8 Things You Need 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, 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.

Best Shock Collar For Dogs: Petsafe Yard & Park Rechargeable Collar Review

Petsafe Yard & Park Rechargeable Dog Training CollarView the Petsafe Dog Training Collar on Amazon

If you do decide that a shock collar is the right training device for your dog, we recommend the PetSafe Yard & Park Remote Dog Trainer (shown right) for its eight levels of correction, beep-only option, rechargeable battery and 400-yard range. It’s a little more expensive than some of the other electronic options out there, but 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 levels one–three, rather than starting out with an intense shock. This is our top pick for best dog training collar.

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 train negative or unsafe behavior out of a dog. The theory is that your dog will associate the unwanted behavior with an uncomfortable shock 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 and/or a 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. With boundary training (often marketed as an electric fence or an invisible 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.

And 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. It is unlikely that an electronic training collars would destroy your relationship with your dog. In fact, shared training sessions could improve your bond with one another.

Eight Things to Know Before Buying a Shock Collar

We have chosen 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 settings on the levels of shock, which can be comforting to people are 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

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. 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 while you’re out. The same goes for shock collars as boundary control, although they do require some hands-on training. Of course, 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 a fence. Shock collars range from $25 to about $200, 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 Shock

Most pet owners can’t fathom causing pain to their pet. But even with the ability to control the intensity of the shock, 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 said their dog refused to go outside after training with the invisible fence they installed and started urinating in the house instead of going to the back door.

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.

E-Collar Training and Introduction Video

Learn about training your dog using an e-collar. There are some helpful tips in this video.

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. And that goes when using a shock collar or any training collar. Not sure what size of collar to get? Check out our handy guide with the average neck sized based on 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.

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 Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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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372 Comments on "8 Things You Need To Know Before Buying a Shock Collar"

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Tanya Burt
Tanya Burt
Hi ive been thinking of using a shock collar for my 5yr old female Rottweiler, to train and stop her scuffing up the grass after toilet or just when she is scenting in garden ( chucking grass and mud everywhere ) but not wanting her to stop going toilet or anything else just to stop chucking up grass!
Any suggestions
Thanks Tanya
Delaney
Delaney
Hey everyone! I need some opinions. I have a 2 year old pit bull. THE SWEETEST BOY EVER. He is partially trained but is lacking some major manners. He jumps up on EVERYONE and usually barks too (he is super protective of me). He has lived in a home his entire life and just recently moved into an apartment with me so he isnt used to having daily interaction with tons of strangers in his own ‘home’. I take him to puppy daycare and he is totally fine in a setting with tons of dogs, but when it comes to taking him to the bark park in the neighborhood, he is absolutely territorial and pretty aggressive with any other dog that enters. I know he is still on the back half of his puppy years so theres going to be an exccessive amount of energy, but I need to be able to control it. He is a tank, has so much strength and power, I feel like the shock collar would serve as a REMINDER to behave rather than a punishment. Thats all he really needs, is some reinforcement. He has such a personality and attitude he will only listen to me when its convenient for him. I love him to pieces but cant afford these hundred or thousand dollar boot camps. I think the collar would be a good alternative. Any feedback? Anyone else experienced with pitties?
Brian Williams
Brian Williams
In my opinion most people need a device like this, because so many have a pet that they have very little control over,and in a social gathering their dogs can be a pain in the ass to everyone except them ,as the owners can not even use the basic obedient commands that all owners should know and be able to use with their pets . I see these devices as a harmless tool to help the uneducated dog owners to have some sort of control. In the hands of a professional a collar like this can be a wonder tool to cut down hours of time in training problematic dogs . Of course this is only helping tool and is no way a substitute for learning the pack mentality ,a bonding friendship and how to understand your dogs behavior as well as how you behavior gets read by your dog .
earl
earl
Our dog is a Aussie mix therefore a lot of hair around her neck. Will a shock or bark collar work on her
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Hi Earl, as long as the connectors are touching her skin it should work. If you are merely using the beep to help with “good/bad” behavior, then the amount of hair on the dog won’t matter. Many dogs only need one shock before they learn that the beep is a warning for what could happen, so the shock isn’t used frequently.
John
John
Hi all! I have a dog named gooboi! He is such a good boy! That’s how I named him! He never runs away, so this product isn’t really for me but I think that it would be great for my friend Tony. Tony has a great big pitbull. His dog is always running away. If he doesn’t keep it under control, they might be forced to put him down. I really feel that this could save his life!
Claire
Claire
We successfully used an e-collar to stop our rescue dog mouthing at everyone inc kids. I don’t want him to have it anymore (its bulky and looks harsh) but he comes to the beep brilliantly. Are there any beep only collars?
Rigo
Rigo
If you look on Amazon for training collars, a majority of them have an option of just solely using beep or a high-pitch noise on the collar
Tony
Tony
I have a pitbullot and an “invisible fence” brand fence…lots of people have told me horror stories about their experience with these type of fences but they all had the DIY brands… I got the fence when rocky was 11 weeks old and he’s now 5 yrs…. best investment ever!!! I think that having them come out to train and show me how to train him is the key to the success…. he did jump the fence one time, 3 yrs ago… he jumped through at the spot that I would take him out for walks… hasn’t tried to leave since!!
Hope in PC Utah
Hope in PC Utah
HELP !!!! I rescued a 70 lb. male Great Pyrenees/Border Coolie mix last year from a shelter and he slowing went from fear aggression to now protective aggression. I can’t take him to the dog park any more, because he goes after every dog his size and larger – barking and biting at them. He barks at men and he has leash aggression when I walk him in our neighborhood and pulls towards every dog he sees on a leash – so I usually tell the other owner he is “dog selective” and I have the yellow bandana on him to indicated he is unpredictable. He has a nice backyard to run around in and does get aggressive through the fencing with the neighbors dogs. He is very protective of my family and is a big puppy inside that loves to play with my 8 yr old Sheppard mix. So I am looking into a corrective collar for him – I don’t want to shock him – but I need help – what is the best method to train this aggressive big boy. Thank you for your comments and suggestions!
susan
susan
Contact Phil at Feather Ranch in Los Banos California. He trains dogs to be well behaved citizens and trains dogs to hunt. He uses shock collars to train and can guide you.
Sunny
Sunny
If you don’t want to shock your dog (because who would want to) I recommend finding a trainer who uses positive reinforcement to work on the issues you have described above. Using aversives to train is very outdated and not as effective as reward-based training. Please do your research. 🙂
KAR
I have a 10 month old lab and possibly boxer mix that we adopted from the pound. I have tried everything to stop the jumping which is becoming increasingly painful. I thought things were going good with the training by immediately turning our backs, crossing our arms when she would jump so no attention and rewarded her when she was sitting with treats and positive praise. This worked for a month or two however it is completely out the window now. When I come in and she jumps I turn now and she just jumps and jumps (which is now higher and more rough since she is bigger). She now reaches the back of my shoulders and I’m afraid one of these days she is REALLY going to hurt me. I tried when I come home (this is the worst time for jumping) opening the door and if she starts getting overly excited shutting the door. We did this for over an hour. She finally would sit when the door was open but as soon as you walk in and get half way through the room the jumping starts again. This ends up with her being placed outside and blocking the dog door so she can’t come in for several hours. I’m frustrated and thinking of trying the shock collar. I can deal with the playful nipping although this has increased lately and potty training was easy especially with the dog door. She is great on the leash and doesn’t pull but the jumping … we can’t seem to get a hold on it
Nemo
Nemo
I have a small herding type dog who is very smart. I’ve had success using positive reinforcement for everything except one problem and I can’t figure out how to get her to stop without a shock collar. This is my last option unless someone has a better way. She listens and does everything I say immediately, unless she begins chasing an animal(we live near the woods, no fences). Then it’s as if she has gone deaf and won’t recall or follow commands. There are big cats in the woods here and the deer are raising their foal, both could kill her very easily and I feel this is the only way to protect her. Is there something else I can try that maybe I haven’t thought of or is this the last option?
Rick
Rick
I have the exact same problem with my blue heeler terrier mix. Can anyone tell me how to read the replys
Gail
Gail
hy i have 3 rotties Dennis who is 3 Ruby who is 3 and are brother and sister, also i have Holly who is 8 and she is the boss of the younger ones. when they were pups i used to take them to a large field and they played with lots of other dogs of all sizes but they learnt to run to the other owners for affection which is great when you know them and they were smallish but now they are very large and i cannot seem to break the habit of them running (charging) towards anyone when they are off lead they are very loving but very intense if there is more than 1 dog. so i have become nervous and let only 1 dog off at a time . i do take them out at the crack of dawn when noone is around and im very sad. Holly the older dog is perfect she is very good at coming back to me but when the other 2 start charging it seems they are in a zone and go deaf im considering a shock collar as ive tried all sorts of training
Marie
Marie
My English setter is a “runner”
Wish he was not a runner….Because I would take him out to run !
He is 2 years old and the Trainer does not see this because the dog
Returns when the Trainer calls him.
Josh
Josh
Hey all, at the dog training facility I took my dog for puppy training classes, they use shock collars for 16+ wk old dog programs. Their method is to only use it when giving the dog a command and only at a low power where it feels like a tap and to never deliver power where the dog will feel pain or discomfort as it should never be used for directly correcting bad behavior. They had me try it on myself to demonstrate the feeling, which felt exactly like a tap or tingling feeling. This is more used as a tool to get the dog’s attention, so they know you’re about to give him/her a request. They mentioned to correct bad behavior, incompatible good behavior needs to be reinforced (example: jumping vs sitting). I’m still on the fence about it but it seems like a good training tool during their demo.
marie
marie
I have been reading about the shock collars for dogs, that someone told me to get! I think they are cruel and people are wicked enough without giving them this tool. Some people need a shock collar I don’t know about poor animals. Sorry but I don’t think they should be allowed!
ID10T PEN15
ID10T PEN15
Then my only option would be to put the dog down as I have exhausted every other option, as she is not adoptable.
Mark
Mark
You’re an idiot and have no business being a part of this discussion
Goodgirl
Goodgirl
Expert trainers say that jumping up on people causing harm is one of the greatest causes/reasons of euthanasia for animals. Also, if your pet runs into the street and is hit by a car and accidentally killed which is better intense training or DEATH?
Tony
Tony
My dog got 1 small zap during training and one time when he was 2 he left the yard and got shocked… he’s 5 now and his collar only beeps, as it’s too loose to shock him… a small amount of pain to pay for many yrs of freedom, especially since my town prohibits fencing front yards.. he gets the front yard!! How am I being cruel??? My dog has never even been hit before.. you probably smack your dog around…. you want me to wear a shock collar???? I want to see your dog smack you!!
Lea
I have an amazing goofy 1.5 year old bull arab. He is great with his basic commands and recall is a work in progress. We are getting better everyday. He is mainly an outdoor dog but we end up being outdoors as well most of the time with the garden n everything. Our problem though is that every time me and my partner walk indoors he stands up on his hind legs, puts his front paws up on the glass patio doors tries to claw it down. The glass has to take on literally all 36 kgs of him. We have had to replace the flyscreen twice and the glass has his claw marks all over it. I am scared he is going to break down the glass doors and hurt himself one of these days. We have tried everything we can over the last 8-9 months. I have just placed an order for a shock collar to be used exclusively for when he claws at the door but i must admit I am feeling quite apprehensive. Any suggestions??
Mike
Mike
Just put a shock collar on my 9 month old black lab. She used to live with my father on an acre field in a kennel out doors at all times but I decided to take the puppy in after her mother passed away this 4th of July. I live in an apartment complex with not very thick walls so the barking had to come to a stop. She is very dependent on me since I am the only one she remembers and has left in her family. I put on this shock collar about 20 minutes ago and she just went berserk. Barking and freaking out in what seemed like pain but it was just her being frightened by the shock. I’ve been in the other room with her in the kennel for about 15 minutes straight and she hasn’t barked since her outburst earlier. I think she learned to not bark but tonight will be the real test. Any ideas on how to properly train your dog with the barking shock collar? I’m going to leave it on at night and when I leave and she’s never alone for more than 4 hours at a time.
Stu
I’m a few months late, but did you figure it out? I don’t know if your read the training directions or not. When we used ours (bark collar) years ago, we had to ‘train’ our Shepard for 2 weeks with the collar on and off before we were supposed to put batteries in it. Put the collar on, give him a treat and positive affection, let him keep it on for a while and then take it off. Again, 2 weeks. That way he associates it with something positive and isn’t scared of the collar itself. Then put batteries in and while he looked a little puzzled the first time it zapped him, it kept him quiet enough that the neighbors stopped complaining.
Alex
Alex
We.are retired and recently bought a yellow lab puppy. (Sometimes I feel that it was a big mistake) Although we have made some progress with training our dog, it still needs an awful lot of work. Mainly jumping on people, nipping, and pulling when on the leash. Also listening when called, chewing etcetera. Some of these traits are common to the breed, others are real problems.
I’m thinking about getting a e-collar to correct the jumping and pulling when on the leash and the nipping. We do exercise and play with the dog many times a day.
marie
marie
Don’t be cruel, their in humane!, would you like a shock collar when you do something wrong?
injinplease
injinplease
Yes , if it helped me with a serious condition . We already use shock therapy as it’s evolved . If your dog were to be put down would you try everything or assume the evolution of technology hasn’t made these tools completely different from the poor choices 20 years ago . I don’t use these collars unless I have trained and learned about the dogs history and underlying cause of the issue .I have used these collars on myself with someone else controlling it and nothing close to pain was felt , the dog feels even less ( yes its true they have thicker skin ) . The former head of the humane society has stated these are collars have evolved into safe tools for specific training . When you see the dogs destroyed it makes anything else much more worth investigating or it’s actualy a dead dog , your feelings don’t matter to a dog being killed .
Flocki
Flocki
My dog goes deaf when she is sniffing or chasing. She is wired that way. The shock collar is set very mild just to get her attention. The collar may save her life since she will chase deer or cats across streets without any notice of traffic. Yes, I tried it on myself first. It is not painful.
Jeremiah
Jeremiah
My brothers dog is a 1 year and a few months old moutain cur and my dog is a blue heeler pyranise mix my brothers dog gets shocked by the fence and gets to chew up my dog what should I do
Angelina
Angelina
I have a 4 year old male husky who just started nipping other dogs at the dog park. He’s been to the dog park and doggy day care ever since he was 2 yrs and I’ve never really had problems up until a month ago. I don’t know where this behavior is coming from, but I don’t want to ban him from his favorite place to go. I’m very close to trying the e collar on him, but he is such a sensitive dog I don’t want to instill fear in him. So torn, any suggestions or input on the e collar if you’ve experienced the same situation??? I only want it on him for the dog park. He’s amazing at home, on walks, with my two cats, and 2 year old sister, its just the dog park.
marie
marie
My dog is nervous and I have a clicker, he loves it and he is obedient with it. Don’t shock him thats cruel!
AC-DC
AC-DC
In that case, you should put down any dog that can’t be trained using positive reinformcement. Because death to them is better than giving a damn. Also screw you. Your close minded bull s***, is why everyone hates shock collars and people who use them regardless of ccontext because context is G** d*** important. You would think increased air port security for people coming in from certain middle eastern regions to be racist, until you consider the ccontext that a lot of ISIS members come from the same places as well.

