Best Electronic Dog Training Collars (With User Tips)

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

Based on our review of the most popular electronic training collars of 2016/2017 (updated for 2018 2020/2021), 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

We have updated what to look for in a good training collar with tips on properly using your new collar. 

Sound good? Great, let's dive into everything you need to know before you buy a new electronic training collar for your dog!

Best Electronic Dog Training Collars Quick Comparison

Rank

Image

  E-Collar

#1

Pet Resolve dog training collar comparison

Pet Resolve Training Collar

#2

SportDog collar comparison

SportDog Field Trainer

#3

PetSafe Yard & Park training collar comparison

Petsafe Yard And Park

#4

Educator E-Collar comparison

Educator Mini e-Collar

#5

Aetertek Dog Training Collar comparison

Aetertek Dog Training Collar

#6

Dogtra IQ Remote Trainer  comparison

Dogtra IQ Remote Collar

#7

PetSafe Elite training collar comparison

Petsafe Elite Big Dog Trainer

#8

Garmin Delta XC Bundle - Dog Training Device comparison

Garmin Delta Bundle Collar

#9

Petrainer Waterproof collar comparison

Petrainer Remote Collar

#10

PetTech Dog Training Collar comparison

PetTech Dog Training Collar

What Is An Electronic Training Collar?

Electronic Collar Parts On White Background

When you buy an electronic training collar, you will typically get a collar, available in various colors and styles, fitted with a receiver and two points that deliver the stimulation. You will also receive a remote, which is available 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 training 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.

Here are three common questions we hear quite often:

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. The sensation is often compared to a static shock that we would be familiar with from touching a doorknob, etc., after walking across the 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 e-collars, but much of the opposition to using these devices describes cases where the collars have been misused.

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?

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

Years ago, the “shock collars” 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 customization 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 your dog’s size and 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 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 accidentally increase the stimulation, but useful with an additional boost feature if your usual setting is ignored.

We Highly Recommended, 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.

Best E-Collar For Dog Training Reviews

#1
Pet Resolve Dog Training Collar with Remote Image

Pet Resolve Dog Training Collar With Remote

Pet Resolve prides itself 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 customize your training routine fully.

Highlighted Features

  • 1320 yard range (3/4 mile).
  • 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.

Welcome from Pet Resolve (Video)

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

  • Some users complained of unreliable performance.
  • Some users complained of poor construction.

4.4 of 5 stars

#2
SportDog  training collar

SportDog Brand 425 Family Remote Dog Training Collar

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.

Highlighted Features

  • 500-yard range.
  • Seven 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 that 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.

Video Review of the SportDog 425 E-Collar

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

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

4.5 of 5 stars

#3
PetSafe Yard & Park Rechargeable Dog Training Collar Image

Petsafe Yard & Park Rechargeable Dog Training Collar

Great for teaching your dog to walk with you leash-free, the Petsafe Yard & Park Rechargeable Dog Training Collar offers eight adjustable stimulation levels and two 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.

Highlighted Features

  • 400-yard range.
  • Eight adjustable levels of stimulation.
  • Two-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 device (sold separately).
  • Designed for dogs over 8 pounds.
  • Fits neck sizes up to 28 inches.

Video Review of the PetSafe Yard and Park Trainer

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

  • No vibration setting.
  • Some users users complain of short battery life.
  • Some users complain of a short product life. 

4.2 of 5 stars

#4
Educator E-Collar for training

Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar

Educator E-Collar Dog Training has mastered the art of customization. The Educator collar and remote are available in a variety of color combinations. Two collar styles are made out of nylon with quick snap closure or Biothane with buckle closure. And they have five different contact point styles to ensure the best contact for your breed; you can get the best training system for your needs.

Yellow lab wearing the Educator Mini E-Collar

Highlighted Features

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

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

  • Some users complain of the cumbersome or unreliable charging.
  • Some users complain that the instructions are vague or difficult to understand.

4.6 of 5 stars

#5
Aetertek dog training e collar

Aetertek Updated & Submersible Dog Training Collar 918C

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 can control up to two dogs at once. The auto anti-bark function sets this model apart from other low-cost options.

Highlighted Features

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

Overview of the Aetertek Remote Dog Training Collar (Video)

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

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

3.5 of 5 stars

#6
Dogtra IQ Remote Trainer for dogs

Dogtra IQ-Plus Remote Trainer for Dogs

If you have a smaller dog, the Dogtra IQ Remote Trainer’s compact size 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.

Dogtra Remote with icon of dog wearing a 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.

