8 Things To Know Before Buying A Shock Collar

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Shock Collar For DogsWhether you have a pup with a penchant for persistent barking, or you’d like to train your dog to stay in the yard, you may have considered a shock collar (aka electronic collar, e-collar or remote training collar). As with any method of behavior modification, there are pros and cons. Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose what method works best for you and your pets, so we’ve laid out the facts to help you decide.

We suggest NOT using these collars until your dog understands basic commands like sit and stay. That way you know that they comprehend what you are asking them to do and they can draw the association between any negative behavior and the “shock.”

Article Overview

Best High-End Shock Collar: SportDOG FieldTrainer SD-425 Review

SportDOG Field Trainer SD-425View SportDOG on Amazon

If you do decide that an e-collar is the right training device for your dog, we recommend the SportDOG FieldTrainer SD-425 for its 7 levels of correction, beep-only option, rechargeable battery and 500-yard range.

It’s more expensive than some of the other electronic options out there, and it gives you more control and therefore a more positive training experience for your pup. It also allows you to train your dog with a much more mild tingle on 7 levels, rather than starting out with an intense shock. This is among our top picks for best dog training collar.

Best Budget Shock Collar: PetSpy M686 Premium Training Collar Review

PetSpy M686 Premium Training Collar

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If the SportDOG collar is out of your price range, the PetSpy M686 Premium Training Collar is another excellent option. It offers 4 training modes: vibration, sound, continuous and convulsive shock. And it gives you 8 adjustable levels of vibration and shock, so you can fine-tune the correction level.

We also like that this collar’s contact points are made of conductive rubber to prevent skin irritation. It has a vast range (up to 1,000 feet), and the remote has a handy strap for easy portability. The adjustable collar fits most dogs (10-140 pounds), and the entire device is waterproof (but not remote).

How Does A Shock Collar Work?

Shock collars are a type of aversive training initially used in the 1960s to train hunting dogs. These days, shock collars are often used to curb a variety of stubborn and unwanted behaviors in family dogs, from excessive barking to food aggression, as well as to train pups to stay safely within a property line or to stick close by while off leash.

Shock collars are not intended as a punishment but more as a deterrent to negative or unsafe behavior. The theory is that your dog will associate the unwanted behavior with a slightly uncomfortable jolt and stop doing it until they no longer require the reminder.

The shock administered by an approved shock collar is safe, so while it is certainly enough to get your dog’s attention and deter certain behaviors, it won’t do any lasting physical harm.

With most shock collars, there are several levels of enforcement, so you can set the level to reprimand the unwanted behavior accordingly. For example, many shock collars will administer a beep or vibration as a warning before an actual shock is delivered to your dog. The beep also allows you to give a verbal command (“No!” or “Down!”) with the warning beep or vibration to further disrupt the unwanted behavior.

Dog in yard with Wireless Dog FenceWith boundary training (often marketed as an electric or wireless fence), the shock collar is triggered by wires placed underground along the property line so the dog learns exactly how far they can go before they reach the boundary.

Once set to “shock” mode, there are usually varying levels of intensity delivered by a two-pronged device attached to a dog collar. If you’re using a shock collar as a barking deterrent, the collar responds to the vibration of your dog’s vocal cords. If you’re using the collar to deter behavioral issues like food aggression, jumping or leash aggression, a remote control allows you to administer the shock in conjunction with the unwanted behavior.

Keep in mind, using a shock collar doesn’t make you a bad pet parent, and it doesn’t mean you are torturing your dog, especially when used on the lower non-shock levels. It is unlikely that an electronic training collar would destroy your relationship with your dog. In fact, shared training sessions could improve your bond with one another.

8 Things To Know Before Buying A Shock Collar

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Here are four pros and four cons that we think everyone should consider before using or purchasing a shock collar for a dog. Please be sure to read these carefully, and feel free to ask us any questions you have about the pros and cons of using a shock collar.

Pros Of Shock Collars For Dogs

1. Adjustable Intensity

Most modern shock collars give you the flexibility of a warning beep or vibration mode, and adjustable shock level. This can be comforting to people who are on the fence about using a shock collar. Other collars, such as spray collars, which administer a harmless but foul-smelling blast up a dog’s snout, are usually not adjustable.

2. Fast Results

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Some pet owners report that it only took a few shocks to correct an unwanted behavior in their dog and after that, the beep or vibration was warning enough (for us we never even needed the shock at all). Shock collars can also be very effective at keeping your dog on your property, which will help keep them safe while giving them freedom. Of course, more stubborn dogs may take longer to train.

3. You Don’t Need To Be Present

Shock collars, when used to control chronic barking, work even while you’re away from home or inside the house. This can be especially helpful if you’ve had neighbors complain about your dog’s loud protests. The same goes for shock collars as boundary control, although they do require some hands-on training.

Personally, I would not leave my dog unattended with a shock collar as I would be scared of overcorrecting while I was not there to observe and adjust to the situation, but this is your choice. Also, we don’t recommend leaving your dog unattended outside for extended periods of time, with or without a shock collar.

4. Affordable

A shock collar can be a cheaper alternative to a professional dog trainer or fence. Shock collars range in price from $30 to $250+, depending on features such as remote control, adjustable warning/shock levels, a range of distances (usually 30 to 400 yards), and the number of collars included.

Cons Of Shock Collars For Dogs

1. The ShockShock Collar icon

Most pet owners can’t fathom causing pain to their pet. But even with the ability to control the intensity of the correction, you are still using aversive behavior modification. Many dog trainers choose positive reinforcement (reward) as a means of behavior modification over negative feedback.

2. The Fear

Fear in dogs can be dangerous, so you never want to train a dog with fear. With shock training, some dogs may learn to fear people, objects, or situations they associate with the collar. One pet owner we know installed a wireless fence and then their dog refused to go outside after training with it. It even started urinating in the house instead of going to the back door to relieve itself in the yard.

3. Over-Correction

Without you there to control when a shock is administered, automatic bark collars and electric fences may deliver shocks unintentionally or too often. This unnecessary shock could confuse your dog by “correcting” a problem that was not even there.

4. No Positive Reward

On their own, shock collars don’t reinforce good behavior with a positive reward such as your affection, verbal approval (“Good boy!”) or a tasty treat. So while a shock collar may effectively deter negative behaviors like jumping on visitors or running after the mail carrier, it doesn’t reward positive behavior such as sitting patiently or obeying a command to “Stay!”. As with any training, you should always reinforce positive behavior with a reward of affection, playtime or a small treat.

Shock Collar Alternative: PetSafe Elite Outdoor Bark Control

PetSafe Elite Outdoor Bark Control

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If you are seeking an alternative to the shock collar, try an ultrasonic bark control device. This one from PetSafe costs about $40 and looks like a birdhouse. It uses high-frequency ultrasonic sound to deter barking, which isn’t harmful to pets.

It’s weatherproof and for outside use. You can hang it on a tree, wall or fence to stop your dog or your neighbor’s dog from obsessively barking. It’s effective up to 50 feet away.

Pros & Cons Of Shock Collar For Dogs: Infographic

Here is a summary of the pros and cons for shock collars for dogs.

Shock Collar For Dogs Infographic

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E-Collar Training And Introduction Video

Learn about training your dog using an e-collar with these helpful tips.

Grow Your Bond With Your Dog

No matter what training tools you decide to use, the intended purpose is to help your dog, whether it’s to stop him from barking unnecessarily or to keep him from harm’s way. This applies when using a shock collar or any training collar. Are you unsure of what size collar to get? Check out our handy guide to find the average neck sized based on dog breed.

Have you had success using a shock collar on your dog?

The information contained in this article and website is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional safety advice; it is provided for educational purposes only.

About The Author:

Sara is a writer for Canine Journal. She adores dogs and recently adopted a rescue pup named Beamer. Whole she may be adjusting to life with another being to care for, she needed no time to adjust to all the extra love.

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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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July 10, 2020 9:40 am

I work in a family’s home where the daughter works from home.
They have a young dog rescue and she can not tolerate his barking.
She got a shock collar and when he barks she stomps out of the office, puts the collar on, and walks away.
Once he barked with the collar on, cried, and ran to me. There is no training involved and they insist it’s training.
This isn’t done on a daily basis but when it is I can’t stand the situation.
I feel this is abuse but I don’t know what I can do about it. I have been so upset about it I couldn’t eat.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

July 15, 2020 4:59 pm
Reply to  Deborah

So sorry you’re in the middle of that situation. Does the e-collar automatically shock when the dog barks? And what setting is it on? Sounds like the setting might be too high/severe based on your comment. Perhaps you could offer to intercede and take on the job of training the dog (using the shock collar as well as positive reinforcement) while you’re there if that would be viable in your situation. You may want to do some research first to be clear exactly how you want to use the e-collar.

Thanks for your concern and good luck.

June 12, 2020 10:21 am

I’m considering the use of an e-collar with one of my dogs who was a rescue. He was never socialized early on. He’s come a long way, knows a number of commands, and we’ve done some agility as well. I’ve had some experience training dogs, have had 2 CDs, and another one that I never got to any obedience trials but is just as well trained. I used clicker training (positive reinforcement). I could take these dogs almost anywhere and not bother with leashes. But my rescue dog in question is not reliable and if he “flips the switch” then he’s totally distracted and just does not respond to commands that he knows. So, I might use the e-collar to try and curb certain behaviors.