So if you can’t fathom using this, because your pup is a goodie two shoe then good for you.but for others, who have already exhausted all other options and have no where else to turn to and don’t want to lose their pup because they aren’t souless dicks, it’s a different story.

I don’t use a shock collar on my pup, and he’s several thousand handfuls, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand and respect other peoples choices. Especially if they have a good reason.

Peggy
Peggy
AC-DC, your post clearly shows your respect for others’ choices.
basil
basil
Why is it that racist, war-slinging republican idiots impose their racist, war-slinging republican views into irrelevant conversations? God damn, is it really that hard for you to compartmentalize your opinions?

I’m proud of you for accepting others’ decisions to shock their dog. Now learn how to either accept the Bill of Rights or communicate with adults in a contextually appropriate manner.

Captain
Captain
I feel like people should have to take a training class before using these. Just a half-day class would be sufficient, even an online class. I always strap the collar to myself and begin at the lowest settings, then work my way up whenever I buy a new shock collar. This gives me an idea when the levels could start causing my dog discomfort, rather than just getting her attention.

Then I put the collar on her, and start at the bottom setting again and look for any small indication it got her attention without causing her to change what she was doing. That would be the setting it normally stays on, bumping up the levels during training to a training/working level.

If someone is using a shock collar, they need to put-out for one that has a lot of settings. Not just 1-10. Rather 1-40 or 1-100. This allows you to properly hone in on the educational levels without causing your dog pain.

If your dog vocalizes, you dun screwed up and you need to apologize to your dog and take a break. Then start over and start at the LOWEST SETTING.

This should not be used for things like “Stop doing that” or potty training or things where the collar is being used incorrectly in a situation that’s not necessary.

Research. Know your collar inside and out. This is not a quick fix device or a shortcut. You need to use shock collars responsibly. Otherwise, you’re like an idiot with a gun and you’re going to get you or your pet hurt. Also, shock collars are not necessary for every dog. If your dog already turns it’s head when you call her, you probably don’t need one. It’s the extreme ADD and hyper ones that require a little nudge. A LITTLE nudge, not a full blown shock. … Just be careful people. And seriously, strap the collar to your leg. Start at the lowest setting. If you are too scared to give yourself a tingle, you shouldn’t use it on your dog.

Happy training!

Gabby
Gabby
We recently got a 2 to 2 1/2 year old high energy, likely part Jack Russell, dog who is fine –except he chases our cat every time he gets a chance. The poor cat is a nervous wreck and will hardly come in the house anymore. Gonna try the shock collar and hope it works. Wish us luck.
Cathy
Cathy
My heart is being broken about my cat not liking my new dog! How’s it going with yours? We have a 10 month old mix about 4pounds. My cat won’t come into the house and runs from me. Hoping you have advise?
Marianne
Marianne
I don’t usually respond but my heart is breaking for your cat. I posted the same response to another question. This CAN be resolved. I am not a dog trainer, but have trained many dogs not to chase cats. These are all rescue dogs with little or no training when I first took them in. They all and an instinct to chase cats. My cats are also rescues. But I anticipated this on bringing them home and didn’t want my poor cats terrorized. It only took a few days for each dog to get the message, but after that I needed to stay on top of the situation.

My initial method (this also helped with house training): I got some pieces of coroplast, cut small entry/exit holes in each piece for the cats to go through and “fenced” off the kitchen. The dog stayed with me in this area with a leash on. I kept an eye open for cats entering this area. Every time a cat came by or came in from outside I grabbed the leash, gave the command “NO chase kitty” and stopped the dog from approaching the cat. The cats soon felt OK to come and go and the dog soon got the idea that is is not OK to chase the cats.

You could also do this with just a long line on your dog. For the training, the dog has this on all the time and is never out of your sight. If you have to go elsewhere, dog goes with you or goes in the crate. i.e the dog is never free to chase the cat. I tied the long line to my leg so that I could get on with what I had to do. If the dog started towards a cat I grabbed the line and gave and a firm command “NO chase kitty”.

I use the same method if a cat is outside. Long line, no freedom to chase a cat.
After being terrified initially, the cats are soon comfortable walking right past my dog or even rubbing up against him. Now they all curl up near each other in the evening if I want to watch TV. I still a have to be vigilant and make sure my dog doesn’t get too rambunctious with the cat (he just wants to play).

Please try this – the cat does not need to be chased!!

Stesha
Stesha
I am in the same boat. We needed a dog for safety and figured getting a young dog would be best. But he is so high energy that he doesn’t listen when he gets near the cats. I have had my two cats since college but I really needed a dog due to my PTSD and not sleeping if I don’t feel safe. I am seriously considering a shock collar because nothing else has worked. (Which is why I wandered on this thread.)
Steph
Steph
Hi. I recently adopted a GWP at 9 mo old & now 14 mo old. She is really a sweet pup. She has no recall if distracted, she pulls on the leash. If a runner, skater boarder or worse yet a cyclist or motorcycle is nearby she lunges and barks (major freak out). Our trainer told us to
Leash her at all times to keep her safe which I do. However I have many bruises and aches from getting pulled around and down to the ground. She is very high energy and needs exercise so we go late at Night to avoid people. I want to be able to take her camping and do more outdoor activities. Everyone has suggested a shock collar but she is super sensitive and doesn’t like being scolded. I am worried it will make her anxious and destroy our trust.
Wills
Wills
Hi Steph we had a problem with our rott mixes bad recall but began to use positive reinforcement and saw a great change. It took a lot of training and bribery but puppies are worth all the work. We began to carry treats of different values and administered them based on the distraction. Her favorite being stinky chicken hot dogs, and the lowest being Charlie bears. She never know what she’s going to get, but knowing that if could be nothing or it could be a greasy hot dog makes her run back to us where we shower her in praise. Also once a week I yell jackpot and dump a bunch of irresistible treats at my feet, so if she is really not listening jackpot means get your butt over here or your missing out! We also work with the leash as your bet suggested and have yet to allow her off leash in public spaces besides fenced parks. She’s still getting there.
Andrea
Andrea
HELP !! My dog is a black lab, rotti, heeler cross and he has a bad bad habit of barking and howling when we leave the house. he does it for about half an hour straight after we leave, a few times when we are gone. he is REALLY bad when it gets dark outside .. our neighbours have complained and we live in a townhouse. Can anyone suggest what collar would be the best one? I will only put it on him when we leave in the evening….
Captain
Captain
Do you walk your dog? It’s essential that your dog gets plenty of exercises. Usually, a long walk before you leave the house can help mitigate the nervous or anxiety that’s likely causing the howling when you leave. Also, you shouldn’t leave a shock collar on your dog when you are no present. That could go very wrong, very fast, and it’s dangerous.

If you can’t leave your dog alone for a couple hours, you have a lot of training to do and you should start asking yourself did you want a dog or a cuddly accessory? I’m sorry, I don’t mean to judge, it just sounds like your dog is not getting enough outdoor time or quality time with it’s family. You. Spend more time with it, not just sitting petting while watching TV. You need to Engage your dog. Basic training and outdoor activity.

Start there. A dog collar is the last thing to fix your problem. Good luck!

Ashley
Ashley
My dog is a 3 1/2 year old beagle mix, we just rescued his from the shelter about a month ago. For the first few weeks as he was learning to live with us and his new home he wasn’t much of a barker, but now he “demand” barks at us. He doesn’t bark on walks when he sees people or other dogs ( only barks when he sees a pesky cat!). He is a very good dog and we are slowly teaching other obedience commands like “Sit” “Stay” and “Come” but he is still constant with these aggressive/ demanding barks. He doesn’t show other signs of aggression, very light nipping at the most during playtime. Even after we come back from a walk/ outside , 5 mins later he will stand his ground and bark in our face, so this leads me to believe he doesn’t need to go to the bathroom, but just wants to get our attention. We have tried the turning our backs and giving him no attention until he quits but I am worried our neighbors will start to complain. Is a shock collar a good method to teach that these barks are approved methods of getting attention? Thanks for any help!
Josh
Josh
My dog is a half German Shepard half Black lab and is about 15 months old. He has a bad habbit of chewing sticks and wood. I am concerned about his teeth and him ingesting wood. I am starting to consider a shock collar and give him a jolt everytime he goes to pick up a stick. Some of his sticks are not sticks but small logs lol. I have tried and tried to say NO! when he goes for wood and he will listen but when I turn my back he is right at it again. I play ball with him , frisbee, take him swimming etc to get his mind off of the wood but in his down time he still goes right for it.. would a shock collar be my next best step?
Captain
Captain
Instead of telling your dog what not to do, maybe try changing it up and telling them what to do, like, “come” or do some small tricks, like practice “sit” “Stay” and “shake” (hands) – I’m not saying you shouldn’t tell it “no” when it’s being destructive, but some dogs need a lot of physical activity when they are young, as well as years into their lives. If you have a german shepherd mix, you need to give that dog a lot of exercise. I own a German shepherd mix, and if I don’t take her on a walk every single day, she acts-out to relieve her energy and boredom. Seriously, I think if you try spending more time with your dog, and especially with YOUR dog (I’m sure it’s very pretty, Shepherds usually are) it will help mitigate much of the negative behaviour, and likely make them more receptive to correction / education. Good luck!
Bren
Bren
Our GSD would to the same when he was a pup. They love to chew on wood and branches! I would suggest to get him more challenging toys as well as LOTS of exercise and/or daily walks. Pet stores have deer antlers that are great with breeds who will chew through things easily. These are challenging for them and they last a really, really long time. A shock collar is not your solution for this small bad habit.
Rachel
Rachel
So I bought a shock collar about 2 weeks ago after my 8 mo old Carolina Dog (I just found out she is an American Dingo aka: Carolina Dog and thus very wild) acted completely wild at someone’s house, so bad that we were told to leave due to her behavior. She pooped in the house, ran out the front door into the street, knocked over her popup kennel and her water bowl inside and essentially got water all over the house and herself, and she almost took a chunk out of the other dog there. She has a BIG problem with nipping. I know that it is to play but it gets way too hard and basically leaves bruises all over me. When I tell her “no” in a calm, stern voice. She takes it as a play word, or doesn’t like to be told “no” so she snarles and growls back and sometimes even barks at me. Then she continues the nipping behavior. There’s literally no way to get her to stop. She also runs across the house wanting me to play and chase after her when it’s time to go in her kennel. This will cause me a lot of frustration because by these dogs run 30+mph and I cannot catch her until she’s being calm, then I can’t punish her because the behavior has stopped. Last night was the worst I had seen her nipping and growling behavior. I tried catching her to make her sleep in her kennel and eventually I did. She whined and barked the entire night. (I should mention other than this behavior she is a very loving and loyal dog). So this morning I set up the shock collar and I just took her for a walk this afternoon. I used shock only when she would yank on the leash almost to the point of choking herself. She’s very bad on a leash. I began to notice her behavior change almost immediately. After a few shocks, she began walking at my pace. Since I’ve taken her upstairs, she has been extremely compliant. No nipping, barking, or running. I’ve taken the collar off but I can’t tell if her good behavior is due to the shocks or her being tired from the walk. I also rewarded her for sitting calmly on the couch with a treat. When the sun goes down is normally when she gets amped up so we will see how tonight goes. Hopefully I am able to get the collar on her before she goes wild. I really hope this training method works for us. I will update this post if there are any results from when she starts her non-compliant behaviors.
Thank you for the read.
John Stephens
John Stephens
Rachel thank you for the Post and insight
John
John
We had a cairn terrier pup that would nip so much at us we also had scars-and bark at us for attention almost non stop. My friend baby sat for him and when we got home she said she needed a drink. Husband and I were each secretly going on Cairn rescue websites to see how we could get him adopted (the dog, not the husband). Did training classes, practiced, no use. Had a dog psychologist over to see us that told us to use a “time out”, get a 4 foot tether with a snap on each end, and as soon as behavior gets bad, put it on and take him into the next room or hall where he can still see you , but not be with you and attach the tether to something. Leave him there and ignore him for 3-5 minutes. The technique was a life saver.
Erica
Erica
I have a almost 6 month old Australian Shepard/German Shepard mix. He is in obedience training now and does really good with everything when I am around. If I leave the room for just a second he starts going in after my 13yo son. Barking, biting, jumping on top of him on the couch. I have a 3yo as well an concerned he will do it with her as well. Would a collar work with this behavior?
Rachel
Rachel
I just posted my story above. I am no expert but I have trained one of my dogs not to bite aggressively and I am in the middle of training my Carolina Dog (American Dingo) now. I believe that if your dog is acting that way with your son to play with him, I would try the collar. It is a negative reinforcer. I have an extensive background in Psychology and shocks are used all the time on test subjects (from people to lab rats) to cause any chosen behavior to be worked out and discontinued. It’s really basic psychology and is in no way harmful. I had qualms about putting the collar on my dog too, but after I’ve witnessed her behavior change for the better, I feel a little better about it because I know she and I will have a better relationship because of it. Now if your dog is treating your son with aggression and not play, this is bad and needs to be worked out by a professional. I hate to say spend more money but dogs are an investment. If your dog is in fact acting aggressively, let a professional dog trainer do the work WITH your son present so the dog can learn that your son is also an alpha as are you, and as is your 3 year old. If it is aggressive, don’t let the dog around the toddler. I say all this because I’ve had a very aggressive dog that I reinforced negative reward with to get him to stop biting myself and my family. I left for college and my parents stopped reinforcing it so he growls, shows his teeth, and still bites them but he will let me kiss his face without so much as a growl.
Main thing, behavior is play- try collar. Behavior is aggressive- intensive private dog training with your children involved so the dog can learn the family is alpha.

