Best Dog Training Collars

Americans are very big about loving the dog first, so when you tell them that you have to set rules and limitations, a lot of people believe that it’s going to hurt their feelings. They’re actually looking for you to be the pack leader – Cesar Milan 

John Grogan once said that there was no such thing as a bad dog, only bad owners. While that idea is true from a certain point of view, there are elements of a dog’s personality that can make it difficult for them to adjust to and fit in with family life. Ideally, dogs need to be trained and socialized from an early age, and the point that Grogan was making was that some owners aren’t willing to put neither the time nor the effort into either, and just expect their dogs to fall in line with them. 

But sometimes, even good owners can find it difficult to get their dogs to listen to them and behave appropriately when they’re about and about and even when they’re at home. That’s when they need a little extra help, something that can tip the balance in their favor and iron out the remaining kinks in their relationship with their canine companions. And that help that you need to cross the final hurdle with your hound? Sometimes it can come from an unexpected, and surprising source. 

Training Collars – The Myths And Half-Truths 

We get that you might be reluctant to even think about sliding a training collar around your best friend’s neck, let alone actually using one to attempt to “adjust” his behavior by hurting him. After all, given the myths and half-truths that have sprung up around training collars, more commonly known as shock collars, who could blame you?  No responsible owner would ever want to deliberately hurt their dog and even though it might seem like shock collars are designed to be intentionally cruel and only inflict pain, that isn’t their purpose or what they’re for. 

Working With A Training Collar And Your Dog 

Training collars are made to deliver a short, sharp, shock that won’t necessarily hurt your dog, but will make them think twice about listening to you and doing the things that they shouldn’t be doing, and that could land him, and you in a lot of trouble  It isn’t about inflicting pain it’s about finding a way to make sure that your dog understands that you’re the leader of his pack and that when you bark, he listens to you and only you. 

Having said that choosing the right training collar for your dog isn’t an easy decision to make, and trying to identify which collar can, and will make all the difference to your relationship and help your dog to learn how to finally find his feet in social and domestic situations can be akin to attempting to find a needle in a haystack. Unless you know what you’re looking for, it’s next to impossible. 

Choosing The Right Training Collar 

That’s where we come in. We’ve been using shock collars to train our dogs for the last couple of decades, and know exactly how effective they can be. Which is why we’ve used our experience and knowledge to put together a list of the best training collars available, to make that decision easy for you. All you need to do to help your dog to ultimately be the best version of himself that he can be is choose the right collar for him, and you…

Dog Training Collars – Everything You Need To Know 

One of the oldest and most enduring misconceptions about training collars is that they only utilize electric shocks as a way to modify a dog’s behavior. That isn’t true, “shock” collars aren’t just dependent on delivering different static discharges to help you to train your dog. So if the idea of conditioning by current doesn’t appeal to you, there are collars that use a different approach in order to help you achieve the same results. 

Right about now, you’re probably wondering what the different types of collars are and how they work, and so before we plunge headlong into the world of training collars, we thought we’d give you a crash course in how the collars work and the methodology they employ.  You don’t have to be heavy-handed in order to make your point and neither does the indispensable training aid that can plaster over all of the cracks in your dog’s day-to-day behavior. 

Static Shock Collars – The name should tell you all that you need to know about how these types of collars work and what they do. They were, and are designed to deliver a static electrical shock to your dog when he doesn’t listen, or his conduct and deportment crosses the line of what is and isn’t socially acceptable. 

The level of the charge that they can disperse is usually adjustable, and the intensity can be raised or lowered to accommodate your dog and the way he interacts with the world. Some dogs are more stubborn than others, and need a stronger static reminder, while some are far malleable and only require an occasional, gentle reminder to change their behavioral course. By far the easiest, most popular, and effective version of the standard training collar, there’s a static shock variant to suit every dog. 

Ultrasonic Collars – You know how a dog whistle works? It emits a sound that’s out of the range of audible human frequency but can be heard by canines and used as a means to find their way back to their owners or return on command, and ultrasonic collars work the same way. 

Every time a dog’s behavior needs to be corrected, they discharge a high-frequency pulse that your dog can hear, but more often than not, you can’t. And because that pulse isn’t exactly comfortable for your dog, it serves the same purpose as a static shock does without hurting him. 

