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Do your dogs stop obeying you when they’re off-leash outdoors? Want to take them hiking or when exploring a remote wilderness but frightened they’ll run too far astray? Or do you want a remote collar to help curb negative behaviors such as excessive barking, jumping, food aggression, etc.?
Avid hikers, explorers, and hunters alike swear by remote dog training collars. These wireless collars allow you to train your dogs to obey you when they’re off-leash, giving your pup room to roam — and you peace of mind that your dogs are safely exploring their world.
How do remote collars work? And what are some of the best collar choices for your active family’s canine companion?
At A Glance: Best Dog Training Collars
|SportDOG 425X||PetSpy M686||PatPet 356A|
|View on Amazon|
How Do Remote Dog Training Collars Work?
All remote dog training collars, sometimes referred to as e-collars, remote shock collars, or simply remote collars, include the same components: a handheld transmitter, a collar receiver, and collar probes.
You set your transmitter to the type (tone, vibration, or static shock) and intensity of stimuli, and the transmitter then sends a radio signal to your dog’s receiver.
The receiver delivers the stimuli you’ve chosen via a set of two stainless steel collar probes that rest on your dog’s neck. The probes must fit against your dog’s skin rather than her fur, so a snug-fitting collar receiver is of utmost importance.
Best Dog Training Collars
Below are our picks for the best e-collars. We based our rankings on the range, collar fit, performance, pricing, and other factors.
Best High-End: SportDOG FieldTrainer 425X Review
SportDOG is a well-respected manufacturer of high-quality dog training collars, and the FieldTrainer 425X is a high-performer with a ton of excellent features. Although it’s a bit on the pricey side, it’s extremely durable compared to many budget picks.
It has three easy-to-set training modes: tone, vibration, and 21 levels of both momentary and continuous static stimulation. The collar and remote are made with DryTek technology, making them waterproof and submersible up to 25 feet.
|Good 500-yard range||Neck size is only up to 22 inches|
|21 adjustable static stimulation levels, as well as tone and vibration settings||Not recommended for dogs under 8 pounds|
|Rechargeable batteries last 50-70 hours between charges|
|Remote can accommodate up to 3 dogs (must purchase extra collars)|
Best Mid-Range: PetSpy M686 Premium Training Collar Review
The PetSpy M686 Premium Training Collar is an excellent value and has a much longer range at 1,100 yards than the SportDog. It offers four training modes: vibration, sound, and continuous and intermittent shock. It also has eight adjustable levels of vibration and shock, so that you can fine-tune the correction level.
The adjustable collar fits most dogs (10-140 pounds), and the collar receiver is waterproof. The remote has a handy strap and belt clip for easy portability. We also like that this collar’s contact points are made of conductive rubber to prevent skin irritation.
|Excellent 1,100-yard range||Not recommended for dogs under 10 pounds|
|4 training modes: vibration, sound, and continuous and intermittent shock||Only has 8 stimulation levels|
|Rechargeable batteries last up to 72 hours||Only expandable up to 2 dogs|
|Light on collar for nighttime training|
Best Budget-Friendly: PatPet 356A Dog Training Collar Review
The PatPet 356A is the best dog training collar we’ve seen at this price point. It’s durable, reliable, and has good features for the low cost. Although the range is modest at roughly 330 yards, it’s long enough for you to control the collar if you’re in the house and your pup is in the yard. it has three training modes: beep, vibration (1-8 levels), and static shock (1-16 levels).
The adjustable waterproof collar fits neck sizes from 7.8 inches to 27 inches (around 15 to 100 pounds). It also has conductive silicone prongs and metal spring sheets to protect your dog’s skin when using the static mode.
|16 adjustable static stimulation levels, as well as beep and vibration settings||Signal range capped at 330 yards|
|Conductive silicone prong jackets to protect your dog’s skin||Not suitable for dogs under 15 pounds or very large dogs|
|Rechargeable batteries||Only expandable up to 2 dogs|
|Waterproof||Some complaints about the battery life|
|Comes in 5 colors|
What Are My Other Options?
Although the following training collars didn’t make our top picks, each stands out for certain needs you may have.
Dog Care Training Collar Review
The Dog Care training collar is a good value for the features you get — and you get two receivers, making it a top budget pick if you have two dogs. Its most noteworthy features include 3 training modes, 0-99 shock level adjustments, and the ability to add up to nine dogs with one transmitter.
While this collar got rave reviews from customers in the past, we’ve seen recent reviews that are much more mixed. A majority of complaints involve the shock feature not working at all and it not holding a battery charge. Also, the collar automatically goes into sleep mode to save battery life, but this creates a problem when you’re in training mode for hours at a time.
|Beep, vibration, and shock modes||Signal range capped at 330 yards|
|Static level adjustable from 0-99||Not intended for dogs under 15 pounds|
|Security keypad lock prevents accidental shocks||Several consumer complaints about the shock feature not working|
|Rechargeable batteries||Some find the automatic sleep mode annoying|
|Expandable up to 9 dogs|
Dogtra IQ-Plus Remote Trainer Review
Dogtra’s collar is plastic and easily adjustable to fit many dog sizes, although the neck size won’t accommodate huge dogs. Dogtra’s collar has a good signal range and adjustable levels of low-to-medium stimulation output. It’s also easy to adjust the levels with one hand by using the front-facing Rheostat Dial.
The good? Dogtra gives you two-hour rapid-charge rechargeable batteries, and the collar is waterproof. The downside? Dogtra’s remote-only accommodates two dogs and doesn’t have a tone setting.
|Good 400-yard range||Doesn’t adequately fit dogs under 10 pounds|
|Stimulation levels from 0-100||Not ideal for huge dogs (fits up to 24″ neck)|
|Vibration setting||No tone setting|
|2-hour rapid-charge batteries||Only expandable up to 2 dogs|
Educator E-Collar Review
The Educator E-Collar Dog Trainer is an excellent alternative to our top picks if you need a longer range than 1,100 yards. The Boss Educator has reliable signal strength up to one mile, making it a solid choice if you are shock collar training a hunting dog or live on a large farm.
The receiver delivers a tapping sensation (similar to vibration, but more intense), in addition to static stimulation. The Educator comes loaded with many of the fantastic features you’ll find in our top picks. You can even activate a tracking light on your dog’s collar receiver for locating your dog after dark. The Educator also comes in 3/4 and 1/2-mile ranges.
The Micro Educator is excellent for dogs who weigh as little as five pounds. The range is up to 1/3 mile, is 20% lighter, and has 20% less stimulation than the Educator. The contact points are closer to one another to accommodate breeds with smaller neck sizes.
|Up to 1-mile range with excellent signal reliability||The Boss (1-mile range) isn’t suitable for dogs under 20 pounds|
|Adjustable static stimulation levels 1-100 and boost stimulation 1-60||No tone or vibration settings (tapping sensation instead)|
|All but The Boss work for dogs as small as 5 pounds||More expensive than our top picks (but competitive for one-mile-range dog training collars)|
|Rechargeable batteries||Only expandable up to 2 dogs|
|Excellent customer reviews|
- The Boss Educator (1 mile): $279.99
- Educator (3/4 mile): $219.99
- Mini Educator (1/2 mile): $199.99
- Micro Educator (1/3 mile): $199.99
Pet Resolve Dog Training Collar Review
The Pet Resolve Dog Training Collar is a great option if you need a long-range system. Its range is up to 3/4 of a mile, and the remote can accommodate up to three dogs. It has three training modes: tone (beep), vibration, and 10 levels of static stimulation. It also has a light for night mode and an anti-bark feature. The battery only takes two hours to recharge, but a few customers complain that the battery life isn’t great compared to similar collars.
|Range is 3/4 of a mile (1,312 yards)||Only has 10 stimulation levels|
|2-hour rapid charge batteries||Not suitable for small dogs (good for dogs 15+ pounds)|
|Remote can accommodate up to 3 dogs (must purchase extra collars)||Some complaints that it doesn’t hold a charge for long|
|Removable shock prongs|
PetSafe Remote Trainer Review
PetSafe is a leading manufacturer of all types of pet equipment, and their Remote Training Collar is a solid choice. It has 3 training modes: tone (beep), vibration, and 15 levels of static stimulation. The battery life is 40 hours, and it only takes 2 hours to recharge. They even offer a Lite version with less intense stimulation for smaller and more timid dogs.
|Available in several ranges: 100, 300, 600, or 900 yards||Collar neck size is limited for giant dogs (up to 23″)|
|2-hour rapid charge batteries||Only expandable up to 2 dogs|
|Fits dogs 8 pounds and up||Some complaints that it doesn’t hold a charge|
- Starts at: $139.95
Petrainer Dog Training Collar Review
Dog training on a tight budget? There are dozens of budget-friendly dog training collars on the market for under $100. You’re not going to get the best dog shock collar at this price range, but many are still effective for basic training purposes. The Petrainer PET998DRB model is one of our favorite budget dog training collars for its affordability and features.
Your range is limited compared to our other dog training collar reviews, but you have tone, vibration, and static stimulation modes with plenty of adjustable levels. While the Petrainer is “water-resistant,” it’s not waterproof, so training your dog in water isn’t possible with this collar. Still, Petrainer 330 has plenty of satisfied customers.
|Budget-friendly||Signal range capped at 330 yards|
|Beep, vibrate and static stimulation levels 1-100||Not recommended for dogs under 15 pounds|
|Rechargeable batteries||Collar neck size is limited for giant dogs (up to 25″)|
|1-year warranty||Several consumer complaints about collar no longer recharging after a few months of use|
Are Shock Collars Harmful To Your Dog?
The idea of shock collar training turns many owners away, but today’s shock collars are designed to deliver low to medium intensity — and you get to choose the level of intensity.
The shock is unpleasant (similar to the shock you feel with static in your bedsheets, for example), but the shock itself isn’t harmful to your pup. The Humane Society, however, says that shock collars have the potential to irritate or inflame your dog’s neck. Read our pros and cons discussion to better understand both sides of the argument.
Pro Tip: We suggest NOT using these collars until your dog understands basic commands like sit and stay. That way you know that your dog is able to understand what you’re asking her to do and can associate the shock with the negative behavior.
Tips To Avoid Potential Shock Collar Irritation
The Humane Society suggests the following tips to avoid these problems:
- Don’t leave the electronic collar on for an extended length of time
- Clean the contact points that touch your dog’s neck regularly
How Do You Transition From Leash Training To An E-Collar?
Check out the video below by SportDOG for an overview of remote collar training vs leash training.
Are Remote Dog Training Collars Effective?
Yes! Remote training collars are effective in teaching your dog to obey you when she’s off-leash in your yard or within longer distances. If you’re wondering whether you should use the shock feature with these collars, check out our in-depth article on shock collars. We also have our recommendations and tips if you’re looking for an on-leash dog training collar. These collars help with on-leash training and associated behavioral issues.Tagged With: Collars, Comparison