Best Dog Training Collars: Educator vs Dogtra vs SportDog vs PetSafe

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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?

Avid hikers, explorers and hunters alike swear by remote dog training collars. These wireless collars allow you to train your dog 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?

Article Overview

How Do Remote Dog Training Collars Work?

All remote dog training collars, sometimes referred to as 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 dog training collars. We based our rankings on range, collar fit, performance, pricing and other factors.

Best High-End: SportDOG FieldTrainer SD-425 Review

SportDOG FieldTrainer SD-425

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SportDOG is a well-respected manufacturer of high-quality dog training collars, and the FieldTrainer SD-425 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 3 easy-to-set training modes: tone, vibration and both momentary and consistent stimulation. The collar and remote are made with DryTek technology, making them waterproof and submersible up to 25 feet.



  • Excellent 500-yard range
  • 7 adjustable static stimulation levels, as well as tone and vibration settings
  • Rechargeable batteries last 50-70 hours between charges
  • Remote can accommodate up to 3 dogs (must purchase extra collars)
  • Waterproof
  • 1-year warranty
  • May not fit extremely large dogs (neck size up to 22″)
  • Not recommended for dogs under 8 pounds


Best Value: PetSpy M686 Premium Training Collar Review

PetSpy M686 Premium Training Collar

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The PetSpy M686 Premium Training Collar is an excellent value and has a much longer range at 1,100 feet than the SportDog. It offers 4 training modes: vibration, sound, continuous and intermittent shock. It also has 8 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-feet range
  • 4 training modes: vibration, sound, continuous and intermittent shock
  • 8 adjustable levels of vibration and shock
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Waterproof
  • Light on collar for nighttime training
  • 1-year warranty
  • Not recommended for dogs under 10 pounds
  • Only expandable up to 2 dogs


Other Dog Training Collars Reviewed

Although the following training collars didn’t make our top picks, each stands out for certain needs you may have.

Dog Care | Dogtra | Educator | PetSafe | Petrainer

Dog Care Training Collar

Dog Care Training CollarView on Amazon

The Dog Care training collar is a fantastic value for the features you get — especially if you need a budget-friendly waterproof collar.

Its most noteworthy features include 3 training modes, 0-99 shock level adjustments and the ability to add up to 9 dogs with one transmitter. This collar also has tons of rave reviews from its customers.



  • Beep, vibration and shock modes
  • Static level adjustable from 0-99
  • Security keypad lock prevents accidental shocks
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Waterproof receiver
  • Expandable up to 9 dogs
  • 1-year warranty
  • Signal range capped at 330 yards
  • Not intended for dogs under 15 pounds
  • Some consumer complaints about collar not taking a charge after getting wet


Dogtra IQ-Plus Remote Trainer Review

Dogtra IQ-Plus Remote Trainer

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Dogtra’s collar is plastic and easily adjustable to fit many sized dogs, although the neck size won’t accommodate huge dogs. Like our top two picks, Dogtra’s collar has a good signal range and adjustable levels of low-to-medium stimulation output.

The good? Dogtra gives you 2-hour rapid charge rechargeable batteries, and the collar is waterproof. The downside? Dogtra’s collar remote only accommodates two dogs.



  • Good 400-yard range
  • Rheostat/Volume Dial with Stimulation Levels 0-100
  • Vibration setting
  • 2-hour rapid charge batteries
  • Waterproof
  • 1-year warranty
  • Doesn’t adequately fit dogs under 10 pounds
  • Not ideal for huge dogs (fits up to 24″ neck)
  • No tone setting
  • Only expandable up to 2 dogs


Educator E-Collar Review

Educator E-Collar Dog TrainerView on Amazon

The Educator E-Collar Dog Trainer is an excellent alternative to our top three picks if you need a longer range than 1/2 mile. The Educator ET-800 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 three collar winners. You can even activate a tracking light on your dog’s collar receiver for locating your dog after dark.

The Micro Educator is excellent for dogs who weigh as little as 5 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.



  • One-mile range with excellent signal reliability (1/3 mile range for Micro)
  • Adjustable static stimulation levels 1-100 and boost stimulation 1-60
  • Micro works for dogs as small as 5 pounds
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Waterproof
  • 1-year warranty
  • Excellent customer reviews on Amazon
  • Educator not suited for small dogs (only 20 pounds or larger)
  • No tone or vibration settings (tapping sensation instead)
  • More expensive than our top 3 picks (but competitive for one-mile-range dog training collars)
  • Only expandable up to 2 dogs


PetSafe Remote Trainer Review

PetSafe Remote TrainerView on Amazon

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
  • 2-hour rapid charge batteries
  • Fits dogs 8 pounds and up
  • Waterproof
  • 1-year warranty
  • Collar neck size is limited for giant dogs (up to 23″)
  • Only expandable up to 2 dogs
  • Some complaints that it doesn’t hold a charge


Petrainer 330 Dog Training Collar

Petrainer 330 Dog Training CollarView on Amazon

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.



  • Very affordable
  • Beep, vibrate and static stimulation levels 1-100
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • 1-year warranty
  • Signal range capped at 330 yards
  • Not recommended for dogs under 15 pounds
  • Collar neck size is limited for giant dogs (up to 23″)
  • 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 bed sheets, 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 they are able to understand what you are asking them to do and are able to 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:

  1. Don’t leave the electronic collar on for an extended length of time
  2. 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?

As we mentioned earlier, people who work with hunting dogs rely on remote dog training collars to train their dogs to respond in long-range situations (often a mile or more). Family dogs don’t need that level of training, but the concept is the same.

Remote training collars are effective in teaching your dog to obey you when she’s off-leash, even within longer distances. We hope we’ve given you some good recommendations with our dog shock collar reviews to help you train your pup off-leash. Visit our dog training collar article to see other options and read the 8 things you need to know before buying a shock collar.

What are your thoughts about using a shock collar on dogs?

About The Author:

Sally holds a BA in English from James Madison University and began her 25-year writing career as a grad student at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism & Mass Communications. She’s been a pet parent since college years (and spent her whole childhood with pets).

Now as a parent of two teenagers, she’s made sure to raise her daughters to learn how to love and care for pets (and other animals) in the most responsible and loving ways. As a result, she and her daughters now have 5 rescued dogs and cats who essentially rule their home! Sally has also volunteered over the years to help raise funds for various animal nonprofit organizations.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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December 18, 2018 10:57 am

After buying a collar for emergencies when our large dog started attacking our small dog, we found that the units you picked where you had to select the mode thru single buttons was useless under the stress and panic of a Dog Fight. You need a unit which clearly distinguishes what type of stimulus you are sending when you need immediate action without much time to thing. This also applies to units that go into a sleep mode and take too long to respond. At least if you need this technology to help control the actions of aggressive dogs.

May 23, 2018 12:34 am

Highly disagree with your choice and picks. SportDog collar is manufactured by Radio System Corporation which their main brand is PetSafe which also market and sell ecollars for third of the price of SportDog. I believe SportDog behave like a PetSafe collar is very unreliable at low levels and sometimes surprises the dog with a shock.
Neither of this is happening with ECollar Tech, Dogtra or Garmin. My personal choice is the ET300 small powerful and easy to use it has 1/2 coverage which is far enough for a dog to be away from the owner unless your hunting, if so, there are other options available much better than SportDog

Kimberlee Esler
January 31, 2017 5:50 pm

As a professional dog trainer, I feel that remote training collars are one of the best training tools available if used properly. When comparing different collars, the most important things to consider are the reliability of the tapping, meaning does the collar receive the signal every single time you tap the remote, and also the strength of the stimulation. A Pet Safe brand collar, set on the lowest level is more like a jolt, which can be upsetting for the dog, whereas an Educator brand collar has a much more smooth stimulation, comparable to a small itch.

January 19, 2020 12:36 pm

I need help. Honestly I’ve been thinking about getting a dog collar only because my dog is 7 months I’ve had her since she was 2 weeks old. Her momma died. Keep in mind I’ve never had a pet. Okay so she is running out the door takes me hours to get back in. She is jumping on people biting people. I have tried the spray bottle oil ve tried putting her in the cage yet she thinks she is in trouble whe. I say its time to go to bed. I need help I dont have the money to get a trainer. I dont know where I went wrong. She is still shitting in the house. I mean I dont know. And no I’m not giving her up. I love this dog with everything. I need ideas or just help. Last time I did this. The comments was just putting me down and telling me I had to find her another home. Please help.

May 23, 2020 11:36 am
Reply to  Elizabeth

I recommend watching multiple episodes of “Dog Whisperer” with Cesar Milan. I got a large rescue dog who was hard to handle and honestly, it saved my dog’s life. He has dedicated his life’s work to working with dogs. Some self-proclaimed “dog experts” try to put him down but I believe this is out of ego and jealously. Give it a try, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

John Harrison
February 8, 2020 10:16 am
Reply to  Elizabeth

Take a look at facebook, Sean o’shea-The Good dog training, Jeff Gellman-solidk9training, Larry Krohn, Tyler Muto. You will learn most of what you need if you study these guys, good luck.

Vanessa Moates
October 2, 2019 4:37 pm

What are your recommendations for a mid level price and lower level price? I want to use for house training.

December 30, 2016 5:54 pm

After reading our review we decided to go with the #1 pick you recommended and so glad we did because our little Lucy love it! We’ve been using it to train her for when we go hiking so that she won’t have to be on a leash and so far so good!

January 10, 2017 3:48 pm
Reply to  LucysLove

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