Best Shock Collar

Best Shock Collar For Dogs 2017 – The Ultimate Guide

Training my male Labrador Retriever, Bailey, was a task in itself. I tried every trick under the sun from reward training to verbal praise, but with some behaviors he just wouldn’t listen. This is when I started to look into finding the best shock collar for dogs because I had heard of how useful they were.

With the help of the right shock collar, I taught him how to do a variety of different tricks and it was much simpler than with the use of treats.​

More...

In a hurry? Check out our top pick: PetSafe Yard & Park Rechargeable Dog Training Collar

PetSafe Yard & Park Trainer

Via Amazon.com

Top 5 Remote Shock Collars for Training

PetSafe Yard & Park Trainer
Petronics Dog Training Collar
 Petrainer PET998DBB
PetTech Remote Controlled Dog Training Collar
Dogwidgets DW-3 Rechargeable Electronic E-Collar

Waterproof

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Rechargeable

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Range

400 yards

330 yards

330 yards

400 yards

200 yards

All Size Dog

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Min Weight

8 lbs

10 - 100 lbs

15 lbs

10 lbs

15 -100 lbs

Neck Size

0 - 28 inches

14 - 23 inches

0 - 25 inches

12 - 20 inches

12 - 20 inches

Our Rating

92
/100
90
/100
90
/100
91
/100
87
/100
PetSafe Yard & Park Trainer

Via Amazon.com

Perfect for training your dog to be more obedient in public, the PetSafe Yard & Park Dog Training Collar offers up to 400 yards worth of range, making it simple to connect the receiver to the transmitter at far distances. With a waterproof collar and rechargeable batteries, you’ll enjoy the convenience and strength of the unit.

There are 8 adjustable levels which include static stimulation and tones to help correct behavior and teach certain commands. Recommended for dogs over 8 pounds and neck sizes up to 28”, it’s a versatile shock collar.

Things We Liked

  • check
    400-yard range
  • check
    8 adjustable levels
  • check
    Waterproof
  • check
    Rechargeable batteries included
  • check
    Sync up to 3 collars with a single receiver

Things We Didn't Like

  • ban
    Without a proper charge the collar has difficulty contacting the transmitter
  • ban
    Not recommended for training sessions over 2 hours
Petronics Dog Training Collar

Via Amazon.com

Designed for dogs of all sizes, the Petronics Rechargeable Electronic Training Collar is an essential component to help your dog obey your verbal commands.

It can be used to help eliminate barking and aggression, as well as assist your dogs with walking, sitting, leash training, and other types of behavioral obedience.

With up to 330 yards of remote range and 4 functional modes (vibration, light, beep, and shock), you’ll easily be able to encourage your pet to behave well.

Things We Liked

  • check
    Corrects walking, sitting, aggression, and other behavioral obedience issues
  • check
    3000 different identity codes to prevent signal conflict
  • check
    Adjustable from 14 to 23 inches
  • check
    Useful for dogs between 10 and 100 pounds
  • check
    330-yard remote range
  • check
    4 functional modes: beep, light, vibration, and static shock
  • check
    100 levels of vibration and static shock

Things We Didn't Like

  • ban
    Not recommended for extended wear
  • ban
    Consistent use could result in loss of battery charging capabilities
  • ban
    Water-resistant (not waterproof)
Petrainer PET998DBB

Via Amazon.com

The Petrainer Rechargeable Dog Shock Collar is an all-inclusive training tool recommended for pets of all sizes and breeds. With the ability to adjust the collar up to 25 inches, it will comfortably fit around the neck of your dog.

You’ll also love the fact that the receiver can transmit a signal up to 330 yards, giving you the ability to easily train your on your property or in public. With up to 100 customization levels for static stimulation and vibration, you can choose the perfect strength to motivate your dog to obey commands without pain.

Things We Liked

  • check
    Can be used to correct leash training, aggression, barking, and other behavioral concerns
  • check
    0-100 levels of customization
  • check
    Offers both static stimulation and vibration
  • check
    Range of 330 yards
  • check
    Two receiver collars included
  • check
    100% waterproof
  • check
    Rechargeable transmitter and receiver
  • check
    Adjustable collar from 0 to 25 inches

Things We Didn't Like

  • ban
    Should be used by dog owners with training experience
  • ban
    Array of shock levels can make it difficult to find the right stimulation for your pet
PetTech Remote Controlled Dog Training Collar

Via Amazon.com

The PetTech Remote Controlled Dog Training Collar is a recommended tool by professional and first-time dog trainers alike.