I hope I have helped some! Good luck!

Erica
Erica
Thank you! Yes it is more just a play with me thing. He is very high energy even after a 5 mile walk. He is a very good natured dog and hasn’t gotten aggressive with anybody or anything. Again thank you!
Sydne Miller
Sydne Miller
I have a 8 month old Siberian husky German Shepherd mix. She’s a big baby she loves to play but she doesn’t understand how big she is yet and tends to knock over and bite at my youngest daughter. She is not mean or aggressive at all she just doesn’t understand she’s bigger and stronger yet. She also has a bad habit of getting in the trash and eatting toys and such that she know she’s shouldn’t. We have tried alot of different techniques to train her but I’m out of options at this.point. would buying a shock collar help?
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
It sounds like your dog is doing normal puppy things. I think if I were in your situation I would “doggy proof” the house. Get trash cans with lids on them, put things up high to where she can’t get them, etc. I know it would cause more work for you, but it would cost you no money. Shock collars aren’t recommended for dogs younger than 6 months old, so your dog is technically old enough if you choose to go that route. The decision is ultimately up to you.
Sydne Miller
Sydne Miller
Sadly putting things up high spent work she’s so tall now at 8 months that she is pretty much as tall as I am(5 “7”) when she stands she’s a very big puppy
Rachel
Rachel
Sounds a lot like my Carolina Dog (American Dingo). She doesn’t understand her play nipping gets too hard and leaves bruises. I just started her on a shock collar today and I’ve gotten only positive results.
Steve
Steve
I haven’t read any one with a thunderstorm barking problem, any advise. She’s always been sensitive to loud Moises. Thundershirt was not really effective. Thanks.
Rachel
Rachel
I was gonna say thundershirt! But good to know now that doesn’t work. Not sure here, maybe seek professional advice from your vet or maybe groomer? Good luck!
Tessi
Tessi
Not sure how often you get thunderstorms where you live but if they arent very often and you can tell one is on its way you could try feeding your dog something starchy and heavy about an hour before if you can. Mashed potato or overcooked rice or pasta work well. It should make her sleepy and help her sleep through it. Its always worked on my 7 year old husky when there are fireworks going off in the area. Cant say about tunderstorms as she whines to be OUT in them. Loves to lie in torrential rain and watch the lightening!
Kim Huffmaster
Kim Huffmaster
We live out in the country on a dirt road . Our dogs stay close by. Until now. Our female goes to the neighbor’s about a mile up the road because her son aggravates her. He is 2. We had him neutered about a year and half ago, but he still is clingy with her. She waits for us by the woman’s trash container and then follows us home. Her safety is my main concern. I really don’t want to keep her penned up. Any suggestions please. Thank you
Victoria
Victoria
The way you worded your post makes it sound like you are saying you had your neighbor’s 2 year old son neutered a year and a half ago because he aggravates your dog 🙂 it really puzzled me so I had to read it over a few times and then finally understood what I think you are saying – your dog had puppies 2 years ago & one of those puppies aggravates & is clingy with his mom (your dog). At least I hope that’s what you meant…
Michelle
Michelle
I have a 3 y.o., 120 lb. Bernese Mountain Dog. Very goofy, sweet, fun-loving dog. When on walks, he gets extremely excited when we pass other dogs and tries to run up to them to greet and sniff. Usually a well trained, obedient dog, all known training goes out the window and he blatantly ignores my commands. He is so strong, I often struggle to restrain him. This is a major problem, because I am 5 months pregnant, and fell yesterday when trying to pull him back. I am wondering if a shock collar would be in our best interest to stop this behavior?
Donna
Donna
I have had a lab/hound mix rescue since September. He is really charming with people, but at home with us he is either really good or really bad. By bad I mean he jumps on us, mouths our hands and feet, or goes after couch cushions, paper, or anything else he isn’t supposed to be chewing on. We have him on behavior supplements, take him to doggy day care, and he’s got lots of toys. We’ve even tried apple bitter spray. I’m wondering if the behavior collar would work for him or make him aggressive.
Shaun
Shaun
I have a 2 year old half pit half Australian Sheppard he is getting very animal aggressive he has killed two neighborhood cats. Is getting food aggressive with our other two dogs. They are smaller than him and he could easily hurt them but never has he gets completely psychotic if he sees any other kind of animal. Other than that he is sweet and lovable and laid back could use some. Help
Christina Sermos
Christina Sermos
I’m having the same issue with my pit and my cattle mix. We’re trying to blend our families and my other half has small dogs. My pit tried twice to kill one of them (he’s also killed cats whom were family pets when we weren’t home) and my cattle mix goes after his beagle. I bought basket muzzles and are working with a trainer she likes the ecollar as long as you’re comfortable as an owner. I’ll keep you updated on how it goes we have yet to do a walk again with the collars. I do know it’s helped at home though!
basil
basil
um? Please leash your aggressive dog??? wtf
Em Sea
Em Sea
I have a 10 month old Beagle who is such a fun girl inside bid the house. However, the minute the door opens, she bolts and ignores her name, ignores come commands…I’ve ever tried luring her back with toys or treats but she acts like I’m completely invisible! Same issue when I’m attempting to walk her on leash, and she sees another dog. The howling and whining is extremely loud and embarrassing, and no matter what i do, i cant seen to get her attention with treats or anything. Should I try the shock collarto curb these behaviours?
Sandra Tinney
Sandra Tinney
I definitely would. Got a sportdog 350 yard trainer for my lab and it has made a whole world of difference
Marina Cahill
Marina Cahill
My mother (me) has a Akita/Shepherd mix who was not trained to stay or come when called. She kept him locked in the house where his primary entertainment was to chase her cat. Now that I am her caregiver, I have responsibility for this dog. He’s about 75 lbs and does not like other animals. I cannot let him out without a leash because he will run off and look for other animals to attack. He will stay close to the house (less than 1/2 mile) but takes off the minute you get near him. Last time he was out for 18 hours before he let someone get near enough to catch him. My neighbor calls the police and the last time they showed up, one got out of the car with her gun drawn. And I got a $500 fine. I tried to contract for an invisible fence but they refused after meeting him. He barks with his head averted so not to make I contact but the contractor felt that he would associate a person with the shock and go through the fence, He has not attacked a person but he has killed a rabbit and I think a kitten. I don’t want to put him down because I have grown fond of him and I think my mother is not that emotionally stable to lose him, as she just lost her twin. I need some help because I kinda have a nervous breakdown when he escapes. I have a kennel in the yard but no fence. Is this collar a viable option if he gets out and I am chasing him? Thanks in advancements for your thoughts.
Britney
Britney
Just wondering if anyone had a positive experience in a similar situation. We have a 90 lb Mix (rotti, sharpei, pit). We have spent thousands of dollars on various types of training (purely positive and everything in between). We currently use a prong collar however he remains EXTREMELY LEASH reactive. He is a very fearful and anxious dog (sounds, new people, changes in our home) but we can control/manage those behaviors. On leash he is a nightmare if a dog or person is within his “threshold of reactivity” (aka on the sidewalk approaching him). He goes to doggy day-care and loves to play but out walking when a dog approaches him on leash he lunges, growls and today after he growled at a dog (that was off leash which shouldn’t be happening but that is beside the point) that approached him the dog attacked him and bit him. Now realistically this wasn’t his fault given he gave the dog his growl “warning” to stay away and he was on his leash as per bylaw. One trainer recommended the e-collar. Will this make his fear leash aggression worse? Will it make his mistrust in us worse?? I like many others are nervous but at the same time the prong collar doesn’t seem to have a big enough impact to change his state of mind and I worry it hurts him more actually! Thanks!
Lisa K
Lisa K
Shock collars work for some things but if your dog already has anxiety issues, it will only make the situation worse. It sounds like you might want to talk to your vet about getting medication for your dog’s anxiety and aggression. Prozac or Zoloft do wonders for dogs like the one you’ve described. It’s much harder to re-train a dog to change behavior than it is to teach them a new one. This is because each time they have engaged in the current, bad behavior, they have reinforced a neural pathway and you are trying to create a new pathway (effectively, re-routing their brain to follow a different behavioral response). Think of it as like a pathway in a tall grassy field. The current behavior is a well-worn pathway and easy/quick to follow. Creating a new pathway takes more effort and isn’t immediately clear to follow, so you have to concentrate and/or use more effort at first until a new pathway develops and is worn down into the field.