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

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

4.3 of 5 stars

#7
PetSafe Elite Remote Trainer for big dogs

PetSafe Elite Big Dog Remote Trainer

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. Moreover, 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.

Highlighted Features

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

Review of PetSafe Elite Big Dog Trainer (Video)

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

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

4.3 of 5 stars

#8
Garmin Delta XC Bundle - Dog Training Device Image

Garmin Delta XC  Bundle Dog Training Device

The user-friendly Garmin Delta Dog Training Collar 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.

Highlighted Features

  • 880-yard range (half-mile).
  • 18 levels of momentary and continuous stimulation.
  • Vibration setting.
  • Audible tone.
  • Short and long contact points included accommodating 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.

Overview of the Garmin Delta Dog Training Collar (Video)

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

  • Some users found battery life too short.
  • Some users wanted more stimulation levels.
  • No locking feature to prevent accidental shock.

4.5 of 5 stars

#9
Petrainer e-collar for training dogs

Petrainer Remote Shock Training Collar 

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, a waterproof collar, and a light to help you find your dog at night makes this collar suitable to most training conditions.

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.

Introduction to the Petrainer Electronic Dog Training Collar (Video)

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

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

4.0 of 5 stars

#10

PetTech PT0Z1 Premium Dog Training Shock Collar

The easy to use remote on the PetTech Training Collar has separate buttons for each mode to eliminate confusion between the tone, vibrate, and stimulation functions. It offers -1-100 levels of shock and vibration and a tone-setting to customize your training routine. The receiver and collar are waterproof and is adjustable to fit any dog. The PetTech collar offers loads of features and won’t break the bank. It's also the #1 Best Seller on Amazon.

Highlighted Features

  • 400-yard range.
  • Waterproof receiver and collar.
  • Separate, color-coded buttons for the audible tone, vibration, and shock functions.
  • 1-100 levels of vibration and stimulation.
  • Rechargeable receiver and remote.
  • Lifetime replacement guarantee.

Review of the PetTech Dog Training Collar (Video)

Cons (what dog trainers did NOT like )

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

4.0 of 5 stars

Electronic Training Collar Buyer’s Guide

Dog With Owner Checking The Training Area

Environment & Range

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. 

Dog Playing In Water

Water

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 your dog will usually begin to respond to these corrections without needing to use the shock settings in typical situations.

Dog With Safety Equipment On

Safety First

Safety features that prevent accidental 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.  Of course, the size of your dog and your budget will also influence your purchase.

Low Cost Options?

As you can see above, there are low-cost options that are very popular and offer many of the same features as higher-priced models.  While these may work well for some dog owners, I subscribe to the “you get what you pay for” approach for my pup.  Seeing reviews and photos of dogs with burn marks on their neck really 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 compare the cost of a high-quality e-collar to a professional dog trainer’s price, you will likely find the value in buying the best tool available.

Is Your Dog Willful?

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 readily responds to you when he is distracted. 

When dogs engage in unwanted behavior like jumping, bolting, excessive barking, and aggression, they cannot easily engage with verbal commands.  

In these situations, the tone, vibration, or stimulation from a shock collar can regain the attention of even the most willful pups.

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

Electronic Collar User Tips

Dog Training With E-Collar

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

The second is making sure that the collar fits your dog correctly 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 that the stimulation seems inconsistent, you may need to tighten the collar.  

You also want to make sure that the contact points can reach through your dog’s coat to his skin. Longer contact points or shaving the area of contact may help if you have relevant contact issues.

Practice, Practice, Practice...

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.  

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

Keep training sessions short and consistent with a balance of work and play to ensure that your pup stays engaged and positive while wearing the collar.

Always begin your first session at the lowest settings on your device and slowly increase the stimulation’s intensity until your dog notices the sensation.  You may see a twitch in your dog’s ears and neck, but your pup should never yelp in pain. 

Give Warning With the Tone or Vibrate...

A tone or vibrate mode can be used before 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, your dog will likely respond to either the tone or mild vibration without having to engage the shock function frequently.

Adjust, Adjust and Try Again...

If you notice irritation on your dog’s neck from the receiver, likely, 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. Trainers never recommend that you attach a leash to the e-collar as tension on the leash may apply unwanted pressure from the contact points. They also don’t recommend that other metal collars be worn with the e-collar.

Final Thoughts

Though there is some controversy surrounding the use of shock collars for dog training, these devices are very safe and humane tools to train your pup if appropriately used. Instead of stifling or punishing your dog, these systems can give your dog greater freedom and better interaction in their environment.  

When you consider the repercussions 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.

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