Best Electronic Dog Training Collars Buying Guide With User Tips

Best Electronic Dog Training Collars Buyer's Guide With User Tips

Best Electronic Dog Training Collars Buyer's Guide

Electronic dog training collars, or an e-collar, is a training system used to alert your dog to an undesired behavior or to regain his attention during training. Though the use of remote training devices is somewhat controversial, if used properly, they are a safe and effective tool to promote good behavior in your dog.

Based on our review of the most popular electronic training collars of 2016/2017, we have identified what we believe to be the best options available, which should help you purchase the best e-collar for your training needs... complete with buying guide and tips on how to use your new dog training collar.

Best Electronic Dog Training Collars Comparison Table


E Collar






SportDog Field Trainer

SportDog - SD-425 - Field Trainer Image

500 yard


Petsafe Yard And Park

PetSafe Yard & Park Rechargeable Dog Training Collar Image

400 yard


Educator Mini E-Collar

Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar Image

880 yard


Pet Resolve Training Collar

Pet Resolve Dog Training Collar with Remote Image

1320 yard


Aetertek Dog Training Collar

Aetertek Professional Electric Dog Training Collar Image

600 yard


Dogtra IQ Remote Collar

Dogtra IQ Remote Trainer Image

400 yard


Petsafe Elite Big Dog Trainer

PetSafe Elite Remote Trainer For Large Dogs Image

1000 yard


Garmin Delta Bundle Collar 

Garmin Delta XC Bundle - Dog Training Device Image

880 yard


Petrainer Remote Collar 

Petrainer Waterproof Shock Collar 330yds Remote Dog Training Collar Image

330 yard


Lobo Commander Collar 

Lobo Commander Waterproof Electronic Dog Training Collar with Remote Image

400 yard

What Is An Electronic Training Collar?

Electronic Collar On White Background

When you buy an electronic training collar you will typically get a collar, available in a variety of colors and styles, that is fitted with a receiver and two contact points that deliver the stimulation. You will also receive a remote, which are available with a variety of options to accommodate your budget and training needs.

Just like a mother dog may correct an unruly pup with a quick nip to its neck, the electronic collar delivers just enough sensation to get your pup's attention.

This can be especially useful for specialized training such as for hunting dogs or K-9 police dogs. This training often requires the handler to be at a greater distance from the dog for certain training tasks.

Hunting, police and military dogs require dependable obedience training since a dog that decides to disregard his human in these situations could put himself in a dangerous situation.

Do Shock Collars Hurt Your Dog?

When you push a button on the remote the receiver on the collar delivers the stimulation through the contacts to your dog’s neck. This sensation is often compared to a static shock that we would be familiar with from touching a doorknob, etc. after walking across carpet.

This stimulation is not intended to be used as a “punishment”, but rather a gentle nudge to alert your dog that you need his attention.

Any decent e-collar should have thorough instructions and training for you to follow to ensure that you use this training device correctly.

How Safe Are Electric Dog Training Collars?

As we mentioned, these electronic training collars are a completely safe and humane training tool to use with your pet when they are used as recommended. There are conflicting opinions on the use of e-collars, but much of the opposition to using these devices describe cases where the collars have been used incorrectly.

Others simply oppose their use in general, which is a personal choice that everyone needs to make on their own. However, there are cases where behavior issues can put a dog in far more danger such as chasing cars or aggression.

Are Dog Shock Collars Humane?

Check with your vet

It is always smart to check with your vet to make sure that your dog is healthy enough for training, but with the right collar and appropriate training techniques there is no reason that an e-collar would be inhumane as a tool for training.

Compared to the possible consequences of those behaviors, the mild discomfort delivered by an e-collar is much safer and more humane.

The “shock collars” of years ago that prompted concern about their use in training delivered a more powerful sensation to the dog that could not be adjusted. Modern e-collars have customizable levels of stimulation ranging from an audible tone or gentle vibration (like your cell phone set to vibrate) to varying degrees of electronic stimulation depending on the model purchased.

This tool is not intended to function like the one-size-fits-all devices of the past. You can choose the right size collar and stimulation settings based on the size of your dog and your training needs.

Some models include a training DVD to ensure that you know how to use the training collars properly. Other features such as water resistance, transmitter distance and the ability to add multiple collars to one remote are available to customize your training routine.

The compact size makes the receiver comfortable for your dog to wear and the transmitter is an easy to carry stopwatch style. Extremely safe for your dog with tone only or tone followed by stimulation options and a set and lock feature to ensure that you won’t accidently increase the stimulation, but effective with an additional boost feature in case your usual setting is ignored.