One point that I want to throw out, however, for anyone else considering use of an e-collar is the importance of your ability to work with your dog, train, and get positive results. Dog training requires skills that take time to get good at. I imagine that if you’ve not already taken considerable time to work with your dog then use of an e-collar could be a real disaster. Offhand, I’d say be clear about what you’re trying to do, and exactly how you’re going to go about it with the e-collar. I feel like use of an e-collar should probably be a last resort, but may be the best method in some cases.

If you’ve never done any research into dog training then do that first! “The Culture Clash” by Jean Donaldson is a great resource.

Thanks. Wish me luck

Agreession N. Colorado
June 8, 2020 10:13 pm

2 yr old rescued lab/border collie mix, from what the shelter suspects. Had her for 18 months. We’re having troubles with her aggressive behaviors of barking, lunging on leash and chasing and nipping at things/j humans she doesn’t like when we’re outside.
These include: skateboards, rollerblades, loud bikes, motorized scooters, mountain bikes on trails we’re hiking on, neighborhood cats and the UPS truck and the guy in uniform driving it. TL; Dr? Anything loud and approaching her from in front and behind that startle her.
A lot of which have picked up the aggressive behaviorally in the last 6 months. We condition and train on “sit, stay,leave it” with pets and talking to her to distract her with treats as positive reinforcement once item has passed.
We live in a very outdoorsy area and i fear for the time she is startled or anxious enough to actually bite someone and break skin.
From what I’ve read, using the vibration and sound setting would be a great tool to use to get her trained to not react the ways she does and not endanger others.

Anyone have insight on using e-collars for this type of negative behavior reinforcement?


Sherry Evans
June 19, 2020 8:31 am

I had problems with my dog being scared and she would bark and pace for hours. I am using a calm hemp product I get at PetSmart. It has really helped her a lot. She has not had an episode since. It has been about 45 days since I started using it and the only thing I have noticed is she tends to take a very long nap in midday but it is very hot here and that could also be the reason. We may start giving it at dinner instead of with her breakfast. I tried giving her less, reducing the amount by half and she had an episode the next day. It is called Hemp. It is a chew and she loves them.

June 7, 2020 8:07 pm

Shock collars (bark collars) should never be used. Anyone who uses chock color needs to wake up and rethink their choice. Maybe put it in yourself for a day and get shocked every time you talk, or get shocked every time you make mistakes, and see how you like it. Shock colors can Destroy destroy your pets mental Stability snd they make your dogs to nave trust issues with always being scared of doing something wrong. Plz plz plz I beg you to rethink your decision before you torture you animal there are soo many alternative ways you could get your pet trained.

German Shepard Owner
July 21, 2020 2:54 pm
Reply to  Mina

I’m considering using a shock collar for aggressive behavior. It’s that or rehouse my German Shepherd. We’ve done 2 training classes and had a professional come to the house who told us to get rid of him. He’s a great dog but overprotective of all family members.
I would rather my dog be shocked a few times than in a shelter.
Everyone has a different situation they’re trying to get through with their pet.

July 15, 2020 6:55 pm
Reply to  Mina

Shock collars don’t have to shock. I recommend you do research before making your plea.

May 28, 2020 10:31 pm

Today my puppy was in his cage and he tried to take off his dog collar. His collar got caught on his teeth and around his mouth. It was a scary situation. I had to cut off the collar using scissors To releases him.

May 10, 2020 8:15 pm

Hey all. I have a 8 1/2 ,month old Labrador Puppy, (female) and she likes to bite, jump on people, and run away. I just bought a E shock collar, with vibrate, beep, and two levels of shock. How do I start using it on her?

Apiffany Gaither Billings
May 12, 2020 5:22 pm
Reply to  Abby

Here is an article with more information to hopefully help stop the puppy behaviors. Also, if I would choose the first setting of the vibrate to start. Use on negative behaviors and reinforce positive behaviors.

May 13, 2020 12:55 pm

Okay, I tried using the vibrate mode, it works GREAT! The shock actually doesn’t really phase her, I’m a bit disappointed, but the vibrate works well. So does the alarm beep. I was amazed at how quickly she responded to it! E-collars are great, I would recommend them every time!

June 18, 2020 9:05 am
Reply to  Abby

Abby, what kind did you buy? I’m having the same issues with my lab.