Vibration Collars –  As a good owner, you’re probably looking for the most humane way to modify your dog’s behavior with a shock collar, and the good news is, this is it.  His type of collar is made to simply vibrate as a means of chastisement, and won’t cause your dog any discomfort or pain. 

While it sounds great on paper and is often seen as an ideal solution to the training problem, unfortunately, it doesn’t have the desired effect on deeply ingrained behavior and the more stubborn a dog is, the less effective a vibration collar is likely to be. 

Spray Collars –  Made to modify a dog’s behavior through discomfort rather than pain, every time a dog crosses the previously mentioned socially accepted line, the collar releases a fine spray that can either be scented or odor-free, with the latter working on the principle that dogs don’t like to be squirted in the face and the former using a scent that’s abhorrent in order to bring them back in line, quickly and without causing them any painful physical distress. 

Making The Right Training Collar Collar Choice 

The only person who knows which collar is likely to be the most successful as a means of altering your dog’s behavior is you.  You know your dog and the way he reacts to any, and every different situation he finds himself in and what is, or isn’t likely to work with him. And armed with that knowledge, it’s up to you to choose the collar that you think will be most effective for your dog. 

DOG CARE Training Collar- Rechargeable Collar with 3 Modes and Waterproof Vibration

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This collar has three separate training modes (static shock, sonic and vibrate), and you can choose which method you want to use via the training collars remote. And, as it operates via nine different frequencies, providing you have enough collars, you can use a single remote to train up to nine different dogs at the same time. 

It’s also completely weather and waterproof, so regardless of whether the heavens have opened up or your dog is bouncing through the puddles and streams of your local park, the collar will keep on working.

And with an effective three hundred and thirty-yard range, the Dog Care ensures that no matter how far away your dog is when you make it to the park, he’ll always do what you tell him to with a tap of the remotes button. 

However, the thing that we like most about the Dog Care is its security lock, which makes sure that your dog will never be accidentally shocked or subjected to unnecessary vibration of sonic discharge. It only helps to curb his behavior and rein him in when you want it to, and doesn’t let fate intervene. 

Pros

  • All Shapes And Sizes – The collar comes in all shapes and sizes, so it doesn’t matter how big or small your dog is, there’s a collar that’ll fit him. 
  • In Range, In Price – You won’t have to worry about the Dog Care burning a hole in your pocketbook as it was designed to be an affordable option that’s well within the financial reach of every single pup parent. 
  • Auto-Off –  The collar also switches itself off after three hours so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to hit the off button when you get back from your adventures, as the collar will do that for you. 

Cons

  • Fast Charge, Low Operational Life – Despite the manufacturer’s claims about the surprisingly long battery life of both the collar and the remote, neither lasts quite as long as you hope they will. In fact, you’ll probably need to charge them both between walks, which while not exactly being a deal-breaker can be inconvenient, especially if you forget to power them up when you get home. 

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SportDOG 425X Remote Trainers – 500 Yard Range E-Collar with Static, Vibrate, and Tone

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Choice is important, SportDog knows that’s why their 425X E-Collar leaves the decision about training methods in your hands. Equipped with Static Shock, Ultrasonic, and Vibrate, it’s a three-in-one package that lets you choose how to school and train your dog. 

And because SportDog also knows how stubborn some dogs can be, their collar has been designed to bring even the most wilful of hounds to heel with a little help from its handheld remote. 

Its five hundred yard range can manage to keep even the fastest dogs under control, and as it’s fully waterproof and can survive being plunged up to twenty-five feet underwater, even if your best pal does decide to go for a swim in the local lake, he can still be brought to heel with a burst of beeps that’ll tell him that the head if his pack is calling.

And it doesn’t matter how big your pal is, this collar is designed to fit any dog over eight pounds with a neck that’s anything up to twenty-two inches in diameter. 

Then there’s the charge time and battery life. SportDog claims that the collar and remote will go from empty to completely full in around two hours, and once they’re both fully charged won’t need to be hooked up to the mains again for anything up to seventy hours.

And the scariest thing about that claim? No one, not a single owner who has used it, has refuted it. We guess that means that we’ll have to take SportDog’s word for it…

Pros

  • Battery Life – Up to seventy hours of training time from a single two-hour charge? That’s the kind of functionality that brands build their names and reputations on. 
  • DryTek – SportDog’s DryTek technology means that the collar can survive being taken an outing to the bottom of your local lake (it’s water-resistant at depths of up to twenty-five feet) and it won’t stop working and will just keep on doing what it was designed and made to do. 
  • Range – Its five hundred yard range ensures that you’ll always be able to keep your pup under control, and even if he can’t hear you, at the touch of the remote button he’ll know when you want him to come back. 