You can use the collar and transmitter to help correct sitting, aggression, walking, barking, and more. This package includes a LCD remote with 4 different modes and up to 100 levels of shock customization.

You can also take advantage of the LCD blue backlit screen for training during the day and at night. With an incredible long-lasting battery and waterproof technology, it’s a great training tool to have on hand.

Things We Liked

  • check
    Lifetime replacement guarantee
  • check
    LCD blue backlit design
  • check
    1-100 level customization
  • check
    Offers static stimulation and vibration
  • check
    Lithium-ion battery for long lasting life
  • check
    4 different training modes
  • check
    Waterproof design
  • check
    Rechargeable batteries included
  • check
    400 yards of range

Things We Didn't Like

  • ban
    To avoid skin damage, owners must reposition the collar ever 1 to 2 hours
  • ban
    12+ hours of wear could lead to signs of a rash
Dogwidgets DW-3 Rechargeable Electronic E-Collar

Via Amazon.com

If you’re looking for a useful training device to help eliminate bad behavior with your dog, the Dogwidgets Rechargeable Electronic E-Collar offers the right amount of features you’ll need for basic training.

The unit is designed with a strong vibration as well as a shock feature.

There are only 7 buttons in total on the remote for ease of use. This device is recommended for dogs from 15 to 100 pounds and up to 20” in neck size.

Things We Liked

  • check
    Includes vibration and shock features
  • check
    User-friendly remote control with 7 buttons
  • check
    All dogs from 15 to 100 pounds
  • check
    Adjustable collar from 12 to 20 inches
  • check
    Rechargeable batteries included
  • check
    200-yard range
  • check
    6 different types of shocks
  • check
    1 level of vibration

Things We Didn't Like

  • ban
    Offers a mild shock level, which may not be preferable for larger dogs
  • ban
    Over the years, buttons may show signs of wear
  • ban
    Water-resistant (not waterproof)

What is a Shock Collar?

A shock collar is commonly used to describe a range of training collars that are designed to deliver short electric shocks to the neck of a dog. These shocks will vary in intensity and duration depending on what they’re set at.

There are some shock collars that have tones or a vibrational setting along with the shock, whereas other more advanced models have GPS to help locate your pet or alerts to let you know where your pet is.​

The Different Types of Shock Collars

Dog With Shock Collar

There are many different types of shock collars and they’re all useful for different purposes, though some are more useful than others depending on the intelligence and personality of your pet.

Electric Stimulation

In order to enable corrective behaviors, a traditional shock collar will deliver a varying intensity of electric stimulation to the neck of a dog, but it’s important to note that the sensation is not painful. The device uses gentle electric stimulation through probes that will touch the neck of your pet.

Vibration Collars

Instead of choosing electric shock, vibration collars are also available though they are commonly used to teach dogs to stop barking rather than to teach them to obey other commands. With vibration collars, the device will vibrate once it computes that your dog is barking.

Citronella Spray Collars

In these units there is a small reserve of citronella liquid that will spray around the face of your dog when it is activated. The mist, and the unpleasant smell, will surprise your dog and deter them from acting on inappropriate behavior.

Ultrasonic Collars

If you prefer to not use any type of physical stimulation, ultrasonic collars are another choice. These units will emit a high-frequency sound that only your dog will be able to hear (think dog whistles). The high-pitched sound will be uncomfortable and it should prevent them from continuing to bark.

How Do Dog Shock Collars Work?

How Do Shock Collar Work

It’s important to remember that every dog is different, and that’s why there are such a large amount of anti-bark/static correction/shock collars on the market today. You wouldn’t want to use the same type of corrective stimulation on a smaller breed than you would on a bigger breed, and so you’ll need to customize your chosen device to your pet.

The psychology behind how shock collars work is relatively simple and known as positive punishment. It’s easily compared to if a child were acting up and their parent yelled at them to correct their behavior.

  • Delivering a Shock
    Shock collars will typically have electrodes that make contact with the skin of your dog’s neck and shock them when they’re activated.
  • Setting Custom Intensities
    Depending on the size of your dog, you’ll have the ability to set both the intensity and the duration of the electric stimulation.
  • Uncomfortable Sensations
    The main premise behind a shock collar is to make your dog feel uncomfortable – not in pain. When they are enacting in a certain behavior and they are shocked, they’ll begin to associate that behavior with the sensation. Over time, they’ll stop doing bad things because they won’t want to feel uncomfortable.

The Benefits of Using Shock Collars for Training

Shock collars are an incredibly useful training device but I preferred to save them as a last resort for my male Labrador Retriever Bailey. It’s advised that you first try to train your pet with their favorite treats. You will have to be patient, as training doesn’t typically happen overnight. In the event that your dog still isn’t obeying your commands and reward-based methods are useless, try a training collar.

Below are three things to look out for to help you figure out if it might be time to opt for a shock collar instead of reward-based training.

1. Distant Bad Behavior

Bad Dog's Behavior

It’s easy to eliminate negative behaviors when your dog is close, but in the event that they’re far away it can be relatively impossible. With the help of a shock collar you will be able to inspect your dog’s behavior and if you find that they’re acting out too far away for them to be within your reach, you can use the training tool to stop the bad behavior.

2. Dealing with Behavior Your Dog Sees As Fun

There are dozens of things your dog might do that you find to be bad behavior, but they might find to be rewarding or fun. This could include jumping up onto the counter, barking at every passerby, or even chasing the neighbor’s cat. Using a shock collar to teach your pet that bad behavior isn’t fun is the perfect solution to breaking offensive behavior.

3. Dealing with Surprise Behavior

Dog Have Surprise Behavior

It’s nearly impossible to predict your dog’s behavior, especially as they can act on something in a split second. Surprise behavior can negatively impact your dog’s training, and with the help of a shock collar you can easily correct bad behavior quickly. As an example, if you’re outside and your dog decides to bolt, having a shock collar will allow you to get their attention and stop them from running almost immediately. These units give you the ability to always be ready for any surprises.

How to Use a Shock Collar Properly

When it comes to training your dog, there are many tricks that you can use to your advantage, such as relying on a shock collar. Although the collar is useful and can be great for dealing with inappropriate behavior, it is important to know how to use shock collars properly. Improper use could lead to further aggressive behavior or you may injure your dog.

How Tight Should a Dog Collar Be?

The first thing to take into consideration is how tight the collar should be. When I was learning how to fit a collar on my male Labrador Retriever Bailey, I followed these step-by-step instructions.

  • Finding an Adjustable Collar
    The first step is to ensure that you purchase an adjustable collar. Not only does it allow you to customize the length based on the current size of your dog, but an adjustable collar also gives you the ability to use the same one as your dog grows.
  • Placing the Collar
    Next, you have to gently wrap the collar around the neck of your dog and buckle it. During this step, you don't have to worry about adjusting the collar.
  • Using the “Two Finger Rule”
    While adjusting the collar, you should place two fingers between the strap and your dog’s neck to achieve the right tightness. Otherwise, it could be too loose or too tight. If a collar is too loose, your dog can easily wriggle out while on a walk and if it’s too tight; it could severely damage its throat.

Reinforcing Previously Learned Behavior

A shock collar is an essential training tool for reinforcing behaviors that your dog has already learned. It is advised that you rely on the collar as a secondary measure to reward-based training.

First, you should establish certain commands, such as “Come,” “Stay,” or “Sit” with the help of treats or verbal praise. Once you’re sure that your dog understands your chosen commands, you can then opt to use the collar.

  • Wearing the Collar
    The first step is to put the shock collar on your dog. Depending on your personal preference, you can choose a style that has different levels of stimulation or that vibrates instead of shocks. You should make sure that you know how to use the transmitter correctly.
  • Using Verbal Commands
    During this step, verbally say the command you want your dog to obey. If your dog doesn't respond, you simply press the button on the transmitter that produces the training stimuli (shock, vibration, etc.).
    Remember, your main goal is to get the attention of your pet without hurting the dog. You’ll want to establish a connection between your voice and the stimulation, so your dog will naturally be inclined to listen to you and respond quickly.

  • Giving Rewards
    Once you’ve begun to notice that your dog responds faster at the sound of your voice, you can reward it with a treat or a pat on the head. This helps to further reinforce the positive behavior.