Best Electronic Dog Training Collar Reviews

Canine With Sport Dog Brand Field Trainer Collar

1. SportDog SD 425 Field Training Series 500 Yard Remote Trainer

Highlighted Features

  • 500 yard range
  • 7 levels of low/medium stimulation
  • Vibration and tone settings
  • Expandable up to 3 dogs with purchase of additional collars
  • DryTEK waterproof and submersible to 25 feet
  • ​Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries last 50-70 hours per charge
  • For dogs 8 pounds or larger
  • Fits neck sizes 5 to 22 inches
  • ​Standard and long contact points included
  • Training DVD included

Compact and full of features, SportDOG’s SD-425 model e-collar is one of the highest rated and most reviewed electronic training collars available on Amazon. The seven levels of stimulation in addition to the new tone and vibrate features combined with being waterproof to 25 feet and able to fit a variety of dogs makes this one of the most customizable budget friendly training tools on the market.

VIDEO: Tom Dokken - Come/Here Command -

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

  • Some customers found the collar to be stiff
  • Some customers lost the waterproof plugs that cover the charging ports

2. Petsafe Yard & Park Rechargeable Dog Training Collar

Highlighted Features

  • 400 yard range
  • 8 adjustable levels of stimulation
  • ​2 tone levels
  • Rechargeable remote and collar, simultaneous charging
  • ​Rubber coating for drop protection
  • Waterproof up to 5 feet
  • Additional collars train up to 3 dogs on the same remote (sold separately)
  • Designed for dogs over 8 pounds
  • Fits neck sizes up to 28 inches

Great for teaching your dog to walk with you leash-free, the Petsafe Yard & Park Rechargeable Dog Training Collar offers 8 adjustable levels of stimulation and 2 different tone settings. Submersible up to 5 feet and at distances up to 400 yards, this is one of the most versatile training tools available in a budget friendly price range.

VIDEO: PetSafe Remote Training

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like)

  • No vibration setting
  • Some customers complain of short battery life
  • Some customers complain of short product life

3. Educator E-Collar Dog Trainer ET-300 Mini

Highlighted Features

  • One or two dog systems available
  • Half mile range
  • Delivers “blunt” stimulus, a tapping sensation similar to vibration but more intense
  • ​Adjustable stimulation levels from 1 to 100
  • Additional 60 levels of boost stimulation activated by pressing a second button in addition to the regular stimulation
  • Tracking light to find your dog in the dark
  • Pavlovian tone
  • ​Waterproof and shock resistant transmitter and receiver
  • Floating transmitter
  • Lithium polymer batteries, charge time 2 hours
  • 2 year full warranty

Educator E-Collar Dog Training has mastered the art of customization. With a variety of available color combinations available for collars and remotes, two collar styles made in nylon with quick snap closure or Biothane with buckle closure and five different contact point styles to ensure the best contact for your breed you can be sure to get the best training system for your needs.

VIDEO: E-Collar Technologies Remote Dog Training Collar Why I Use Them

Cons (What dog trainers did NOT like)

  • Some customer complaints of cumbersome or unreliable charging
  • Some customers complain that the instructions are vague or difficult to understand

4. Pet Resolve Best Dog Training Collar with Remote

Highlighted Features

  • 1200 meter (3/4 mile) range
  • Additional collars sold separately, up to 3 collars on one remote
  • ​Variable shock and vibration levels
  • Audible tone
  • Continuous or momentary “shock” settings
  • ​Fully submersible 100% waterproof
  • Lithium ion rechargeable battery

Pet Resolve prides themselves on offering premium durability and features in their Best Dog Training Collar with Remote. With the option to use up to three collars on one remote, a range of up to ¾ mile and 100% waterproof housings it is ready for your most rugged training needs. Tone, vibration and adjustable electronic stimulation settings allow you to fully customize your training routine.

VIDEO: Pet Resolve Welcome

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

  • Some customers complained of unreliable performance
  • Some customers complained of poor construction

5. Aetertek Updated & Submersible Dog Training Collar 918C

Highlighted Features

  • 600 yard range
  • Available for 1 or 2 dogs
  • Auto anti-bark setting
  • ​Vibration setting
  • Audible tone setting
  • 9 levels of electronic stimulation
  • Fits dogs 15 to 150 pounds, 7-23 inch neck size

If you’re on a tight budget but still want the features of more expensive models, the Aetertek Updated & Submersible Dog Training Collar 918C is a popular choice. The receiver is fully waterproof and the transmitter is able to control up to two dogs at once. The auto anti-bark function sets this model apart from other low cost options.

