Dog training collars are a perfect way to instil good behaviour, boost the retrieving ability of a canine, or curb bad behaviour. Most collars are waterproof and come with a transmitter that fosters compliance using vibrations or static stimulation.
When should you start using a training collar on a dog?
But when it comes to the issue of when to start training a dog using a collar, the fact is, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some pups are ready to go around 14 or 15 weeks of age, others, before you start, should be close to the usual 6-month-old standard recommended time frame.
To help you figure out the right collar for your beloved dog, we have curated the best dog training collars that you can buy right away. See also our recommendations on the best dog gadgets, Guide for buying a dog fence, Tips for training the dog to use an electric dog fence, Top 5 best electric fence.
Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar
For dog owners who want an alternative to a standard shock collar, this collar from Educator is perfect. It relies on “blunt” stimulation technology instead of using a “sharp” static shock, which has an effect that feels more like a hard tap. This is characterised by the instructor as less stressful for dogs, but equally successful in encouraging them to comply. It also has a Pavlovian Tone function (named for the famous study of conditioning), where dogs learn to respond to the sound rather than the stimulus itself before the stimulation.
An ergonomic, stopwatch-style controller is also part of the Educator E-Collar, which also controls a tracking light to help keep your dog visible after dark. Shoppers agree that the whole kit is well crafted and particularly useful for pet owners of super-smart dogs who are still dealing with some dangerous behaviours.
WOLFWILL Humane No-Shock Remote Dog Training Collar
Not all are drawn to the shock factor of certain training shock collars. That is understandable, and for pet owners who want to encourage healthy behaviour, but are concerned about causing their dog pain, there are other choices. This Wolfwill collar uses tones and vibrations exclusively to provide input to your dog and is still highly successful. There are 16 strength levels of the vibration feature, and the collar works at a range of up to 660 yards. The transmitter is built with blind users in mind, made with touch-distinguished buttons, but the device is not specific to seeing-eye dog owners.
Customers agree that the product works exactly as described, and does a fantastic job of getting dogs to avoid jumping on tables, chasing squirrels, and exhibiting various other behavioural problems. They also like that since it only uses vibration and sound, and it does not have the annoying prongs that are typical to other training collars.
SportDOG Brand 425X Remote Trainers
The Field Trainer 425X, the lightest of the training collars from SportDog, fits well for hunting enthusiasts who want to teach their dogs to develop their skills in flushing and recouping. It is waterproof and has a 500-yard range, with batteries lasting 50-70 hours per charge, making it ideal for long days, regardless of the weather or terrain. Up to three collars can be operated by the transmitter as well, so you can deal with several dogs at once.
This updated version also provides 21 static stimulus levels (rather than seven), with the option of both vibration (buzz) and tone (beep) training. The latter is typically used to modify actions, whereas the former is used to reinforce positive behaviour.
Users claim the system is simple and durable to operate and fits a number of different breeds and temperaments. In as little as two days, some recorded improvements in their dog’s behaviour! Note that, however, it is better used as part of an overall routine instead of a one-stop solution.
Mockins Rainproof Rechargeable Electronic Remote Dog Training Collar
Typically, training collars use vibrations or static simulation (or a slight electric shock) to encourage obedience, whether you want to deter offensive actions or teach your dog to walk on a leash. Although it can be pricey for many of these products, this dog training collar from Mockins checks all the major boxes and comes at a low cost. It matches with dogs of 15 pounds or greater, delivering 100 levels of vibration and static shock, with a warning tone accompanying the delivery. It’s waterproof and fully rechargeable as well.
Customers say this collar, especially for the price, works extremely well. Most owners stick to the vibratory feature, with some noticing that even larger dogs have shown good results.
PetSafe Gentle Leader Head Collar
Do your dog’s regular walks seem to feel more like the dog is walking you? When it comes to encouraging healthier leash behaviours, take a different approach; go with an easy (but effective) no-pull harness instead of a traditional training collar. The principle is very straightforward: just loop the lead around the muzzle of your dog and a light tug will remind your dog not to pull away (or lunge, jump, or otherwise misbehave). There is no harsh strain on the throat or head of your dog, only a gentle redirection of their attention.
Available in sizes appropriate for dogs from five pounds to over 130, the PetSafe Gentle Lead Head Collar comes in eight different colours. An instructional DVD that shows the best way to use the collar is also included in the box. Customers are pleased that it really protects dogs who can not stop pulling on the lead, and it will not break the budget either.