Controlling Inappropriate Behavior

Dog Pop Out

Another reason as to why pet owners consider using a shock collar is because the shock collar helps to eliminate inappropriate behavior all together. It’s important to remember that although dogs are intelligent, they can’t understand verbal commands as quickly as humans. Meaning, they are typically genetically prone to be rambunctious and “act out.”

The main note about using a shock collar to curb inappropriate behavior is to help your dog associate its actions with the uncomfortable sensations from the shock collar. It’s best if your dog doesn’t know that you’re around, as you do not want to associate your presence with the uncomfortable sensation. You could always watch them through a window inside of your home.

  • Watch for Inappropriate Behavior
    This is the time when you have to be an incredibly attentive pet owner and begin watching your dog for inappropriate behavior, whether it’s digging, barking, or chasing cars. If you see a behavior that you don’t appreciate, simply press the transmitter button using the lowest effective level of stimulation. 
  • Avoiding Verbal Commands
    It’s unlikely your dog will stop their nuisance behavior immediately, and it can be tempting to reprimand the dog for its actions verbally, but that will only set your progress back. Refrain from making eye contact with your dog, yelling, or jeering at them if they’re doing something bad. You should only rely on the transmitter button.
  • Continue to Train
    You should spend some time using the shock collar for stopping bad behavior, especially if it’s in the personality of your pet. Over time your dog will learn that certain actions will lead to an unpleasant stimulation, even if you’re not watching them. This association is what will help to permanently get rid of potentially harmful actions.

How to Clean a Dog Collar

Much like it’s important to make sure your clothing is clean, it’s important that you regularly clean your dog’s collar. It’s easy enough that even children can do it, and the quick steps are below.

What You Will Need:

  • Collar
  • Cloth or Paper Towels
  • Toothbrush
  • Mild Cleaning Detergent (Liquid Dish Soap)
  • Step 1: Inspecting the Device
    Before you can start cleaning, it’s important that you do a thorough inspection of the shock collar to make sure it doesn’t have any signs of physical damage. If there is damage, water could make its way into the electronics and ruin the entire unit. It’s also important that you check all of the screws on the back of the receiving component to ensure they’re all tight. 

    As the final step for preparing the shock collar to be washed, make sure that both the transmitter and receiver are powered off.​

  • Step 2: Separate the Collar from the Receiver
    The next step is easy, as you’ll want to separate the collar from the receiver to get the deepest clean. This also helps to make it simpler to get to dirt that could be hidden.
  • Step 3: Cleaning the Receiver and Collar
    Next, you can run both pieces under water to help loosen any debris. While rinsing, add the mild detergent to the toothbrush and start scrubbing away at caked on dirt and grime.

    With regular cleaning, debris should be easy to remove with the toothbrush and soap. Make sure that you pay special attention to all of the cracks and crevices.

  • Step 4: Wiping the Units Dry
    Using a dry cloth or paper towel, gently wipe both the receiver and the transmitter down to ensure there isn’t any unwanted debris or detergent.
  • Step 5: Double-Check Contacts
    Another important part of cleaning your dog’s shock collar is to make sure that the contacts are clean. These are the small components that branch out from the collar and gently press on the skin of your dog’s neck. They’re responsible for delivering the stimuli to your pet, and so it’s important that they are washed and dried.

How to Choose a Shock Collar?

Here are some important tips to take into consideration when you begin searching for the perfect shock collar.

1. Range

As your shock collar is useful for eliminating bad behavior at a distance, ensure that you find a device that communicates over 1 mile away. Now remember, these figures mean 1 mile of flat uninterrupted land. The more hills and trees there are, the shorter the range becomes.

2. Stimulation Levels

Above all else, make sure that your chosen shock collar offers different levels of stimulation. I prefer to have at least six different levels, ranging from the dog being unable to feel any shock to the dog getting the uncomfortable sensation required to stop bad behavior.

3. Weight and Size Restrictions

All shock collars are designed to accommodate varying pet weights. This is because certain levels of shock can be painful for dogs of certain sizes. As an example, you wouldn’t want to put a shock collar for a German Shepherd on a Chihuahua, otherwise the shock would be far too intense. Ensure that you read all labels before purchasing to choose the right collar for the weight and size of your dog.

4. Adjustable Design

Much like their weight, it’s important to remember that every dog has a different neck size. Creating a shock collar that is one-size-fits-all would be impossible. This is why it’s important to consider finding a design that is not only comfortable, but adjustable as well. With adjustable shock collars you will have the ability to loosen or tighten the collar so it can sit comfortably on your dog’s neck. It’s also beneficial because as your pet grows you can simply adjust the strap and continue using the same device instead of having to purchase a brand new collar.

5. Waterproof

It’s impossible to predict when your dog is going to get into water, I noticed with my male Labrador Retriever Bailey, he loved to jump in puddles whenever he could and cool off in water after going for a run. Make sure that your device is submersible if you intend on using it outside.

Dog Collar Sizing Chart

Collar Size

Dog Weight

Dog's  Neck

Leash Width

Typical Breeds

XX Small

Up to 5 lbs

6 - 8 inches

5/16 inches

Teacup Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua

X Small

5 - 10 lbs

8 - 12 inches

3/8 inches

Toy Poodle, Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terrier, Dachshund (miniature), Maltese

Small

10 - 25 lbs

10 -14 inches

5/8 inches

Miniature Schnauzer, Scottish Terrier, Cavalier King Charles, Pekingese, Pug

Medium

Up to 55 lbs

14 - 20 inches

3/4 inches

Beagle, Boston Terrier, French Bulldog, Border Collie, English Bulldog

Large

Up to 75 lbs

16 - 26 inches

1 inches

Labrador Retriever, Boxer, Golden Retriever, Dalmatian, Weimaraner

X Large

75+ lbs

24 - 30 inches

1.5 inches

Mountain Dog, Rottweiler, Mastiff, Great Dane, Saint Bernard

(Source: PetSmart.com)

Frequently Asked Questions About Shock Collars

  • Are Shock Collars Safe?
    As long as you purchase a shock collar from a reputable manufacturer your shock collar will not hurt your dog. A common misconception about these training tools is that they will electrocute your pet, when in reality; the shock is simply uncomfortable to them rather than painful. In fact, your dog will probably be surprised by the sensation more than in pain.

    Depending on how well your dog listens, you have the ability to adjust the intensity of the shock and the duration of the shock. The higher you go, the more uncomfortable the sensation will be. It’s important to note that as long as you buy the right shock collar for your dog’s size and breed, even on the highest setting it’s not going to cause permanent damage to your pet.

    With that being said, it is important that you do not use a shock collar on your dog 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not only will it desensitize them to the idea of being shocked for participating in a bad behavior, but consistent use may lead to burning, particularly if the probes are kept in the same place on their neck.​
  • How old do dogs have to be to use shock collars?
    It’s recommended that your pet is at least six months old and has a minimum weight of 7 pounds.
  • How do I find the right shock collar for my dog’s breed?
    Typically when you shop around for shock collars, the packaging will explain the recommended pet weight and breed.
  • Should I keep my shock collar on my dog after it’s trained?
    Remember, shock collars are a great training tool but they should not be used once training has been accomplished. Depending on the behavior of your dog, if the bad behaviors recur, you can continue to use the collar.
  • Can I use a shock collar with a leash?
    It’s recommended to buy a separate collar to hook to a leash, especially if your dog has the tendency to pull on its lead.

Conclusion

Choosing the right dog collar for your pet can be intimidating, as you’ll want to make sure to choose the perfect model the first time. When I realized that a shock collar was the best choice for our family, I looked through a variety of different collars on the market. I found that the Petrainer Rechargeable Dog Shock Collar was the best option for Bailey, my male Labrador Retriever.

Not only was it the most comfortable for around his neck, but it also gave me the perfect range for training both in my backyard and out in public. Also its waterproof design and adjustable collar were essential for helping to assert positive behaviors even as he began to get older. With the help of the customizable shock and vibration settings, it was the perfect training tool.

Understanding the importance of dog shock collars, knowing how to use them properly, and finding the right one are the keys to successfully training your pet.

About the Author Emma Engel

I’m Emma, the founder and editor-in-chief at HelloCutePup. I’ve created this blog to not only help guide you through your own pet parenting struggles but to also help you establish a stronger bond with your pet than ever before. Happy reading, and above all, remember to have fun!

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: