If there was ever an ongoing debate in the community of dog owners about whether a certain approach with dogs is good or bad, you can bet that it's going to be about the use of dog shock collars in training.
Considered to be a form of animal cruelty by many, yet considered to be a very effective approach to dog training by others, this debate will never end and you'll always come across advocates and proponents on either side.
Our List Of The Top 5 Best Dog Shock Collars - (Updated List For 2019)
Top Pick: SportDOG Brand FieldTrainer SD-425
Pick #2: PetTech Remote-Controlled Dog Shock Collar
Pick #3: PetSpy Remote Dog Training Shock Collar
Pick #4: Dogedu DU518DR1 Remote Dog Training E-Collar
Pick #5: Petrainer PET998DBB Remote Dog Training Collar
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Amazon.com and Chewy.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
Best Shock Collars For Dogs (Dog Shock Collar Reviews)
Before we get into the list of the 5 best shock collars for dogs below, it must be made very clear from the start that this article is in no way, shape or form an encouragement for the use of shock collars for dogs during training.
We're just providing you with the necessary literature and information about this subject and leave it up to you to make a well informed decision about whether going down this route is something you deem appropriate or not.
If you're adamant about using a shock collar for your dog for whatever reason that may be, then we might as well guide you towards the best and safest electric collars for dogs rather than have you spend money on ones that will make your dog feel terrible.
Pick #1 - SportDOG Brand FieldTrainer SD-425
Best If You Have The Experience: If you're more of a savvy dog owner that already has previous experience using dog shock collars, then the SportDOG Brand FieldTrainer SD-425 is definitely an option you should give serious consideration.
Very Wide Range: Our #2 pick below can cover a range of up to 400 yards, a range which is already more than enough for the majority of dog owners looking for a dog shock collar.
However, if that's not enough for you and you want a dog shock collar with a wider range of coverage, then this collar gives you the ability to cover up to a whopping range of 500 yards.
3 Dogs All At Once: While the majority of dog shock collar manufacturers will allow you to pair two shock collars to one remote in order to control two dogs from the same remote at the same time, SportDOG allow you to pair 3 shock collars to one remote at the same time to control 3 dogs at once.
So, if you want a convenient option for 3 dogs at home, this is definitely the right choice for you.
Sound, Vibration & Shock: The good thing about this dog shock collar is that it has all 3 features that allow you to emit sound, administer a vibration and administer a shock.
Why is this a good thing? Well, you almost never have to use the shock feature on your dog(s) for behavioral modification purposes, either emitting sound from the collar or administering a vibration is more than enough to stop your dog(s) from doing whatever unwanted behavior they were doing.
Impressive Battery Life: Even though this has nothing to do with the actual effectiveness of a dog shock collar on your dog's actions, you're going to need a long lasting battery in your dog shock collar the same way we all search for long battery life in today's smartphones.
This dog shock collar from PetTech has one of the longest-life batteries on the market, with their battery being a Rapid Charging Lithium Ion battery.
Without getting into too much technical details that bore all of us, the takeaway from this pointer is that this dog shock collar has one of the longest lasting battery lives you're going to experience among similar units on the market.
Simultaneous Support For Two Dogs: If you've got two dogs at home that you want to make sure are "under control" at all times, PetTech give you the opportunity to buy an additional collar which you can pair with the original collar you get with your purchase, and control both collars with the same remote control.
This is very convenient and will save you the hassle of having to fumble around with two different controllers at the same time in order to stay on top of everything with both of your dogs.
Impressive Durability: You won't have to worry about either the shock collar breaking apart after a while because your dog gets "down and dirty" in their day to day physical activity, nor do you have to worry about the remote control breaking apart after a few presses here and there (which is the case with many other remotes out there, you won't believe how fragile some of these manufacturers make their remote controls in order to save money).
Are Dog Shock Collars Good Or Bad For Dogs?
First off, and if you're not very familiar with what a dog shock collar is, here are a couple of other names that dog shock collars are often called, and ones you may be more familiar with.
- Electronic collar
- Remote training collar
Some dog owners swear by dog shock collars and claim that the improvements in training they saw were unbelievable after they started using this equipment, while other dog owners wholeheartedly stand against the use of this equipment in any way, shape or form because they claim it's a very inhumane and outdated way of doing things in training.
When dog owners think about investing in a shock collar for their dogs, it's almost always within the context of being used as a training collar for training purposes, and it's almost always because either one of the following two reasons.
The Easy Way Out: A relatively common thought among new dog owners is that a dog shock collar will make their lives tremendously easier when it comes to training time, as they've been told my someone within their circle of contacts or have read about it somewhere.
Trouble In Paradise: If not because of the first reason mentioned above, then dog owners consider investing in a dog shock collar because they've been trying to properly train their dogs for a while now but things aren't quite working out for them as much as they would have liked in terms of results. You may be training your dog with all the right methods or you may be training your dog with all the wrong methods, you're not getting the results you wanted either way and now you're considering going with a dog shock collar to give results a boost.
When training your dog, there may be a few things they do here and there that you're finding especially difficult to get them to stop doing, such as excessive and continuous barking, getting carried away when out on walks and wanting to go places they shouldn't be going to, exhibiting destructive behavior when it comes to equipment you've bought for them or furniture you have inside the house, etc ..
The philosophy behind using a dog shock collar is that it will create a correlation in your dog's mind between doing whatever unwanted behavior you want them to stop doing and the shock they feel whenever they do this unwanted behavior - ultimately (again, as per the philosophy behind this mechanism) leading to your dog not exhibiting such unwanted behavior with time because they don't want to feel these shocks anymore.
People who advocate the use of safe dog shock collars, and the companies that manufacture these products, claim that shocks being administered to dogs in such a safe fashion will have you correct their unwanted behavior way before they experience any sort of physical problems that will affect their lives in any way, shape or form.
What Criteria Determines The Best Dog Training Collar?
When it comes to determining the best electric collar for dogs, this is one of the most delicate shopping procedures a dog owner could ever go through.
Depending on what you look for in a dog shock collar, you'll end up in one of the following two boats.
1) You end up getting magnificent results and building a tremendous relationship with Fido, because you took the necessary time to find a dog shock collar that's very safe and inflicts negligible physical pain on your dog's body.
2) Or you could end up getting terrible results and absolutely destroying your relationship with your dog, because you went ahead and bought the first dog shock collar you came across that you later found out was very unsafe and was inflicting tremendous physical pain on your dog's body.
So, in order to make sure that you're only investing in the best shock collar for your dog, look for the following features before making a purchase.
Warnings Before Shock
The manufacturers of the best dog shock collars will have certain warning features in their collars that give your dog a head's up that they should quit whatever they're doing before they experience a certain level of shock.
This is one of the most important features you'll ever come across in a dog shock collar, since your dog will eventually form a correlation between these non-shock warning signs and having to stop whatever behavior they're doing, thus not having to experience any sort of shock that usually comes after the warning sign.
The most common of these warning signs are usually a certain beep sound or a certain level of vibration your dog feels before the shock is emitted.
If a shock collar can get your dog to stop unwanted behavior they're doing with just a warning sign and without actually having to shock them, it's a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Many dog owners who invest in dog shock collars eventually realize that they never actually have to make use of the shock feature, and that the beep or (more commonly) the vibration part they are able to administer to their dog is enough to stop the dog from doing whatever unwanted behavior they were doing.
Stay away from shock collars that don't have a beep warning and a vibration warning administered to your dog before the actual shock itself, as there are much better options out there that do have these features.
Shock Intensity Control
The best dog shock collars will give you a wide range of shock intensities to work with, ranging from very mild shocks where you can start off with, all the way to intense shocks that you'll almost never have to make use of.
If you come across a shock collar that gives you only one shock intensity level to work with, immediately disregard it and look for something else, as such a "one size fits all" answer in the world of dog shock collars never ever works well.
Maybe you want to start off with the lowest of shock levels in order to test the waters with your dog and see how they'll react to all of this, why should you be stuck with having to confirm with only one default shock intensity?
One thing to keep in mind is that dogs come in all sorts of different sizes, weights, fur density, etc .. and it's not at all logical to use the same shock intensity on all dogs alike.
Imagine using the same shock intensity you normally use on a German Shepherd dog when training your little Chihuahua, it doesn't work like that at all.
A single intensity for you to use on your dog may result in a very strong shock for some dogs that leads to them developing trauma, while the same shock for other dogs may be like a very weak pinch that they won't care too much about feeling.
Just like all matters in life, balance is key here, and you have to find just the right one for YOUR dog and stick to that until it stops working the way it should.
Range Of Coverage
In order for a dog shock collar to be considered among the best, it must have a large range of coverage, i.e it must work very fine even when you're at a relatively long distance from your dog.
If the dog shock collar has a weak range of coverage that requires you to be within meters for it to take your orders whenever you press the remote, then that beats the purpose and you shouldn't be spending money on such a dog shock collar.
The Positives Of Using Shock Collars For Dogs
The following is a list of some of the most important advantages that you, as a dog owner, will be getting from investing in the best shock collar for dogs.