PetSafe Martingale Collar
The humane successor to the old choke chains are Martingale collars. They act in a similar manner when the dog starts pulling, with the collar tightening. But it is also better because of the small closing, and will not necessarily choke your dog, but only conforms to the size of their body. For that reason, for pet owners whose dogs have the habit of slipping out of their leash, it’s also a great option.
This PetSafe martingale collar is available in five sizes for petite dogs up to big, as well as five colours. For “collar escape artists,” consumers claim it is perfect and call it a no-cruelty alternative to the traditional choker.
How to choose the right training collar for your dog?
Choosing a training collar today is very complicated as there are numerous collar types available in the market. Finding out the right collar for your dog plays a vital role. For your better understanding, let me put it this way – does your kid learn the exact same way as your neighbor’s child? We cannot blindly state that a flat collar or a harness is your only best bet and any other collars available are of no use or harmful to your dog. Many expert dog trainers have researched and used all types of training collars, and they suggest some, but preferring a collar doesn’t mean that it is the only choice or the only recommendation they would offer.
It is essential to remember that we look at the collar in our training toolbox as one of the most valuable tools. Together, the leash and collar are the way we interact with our dog and the way we understand what we intend. Whether teaching them obedience, correcting a behaviour problem or simply addressing bad manners, having the right training collar and leash will greatly shorten the time it takes to work with a dog. There are many tools in our toolbox as a trainer that we use in our training, but the collar is one of the main elements of the training curve by far.
Deciding which collar is right for the dog is tricky, and it cannot be guaranteed that the best and only option is only one collar. Experts, based on their years of use, knowledge and hands-on experience, they have expectations that recognise the personality and concerns of a dog, but even then, they can not guarantee that one collar would fit on every puppy. A trainer who advises you that you have to use a particular collar or harness would generally not give your dog the best training options. Thus, when suggesting a training collar, many considerations have to be taken into account.
Through training, the collar should facilitate the process of achieving reliable obedience and address the manners or behavior that are concerning the owners. It should not be assumed that the collar needs to be worn for the life of the dog. Once trained, the owner should be able to walk the dog reliably on any collar they choose and maintain the same control and response they would when they were using that training collar.
We have curated different collar types along with their pros & cons:
1. Martingale collars:
Martingale collar feels comfy, looks fantastic and helps to train your pup. The Martingale is a collar style that is increasingly rising in popularity across the globe. It was initially designed for dogs with shorter heads than necks; it is now used for dogs of all sizes and breeds.
- Have some give for a bit of a correction
- Easy on the neck
- Easy to take on and off
- Dogs will pull into the tension
- Hard to give an easy correction, need to pull harder to get a response
2. Slip or Choke chains – metal or cloth collars:
The slip collar is known by many different names, but the choker was the original collar used in dog training, no matter what you call it.
A slip chain slides when it comes under tension, and slides again when the tension is relieved, unlike a regular buckle collar whose tightness is preset. As a consequence, the tighter the chain will be pulled around the animal’s neck, the more you pull back on the lead or the more your dog pulls away from you. However, since a slip chain slips readily, as soon as your dog ceases pulling and falls back, the tension will be released immediately.
- They give a solid correction
- Easy to put on and take off
- Have to be used on the appropriate side or they will not release
- Harder for the handler to use
- Harder on the dog’s neck
- Hard to give an easy correction, need to pull harder to get a response
3. Flat collars:
A flat collar is familiar to almost every pet parent; it is the most common type of collar and the gold standard. Each dog should be able to walk without any issues on the flat collar and they should not lunge, pull, or misbehave in a way that would have them or their owner injured.
- Easy to take on and off
- Can send a correction down the leash
- Dogs pull into the tension and do not always respond to the correction
- Dogs necks are the strongest muscle in their body and they get stronger pulling on a flat collar
4. Prong collars:
The prong collar is a set of chain links with the open ends facing the neck of the dog attached to each other. In beginner obedience, or when training a dog to walk on a leash, the prong collar is widely used. This collar is often referred to as a “pinch collar.”