May 9, 2020 4:45 am

I have Bred and trained Working Setters for more than 35 years. Have always had recall with every single dog, even when running 15 at the same time over Dartmoor. So pretty experienced. The collar should only be used by people who are willing to put the training in first, let’s face it, your dog can’t read the instructions for you!
There are some dogs that are perfect, but if one has ‘wayward’ tendencies then nothing is going to stop that moment when it looks back at you then runs. I love my dogs, the thought on one ending up under a bus or causing an accident despite the training I put in, makes me work even harder with them to get it right.
We put the training in, we use gentle commands, more of a request than anything else. When the first ‘request’ is ignored the second repeat is firm. The third call is a demand, and if the dog ignores the third he will be zapped. I can do this over a few minutes or in an emergency it can be done in under 20 seconds.

If you prepare and follow the guidance, and are very clear in giving the commands in sequence, the chances are you will only have to zapp once and the problem is almost instantly sorted. For all of the pros and cons, one zap is better than being hit by a truck and dying alone in a ditch.
The maximum number of zapps any dog has had is three over a month, she was an absolute darling, trashed by multiple previous ‘trainers’. A nightmare in open space. Those three zapps saved her life. A year later she took off after some Hares, bless her a wild and windy spring morning she simply could not help herself. The next day we went back to the same open fields and she looked at the dozens of Hares, she went to go forward, by the time I got to three she made the decision to keep up with the rest of us, the collar was the deterrent that day. She Never ignored recall again.

Having handled and trained more than 75 Working Setters, some rescues being an absolute nightmare, only two have ever needed an electric collar, the third who is another rescue made his last free run this morning, he made the decision to run even after the third command. The collar is charging, the prep training done. I am making the decision to stop his behaviour putting him, us and any unsuspecting member of the public or the local Sheep, horses/riders, swans and Ducks, not to mention Pheasants, Partridge and Deer at risk.
He will come running back to me after the shock, he will be greeted with open arms and comforted, he will stay at my side for the rest of the walk and have treats when we get home. But he will not go AWOL again.

July 15, 2020 7:02 pm
Reply to  Jan

E-collars might just be the difference between life and death in some situations.

April 7, 2020 5:01 pm

Hello all. I can’t believe I am actually posting this since I have always been against these shock collars, but here goes. I have a golden Labrador Retriever named Maximus. I love him to pieces and he’s so adorable but OMG he’s a terror! I dont mind the shedding ( im so lying but hey I can deal with it ) I dont mind the ear piercing barking at our cat Coco, I dont mind the digging as much as my husband does, but what I do mind and cant stand is his jumping and biting! He’s almost 70 lbs solid and he hurts! He will come running at you full force and slam right into you like a hockey player! I have so so many bruises because of him and he has knocked me over 3 times already with one being just last night and that one really hurt, he actually jumped on me and sent me flying into the baby gate that we had to put up while we are at work. He has ripped so many of my shirts, so many of my husbands sweats, and he just wont stop. I’ve tried turning my back on him like they say to do, i’ve tried the positive reinforcement, I’ve tried leaving the room if I can escape from him and giving him time to cool off, I’ve tried putting him in his cage as a time out, once in a great while if I tell him no, no biting or no ice cream he may stop but I dont want to use ice cream as blackmail since i dont plan on giving him that everytime he jumps and bites! Soooooooo……. as much as I despise saying it, Im thinking of a shock collar as my LAST resort unless anyone has ANY tips on handling this without a shock collar. Im going to feel like crap having to use one on him and probably cry but after last night and falling on top and knocking over that 4ft baby gate which hurt like hell, I really dont know what is left I can possibly try. He is really a good dog if we could just get him to stop the jumping and biting, oh and dragging me on walks. Even our walks I have wrapped the leash around my hand to where I would try to have him at my side but its really really hard trying to control all 70 lbs on him with one arm. He is VERY energetic, and loves to run ( im so not on his level of running yet.) So would a shock collar be something that we should look into as far as hopefully breaking those habits.
Thank you.

Sherry Evans
June 19, 2020 8:42 am
Reply to  N.H

I am using a product called Hemp that I get at Petsmart and it has really helped to calm my dog down. When my dog jumps on me I try to step on her back paw. It is hard to do but it does stop her. I hope this helps.

April 24, 2020 1:41 am
Reply to  N.H

Hi! We actually recently (yesterday) got ourselves a 1 year 3 month old American Bully. At first glance he was a sweet heart! Upon getting him home, he was chewing EVERYTHING, wouldn’t stop biting his leash when we took him out to pee, he was jumping up and biting the hand that was holding the leash, so we went and bought a shock collar! And oh my gosh the difference!!!! Without even having to shock him, just using the beep sound and the vibration option, I’ve been able to walk him multiple times today WITHOUT being bitten!!! It works amazingly!!!!! He’s also one who will charge and body slam you, but since we put it on him (during the day only) he hasn’t body slammed me at all. I realize it’s just been one day, but you can tell the difference so quickly! As long as they have basic training like sit, lay down, and so forth it shouldn’t be too terribly hard for you! Good luck!

Apiffany Gaither Billings
April 8, 2020 9:51 pm
Reply to  N.H

Maximus sounds like my mother’s six month old chocolate lab. Here is an article for some tips on his biting, jumping, chewing, and other puppy behaviors. We often reinforcement a dog’s behavior without realizing it and it sounds like Maximus could benefit from training with a professional. Keep us posted!

April 4, 2020 9:59 pm

Purchased a collar as a last resort to control my 11month old Dobe who’d become a serious public liability. The dog was my fifth Doberman over 30 years, love the breed, but this one took naughtiness to a whole different level. Watched plenty of videos of how to train with one before putting it on him. Changed his behaviour in an afternoon. A year later he’s the perfect dog on and off leash. No regrets – highly recommend if used correctly.

June 18, 2020 9:12 am
Reply to  Phil

Phil, what kind of collar and name-brand did you purchase? I’m interested in getting one for my lab that works. We have tried everything to correct the behavior but nothing has worked.

May 19, 2020 9:02 am
Reply to  Phil

Hi Phil, do you mind sharing the videos you found helpful,

March 26, 2020 6:52 pm

I have a 140 lb rescue great dane who became leash aggressive after we rescued our second dane six months ago. I walk them separately as the second dane has fear aggression and I am working with a behavioral medicine vet and trainer. I go through various techniques during our walks and I have tried to use these techniques with the leash aggression. Once she goes in to the frenzy, no amount of “magnet” food or delicious treats will get her attention. Last night, somehow I ended up on the ground. I love this dog and used to love our walks. She is too tall for me to use a choke or prong collar. After reading your article, I think an e-collar would work.

March 15, 2020 11:57 pm

Firstly thanks for such a good well written article.
Second I think I have to use a shock collar for this…. I’m in the UK but I am sure that like here over there a dog who goes after sheep is in serious risk of being shot?
I understand why to…He has good recall, we get on well untill he see’s a sheep, he is then is totally deaf to me and on a real high as he does it. I understand its prey driven and he enjoys it but he just has to stop and fast.
I recently rescued a 2 year old very neglected etc Lurcher boy. He has come on in leaps and bounds with gaining confidence and losing his fear of people etc BUT he is chronic with sheep.
Twice now he has gone after one of mine. IF he chases one that will run he goes into some hideous over excited frenzied type thing.
Once your very close he will call off but not till your 3- 6 feet away by which time he has already leaped at the poor sheep and grabbed mouthfuls of wool, I can not have him do this.
I only have a few sheep, I am a veggie and they are here as part of the family having come out the food chain and I hate seeing my ‘family’ being attacked by my dog…. Besides this is rural and there are sheep all around most with lambs.
I have spoken to trainers and all of them say when a dog is actually attacking to pull down the only way to stop them would be with responsible use of a shock collar.
Up till now I have NEVER had to consider one so I found your article so useful. A lot of the comments to. I know that he just needs something that will call him to attention in that huge excited state. Its pure ott excitement as to him its 100% fun but its got to be cure/stop or rehome and this is so bad rehome feels like passing the buck really so it should be cure or stop. Especially as a rescue will say ‘not good with sheep’ but the risk for him being shot remains unless its sorted out. I cant bare the thought he is either shot or he hurts a sheep or lamb. Thankfully mine are full grown but he is trying to bring them down!
I have tried taking him near while double leaded with collar and harness (he will slip a collar if he can) but he just goes insane and stops listening to me. All I end up doing is turning him saying no and pulling him away while he tries to chase them. Thats not got anything positive in it so I think I will have to get off the fence and go for a shock collar.
I understand you start at zero and only turn it as low as you need to for the dog to look round or show he felt it? I used a tens machine my self a fair bit so I sort of ok with it but folks will it help?
Twice now I have seen just how basically deranged he gets with the excitement…. He has to stop. I really would appreciate someone saying yes it will help cos I being pushed off the fence over a training aide I have never considered I needed before …. but with this I think it might be?
He has to stop doing this or it could well cost him his life if he ever got in a field of sheep.

Apiffany Gaither Billings
March 16, 2020 9:50 am
Reply to  Desperate

Hi, here is an article regarding wireless fences that may give you more help toward your decision.

March 17, 2020 12:42 pm

Thank you I will go look at it. It is a decision I am finding hard to make but one I will seriously sort out as I do love this boy and the risks in any neighbouring field is huge this time of year. If he ever got out somehow he would be in true danger

Karen Tabor
February 13, 2020 2:09 pm

I have a 4 month old German Shepherd Pup. She is constantly biting my 15lb. peek-a-poo around the back of her neck and basically playing just too rough, as if she is chew toy. The peek-a-poo screams in pain and it still doesn’t deter the GSD from being rough. I am constantly telling her “no” which has me fearful that the command no will become ineffectual, and she will gradually stop obeying the no command. I’m wondering if the shock collar will stop her from biting my smaller dog and pulling on her ears and tail.

Karen A Hall
June 7, 2020 12:22 am
Reply to  Karen Tabor

I have a 6-pound Cockapoo who is now 9 almost 10 and my German Shepherd has lived with him since she was 6 weeks old. I didn’t see any problems till about 4 months of age and then all hell broke loose every day. I have to carry my little guy around everywhere. I got an e-collar (not this one) and today is my first day using it and I have only used the lowest shock once. Vibrations seem to work after that. It’s the evening and my little dog is walking freely for the first time in 2 years. I’m more than pleased. She has already associated the remote to the shock. This is life-changing for me. I’ll continue to use it for my Gsd’s benefit.

May 21, 2020 6:21 am
Reply to  Karen Tabor

Karen, did you try the collar? We have a 3 month old GSD also and are having the same issue exactly! I’d love to know if it worked for you!

K. H.
February 6, 2020 10:41 am

I have an extremely smart, quick-learning 97lb 2 year old Pit (Staffie and ABPT mix). Lately he has developed a BAD habit of nipping when excited or wanting to play. Redirection isn’t working, a break in his crate isn’t working. My concern is that he will accidentally hurt my 8.5year old son or nip at someone else and they’ll then report to animal control due to his breed.
He IS crated still when I’m not home or at night, but is otherwise out with the family (inside or on a long tie while we’re outside with him) – we play ball and get him as active as we can (although we have to be careful due to a recovering ACL/Meniscus tear a year ago that’s still healing), peanut butter filled Kong, LOTS of chew toys and antlers, hide his ball, etc… He is just a big, silly/goofy boy that gets carried away at times but it NEEDS to stop before he hurts someone or gets himself in trouble and has to be gotten rid of (which I definitely DON’T want!!).

In order to get the nipping under control (bitter apple spray used to work on my arm but no longer affects him) I’ve been debating getting a remote ecollar for training. I’ve had dogs with underground fences before and am not concerned about hurting him at all as I know how to ramp up slowly and use beep/vibration first always, and use verbal commands (which this dog knows but doesn’t always listen to!), as well as follow with positive reinforcement when they correct the behavior.

I’ll have to find one in an affordable price range though (under $50, preferably under $40).


April 5, 2020 5:48 pm
Reply to  K. H.

I have the same problem with my german shepard. She gets excited and wants to play but nips and gets carried away. I would love to know the answer to this! thanks.

February 1, 2020 7:12 pm

I have a Australian cattle dog. Need to train him not to heal and snap at the legs of the horses. Would a electric dog collar work to train him not to go after the horses.

Deb Mitchell
January 16, 2020 12:10 pm

Hi we have had our rescue since May, she has been to a basic training program and graduated, she is food and treat aggressive so we feed her and our other dog in separate rooms and they get treats in separate rooms. This past month she has attacked our other dog. We do not know the reason for the change in behavior, we have tried time out when she plays too rough and that works for a bit but then she goes back at it. We love her and I do not want to bring her back to the shelter because they will put her down. I am trying all I can, so for my long winded question would an e-collar help if if she gets aggressive as a way to stop the behavior.

February 7, 2020 9:58 am
Reply to  Deb Mitchell

I would watch some Jeff Gellman videos on YouTube. He has some specifically on working with aggressive dogs and uses ecollars (as do most of the professional trainers that I’ve come across locally and online). Don’t give up on her! Good luck—

Kenny Mitchell
January 14, 2020 9:00 pm

I have 2 five month old goldendoodles we have had for 2 days (I know that isn’t long). The breeder started using pee pads to have them pee and poop. They now pee and poop on our rugs. They have access to a backyard and do their business out there sometimes in which they get a treat and praise but sometimes wait and go inside. Would a shock collar be a good tool to use to deter/break the habit? Thanks!

Kimberly Alt
January 15, 2020 10:55 am
Reply to  Kenny Mitchell

I may suggest purchasing some pee pads for your dogs to use. Place them over the rugs and after your dogs are consistently relieving themselves on the pee pad, begin moving it closer to the door. This helps them associate going to the door when they need to go potty. Do this until you can move the pee pad outside. Once the dogs go potty outside consistently, you have successfully potty trained them.

This article has information about the best dog pee pads and how to properly use them. You may find it helpful for your situation.

January 17, 2020 7:51 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

We put Poochie Bells on our front door knob and taught our new pup to paw at the bells when he needed to go out. Works really well. We rewarded him when he did his business outside after ringing the bells. But if he just rang the bells to go outside to play, no reward. Sometimes he gets a time out in the laundry room for a false ring notice. But these bells at the front door did work to get our poodle trained really fast. Highly recommend this method. BTW, our dog just wanted to rip up those pee pads. Gave up on those right away.

Kayla Smith
January 8, 2020 4:31 pm

I have a 10 year old mutt i rescued from the shelter 9 years ago. shes a wonderful dog, but the biggest problem i have with her is whenever she gets the opportunity shell get loose and just run the neighborhood. and she wont come back when called. you either have to try and chase her or wait for her to get tired and just come back home. I dont know what to do about it and I’m afraid that eventually shes gonna get loose and get ran over or shot… She’s done this ever since i first adopted her.

February 7, 2020 10:00 am
Reply to  Kayla Smith

Absolutely try the ecollar! This behavior is exactly what they’re really good at controlling.

January 31, 2020 6:37 pm
Reply to  Kayla Smith

i have the same problem. a way from home woods beech 100 pc trg v good at home no way

December 5, 2019 6:41 pm

I have a 9 year old Male (neutered) Shih Tzu. He was rescued at 1 y/o. He is a wonderful dog 95% of the time; however, grooming him is an absolute nightmare. I have tried positive reinforcement, treats, outside groomers, etc and he still is aggressive. I can groom his entire body while he has a cone around his neck, but when it comes to his face, no go. He will attack me, the clippers, the scissors or anyone else around. I am scared that I will nip his eye as he lashes out during facial grooming. I am inquiring if a shock collar (with a warning beep) could be appropriate to deter him from turning into “Cujo” when getting groomed.

January 6, 2020 1:06 am
Reply to  Cherie

this is a terrible idea and can make him be way more fearful than he already is.

Mei Moni
December 2, 2019 7:58 pm

Is there a cheaper shock collar that I can buy that will be less expensive than the Pet Safe Dog Training Collar on Amazon, that will be just as effective?

December 23, 2019 1:46 pm
Reply to  Mei Moni

Premier pet collar

Amy Grose
November 13, 2019 3:18 pm

I have 3 dogs: a mutt, a pit mix, and an English bulldog. Lately the bulldog has been attacking the mutt, and the pit joins in. I have no idea what causes the attacks. Sometimes it’s food, sometimes it’s attention…..it’s never anything consistent. The bulldog and the pit have strong jaws so it’s hard to separate them. We’ve tried a stun gun but that doesn’t seem to phase them. Would shock collars work?

January 6, 2020 1:08 am
Reply to  Amy Grose

Consult a Dog Trainer Behaviorist. Make sure they only do positive reinforcement/force free training.

October 27, 2019 4:27 pm

We have a 97lb German shepherd he’s playful and very smart but when I try to go to bed or the store he constantly barks, I’m exhausted, he’s always barking, he is well fed, has his oun room in the kitchen area so he has everything he needs loves playing frisbee and ball, he has a fence to get his business done in, constantly barks there as well, we are not excited about getting a shock coller but are at our wits end with the barking

January 6, 2020 1:16 am
Reply to  Wanda

Bored dogs will bark a lot and also GSD needs LOTS of mental stimuli (walks, games, jobs, etc.) If it’s a separation anxiety issue, consult a behaviorist. Make sure they’re certified (CCPDT) and do positive reinforcement/ force free training. Changing up your routine before you go to the store too can be beneficial. For example, put shoes on, sit at the table, grab keys, wash your hands, grab coat, open fridge, then leave. Changing the routine can fix the association he has with you leaving. Next, having a special treat (Kong with frozen canned dog food) he only gets when you leave him.

October 26, 2019 3:38 am

I have rescued a 2 yr old catahula. He was extremely fearful of everything at first. He also has severe separation anxiety. He loves to go to the dog park. We have been going there for 3 months. Unfortunately he has become aggressive towards the other dogs. Would a shock collar be a good way to curb his aggression? He usually lasts about 20 minutes before his aggressiveness comes into play.

January 6, 2020 1:18 am
Reply to  Colleen

No, shock collar with fearful dogs can make it worse. Aversive methods can cause more aggressiveness, fear, and stress in dogs.

Dot Haarmeyer
October 12, 2019 3:15 pm

Our 11 year shitzu barks every time anyone is in the kitchen because he wants food. He has been terribly spoiled by my husband who gives him food when he is in the kitchen. It has become unbearable and we need a quick fix so I am thinking bark collar. Hopefully he would not require the actual shock but only the warning.

October 25, 2019 10:01 am
Reply to  Dot Haarmeyer

Honestly, I would get a remote shock collar. Put it on your husband and every time your husband tries to give your shitzu food in the kitchen….ZAP!!!

September 28, 2019 7:26 pm

I have a dog that is fear aggressive and not food motivated. I wasn’t sure how to keep him calm during situations like hearing a loud noise or seeing a dog on a walk because treats and toys didn’t work for him. My friend told me about the collars and I was apprehensive because I didn’t want to cause pain to my dog. I finally tried it and one day he started to run away when my leash broke and I shocked him because he wouldn’t come back and he came running back. After that, I only had to use to beeping sound and he came to me right away or calmed down while barking or seeing another dog. He actually gets excited to put the collar on because he knows we are either going outside on a walk or doing some sort of fun activity, and the collar doesn’t make him any more fearful and we still have a great bond.

Tainya Phelps
December 7, 2019 6:32 pm
Reply to  Danielle

I have a 12 week old Chocolate Lab. ( Got him 3 weeks ago and at first he was easy to train. These past few days he has started biting. He has to have something in his mouth all the time. I’ve bought every kind of chew toy this is to try and redirect his attention when he is biting.
Is he too young for a shock Collar? I recently purchased the barxbuddy and it did nothing. I’m at my wits end to figure out how to stop this bad behaviour.. Any ideas?

Rebecca Trono
September 30, 2019 6:07 pm
Reply to  Danielle

He came running back to you because he was terrified of the invisible attacker who had just struck at him. What people choose not to think about is the fact that the collar is worn in the “kill zone” of the dog, where kill strikes are made. The dog doesn’t interpret a shock as being a consequence for bad behavior; the dog interprets it as having its life threatened by an unseen attacker. I have many clients who have used these collars as well as “invisible fencing” with truly sad consequences, including the fear and anxiety ratcheting up in their dogs and making them afraid of going outside, increasing their reactivity, barking whenever they’re out, and many others. When you try to see things from the dog’s perspective, an animal who is living through the survival instinct, you being to understand just how terrifying it is for the dog, whether it shocks, beeps or vibrates.

July 16, 2020 3:01 pm
Reply to  Rebecca Trono

Maybe the setting can be too high by accident or calibration error and this is the reason to invest in a reputable/quality collar. Get a recommendation from above or from an experienced trainer. Actually, 100+ levels (even with a boost) is not too many.
Certain levels WILL immediately fix an issue and teach your dog ‘No – Never – Now – Never Acceptable’ – Don’t Eat The New Baby’ and it might be just enough to save a life from a car, a truck, a rattlesnake – even a gunshot in some areas. As for fear or anxiety outcomes – nurturing anxiety and reducing fear is time-consuming but a small price for a favorable outcome.
Read a book titled E-Collar Training For A Pet Dog by Ted Efthymiadis.

October 30, 2019 2:39 pm
Reply to  Rebecca Trono

Never the less, the dog got the point with a single shock. And, who is more important here, the dog? Or the owner who looks after him?

July 23, 2019 6:14 am

I adopted a dog about one month ago. He’s old breed gsd mix and is 9 mos old. After getting him home, I discovered he was reactive with other dogs, children, has been rehomed twice, and was from a herding family farm. My daughter came into our gate crying and he went at her, I got in between and he bit me, leaving a hell of a bruise. I had been told he had been rehomed due to accommodations but began to believe otherwise and immediately started research. I found Jeff Gellman’s online training advise and program to be miraculous. My dog is now properly kennel,basic command, and leash trained. I did invest in an e collar to assist in eliminating unwanted behavior. I had immediate results on very low settings, and have zero regrets. I was hesitant at first but didn’t want to rehome him again or see him hurt someone and be put down. I still consider him very much a dog in training, but it’s been an overall extremely positive experience for both myself and the dog, who now has a loving forever home.

April 24, 2020 1:39 am
Reply to  Sharon

Jeff Gellman is horrible and abusive.
I would never let this man anywhere near my dog! https://youtu.be/tPOgwoTP0cg

July 28, 2019 4:59 pm
Reply to  Sharon

I also have a GSD mix who is 17 months old. He is very protective of me but not with my husband. Our dog has bitten three people now, all with me being present. We have been to obedience school, have seen a vet behaviorist, he was put on anxiety meds, we had a professional trainer that came to our house once a week for two months this past winter and he is currently on CBD oil for anxiety. The only thing that really seems to help was a prong collar. As much as I didn’t want to, we are going to have to get an e-collar now. He can’t get put down if this happens again. This collar has to work. It just has to. He’s my baby. I hope my boy is able to get turned around like yours did. Thank you for your story, it gives me hope.