For people who are really short on time and can't afford to spend a lot of time to correct certain behavioral problems in their dogs, a shock collar can be a huge time saver since it greatly cuts down on the time needed to train.
What would have usually taken you months to teach your dog not to do via the usual methods of positive reinforcement training may very well be achievable in a matter of just a few days.
Just like many dog owners can't afford to spend the required amount of time training their dogs not to exhibit certain behavior, many dog owners would prefer to hire a professional dog trainer to do the work for them but don't have the necessary budget for such a thing.
To this segment of people, and if you're one of them, the thought of making a one-time investment in a piece of equipment that will save you from having to spend ample amounts of time training your dog and save you from having to spend sizable amounts of money on a dog trainer is very tempting, to say the least.
If you want to be the slightest bit efficient with training your dog not to do something, you absolutely must get your timing perfect, something which a shock collar that gives you the ability to act right on the spot exactly does.
Act a little bit too late on what your dog just did, and the only thing you'll do is confuse them and have them wonder what just happened and why it did.
For example, let's say that your dog is attempting to climb over the fence you have installed in your backyard.
One dog owner that's not happy with this happening may react by yelling 30 seconds after their dog successfully made their way over the fence and into the other side, thinking that this way the dog will understand that what they did was wrong.
In reality, this in no way, shape or form delivers a clear message to the dog that what they did was wrong, because the reaction to the action was a little too late.
What something like a shock collar allows you to do is to instantly administer a shock the moment your dog tries to climb over the fence, which will immediately resonate in your dog's mind as a clear message that says "don't do this anymore, this is unacceptable".
If it doesn't resonate the first time and your dog tries to climb the fence right after the first shock, you immediately administer the second shock (and whatever number of shocks needed after that for your dog to understand) - they'll eventually get it as long as you get your timing perfect.
Timing is everything if you plan on getting your dog to understand what actions you don't want them to do.
The Negatives Of Using Shock Collars For Dogs
The following is a list of some of the most important disadvantages/risks that you, as a dog owner, will be putting your dog at if you decide to use a shock collar on them.
The most common negative aspect that comes with shock collars is people who misuse them out of lack of proper knowledge about the subject.
You can spend money on the best shock collar for dogs available on the market today, but if you don't know how to properly and safely make use of it with your dog and end up misusing it, that's practically money spent on harming your dog.
As long as you properly educate yourself about everything there is to know when it comes to using shock collars for dogs, you should be just fine.
Negative Reinforcement Training
If you were to ask professional dog trainers for their opinions about using shock collars for dogs, you're going to get 50/50 answers, with the proponents almost always mentioning that this is a form of negative reinforcement training technique, unlike the much more preferred positive reinforcement training techniques available for you to make use of.
Proponents will argue that no matter how much of a small electric shock you administer, there still is physical pain involved and that is something many people will not tolerate nor accept one bit.
Not Solving The Root Of The Problem
Proponents of using dog shock collars will argue that this technique does not enable you to figure out and solve the root problem that's causing your dog to exhibit whatever behavior it is you want them to stop, be that barking, scratching, or whatever else your dog has going on.
These proponents believe that using a dog shock collar will only suppress the tip of the iceberg while it will miss the huge part that's under the ocean that's triggering your dog to do whatever they're doing.
Whenever any form of physical pain is involved in any part of your dog's life, the risk of traumatization and the development of mental problems is always there.
Shocks administered to dogs aren't all dealt with the same, equal way. Some dogs understand the meaning behind that shock, while other dogs will just be confused and will ultimately develop fear and trauma - not what we wanted to achieve in the first place.
We've spoken about this extensively in a separate post on this website about the basics of dog training, but we'll say it again here because it should be made very clear, you will put your dog's trust in you and the love they hold for you in very great risk if your dog finds out one way or another that you're responsible for the shocks being emitted.
This is why you'll want to make sure that you keep your distance from your dog when administering any sort of shock, and that you make sure they don't see you around, or else the correlation will become very clear in their mind with time.
Many dog owners often resort to awful methods such as spanking or hitting their dog with a certain object whenever they do anything wrong, a practice which makes it very obvious to the dog where the source of pain is coming from, and one main reason you're investing in a dog shock collar is to hide the source of the shock (you) from your dog.
Top dog training experts always recommend that if you're going to be making use of a shock collar as part of your training regiment, then you should also work on growing the relationship you share with your dog by techniques such as praise, offering them treats, showering them with love, etc ..
You have to strike a healthy balance in order to reduce the risk of relationship damage.
Now, if done right and you keep the necessary distance from your dog and don't make it obvious for them that the source of the shock is actually you, this can be turned into a positive point instead of a negative one.