- Easy to give a correction
- Less effort by the owner to use
- Can use on either side of the dog
- Dogs may have an adjustment issue when initially put on a prong collar
- Look medieval
5. Harnesses collars:
Harnesses are becoming increasingly popular among dogs owners. They are excellent teaching tools to learn to behave on a leash for dogs, and they encourage walkers to have a little more control over them.
Harnesses collars prevent pulling and encourage you, without worrying about coughing, to stop your dog from jumping on strangers. Dogs in harnesses are often less likely to inadvertently become wrapped up in the leash.
- Easy for the owner to “appear to control” their dog
- No issues with the dog’s neck being damaged if they have a tracheal disorder
- Better leverage but no way to address real issues
- Does not stop the behavior it just gives the owner a way to control the dog. The problem behavior remains and can get worse
Important factors to look for before buying training collars:
Don’t let their similar appearances confuse you; there are some very important differences among dog training collars. The best remote dog training collar for you and your canine companion depends partly on your dog training goals and your specific dog. However, there are certain features and benefits you should look for no matter what. Consider these factors to evaluate dog training collars and find the right one for you.
1. Safety and responsibility
As a responsible dog owner, you want a dog training collar that won’t harm your dog but will simply help you discourage certain behavior. So be sure to avoid traditional “shock collars,” and instead opt for a product that delivers a tone, vibration or other humane stimulation.
For optimal safety and owner control, all E-Collars dog training collars feature patented COS (control of stimulation) technology. The owner can select either a tone, vibration or patented “blunt pulse stimulation,” which uses the same technology employed by chiropractors to trigger muscle reflexes. The stimulation level can also be adjusted and locked in place to avoid the risk of accidental overstimulation.
2. Training goals
Different dog training collars work better for different purposes. Are you looking for a yard training dog collar? Do you only need a bark collar? Or do you need a collar to train a working dog or even a hunting dog collar? Look for an option that was specifically made for your needs.
3. The size and temperament of your dog
Of course, a dog training collar won’t work properly if it doesn’t fit properly. While most collars are adjustable, you’ll still want to make sure you don’t buy a collar made for large dogs if you have a small dog or vice versa.
Also, keep in mind that larger or more stubborn dogs may need more stimulation — yet too much stimulation can actually be counterproductive or even cruel. Read dog training collar descriptions carefully to make sure they offer powerful enough (yet still humane) stimulation levels for your dog.
4. Range of effectiveness
How far do you want to allow your dog to roam? In many cases, a standard range of ½ mile is plenty. But when in doubt, opt for more. Too much range will never be a problem, but too little definitely could be. E-Collars dog training collars feature ranges from ½ mile up to 1 mile.
5. Speed and reliability
For dog training to be effective, your dog has to associate the stimulation from the dog training collar with the behavior you’re trying to discourage. That means the stimulation has to be delivered instantly when you trigger it, which requires a fast, reliable wireless connection between the transmitter and the collar.
Many less expensive dog training collars have slow or unreliable connections. E-Collar models are assembled and tested in the United States to guarantee reliability. In fact, tests show they can survive up to 500 feet below sea level and can withstand the pressure of up to 5,000 G-force — making them the toughest electronic dog training collars in the world. For added peace of mind, E-Collars dog training collars come with a 2 Year Lifetime Limited Warranty, providing the best value in the business.
Features of dog training collars:
- A design made specifically for your dog training goals (yard training, bark training or training a hunting dog or working dog)
- A large enough (or small enough) size to fit your dog
- Humane stimulation, such as a tone, vibration or E-Collar’s patented blunt pulse stimulation
- Powerful enough stimulation for your dog’s size and temperament
- Adjustable stimulation levels, preferably with E-Collar’s COS (control of stimulation) technology
- A long enough connection range, at least ½ mile
- A fast connection between the controller and the dog training collar
- Proven durability and testing
- A strong warranty
- Positive online reviews
If you keep these factors in mind and use the above checklist, your selection should be much simpler and much more rewarding.
We hope you enjoyed this article featuring the best training collars for dogs. Dog training collars are a perfect way to teach good behaviour, boost the retrieving ability of your dog and curb bad behaviour. Most collars are waterproof and come with a transmitter that fosters compliance using vibrations or static stimulation.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution about when to start training a dog using a collar. It’s specific to your dog and can’t have a general answer. Be mindful before you choose as a right collar solves many issues and will be of great help. We have curated the best dog training collars that you can buy, to help you figure out the right collar for your beloved dog.