VIDEO: How to begin e-collar conditioning with your dog.

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

  • Some customers found that the transmitter lost communication with the collar
  • Some complaints of short battery life
  • Some customers found the instruction book confusing
  • Some complaints of low quality, cumbersome collar construction
  • Collar battery is rechargeable but remote batteries are not

6. Dogtra IQ Remote Dog Training Collar

Highlighted Features

  • 400 yard range
  • Nick, continuous and vibration modes
  • Low to medium power suitable for smaller dogs
  • Precision stimulation control 0-100
  • Waterproof collar/receiver
  • ​2 hour quick charge
  • Rechargeable batteries

If you have a smaller dog, the compact size of the Dogtra IQ Remote Trainer might be the right option for you. It has 100 stimulation settings and three modes including “nick”, a short pulse of stimulation to get the dog’s attention, continuous stimulation that is removed when the dog performs the desired behavior and mild vibration.

VIDEO: Overview of the Dogtra IQ Electric Collar 

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like)

  • Some customers had issues with short battery life
  • Complaints that the stimulation setting was easy to accidentally change
  • Some issues reported with the waterproof seal

7. PetSafe Elite Big Dog Remote Trainer Review

Highlighted Features

  • 1000 yard range
  • Designed for dogs over 40 pounds and up to 29 inch neck size
  • ​15 stimulation levels
  • Audible tone
  • ​Collar is waterproof up to 5 feet
  • +2 boost button
  • Soft, flexible nylon collar

For bigger dogs the PetSafe Elite Big Dog Remote Trainer has 15 adjustable stimulation levels with a +2 boost button and a tone function. The collar is waterproof up to five feet and has a range of 1000 yards. The remote will train up to two dogs with an additional collar sold separately. This system is ideal for dogs over 40 pounds and fits neck sizes up to 29 inches.

VIDEO: PetSafe Elite Big Dog Remote Trainer 

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like)

  • Longer contact points not available
  • Some customers felt that higher levels of stimulation are necessary

8. Garmin Delta Dog Training Collar

Highlighted Features

  • Half mile range
  • 18 levels of momentary and continuous stimulation
  • ​Audible tone
  • Vibration setting
  • ​Short and long contact points included to accommodate different dogs
  • Easy to use three button remote
  • Waterproof collar and receiver
  • ​Train up to 3 dogs with additional collars sold separately
  • Rechargeable receiver and remote

The user-friendly Garmin Delta XC Bundle Dog Training Device combines simple to use functions with all of the most wanted features. This set offers a half mile range, 18 adjustable stimulation levels, with tone and vibration settings. Train up to three dogs with one remote when you purchase additional collars.

VIDEO: Garmin: Training with an e-Collar 

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like)

  • Some customers found battery life too short
  • Some customers wanted more stimulation levels
  • No lock feature to prevent accidental shock

9. Petrainer Remote Pet Training Collar

Highlighted Features

  • 330 yard range
  • For use with dogs over 15 pounds and fits neck sizes 7 to 26 inches
  • ​Control up to 2 dogs with one remote
  • Rechargeable receiver and remote
  • Waterproof collar and receiver
  • ​Tone and 100 levels of vibration
  • 100 levels of static shock stimulation
  • Light mode for use in low-light conditions

Another low cost option with the features of more expensive training systems, the Petrainer Training Collar PET998DBB system is easy on your wallet. With 100 levels of vibration and static shock, finding the right setting for your dog is simple. The addition of a tone option to reinforce voice commands, waterproof collar and a light to help you find your dog at night makes this collar suitable to most training conditions.

VIDEO: Petrainer PET998DBB 2 Electronic Dog Training Collar Introduction

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like)

  • No way to lock buttons to prevent accidental shock
  • Some customers claim the contact points burned or injured their dogs’ necks
  • Some customers experienced short battery/product life
  • Some complaints of collar quality and size of the receiver being too large

10. Lobo Commander Premium Wireless 400 Yard Electronic Dog Training Collar

Highlighted Features

  • 400 yard range
  • Waterproof receiver and collar
  • ​16 levels of vibration and stimulation
  • ​Separate, color coded buttons for the audible tone, vibration and shock functions
  • ​Rechargeable receiver and remote
  • Fits neck sizes 7 to 27 inches

The easy to use remote on the Lobo Commander Premium has separate buttons for each mode to eliminate confusion between the tone, vibrate and stimulation functions. It offers 16 levels of shock and vibration, and a tone setting to customize your training routine. The receiver and collar are waterproof and fits neck sizes from 7 to 27 inches. The Lobo Commander offers loads of features and won’t break the bank.

VIDEO: How to fit an Electronic Dog Collar

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like)

  • Some customer complaints of short battery/product life
  • Several complaints about receiver not being sufficiently waterproof

Best Electronic Dog Training Collars Buyer’s Guide

Checklist before purchasing an electronic dog training collar:


When looking for the right e-collar for your training routine, it is important to consider the environment where you will be working with your dog.


Having an idea of the size of the area where you are training can help you decide on the range you will need to communicate with your dog.


Take into consideration if your dog will be swimming or getting wet while wearing his e-collar.


Audible tone and vibrate modes are highly desirable since usually your dog will begin to respond to these corrections without needing to use the shock settings in normal situations.

Safety Features

Features that will prevent accidentally or over correcting your dog are highly desirable as this not only undermines your training regimen, but may also harm your pet in extreme cases.


If you intend to work with your dog after dark you may want to opt for a model that has a light on the collar to help you locate your pup.

Collar Size

Of course, the size of your dog and your budget will also influence your purchase.


As you can see above, there are low cost options that are very popular and offer many of the same features of higher priced models.

While these may work well for some dog owners, when it comes to my pups, I subscribe to the "you get what you pay for" approach.

Seeing reviews and photos o dogs with burn marks on their neck immediately gives me pause. Of course, there is no way to know if everyone uses these tools as recommended, but there are disproportionately more of these types of reviews on the bargain models.

If you are trying to decide if e-collars are right for you and your dog, you may want to ask yourself if your dog easily responds to you when she is distracted.

Often, when dogs engage in unwanted behavior like:

They are not easily engaged with verbal commands. In these situations, the tone, vibration or stimulation from an e-collar can regain the attention of even the most willful pups.

When these devices are used properly, you may be able to allow your dog more freedom, such as walking leash-free or having the run of your property or hiking trails.

Training collars vs Dog Trainers

If you compare the cost of a high quality e-collar to the price of a professional dog trainer, you will likely find the value in buying the best tool available.

Tips for Using Your Electronic Dog Training Collar

Girl Training Dog With Electronic Training Collar Image

The first and most important advice I can offer on using your e-collar is to carefully follow the recommendations included with your device.

Check Your Contact Points

Making sure that the collar fits your dog properly and the contact points sit correctly on your dog’s neck.

The collar should be tightened so that the contact points sit snugly against the neck to ensure reliable stimulation. If you find the stimulation seems inconsistent, you may need to tighten the collar.

You also want to make sure that the contact points are able to reach through your dog's coat to his skin, Longer contact points or shaving the area on contact may help if you are having issues with appropriate contact.

Try to put the collar on the dog without working on training or using the remote periodically so that your dog is comfortable wearing the collar and does not think that he only needs to listen to you when the collar is on.

Start Out Slowly

Begin with commands that your dog is already familiar with to start your training and then reinforce the reaction to the command with correction from the collar.

Always begin your first session at the lowest settings on your device and slowly increase the intensity of the stimulation until your dog notices the sensation. You may notice a twitch in his ears and neck, but your dog should NEVER yelp in pain.

A tone vibrate mode can be use prior to delivering the electronic stimulation to warn your dog that a correction is imminent if the behavior or lack of response continues.

Some models offer the option to choose between momentary and continuous stimulation.

  • Momentary or “nick” sensation is a quick burst of stimulation to regain your dog’s attention.
  • Continuous stimulation allows you to apply the sensation and then remove the stimulus when the dog complies with your direction.

As mentioned previously, often after a few training sessions, it is likely that your dog will respond to either the tone or mild vibration without having to engage the shock function frequently.

If you notice irritation on your dog’s neck from the receiver, it is likely that the collar is either too loose or too tight, adjusting the collar may take care of this issue. It is also possible that the collar has been on your dog for too long.

Try to limit wear time to 8 hours a day to prevent irritation. It is not recommended that you attach a leash to the e-collar as tension on the leash may apply unwanted pressure from the contact points, though it is not recommended that other metal collars be worn with the e-collar.

Final Thoughts

Though there is some controversy surrounding the use of e-collars for dog training, if they are used properly, these devices are very safe and humane tools to train your pup. These systems, instead of stifling or punishing your dog, can actually give him greater freedom and better interaction in his environment.

When you consider the repercussions of your dog potentially running away, darting into the street/chasing cars, being aggressive with other dogs or people and the general misery of an ill-behaved dog that is always being punished or worse, surrendered, most of us can agree that the mild and momentary discomfort that should result from the collar is preferable to any of these alternatives.

Have you tried any of these electronic dog training collars on your pooch? Leave us your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

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