Just like people, every dog is different. The breed and the way you raise them are certainly factors, but sometimes their individual personality is the biggest determiner when it comes to the ease of training. You may have been able train one dog without any aides at all but still find yourself scratching your head on getting your next dog to behave. For those more stubborn dogs (or if you simply can’t devote the same amount of time to your new dog), they have dog training collars that can help you.
To get you started on the dos and don’ts, must haves and don’t wants we’ve organized a list to start you off right. We reviewed dozens of training collars for dogs to identify the best of the best. We looked at those with remotes and those without, along with those with and without an electric shock. We gathered our research and narrowed it down for you.
Early in our search we could identify the TBI Pro Dog Training Collar as a clear winner of our Top Pick honor. With its remote and multiple settings for deterrents (both shock and vibration), you can see this is a collar designed to be the most effective.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Dog Training Collars
|Best Dog Training Collar Overall||TBI Pro Dog Training Collar||4.3|
|Runner Up||DOG CARE Dog Training Collar||4.3|
|Best Budget Dog Training Collar||Flittor Dog Training Collar||4.4|
|Best Waterproof Dog Training Collar||Nest 9 Dog Shock Collar||4.6|
|Best Dog Training Collar with a Long-Distance Range||PATPET Dog Training Collar||4.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: The TBI Pro Dog Training Collar with Remote
The TBI Pro Dog Training Collar with Remote is for any sized dog, so you won’t need to worry about sizing before purchase. You can control whether to emit a vibration or a shock and you can control even beyond that by determining how strong each of those will be. Each range from 1-100 power levels. So you can try a gentle reminder for the first offense and a bit stronger for repetitive behaviors.
The remote for this collar has a range of 1600 feet, giving you plenty of opportunity to control your pup for virtually as far as you can see him. The battery will only take two to three hours to charge fully and will last upwards of 20 days, making this a pretty low-maintenance collar for you to upkeep.
With an average rating of 4.3 stars from over 7000 customers on Amazon, this is a buy you can make with confidence in the quality.
The Best Industries Dog Training Collar with Remote Key Features:
- Waterproof, rechargeable
- 1600′ range, remote has LED screen
- Vibrates and shocks, control the strength of the deterrent with a range of 1-100
Our Runner-Up Pick: DOG CARE Dog Training Collar
The DOG CARE Dog Training Collar has a range of 1000 feet so if you can see your dog, you can probably correct him. It’s so easy to use, it boasts that it’s perfect for first time dog owners, too. And when it comes to training your dog, that’s a huge plus; sometimes training the owner is harder than training the dog.
The collar is 100% waterproof, which will come in handy if your pup is a curious one who tends to get into things or simply if he gets caught in a rainfall. The deterrent modes are variable; you can use a shock, vibration or beep to discourage bad behaviors. And within each of those modes, you can control the intensity, as well.
With an Amazon rating of 4.3 and over 4300 customer reviews, this is a safe bet for a training collar that will help train you to train your pup.
DOG CARE Dog Training Collar with Remote Key Features:
- Variable modes: shock, vibration and beep
- Remote powered; 1000′ range
- 1-year warranty
Best Budget Dog Training Collar: Flittor Dog Training Collar
The Flittor Dog Training Collar is an excellent choice for dog parents who are looking for a high-quality but budget dog training collar that features beep, vibration, and shock discouragements. You can easily control the intensity of the vibrations with 8 different vibration levels and 16 different shock levels. It’s suitable for dogs of all sizes above 15lbs, and offers a range of up to 1000 feet.
One of the best things about this training collar is that it’s designed to minimize accidents. The remote’s clear LCD display helps to ensure you know precisely what settings its on, while the inclusion of a security keypad lock helps to prevent accidental shocks.
You’ll only need to invest $25 to call this collar your own, which is a steal considering all of its features. Still in need of further convincing? Be sure to check out this collar’s glowing reviews on Amazon as well as its solid average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
Flittor Dog Training Collar Key Features:
- Remote with LCD display
- Works up to 1000ft
- Security keypad lock
Best Waterproof Dog Training Collar: Nest 9 Dog Shock Collar
The Nest 9 Dog Shock Collar is a waterproof dog training collar that provides beep, shock, and vibration modes in 9 different levels. The manufacturer purposely limited the number of levels the Nest 9 offers in order to make it easier for dog owners to recognize the differences between each of the levels. Its waterproof design means that rain won’t ever stand in your way even if you’re using agility training equipment for your dog.
Another design feature which impressed us is this training collar’s quick-charging and long-life battery. It takes just two to three hours to fully charge, and once it is, the receiver will last up to 11 days while the remote will last up to 27 days. This is great news for busy dog parents who don’t have the time to be constantly charging their dog’s training collar (or worrying about it dying in the middle of a training session).
This product has an average Amazon rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from around 120 customers. While that’s a relatively small number of reviews, keep in mind that 78% of those customers rated it a full 5 out of 5 stars. So it’s safe to say this is an amazing product that’s just yet to be discovered by the masses.
Nest 9 Dog Shock Collar Key Features:
- 100% waterproof collar
- Range of up to 1000 feet
- Quick-charging battery and long battery life
Best Dog Training Collar with a Long-Distance Range: PATPET Dog Training Collar
The long-distance range the PATPET Dog Training Collar offers is ideal for anyone who wants to offer their dogs greater freedom during training sessions. Its designed to work its wonders up to 3000 feet (1000 yards), which is at least three times more than most other options on the market. The PATPET Dog Training Collar offers beep, vibration, and 16 shock levels, and is suitable for dogs of all sizes from 10 to 140lbs.
Another nifty feature you’ll be sure to appreciate is the ‘blind operation buttons’ on this device’s remote control. These buttons are designed to be so easy to use that you don’t even need to look at them. This could make a huge difference to your training sessions, as the fewer distractions you need to deal with, the more you’ll be able to concentrate on giving your dog the best training sessions possible!
The PATPET Dog Training Collar has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 2300 customers. It certainly isn’t the cheapest option around, but most customers have been happy to pay its relatively higher price in return for the high-quality, excellent performance, and easy operation it offers.
The PATPET Dog Training Collar Key Features:
- Range of up to 3000 feet
- Waterproof collar and receiver
- Suitable for dogs of all sizes
Who Should Buy a Dog Training Collar?
If you are struggling with teaching your pup right from wrong and what is and is not appropriate behavior, then a training collar may be the solution you need. There are several possibilities for your dog resisting the training you’re trying and as long as he’s healthy and the vet gives him the clear, then you know you just need to adjust and adapt your method of training to better suit him and his personality. You may just be using the wrong reward, you may be too inconsistent or your dog my just be incredibly stubborn. If you’ve tried it all, it may be time to try a training collar.
But the dog training collar isn’t JUST for the stubborn, hard-to-train dogs. A dog training collar is a valid first choice, too. Whether you’re not sure how else to train your pup, are training an older dog, or you just don’t have the time to train him any other way, a dog training collar, if used properly, can be your dog’s saving grace.
Important Features to Consider
A training collar for dogs should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a dog training collar:
- Scent. There are several scents that are displeasing to your dog and emitting those smells into the air near his face will go a long way to deterring him from bad behaviors. The smells are typically citronella or mint so keep in mind that if you’re also not a fan, the smell may just bother you a bit, too. This isn’t the most common collar and it can be hard to find, but if your dog is particularly sensitive to smells, this may be the best bet for you.
- Vibration. The vibration of an alert will deter your dog similarly to a shock and the more flush with skin the less pleasant it is for them. It doesn’t hurt, but imagine your phone on vibrate suddenly going off while attached to your neck; not exactly pleasant, is it? Combined with your verbal cues of “No!” or “Bad!” your dog will certainly get the hint.
- Shock. Before discarding the idea of a “shock” or “e-collar” right away, please note that these collars aren’t what they used to be. The light shock is not a painful one, just a low enough jolt to surprise and be unpleasant. This is usually the most effective but this is also the one with the most controversy so even knowing it isn’t really hurting your dog, you may opt away from this type.
- Loud sound/ultra sonic. This deterrent will set off a loud sound or an ultra sonic tone that will surprise your dog when he’s caught being a bad dog. If reviews are to be believed, this is the least effective of the most commonly used deterrents but it’s also the nicest, so if you’re feeling guilty this may be your solution. Often a beep is combined with another type of deterrent and that seems to be more effective, though.
- Remote and range. If you’re going to manually control the training collar, keep in mind both the range and your ability to time the deterrent well. If you don’t hit that button and issue a negative consequence immediately after seeing poor behavior, then your dog won’t associate the bad with the behavior. If you have a large yard, make sure your remote can reach as far as he can, otherwise your helicopter parenting him to monitor his behavior will go without result.
- Waterproof. There are varying degrees of waterproof and you may opt not to get the 100% water proof version but we highly recommend having some water resistance for a dog training collar. There are simply too many actions dogs commonly take that accidentally get water on them. They could run in the rain before you get them in or they could splash through a mud puddle. Just the act of drinking their water could slop water up onto their collar without any real surprise to a pet parent. Take some precautions to prevent ruining the collar you choose.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a dog training collar and how does it work?
A dog training collar is any collar that is designed to discourage bad behaviors. The collar will emit some sort of negative stimulus in response to your dog’s actions. Either it detect the behavior itself (like a bark collar) or it will have a remote that will allow you to set off the stimulus when the bad behavior occurs. They may be ideal for anyone who’s dealing with an unruly dog. For example, dog breeds for seniors may not cause an owner any problems, there are a handful of other breeds that are known to be more aggressive.
The oldest form is a “shock” collar, but a lot has changed since then; they’re no longer painful and inhumane; even the Humane society supports its use (for modern collars, that is). There are other forms of stimulus that will deter dogs, too, though. You can try a collar that spurts an unpleasant smell (usually citronella as dog’s don’t care for that) when your dog is misbehaving. Other stimuli include loud sounds, ultra-sonic sounds, lights, and vibrations.
Do e-collars shock dogs?
Once upon a time, shock collars were just that. If they came with any intensity settings at all they were something like “High,” “Super High,” and “Lobotomy.” But that hasn’t been the case for a while and even the shock collars that “shock” are now so low it won’t actually hurt your dog; more surprise them. The “shock” is the same intensity of the shock you would get from a Tens electrode pad massage unit. If you’ve used them at all, you know it doesn’t hurt one bit. In fact, it can feel quite good in the proper context (but that context is not a dog’s training collar so don’t worry about him liking and wanting more of the jolt.)
“Shock” or “E-Collars” will often use what they term “Static Correction” for the stimulation. It is essentially the same as emitting a static shock through the collar. It’s a light tingling sensation that won’t harm your dog but will allow him to associate bad behavior with the negative effect.
Are bark collars effective?
Yes – with a warning. Most bark collars respond to a bark with a negative stimulus: citronella spray, ultrasonic sound, or a brief shock. The problem, and the warning, is for homes with multiple dogs or even dogs nearby. For this reason, many bark collars come with adjustable levels of sensitivity, making it harder to set off or easier, depending on your specific situation. You don’t want your dog getting negative reinforcement when another dog is misbehaving; of course because it’s cruel but also because it will confuse him and make the collar worthless. So use these collars carefully and never when he’s in the company of other untrained dogs. You may also want to check a less reinforced way for bark training with our list of best dog muzzle for barking dog.
Where do you put a shock collar on a dog?
When you’re placing your dog’s training collar, you’ll want to adhere to that collar’s specific instructions. However, they typical recommend the collar be placed high on the dog’s neck, near the base of the skull. It’s the most narrow here and that means it’s less likely to lose contact with your dog’s skin. If you place it too low then your dog may work the collar up just enough to lose that contact with him, making the vibration or shock no longer effective. And don’t forget while placing the collar on, adjust the tightness so you can only fit a finger or two at most between the collar and your dog. Keeping it snug enough is fundamental to making sure it works.
And remember that the prongs go on the back of the neck. The static shocks emitted from these collars may not be dangerous anymore but putting them on the throat is still a no-no.
Other Training Collars for Dogs We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other training collars for dogs. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best dog training collars list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing. We’ve broken the collars into the following categories:
- Variable Mode Dog Training Collars
- Remote Controlled Dog Training Collars
- No Shock Dog Training Collars
Variable Mode Dog Training Collars
This is a training collar that uses vibration, sound, and shock- or not; it’s entirely up to you how you train your dog.
- Rainproof, but not waterproof
- Recommends 6.6-120 lb weight range
- USB rechargeable
You choose which form of discouragement you want to use on your pup, or let their responses determine which is most effective.
- Uses vibration, sound or shock
- Safety protection mode will enter sleep mode if activated over 7 times
- USB recharging
Remote Controlled Dog Training Collars
This collar will adjust from 3.7″ to 22.3″ and is recommended for a dog between 10-100 pounds.
- Shock, vibration and beep deterrent modes
- 800 yards range; water resistant
- 5-years warranty
This collar is rechargeable but you won’t need to do it often; the remote lasts up to 60 days on a full charge and the receiver lasts up to 15 days.
- Shock, vibration, and tone modes
- Purchase addtional collar and control 2 dogs with 1 remote
- 1000′ remote range
This dog training collar comes with a remote that allows you to control deterrents up to 3/4 a mile away and to sweeten the deal, it comes with a collapsible food or water dish.
- Low and high shock stimulation
- 2 hour to fully charge; fully waterproof
- 3/4 mile remote range
With a 2,600 ft range (or a half mile!) for this remote, you can really let your dog enjoy a run while still making sure he behaves appropriately.
- Shock, vibration, and beep modes
- 6-100 lb weight recommendation
- 1/2 mile remote range
Each deterrent has its own button on this remote making it easy to do as you want immediately after a bad behavior; no need to switch between modes and miss the teaching opportunity.
- 100% water resistant
- 1800 ft remote range
- Shock, beep and vibrations modes
You can control the intensity of shock and vibration (from 1-100) and also light and beeping for deterrents with this waterproof and rechargeable collar.
- Static shock, beep, light, and vibration modes
- 300 meter remote range
- USB and AC adapting charging cord
This collar comes with 2 sets of unit electrodes for the necks of smaller dogs or the necks of larger to make sure you’re using the right equipment for the right dog.
- Tone, shock and vibration modes
- 1000 ft remote range
- 5-year manufacturer’s warranty
This collar was made with your bigger dog in mind, up to 140 pounds and it will give him a bit further to run with a 1100 yard (or 3300 feet) remote range.
- Static shock, vibration or beeping deterrents
- 1100 yard remote range
- 10-140 lb weight recommendation
With shock, vibration, and beeping modes, you chose how to train your dog based entirely on your (and your dog’s) preferences.
- 100% waterproof, 650 yard remote range
- 10-120 lb wight range recommendation
- Lifetime warranty
With the extra large and easy to read LCD screen on this remote, you can control the 1-100 levels of intensity on the static stimulation and vibration with ease.
- Shock, light, vibration, and sound modes
- Recommended for dogs 10-100 lb
- 1200′ remote range
You can get this remote controlled training collar in black or camo and, with purchase of additional collars, you can control three dogs with one remote.
- Vibration, static shock or beep modes
- 500 yard remote range; water proof
- Collar is adjustable from 5″ – 22″
You control how intensely the vibration or static shock is felt with variable modes of 1-99.
- Beep, vibration and static shock modes
- Adjustable 10″ – 25″ collar
- Waterproof; 800 yard remote range
No Shock Dog Training Collars
This no-shock training collar includes a free gift of a LED light tag for your dog’s new collar.
- Deters with sound and vibration
- 6.6-120 pound recommendation
- 2 plastic covers for unit included
With a rating of 4.4 and nearly 200 customer reviews, it’s easy to see why this humane collar is Amazon’s choice for bark collar.
- Vibration and sound deterrents
- 100% waterproof collar
- 1-year warranty
This collar uses 7 levels of sensitivity that you can tweak to catch and alarm when you want and not when you don’t; so your dog won’t get a vibration when the neighbor’s dog barks.
- 2 interchangeable plastic unit covers
- Vibration and sound deterrent
- 1-year warranty
This collar will automatically sound and vibrate as your dog barks, letting him know that it is not acceptable behavior.
- Beep and vibration deterrent
- 5-55 lb weight recommendation
- 2 color choices: Green or orange
You choose whether the deterrent your dog faces for bad behavior: ultrasonic vibration or sound.
- Vibration or sound mode
- 5-150 lb weight range recommendation
- Can be turned off
This no-shock collar has thee alternative modes: tone/sound, vibration (with 1-16 levels of intensity) and light flashing.
- Range of 1980 ft
- 100% waterproof collar
- Can purchase and add collar to use with same remote
We have a ton of information on the best dog collars for your dog, as well. Check out our in-depth guides to all kinds of dog collars below: