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

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Petsafe logoYard & Park 
SportDOG logo FieldTrainer
dogtra logo IQ-plus 

Does your dog stop obeying you when she’s off-leash outdoors? Want to take her hiking or exploring a remote wilderness but frightened she’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 she’s off-leash; giving your pup room to roam — and you peace of mind that your dog is safely exploring her world. How do remote collars work? And what are some of the best collar choices for your active family’s canine companion? Check out our remote dog training collar reviews for everything you need to know!

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.

PetSafe Yard & Park Rechargeable Dog Training Collar Review

PetSafe Yard & Park Rechargeable Dog Training Collar#1

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The PetSafe Yard & Park Dog Training Collar wins our top spot for the best remote dog training collar for its affordability, signal range, dog size accommodation and many other features. PetSafe comes with a rechargeable remote and collar that has a variety of static stimulation or tone settings. The stimulation output is small to medium, meaning that PetSafe’s dog shock collar with remote is a more humane version than most budget brands. And it’s waterproof, so if you’re out hiking around streams or rivers or have a lake on your property, you don’t have to worry about ruining your remote training collar.



  • Range up to 400 yards
  • Eight adjustable static stimulation levels and two tone levels
  • Accommodates huge dogs (neck size up to 28″)
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Expandable up to 3 dogs (extra collars not included)
  • 1-year warranty
  • Largely positive Amazon customer reviews
  • No vibrate setting
  • Not recommended for dogs under 8 pounds


SportDOG FieldTrainer SD-425 Review

SportDOG FieldTrainer SD-425#2

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The SportDOG FieldTrainer SD-425 comes in second place for our best remote dog trainer. It missed the top spot by a very narrow margin. Our major deciding factor? PetSafe accommodates much larger dogs, while SportDOG’s collar size is a bit smaller. With that said, SportDOG’s SD-425 model is another excellent choice if you don’t have a huge dog. It shares many of the same features with PetSafe (waterproof, rechargeable batteries, etc.) with a few exceptions. The SportDOG collar has a slightly wider signal range than PetSafe’s collar, and SportDOG also has a vibration setting in addition to multiple stimulation and tone settings.



  • Excellent 500-yard range
  • Seven 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)
  • 1-year warranty
  • May not fit extremely large dogs (neck size up to 22″)
  • Not recommended for dogs under 8 pounds


Dogtra IQ-Plus Remote Trainer Review

Dogtra IQ-Plus Remote Trainer#3

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Dogtra IQ-Plus Remote Trainer rounds out our top three picks for best dog training collars. 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 downsides? Dogtra’s collar is more expensive than our top two picks, and the remote only accommodates two dogs.



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


Other Best Dog Training Collars by Category

Although the following training collars for dogs didn’t make our top three list, each stands out for certain needs you may have. Check out our additional dog shock collar reviews by category.

Best for Longer Range: Educator E-Collar | Best on a Budget: Petrainer 330

Best for Longer Range: Educator E-Collar Dog Trainer 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. And both the transmitter and receiver are waterproof.



  • One-mile range with excellent signal reliability
  • Adjustable static stimulation levels 1-100 and boost stimulation 1-60
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • 1-year warranty
  • Excellent customer reviews on Amazon
  • 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)


Best on a Budget: 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 is a best seller on Amazon, with 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.

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.

Video: How Do You Transition From Leash Training to an E-Collar?

Check out the video below by SportDOG for an overview of e-collar training vs. leash training.

Are Remote Dog Training Collars Effective?

Learn More: 8 Things You Need To Know Before Buying a Shock Collar

As we mentioned earlier, people that 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.

Which remote dog training collar have you found most effective and why?

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Sally grew up in a feline-only home, but cat allergies in her early 20’s made it an easy transition to dog ownership. And she couldn’t be happier with her canine shadow, who’s been at her side (literally) for years. No longer a cat person for obvious reasons, Sally is now a true bone-ified dog lover.

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3 Comments on "Best Dog Training Collars: Educator vs Dogtra vs SportDog vs PetSafe"

Kimberlee Esler
Kimberlee Esler
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.
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!
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