when your dog goes swimming or out in the rain. It also charges very quickly with 2-3 hours and can last up to 20 days before needing to be recharged. The collar is adjustable and fits dogs that weigh anywhere between 15-120 lbs.
The Petronics rechargeable dog shock collar comes with four different modes — light, beep, vibration and static shock — to help you train your dog of any size, with this collar fitting small, medium and large dogs as well as puppies. The remote has a range of 330 yards so you can use it in your backyard, at the park or at the beach, without needing to be right next to your pup. There are also 100 different levels of static shock and vibration to accommodate the widest range of dogs and the device is very easy to use.
You can quickly synchronize the transmitter with the collar receiver so you can get training straight away, making it perfect for those who have never used a shock collar before. Perfect for dogs who bark excessively, run away, have a tendency to bite and pull too hard on their leash, you can also buy this collar in packs of two so you can train more than one dog at a time.
The range of the Ipets PET618 shock collar is up to 880 yards, allowing you to use it virtually anywhere and still get results. With three different modes, standard tone, vibration and static shock, you can use the tone and vibration to train your dog and build up to using the static shock when the others prove ineffective. Both the vibration and the static shock modes have adjustable intensities with eight different levels, so you can customize this based on the size and breed of your dog.
The collar is able to fit small, medium and large dogs and is waterproof so is great for any dog that loves to jump in puddles or go swimming. The easy design of the remote means you can switch easily between modes without accidentally shocking your dog and the battery is rechargeable on both the receiver and the remote, making it very simple to use. The remote can also control up to three dog’s collars at a time.
The SportDOG Brand collar fits dogs 8 pounds or larger with neck sizes 5″ – 22” and features a 1/2 mile range (880 yards), so it can be used wherever you are in training your dog, especially if you are teaching them to come back to you when you call their name. The handheld remote control can be used to train 3 dogs, perfect if you have more than one dog in your household. The collar comes with the three modes of tone, vibration and static, the static mode having seven different levels for you to choose from based on your dog.
The system is waterproof and submersible to 25 feet, allowing it to perform in any weather or terrain. The collar charges in two hours and will operate for up to 50-70 hours per charge, and the whole unit comes with a detailed operating guide and training DVD to help you. The collar is also available in a 1 mile range and 3/4 mile range, depending on when and where you will be using the collar.
Perfect for dogs that are 5lbs or larger, this Mini Educator ET-300TS by E-Collar Dog Trainer comes with a 1/2 mile range so you can use the collar in the park or in your backyard. This shock collar comes with a vibration and tapping sensation and you can set the boost level from 1 to 60 so it is adjustable to the size and breed of your dog. The “lock and set” feature greatly reduces the chances of over stimulation by allowing you to lock in a desired stimulation level.
The collar strap is large and will fit all dogs; it is recommended that you cut down the collar size to fit your dog properly. The transmitter and remote control are waterproof, with the transmitter not only able to float in water but also comes with a lost transmitter beeper in case you misplace it. You can also buy this collar in a pack of two, incase you have more than one dog.
Advantages of Shock Collars
There are four main advantages to shock collars:
Mentioned above, most shock collars have adaptable intensity and are therefore great for those owners who are on the fence about using them or worried they might hurt their dog. You can set the intensity to low to warn your dog of their behavior, without punishing them or hurting them.
Many people who use shock collars notice the quick results they can obtain from a dog. Often the vibration is just enough and you don’t even need to use the static shock effect, because your dog will learn that what they’re doing is not right. A shock collar is there to protect your dog while they are learning or training, so that when they are on their own they will know what to do.
You Don’t Need To Be Present
One of the great things about dog shock collars is the fact that you don’t need to be present for them to work. For example, if the problem is your dog won’t stop barking while you’re out and your neighbors are complaining, the shock collar will continue to work even when you’re not at home. The invisible fence collars also work while you are not there and send a signal any time your dog gets close to the fence, but of course you don’t want to be leaving your dog outside by themselves for long periods of time when you are not home.
Dog shock collars are a reasonable price and always cheaper than going to an expert trainer. This is what makes them so popular, even while they are controversial. The prices can range from $25 to $400 based on different features such as the remote control, flexible shock levels and the range of distance.
Disadvantages of Shock Collars
Alongside the advantages, there are also disadvantages to shock collars.
Although you have a way to control the intensity of the shock given to your dog, it can still be painful for your dog and is not always the optimal way to achieve results. Many puppy trainers like to find other ways to discipline puppies they are teaching to avoid any bad reactions to the shock.
You should never try to train your dog while they are in fear, and often dog shock collars can make your dog fearful. In the worst cases, they can begin to fear people, objects or places associate with the collar and the shock they receive, so you need to be careful of how you use the collar.
If you are not always there when your dog is wearing the collar and you use it for issues such as barking, there can sometimes be problems when the collar makes a mistake and thinks your dog has barked when they have not. This way, they are being punished when they haven’t done anything wrong and this can make them not only scared and confused, but also make the shock collar ineffective.
No Positive Reward
Shock collars don’t give out a positive reward when your dog does something good, doesn’t bark, obeys you or doesn’t jump on guests — it just doesn’t shock them. Because of this, you should always make sure to praise your dog when they are learning. This way they learn that when they do something good they won’t only not get a shock, but they’ll also get a treat.
Dog Shock Collars FAQ’s
Will a dog shock collar hurt my dog?
Electricity, however small, can lead to tissue inflammation and injury. This is one of the reasons dog shock collars can be so controversial, because we cannot actually measure whether a dog gets “hurt” when using a shock collar. Often, injuries are actually under the skin and in the tissues, so we can not see them from the outside.
Many manufacturers recommend only using the static shock as a last resort. There are other modes in many shock collars such as light and sound that can be just as effective at the static shock but you don’t risk causing them any harm. So the bottom line is, yes, then can hurt your dog, although it is difficult to gauge how much and you should always use them with caution.
Are dog shock collars safe?
Continuing from the question above, the obvious answer to this question is “No”. Because we can’t measure and can’t see by how much our dog is hurt by a shock collar, we cannot completely rule it as safe. However, aside from the static shock mode, many other modes in the dog shock collar such as sound and light are not only very effective but also very safe, because they are not passing an electric current through your dog’s body.
Training your dog with a shock collar can be controversial due to the fact you are sending an electric current through your dog’s body, without knowing how much damage it is doing or how your dog is really feeling. However, with so many advanced dog shock collars on the market these days, there are many different modes built into the collar that you can use in training your dog that can be just as effective. Shock collars can be great for obedience training, teaching your dog not to bark and for keeping them in the perimeter of your home, but you must remember to use them within moderation, to ensure your dog stays both happy and healthy.