Cons

  • It’s Not Exactly Cheap – All of that range, waterproofing, and battery life comes at a reassuringly high price and if you’re looking for a training collar that fits comfortably within a lower budget, you might need to start looking elsewhere. 
  • Size Matters – It wasn’t built to fit smaller dogs, so if you’re looking for a collar for your wayward toy boy or miniature hound, then you’re going to need to strike SportDog off your list. 

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PetSafe Remote Dog Training Collar

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The old wives’ tale that size isn’t everything doesn’t apply to range, which is probably why PetSafe designed two different versions of their training collar.

One that’s effective at up to one hundred yards and one that’ll work at up to three hundred yards. So the collar you’ll want is entirely dependent on the distance that you’re comfortable with your pup reaching before you need to call him back. 

It’s another three-in-one training collar, that can be set to vibrate, beep or shock your dog when you want to listen to you, but he’d decided to obey his inner canine monologue as well.

And while we’re on the subject of this collar’s training methods, the shock level has fifteen different settings, with the highest being controlled by a security lock so that they won’t accidentally be unleashed when your pal is doing what he’s supposed to. 

It’s also fully waterproof and lightweight and made to be comfortable, so your dog will forget he’s wearing it, which means that after he’s learned to behave the hard way a couple of times, doing as he’s instructed will become second nature. And if it does run out of juice? Hook it up to the grid with its quick charge adapter, and two hours later, it’ll be ready to go again. 

Pros

  • Quick Charge, Long Life – After going from zero to full in just under two hours, the PetSafe training collar won’t need to be charged again for forty hours, That’s 4-0 hours of adventure between charges, which should provide all of the outside time that your pup needs to get used to each other and what you both expect. And in this case, that means him learning to come when you call him and do whatever you want him to, regardless of how exciting anything else is. 
  • Lightweight And Weatherproof – It’s been made to be comfortable for your dog to wear, so it’s lightweight and weatherproof, and while he’s bounding through the bushes and experiencing all that life has to offer, he’ll probably forget he’s wearing it which makes it a far more effective and efficient training tool. 
  • Two Ranges, Two Prices – One hundred yards is a much cheaper distance, as far as this collar is concerned, to train your pup at and makes it far more likely that he’ll respond to verbal and hand commands with a little help from the PetSafe. 

Cons

  • One Size Doesn’t Fit All – If your dog weighs less than eight pounds, forget it, this isn’t the collar for you as it’ll be far too big for your dog, and as it can’t be used on dogs less than six months old it runs contrary to the long-established idea that dogs need to be trained and socialized from an early age. 

While we understand their caution, as we’ve always used collars (after deciding, and judging whether they were necessary) from four months of age onward, that two-month age gap is a little worrying. Dogs can pick up a lot of bad habits in those eight weeks, and those habits can take a long time to rectify and correct… 

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PetSafe Remote Spray Trainer – 3 in 1 Dog Training Solution: Tone, Vibration, Spray

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For the last thirty years, PetSafe has been designing and creating products that are made to nullify the canine communication barrier and make it easier to talk to your dog.

And their remote Spray Trainer follows the brand’s ethos to the letter by taking the shocks off the training table and replacing them with a spray instead. 

Using tone, vibration and either a scented or unscented (the choice is yours) spray to modify your dog’s behavior, the trainer has a three hundred yard range and a two-hour fast charge delivers up to forty hours of training time.

And as it’s also light and waterproof, the collar can be worn anywhere and everywhere by your dog, so training can be a full-time adventure that can last as long as it needs to. 

The best thing about this training collar? It can also be set to eliminate any unwanted barking and can be triggered by noise as well as the remote, so if your dog is a little too vocal, you can just sit back and let the collar turn your noisy hound into a canine companion who understands that there’s a time to bark and a time to just let the world, and everything happening in it, pass them by. 

Pros 

  • Noise Activated – If your dog is a little too noisy and doesn’t understand the need for a little peace and quiet every now and then, you can set the collar to go off whenever he barks, as well as operating it via the remote. 
  • Three Hundred Yard Range – And its remote works at anything up to three hundred yards. So it doesn’t matter how far away your dog gets, the collar will bring him back to your side with one touch of the remotes button.
  • Spray Not Shock – Made to spray and not shock, each cartridge contains enough scented, or unscented liquid for thirty-five sprays, which should be enough to help keep your dog in check. 
  • Fast Charge – A two-hour charge from the grid will deliver enough power to keep the collar and remote fully operational for forty hours.  It’s fast and it lasts. 

Cons 

  • It’s A Size Thing – It’s almost as though PetSafe forgot that dogs come in all shapes and sizes as this collar can only be worn by dogs who weigh more than eight pounds and have the sort of muscle-bound necks that most bodybuilders train for a lifetime to get. 

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NBJU Bark Collar for Dogs

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Silence is golden, or it would be if your dog didn’t react to every single rustle and almost imperceptible noise by barking at it for thirty-odd minutes.

Training collars don’t just teach your dog how to behave when he’s exploring the world, they also help him to know when he should, and shouldn’t use his voice in an attempt to assert his dominance, And that’s what NBJU’s bark collar does. It helps your boy to know and understand when he should and shouldn’t raise his voice. 

Designed to shock, vibrate or beep him into being quiet when your dog forgets his manners, the collar can be set to any of those three training methods.

And if you do decide that shocking him is the way forward and the only way he’ll learn to turn his volume switch down, you can adjust the collar to emit seven different levels of static discharge to remind your dog of the virtue of a little peace and quiet. 

It reacts to the noise that your dog makes and kicks into action when he speaks out of turn, and from a single thirty-minute charge, the bark collar will be good to go for twelve days. But, best of all, it’s designed to fit any size dog and deal with any size of bark and comes in a variety of different colors, so it’ll look good on your boy no matter which branch of the dog tree he hails from. 

Pros 

  • Waterproof – Because it’s fully waterproof, your boy can wear his NBJU collar inside or out, and it’ll work just as well in either environment. 
  • Protective Covers – It comes with protective silicone covers that were made to stop your boys’ skin from getting burned when the shock collar discharges. It’s a safe, efficient, and effective bark collar. 
  • Fast Charge –  A quick thirty-minute charge will keep the collar powered for up to twelve days. 
  • Pocketbook Friendly – No, you weren’t mistaken, Yes, that is the real price. We know, we couldn’t believe it either. 

Cons

  • A One Issue Collar – There’s no remote, no external triggering device, and it’s only been designed to deal with one behavioral issue and that’s barking. If you need a training collar for anything other than canine noise abatement, then you should move along as this isn’t the collar that you’ve been looking for. 

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Dogtra Fieldmaster

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The Fieldmaster cuts through all of the chaos and confusion of multiple different training methods and instead focuses on the duo that Dogtra believes are the most effective, vibration and static shock.

And as it’s effective at a range of up to half a mile, you’ll easily be able to control your dog and curb his worst instincts if he’s wearing a Fieldmaster while you’re both out and about. 

With twenty-seven different static shock settings that are fully controllable from the remote, you can ensure that you find exactly the right one that works for your dog, and as the collar is fully waterproof, it doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside, or where you go, you’ll always be able to control your hound and make sure that he learns to stay inside the socially acceptable lines and boundaries, even when his instincts tell him otherwise. 

Made to keep the wildest dogs in check and tame the madness that can flow unabated through some canine veins, the Fieldmaster isn’t a shock collar that’s meant to be taken lightly and needs to be treated with kid gloves at the best of times. It’s a hard as a coffin nail correctional device for the most wayward of dogs and wasn’t made to be worn by the average family dog. 

Pros

  • Jaw-Dropping Range – You didn’t imagine it, we did tell you that this training collar is effective up half a mile away.  Even the most energetic of determined canine escape artists won’t be able to escape the clutches of the Fieldmaster. 
  • Waterproof – It’s fully waterproof, so it doesn’t matter where your adventures take you, with a Fieldmaster around his neck, your hound will always do what he’s told when he’s told to do it. 

Cons 

  • A Serious Collar For Seriously Stubborn Dogs – It’s a tough-love collar that should only be used for the most stubborn of dogs, and only then if you’ve tried everything else and each and every avenue that you’ve explored and ventured down with your dog has failed. 

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Pet Union Dog Training Collar 

Some training collars exceed all of your expectations and Pet Unions doesn’t just exceed them, it tears the rulebook up, douses it in lighter fluid, and sets it on fire. It’s another three-in-one training collar that uses vibration, high-frequency sound, and static shock to correct your dog’s wayward behavior. 

With a twelve hundred-foot range and one hundred different levels of static shock correction, this collar that comes with a lifetime warranty and free email advice from a certified, professional dog trainer will easily correct all of the bad habits that your dog has fallen into on his path to becoming a good boy. 

Best of all though? It’s a one size fits all collar (although it looks a bit unwieldy and unbecoming on the smallest of small dogs) that’s available in five different colors, so it’ll suit any dog’s sense of wild fashion, and look good around the neck of any distinguished pooch. 

Pros

  • Range – With a twelve hundred-foot range, this collar will keep any hound on his toes and ensure that he’s always going to behave the way he should. Those bad habits he picked up by hanging around with the wrong dogs at the shelter? They’ll soon be a thing of the past when he starts to learn to do things the Pet Union way. 
  • One Hundred Levels – With one hundred different levels of static shock sensitivity, your dog will soon learn who the leader of the pack is and begin to respect the chain of command as you gradually dial your way up through the levels to teach him the error of his ways. 
  • Warranty – It comes with a lifetime warranty, so if it does end up going to hell in a handcart, you can contact Pet Union and they’ll replace it for you. 
  • Extra Training – And talking about Pet Union, if you do get in touch with them after you’ve fitted the collar on your dog, a certified trainer will provide you with free advice to make the whole process of training your dog simple and straightforward. 
  • Affordable –  Again, that price? You weren’t imagining it, it really is that low. It’s an incredibly affordable way to guide your dog down the path to being a good boy

Cons

  • Quality – It isn’t the most robust of training collar and remote combinations, but then at the price and with a lifetime warranty, what have you got to lose? 

Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar

Anyone who sees you about and about with the Educator will naturally assume that you and your dog are starring in the latest Rocky training montage, as this lightweight remote and stylish biothane collar set come in five different schemes, so you’ll both look good while you’re learning to live and play together. 

With a half-mile range and one hundred different static settings that can be tweaked a further six different ways, the Educator is a professional level training collar that levels the playing field in the favor of the amateur.

It’s an incredibly easy-to-use, adjust and charge piece of training kit that makes sure that you and your dog soon learn what to expect from others, and will teach him to follow your lead without question. 

And as always, we went and saved the best until last, so if you want to ensure that your dog becomes the best boy that he possibly can with a little help from a training collar, then the Educator should be the only choice on your list. 

Pros

  • Distance – It’s got an effective range of half a mile, so if your dog does go wandering off, you’ll soon be able to find him with a little help from the Educator. 
  • Triple-Digit Settings – With one hundred different levels of static shock available at the touch of a button, you’ll soon be able to discover which one works most effectively for your dog. 

Cons 

  • Bank Breaker – We’re not going to beat around the bush, you get what you pay for in life and as the Educator is quite possibly one of the best training collars in the world, you’ll pay a pretty penny, and then some for it. It’s not the most affordable collar on our list, but then you wouldn’t expect it to be, would you? 

Buyer’s Guide 

Which Training Collar Is The Right One For My Dog? 

It’s an open-ended and somewhat loaded question, as all of the training collars on our list are ideal for the purpose. However, if we were forced to single one out, or chose just one from our list, we’d advise using the PetSafe Remote Spray collar, as it’s the most humane and gentle collar on our list. 

We’ve always believed that you should treat every animal with kindness and that dogs always respond better to positive reinforcement than they do negative training methodology. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Dog Training Collar?

Training collars are a way of training dogs to behave on and off lead, teaching them when it is appropriate to bark, and curbing some of their more aggressive behavior. While some professional trainers swear by their use, others see them as barbaric as they use negative reinforcement (electric shocks and aversion therapy) as a means to teach dogs how to “behave”. 

How Effective Are Dog Training Collars? 

As a training aid, they’re incredibly effective as they work on the principle of Pavolian response by teaching a dog, via repetitive reinforcement techniques, what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. 

What Is Pavolian Response? 

The pavlovian response is a training method derived from the work of animal psychologist Ivan Pavlov that is designed to create an automatic instinctive response to a situation or action through repetitive action. In other words, a dog will learn to react in a certain way thanks to being conditioned to do so by being trained to do so.