Anxiety releases hormones that make neural pathways deeper and faster, so behaviors associated with anxiety are particularly hard to reverse because their neural pathways are so easy and well-worn. If you add more anxiety to a situation, you’ll make it even harder to change an existing behavior. That is why a SSRI drug like Prozac or Zoloft would work well: these drugs help to reduce anxiety while also increasing serotonin, which among other things, are very good at reducing obsessive-compulsive behaviors, PTSD and deeply entrenched anxiety related behaviors.

It’s really, really important to start this type of medication slowly and build up over a few weeks so as to minimize side effects (especially loss of appetite) but in most dogs, any side effects dissipate after a month or two. Also, try to stick to a low dose (5 or 10 mg per day) when at full dosage. An adult human typically takes 20mg, but he/she might take as little as 10 mg or as high as 60 mg for OCD behavior, but dog often need a lot less than 20 mg (a common dose for large dogs). Also, over time, as behavior modifies and new behavior patterns take hold, your dog might be able to reduce the dosage or eliminate it entirely.

I’ve seen many rescue dogs who were deemed “unadoptable” because of either severe anxiety or inappropriate behavior do extremely well with both these drugs. I hope you consider talking with your vet about this option. Good luck!

joanna
joanna
I have a 2yr old stubborn husky… I cannot walk him without a leash and definitely cant let him out side the house without one neither because he will run away and we are located in a busy street. Has anyone with a husky used the shock collar and have it worked? I am a little scare of using one because I think it will hurt him. any suggestions? I’ve spend a lot of money with someone who had him for over 6 weeks to train him and that was a complete waste of money. HELP!!!
Lindsey
Lindsey
I need some advice on possibly using a shock collar on my dog. My dog is a sweet little rescue Pomeranian-Corgi mix. He is my baby, and he is very protective of me. He is a very sweet and social dog. When I first got him, he was terrified of people, but now he doesn’t know a stranger. He will go up to anyone expecting to get loved on. I also have 2 rescue bunnies, which he loves. They all get along very well and even play together at times and snuggle. Here’s the problem- since I have gotten him, he is very anxious around other dogs. We live in a very dog friendly neighborhood, and if we come in contact with a dog (we do everyday many times) he will start whining and sometimes aggressively whining, and will occasionally growl. He never barks at the other dogs. But the whining is enough to cause a huge embarrassing scene, and then most people do not want to bring their dogs up to him when he’s acting like that. When he is able to go up to other dogs, for the most part he handles it well. I have taken him to different training programs for this issue, but nothing has worked. They tell me that he is just protective of me. I think he just wants to go up to the other dogs, but just doesn’t know how to handle the situation, so he whines. But we can’t go up to every dog we see and let him see them. He needs to learn to stop the negative reaction. Should I try using a shock collar, and just give him a little shock when he starts to whine at other dogs. Then give positive reinforcement when behaving well? Or do you think the shock collar would be a bad idea in this situation? I’ve considered taking him to doggy daycare but I’m afraid they will not accept him because of how he acts around other dogs. Other than this issue, he is the perfect dog! He is not aggressive at all. I just think he is socially awkward. It’s probably my fault for not socializing him enough early on. But he had already been through so many negative experiences before I got him, maybe this is a result of his past. Please help! Thanks!!
Lynn
Lynn
Why are you so keen on forcing him to be a social butterfly? Some dogs (like some people) just don’t want to socialize. Try buying some yellow ribbon – add some to your dog’s collar, and to the middle of your leash. It’s a sign that your dog is not friendly and doesn’t want to “meet and great”.
If you are desperate to get him to be more friendly, click training might help. It’s a good way to help more reserved or fearful dogs learn to approach new situations (items, animals, people) little by little.
Melanie
Melanie
Lynn, I have the exact same issue as Lindsey above with my pit bull mix. While I can’t speak for her…I’d like to address your question above and to add to her post. I think it’s not that as a pet owner I would want to force the dog to be more social, but rather, it’s that I want our pet to be more socially acceptable and enjoy a simple walk through the neighborhood peacefully. My dog is so bad when we we try to go out with him in public that it turns into a huge unpleasant ordeal for everyone remotely close to us. It’s awful because he sounds like he is being mistreated or tortured. I too would like to know if this behavior can be corrected using an e-collar. Anyone else with this issue?
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Hi Melanie, I’m so sorry you’re having this issue. I’ll speak from my own experience here. When we got our dog Sally in February she was very happy and loved meeting new people. However, on our walks she would bark and lunge immensely at any person, dog or bicyclist we passed. It was very frustrating for us because we didn’t know if she was being aggressive or just excited and wanted to meet them all. It made walks frustrating and unenjoyable. We came to the point where we were going to go to a trainer or get an e-collar. We decided to look into trainers and found one with high reviews and reasonably priced, so we opted for that.

We decided to take her to an obedience class where we used a pinch collar on her. This was hard for us to get used to because we didn’t know anything about this collar but the trainer swore by it. (I do not recommend using a pinch collar on a dog unless you do your research and learn how to use it properly.) We followed the trainer’s guidance and now walks are much more manageable. They aren’t perfect and she can still bark at those we pass but there are times where she is absolutely perfect. We are still working with her on this and notice improvements every day.

For us, a trainer helped immensely. However, I understand that for some dogs an e-collar may be the solution. I just wanted to tell you Sally’s story in case it helped you make a decision. Best of luck to you and your pup.

Christine
Christine
My dog has been having similar issues as all of the other commenters on here. She is a black lab around 2.5 years old and is super quirky and goofy. However, she tends to growl at nothing, growl, bark and charge when people are at the door, and even bark and scare people outside. My grandmother is afraid to come inside anymore when my family isn’t home. We have tried obedience training, which didn’t help with her issues; and we’ve tried vibrating collars, spray bottles and more.
Do shock collars work in cases like my dog’s, what with her aggressive growling, charging, and barking?
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Our dog had some of these tendencies. The dog trainer in her obedience class told us to keep her on a leash for at least two weeks inside the house. It wasn’t fun for us or her, but we had to do it to show that she was only allowed where we said she could be. It sounds like our dogs are similar and have some alpha tendencies. By keeping her on the leash, we are showing our dogs that we are the boss. We have seen great results so far. We are still working with our dog but are impressed with the improvements she has made. Perhaps this is something that might work for your dog?
Sandi
Sandi
My son has two dogs. One is a German Shepherd and the other one is a small Parmeranin Husky . He just moved in to his new house in Sept. The problem is that the neighbor has chickens that run free in a fenced in area. The dogs hear the chickens and will go over there. They haven’t ate any of chickens but the lady said she would shot the dogs if they come on their property again. She has called the police too. The police said she has the right to shot them. Also the two dogs bark constantly when people come over. The German Sheprerd barks non stop because it want to play ball 24/7. They jump on people. If they get out , they take off running and you have to chase them because they won’t come back. I just want to know if a E collar would work or do they need to get a fence.
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Many people in my neighborhood use invisible fence collars and they seem to work great. Read our article (linked in the sentence before) to learn more about how they work.
Brian
Brian
This situation sounds horrible. I have a German Shepherd that just went through training and the collar is working great. My advice would be to get both. Anyone who threatens to shoot a dog must be taken seriously. It may be expensive but I think the best option is to get a fence and separate those two properties. Also you have the right to protect your home. If she wields a gun in your direction or the direction of your home call the police again.
Daina
Daina
I have a year and a half old pit bull lab mix. He looks a lot more like a lab than pit bull. Longer snout and a lean yet muscular athelectic lab body. He is a very sweet and smart dog. We have multiple dogs at the house and I used to take him to the dog park but stopped. He sometimes gets into fights with our other dogs, no real biting or anything just pins them and barks a bit and if I say stop he stops. He honestly is quite obiedent. MY ISSUE is he jumps and climbs our cement wall in the back yard all the while barking at our neighbors dog. At first it was he jumps to look over while barking, then he began to hold himself on the wall to look over and bark at them, today I came home to my neighbor saying he managed to jump over the wall into their yard and he got into a small dog fight with his dog. Nothing crazy he wasn’t mad thank god, but I’m worried it’ll happen again and if he jumps into the wrong yard he can hurt a dog or get hurt. I’m iffy on shock collars..but I want to know if anyone has had a similar problem and an alternative solution. He does listen if I call his name and tell him to stop and get down but I don’t want things to escalate and need Solution.
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Perhaps using an invisible fence collar would help. They make some that don’t need to be dug into your yard. All you do is plug the unit into your house and set the distance your dog is allowed to go and if your dog steps beyond that distance it gives a beep or a shock (depending on the style).
Jen
I have a kind of complicated situation. I took in my boyfriends dog last week who’s been back and forth between him and his brother for 3 years. My bf and I dropped him off at his brothers 10 months ago because where we moved to we couldn’t have him. Now his brother is getting relocated again (Air Force) and cannot take him, and my bf is across the country and can’t have him there and where I moved to know I’m allowed to have pets. So here I have an 8 y/o pit bull that weighs 80lbs, is not neutered, and has been trained to pull a couple of men on skateboards or rollerblades, who are both 6’4 and 250lbs. This dog is very very strong. Apparently in the first 5 years of his life he lived with another pit bull and they would fight visciously and often. I was not around at this time so I don’t know why this went on for 5 years.. anyway, when my bf got him initially 3 years ago for husband brothers first deployment, he had to do some aggressive training to get him to listen. He sits, knows the word no (only listens to no when he wants to) and go lay down. He does have a kennel and does well in it though. I have several real concerns that I cannot get any solutions to no matter how hard I try. #1. He humps things and my poor 14 y/o daughter. He is so strong that I struggle to pull him off her by his collar. #2. He tries to drag me on the leash and it’s really really hard to pull back and stop. He was trained to pull so I know why he does it but I’m not getting pulled on anything and need him to stop! #3. He is flighty, We have to be extremely careful opening the door because he will bolt out. I accidentally did it last year when my bf still had him and this dog was GONE! My bf is a very athletic man and he had to chase this dog for 2 miles and prayed the whole time he wouldn’t kill anything.. which brings me to #4. This dog is great around people, wouldn’t hurt a child or anyone else, but he absolutely will kill another dog if he was given the chance. This terrifies me more than anything. Obviously I am having a very hard time but I couldn’t just let their dog be taken to a shelter because they would kill him I know for a fact. But I also know that there has to be a way to stop this behavior. I’ve tried treat training which is a joke for this dog, and have been reading so many training articles and honestly, I don’t have much faith in any of them because he’s set in his ways for a lot of things.. Both my bf and his brother never used a shock collar on him, I’m thinking this is my only option because he’s so darn stubborn, so strong and yes he’s very much the alpha dog even though he knows I’m boss.. he is a good dog otherwise, he just needs to be reprogrammed. Do y’all think a shock collar can help me correct an 8y/o dogs behavior?? Sorry for the long post, I just felt his back story was needed for more accurate information. And I’m desperate. Thank you!
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt
Hi Jen, thanks for reaching out to us. My husband and I recently started taking our dog, Sally, to an obedience class. To sum it up, the whole point of the class is to show our dog that we are the alpha and we will protect her. We are her parents, so just like her dog parents, we will protect her from any harm. (It’s basically doing what you need done — reprogramming the dogs so they aren’t the alphas.) In the end we want Sally to listen to our commands (sit, stay, down) as well as not feel like she needs to protect us when we’re on our walks. (Currently she lunges and barks at people, dogs and cars.) We’ve only had one class so far (our second class is today) but we’ve already seen benefits from the 3 hours of class.

Have you considered taking your dog to a class? There is a english mastiff in the class we take Sally to. He was close to being euthanized because he bit a family member. The trainer took him in and helped him and he was then adopted but he still has problems with socializing around dogs and can be aggressive towards them. He comes to the class purely for the socialization and learning to be around new dogs. To be extra cautious, they put a muzzle on him so there are no scary accidents but he will eventually be around us and our dogs without a muzzle. Perhaps something like this would be beneficial for your dog?

Lynn
Lynn
I can’t help but be extremely scared for your daughter.

Neutering is pretty cheap and can make a big difference in aggressive behavior. We just adopted an un-altered 4 yo male chihuahua/pit bull mix (think 9 lb chihuahua with powerful haunches). He was insane – barking, lunging, pulling on the leash, unable to stop bad behaviors once started. After about 2 months, he has calmed down enough to start behavior training. The barking is still annoying, though he is walking calmly on a leash now.

You could reach out to a pit bull rescue organization in your area for help in finding a trainer (or maybe you’ll get lucky and find a perfect re-homing situation). My friend runs a rescue group in my area, and she is always happy to deal with owners that want to fix their dog’s behavior, not just dump them on her. She knows several talented trainers.

Denise
Denise
I have been looking for a collar that will work for barking, while I’m away & yet let me use a controller to finish up training while I’m with my dog. Is there such a thing, that doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars?
Billy
Billy
1 year old Parsons/JackRussell mix. Digs holes all over the yard. Not trying to dig out just digging. Shock collar ?
Lyford
Lyford
Shock collars are God’s gift to this earth. I have no Control of my dog without it. With it, I can control his every move. It has kept him safe (most importantly). My dog is very sensitive as well emotionally. If I yell at him he is scared of me for sometimes days. I love my shock collar because he doesn’t know it is me correcting him. He thinks it is God striking him down for being a bad dog, and he knows that coming to me will guarantee his safety. Now a days, I mainly use the beep function of the collar, and with a 3,000 foot range, I can “page” him even when he is out of hearing range. I have the Petsafe big dog 1000 and would recommend it to all. It is no miracle tool though, you must spend a lot of time training with it for it to be effective. Once you do, you have complete control.
Lisa
Lisa
I love the God striking down part!
Kerri
Kerri
I am considering getting a shock collar for my dog. My sister and her fiancé just go to a house and had a fence put in. My dog the whole time ran around the fence barking at anything and everything to the point she could not even stay outside with the other dogs. DO shock collar hurting your dog? I do not want to cause any harm and would not want her to not trust me or not like me after using one. Do shock collars work with jumping also? I haven’t done all my research yet but any information anyone has will be super helpful!
Sheri Smith
Sheri Smith
I need help. I have tried EVERYTHING to help get my dog to stop barking. Sprays, medication, citronella spray collar, bark collars and nothing is working. I just bought another one a couple days ago and he feels nothing. What is a good collar to get a thick skinned dog that will work for barking
Michelle
Michelle
I have a hound lab mix about 9 months old. Over all god dog! Loves to dig in yard and eat yard furniture. Will a shock collar be the way to go for these habits. Spray and crate do nothing
Peg
I have a 2 1/2 year old boxer, he is usually very good, but sometimes for no reason that I have been able to figure out, he will attack my little female pug. Usually he doesn’t hurt her, only stands over her and growls and scares her and me, but once he did bite her and actually drew blood. He also will snap at you if you push him when he is sleeping. We allow him to sleep on the foot of the bed at night and if you move him, he will snap. I am wondering if an E-collar would work with this problem.
Stephanie Viola
Stephanie Viola
Im no expert by any means, but every training I have ever experienced disagree’ s with a dog sleeping in your bed. My understanding is that now you have put yourself in your dogs eyes as its equal. For lack of a better word, theres no respect. Your dog is trying to climb the ranks in his “pack”. I know your question is about using a shock collar or not. This Im actually exploring as an option for my pup. Good luck!
cotton
cotton
you are only partly right!! you must show your dog you are alfa but look at most packs and the alpha dog sleep in a pile!! when sleeping in bed with or near you make them part of your pack!! you dont let them sleep with their head on yours!! but other than that its only a pack thing!! in the case above the dog feels he is alpha so that’s the problem not that its in the bed!!
cotton
cotton
in this case i dont feel shock collar is what’s needed!! you need to learn how to show him you are alpha!! the standing over is called postering! its showing dominance , before someone get hurt you should learn how to show your dog you are alpha!!!
marc
marc
Seriously….if he snaps when unprovoked he needs to go. Do the math! A collar will not help an overly aggressive dog.
Dee
I really need help. I’ve been through a lot of different routes including; crate training, positive reinforcement clicker training, strenuous exercising, spray bottles, penny cans, tone collars, citronella collars, an ultrasonic system and vet prescribed medication (prozac+xanax) but nothing works. a vibrating/shock collar are the only thing that I haven’t tried. My Mini Australian Shepherd is an incessant barker but only when I leave and won’t stop until I get home.

Even if she is being watched by someone no one can get her to stop. It’s to the point that she’s hoarse and dehydrated. I’m really worried that she will kill herself because of how dehydrated she gets (I’ve had to take her to the emergency vet for fluids more than once). The citronella collar slowed her down for a little while but she just endures it until it’s completely drained of spray. I think the e -collar might be strong enough to not make her want to just endure it because unlike the citronella collar it won’t die after ten barks.

But she can be skittish and can react very submissive and nervous to certain things and I don’t want her to get worse. She’s perfect when I’m there and a terror when I’m gone. I really don’t know what to do. I don’t want her to literally love me to death.

Derek
Derek
I would just like to say they need to come up with a different name because a Elizabethan Collar which is a cone collar is also called a E collar…. So wtf i went through so much trouble using the word E-Collar people thought i meant something else anyway the best Static Shock collar or S-Collar you can buy is a Mini Educator it has minimal electric shock for training your dog there are 100 levels of shock on the collar not just 6 or 15 it also has a vibrate button to warn the dog he is doing something he should not be
Kalee
Kalee
I have a Weenie/Spitz mix. She was the only pup which is rare but with her being the only one, she has been crating with her mom up until I got her. She is extremely well behaved and potty training is going great, she is very independent but is the most people dog I have ever seen. She is content with everything except for being left alone. When she has been in her crate, she pulls the blankets off of the top and somehow they end up inside the crate with her, she has thrown up after only being left for 2 hours because of constant whining. I have now had complaints from 3 separate neighbors in only a matter of 2 days because she can’t calm herself down while I am at work or school during the day. My landlord is extremely upset with me because of this because they call her about it too. I have tried everything that everyone has told me and even asked the vet what I can do, nothing is working. I have to get her barking under control or else I am going to have real consequences with my living situation. I am just very concerned because she is still just a pup and only 11 weeks. Any advice?
Hobo
Hobo
Your puppy is suffering from separation anxiety. Google the term and you’ll find solutions.
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
We actually have an article on separation anxiety if you’d like to learn more about it.
Derek
Derek
I have the same issue with my dog. I babied him when he was a puppy up until about 8 months i brought him everywhere with me. He still freaks out when i leave but now he chills after about 5 to 10 minutes instead of howling for a hour straight lucky for me i had family to stay with him for a hour or 2 while i was gone in the beginning and now i do crate him he gets agitated but knows that i will always come back to him
cotton
cotton
the others have already said what it is and it is ruff for the pups! but i leave tv on to help mine! it could help while you do the other training!
Tali
Tali
I have two stubborn dogs, one more so than the other. Most stubborn dog would not walk on a leash, obsessively ate poop, refused to stop barking when told, charging the kids through the fence, and chasing the neighbors cats. Less stubborn dog would be aggressive towards the kids, hyper, refused to wait at doors just bolting out, aggressive barking in his crate, and never coming when called. Got a shock collar and within two days I had perfectly behaved dogs, which I couldn’t accomplish with a full year of traditional training. They listen, are focused on me, interact appropriately with the kids, and all bad behaviors are gone. I don’t need to use the collars anymore, they respond to my voice alone. I would highly recommend the shock collar for training, it really helps the dog learn fast, and is far more humane than so called positive training that doesn’t teach any consequences, or traditional training that can drag on for a long time without the dog making the connection. You will really be amazed and pleased by how quickly your dog will learn to behave, and you can get back to enjoying your best friend instead of worrying over their behavior.
Sophia
Sophia
Thank you so much for sharing! I am loosing my mind over my french bulldogs. The older one is extremely aggressive towards her sister. Half the time they will play nicely and then all of a sudden she will snap at her out of no where. When I try and break it up, I get bitten unintentionally. The younger frenchie is now learning to be aggressive and I can’t intervene 24/7. I just had a baby and I worry that once he starts walking he can get in the cross fires of a fight. I was considering bark collars but was on the fence. Reading your post makes me think it is the only solution to fixing this bad behavior. My husband and I have tried everything else and this might be our saving grace.
Kathy
Kathy
Tali,
What kind of collar did you get? Our dog will not stop barking when my daughter comes over with her newborn baby now. I think it’s jealousy because my daughter used to play with her non stop, take her for rides, walk her and now cannot do that. She follows her everywhere with the baby, tries to sit on her lap, etc. It’s the barking that makes us nuts. We have tried putting her in another room, everthing, etc but nothing works. It has to stop. We figured we would try the collar since she learned the electric fence in just one day. Looking for the right one though…..I don’t want to be too harsh. Thank you!!!
Jennifer
Jennifer
Couldn’t have said it better myself!! Our boxer/pit was a nightmare and SO defiant until we got the shock collar. Took no time at all for him to become the super awesome and behaved big ol’ baby that he is now. 🙂
Terrie
Terrie
Tali what brand did you go with?
Danielle
Danielle
I have a 14 month old american bulldog/pitbull mix who likes to chase horses. It is nothing aggressive, he just wants to play, but the horses don’t see it that way. Typically, they put their heads down and their ears back and they chase him off. However, recently he got into a situation at the barn with a new horse that could have ended badly. My barn owner believes that I need a shock collar because he didn’t listen when he was chasing the horse and that he needs a little motivation to focus. I would rather use any other training than use a shock collar, but I am not certain if his stubbornness can be negated with positive reinforcement training. I want to share this part of my life with him, but if absolutely necessary, for his safety and the safety of the horses, I will leave him home. Any suggestions?
bart
bart
hello, exactly the same with my rottweiler, he wanted to play with horses, they where trying to kick him and it became dagerous for him and maby for the horses to. i yelled my lungs out, he refused to come back. i had to go get him out of the horses meadow with the risk of getting hurt myselve and i was so angry i gave hime some punishment. the next walk he wanted to go to the horses again. the punishment had had no effect. i bought a e collar, the thing worked so good i had to use it only 2 or 3 times in one day to stop him chasing horses. the 3rd time when he went off he stopped, looked at me and ran out of the meadow back to me. he now looks, but does not go into the meadow anymore. the same with cows, it works! he just sniffs close to there noses, still loves them, but does not want to chase them. be attendet because he changed his interest to other animals, like sheeps, chickens, they like to chase :). the collar (you) learn him that this behavior does not reward him. be sure the voltage is high enough but not to high. start low, each dog need different voltage.

now he is getting older (12 months) and starts jumping and pulling at the leach when he see another dog, he wants to play, its not agression, i need to use the collar again, i hope it works for this problem to.

my other dog barks when we go fishing and throw somthing into the water, he becomes mad and want to jump into the water and barks howls loud. 2 corrections with the collar and he turned his head away from teh water when we where throwing lures. nothing else would work that fast, yelling, a chain collar and a second person, nothing worked, the collar did. i never believed it until i used it.

Jack Rekshasa
Jack Rekshasa
My experience with my 135lb Rotty was completely transformed through the relatively sparing use of an electric collar. He would behave on the leash for the most part, but ignored me if he had something that he was interested in. Pretty frustrating. I was really averse to using anything like a shock collar but one day, Ben was run into by a vw bug on the main road not far from my house. No one was hurt really. He just didn’t poop for 3 days. All was well so no harm no foul–except for the obvious wakeup call. The thing you have to consider is all the danger that is implicit in a dog (large dog more so) that is not under your control. It’s a serious danger to itself and others. So my feeling is that either get your dog under control or give it up to someone who can train it to be a reasonable companion.
So I sent off for a shock collar the next day. My fear of having him kill himself was much greater than the fear of being a cruel person, which it turns out wasn’t really true. Cruelty is literally being neglectful of your duty as a dog owner and letting your animal be at risk of hurting itself and others.
Ben was trained within a week. I had to use the collar maybe 4 times for various behaviors. It seem he knew what I wanted quite clearly, he just didn’t want to do what I needed him to do. He knew what I wanted and proving to him that there was a downside to not doing it was all that was needed. Soon, whenever something came up, the first thing he did was look at me to see my expression and how I felt about it. He would act accordingly. It was almost like he had learned to read my mind. What’s better, I never had to use the collar again– with either dog. One they realized the order of dominance, I guess, that was enough.

So, my opinion is shock collars are a great training tool for those with difficult dogs, especially. I am a believer. I’ve used the collar on another dog since and it worked very well and both Ben and Andy were happy playful dogs– I think even happier because they knew where they stood. E collars are quick and humane and provide a safe alternative to an untrained animal with no downside. However, it’s like a gun, in my opinion and never should be left with a child or even young adult with out close supervision.

Jennifer
Jennifer
Don’t leave him home!! That stuff is SO fun for dogs. Girl, get the shock collar! I know he’s your baby and the thought of hurting him sucks but these people aren’t lying, you won’t have to use the shock function much. If you use the vibrate as a warning and then use the shock, they listen to everything you say as soon as they feel that vibration. I have a SUPER stubborn puppy and now we can play and have a great time and take him places because we have control and know that we can keep him safe because he’ll listen. That’s all you’re doing, just training your little guy so he’ll be able to play and be happy and safe. And if it makes you feel better, shock yourself before you use it on him. I did, so now I know exactly what he’s feeling when I do it to him. Good luck with your playful little dude!
Chantelle Hederman
Chantelle Hederman
We have recently relocated from SA to the U.K. And our German Shepard cross has taken a total dislike to the one next door neighbor. They are becoming frustrated as they are unable to go into their garden without our girl barking at her. We were thinking of an E-collar to control her barking but struggling to decide if it is the best option. Any advice?
Brooklyn
Brooklyn
I have a one year old pitbull mixed. I’m not sure if he’s hyper for a puppy but I want to put him in the house but he jumps and takes off running everything. Even when I let him out in the backyard he gets out..We have A 2yd old so I can’t have the jumping but I’m considering the collar for both reasons any other suggestions?? I’ve also tried positive reinforcement but that’s failing horribly
Jennifer
Jennifer
I have a 5 month old boxer/pit and he’s the same way. Shock collar worked wonders and now he’s our spoiled rotten baby. <3
Michelle
Michelle
Hi, I have a very noisy out who my neighbours are complaining about, she barks outside even if only out to do her job & constantly barks at the tv. I have tried a bleep & vibration collar but she just ignores it, does nothing at all!! My husband is telling me that she will have to go but to me that isn’t & option. I’m considering desperate measures with an electric shock collar as she is a stubborn little minx.
Sarah
Sarah
Off Leash K9 can help you. My dog has totally transformed since getting their help! Look them up!
Stevie
Stevie
If you own a intelligent dog a shock collar can destroy his trust in humans period. I have owned Dobermans
For years and my last one is very dominate and bossy so I tried the collar on low since the sound did nothing. He knew instantly that I was the one that controlled the shock. After one shock I couldn’t even attemp to collar him again as he groweled when he seen the collar . He then became more dominate than he was. I had to rework everything with him from putting a leash on to getting him to listen for commands. A shock collar is not a easy fix even when you think you’ve tried it all unless you have a very stupid dog I would definitely say do not use a shock collar unless your prepared to work even harder after the fact. If your not capable of the time it takes or effort, do not get a dog especially one that is going to require sound training to become a
Safe membee of society. I will never use or own a shock collar ever again.
Thomas
Thomas
That sucks for you because my shock collar worked like a charm on my German Shepherd and she is the most intelligent dog I ever owned. Once her problem of excessive barking was controlled, she went back to her regular collar the next day. Only took a few minutes of training for a 35 dollar collar, now I never have to worry about getting hit with a noise violation while her protective instincts still remain outstanding.
Cristina
Cristina
I have an extraordinarily dominant, bossy female lab/pit mix that I’m really struggling with. I’m considering getting her a shock collar because today, I allowed someone to fit her with one and use the beeping and very low intensity shock while saying no and she stopped what she was doing immediately. She’s the most stubborn dog I’ve ever met. She just DOES NOT listen, especially if I’m telling her come. I think she’s smart, but then she does some really dumb stuff and I question that thought. Did your dog respond to it well at any point or just get pissed right away?
Paul
Paul
If the collar hurt him then you were on too high a setting. There is no need for the collar to make your dog jump on yelp. My dog responds to the lowest level on my e collar which to my hand literally feels like a fly landing on me. For some behaviours it is of course necessary to use a higher setting but even then anyone watching should not know whether or not you pressed the button. Research how to use the collar before strapping them on. Give them time to get used to what the shock means. My dog gets excited when I show her the collar as she knows she is going to have fun off lead.
GEORGIA EVANS
GEORGIA EVANS
I have had three Chocolate Labrador Retrievers. As pups these guys are full of more energy than most and can be stubborn when they set their sights on something. My first Lab and my heart dog that I lost two years ago at 14 was a beautiful, big boy that was the typical Lab pup. I was always against shock collars, thinking they were cruel. We lived on 11 acres on the side of a mountain in Montana so traffic was never an issue. One day Dusty had spied something across a dirt road and took off after it, refusing to give up the chase even when I called. He was almost hit by the neighbor’s jeep that just happened to be coming to visit. Having tried everything else I thought that I would try the e-collar rather than have him meet with an even worse fate. I purchased a collar, shocked myself with it to make sure that it was not too painful, it smarted and was uncomfortable as electrical shocks are but it was still safe. The collar worked, the next time Dusty would not come back when I called I shocked him on a low level and he returned immediately. I never had to use the collar again. The same story with my 2nd Lab, Journey. Once was enough. I still did not really like the collars but they did not seem all that cruel when they only had to be used once to teach the dog to come. Well, two years ago, when Dusty went to the Rainbow Bridge I found Sonny, my third Chocolate Lab. I never thought that I would love another dog like I did Dusty but Sonny proved me wrong. He was just as, if not more special, all 80 hard headed pounds of him. I loved Sonny with all my heart and I say that in the past tense because I just had to have Sonny put down 5 days ago. Unlike Dusty and Journey, the shock collar had a negative effect on Sonny he became anxious and aggressive. Sonny started lunging and barking at strangers and bit me twice. The second bite requiring 30 stitches. There were other factors, the professionals that I took him to feel that genetics played a role but also said that if negative reinforcement had not been used he would have had a chance because he never would have learned the aggression. Please do not put a shock collar on your dog at any time for any reason…. It may work on some but some dogs have other problems that you may not know about at the time. I spent over $6,000 last year to try to undo the problems that these collars can cause but my beautiful, wonderful, intelligent, 2 year old puppy that never lost his puppy pounce when chasing a ball paid the ultimate price and I will live with that guilt for the rest of my life.
Melly
Melly
I have a 5 month American bulldog who digs in the back yard. I can see how an e-collar can retrain this behavior.
On another note,
He sleeps with me and every night, we have been playfully wrestling for my side of the bed.
Last night, I pinned him down like I normally do and he very aggressively growled. So I held him down and verbally corrected.
I’m thinking of putting him in his crate for the night, but only temporarily. After a few nights of crate sleeping, I’d like to bring him back and see if he shows aggression again.
Any thoughts?
Gary Gromer
Gary Gromer
My female lab chases after dogs at the dog park and nips them. Then the fight is on. She’s so far away yelling won’t help. I’ve ordered a shock collar. So I’m thinking I’ll watch her and give her a shock when she nips the other dog. Good plan?
Erica Noneman
Erica Noneman
Not a good plan! I have been a professional dog trainer for 10 years. I like and use these collars frequently. However, If not properly introduced ahead of time, your dog may associate the sensation of the collar soley with the other dog. This can be very confusing to dogs and can lead to them immediately becoming more aggressive with the other dog. It can also go the other direction and could make them not want to play with dogs at all. Or may even make them defensive around other dogs. Shock collars(I like to call them Electronic or E Collars) can definitely help you in situation but introduce it to your dog at home in a controlled environment first. Seek guidance from a professional dog trainer in your area.
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Great tips! Thanks for sharing your expertise Erica!
Aaron DeLaGarza
Aaron DeLaGarza
Hi, I have a pitbul who is friendly up until he has a toy. Then no human, other than myself, or other animal can approach him without him growling; getting up quickly and moving in a negative fashion, he just recently nipped at my fiancé when she tried to take his toy. She said she wasn’t being foul with him either, but he kept growling.
I’ve had him for 8years but only started coexisting with my fiancé a year ago, so I had no idea he has this side of him. He’s the sweetest dog otherwise. He just gets territorial over treats and toys, and it breaks my heart to see him act this way. I was hoping you had some advice, would you recommend a collar in this situation?
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
A shock collar can be used for many unwanted behaviors, this being one of them. If you’d like, you can try a shock collar out. We also recommend reading this article, https://www.caninejournal.com/aggressive-dog-training-tips/. It may spark an idea for how to help your dog. Glance through our Behavior section for other tips as well, https://www.caninejournal.com/category/training/behavior/.
GEORGIA EVANS
GEORGIA EVANS
this is resource guarding and can be changed easily with positive reinforcement – please do not put a shock collar on your dog
Kevin McComas
Kevin McComas
I have a 3 year old female yorkie shitzsu mix that attacks, for no apparent reason a much older male yorkie. Would a shock collar help in the situation and would there be any chance the other dog would sense any of the effects of the shock collar?
Dan
My dog was a nightmare. Would bolt at any opportunity. Jump up on everyone and dear Lord if there was a squirrel he would lose his mind. We were very close to giving him up. He only had to be shocked a few times. I started with beep/vibration and when he didn’t respond to the stimulus I shocked him. He now responds to the vibration immediately. Now we go on leash free walks and he plays in the yard without fence. That squirrel still makes him crazy but he stops after getting about 20 feet from me without the collar being used.
Beth
Beth
I have a 7 month old Great Dane. He jumps and nips a lot. He didn’t start until he was about 5 months old. I’ve taken him to classes at petsmart and tried positive reinforcement when he sits and is calm but it hasn’t worked. I’ve tried time out and that hasn’t worked. The trainer is against a shock collar so I’m very hesitant. Any suggestions?
Kaylia Mendoza
Kaylia Mendoza
Hi there, I have a 4 year old Shiweenie dog and a 2 year old Samoyed, both of them have an issue with extreme barking while we are not at home. We have tried the spray bottles, kenneling, coin cans, positive reinforcement training, and taking them to dog parks and for extremely long walks before we leave to tire them out. It doesn’t seem to be working, and now our neighbors have filed a complaint about them. Some neighbors have taken the liberty of coming to our door and yelling for them to stop. (We had a puppy cam installed which caught this on video.) We spoke with our neighbors and asked them not to do this, however we do need to solve this asap. Do you think a shock collar would work for our dogs? I am tired of the anxiety of potential fines and upset neighbors!
Kris
Kris
Hi. I have a neighbor whose dog cries several times every night. Sometimes I believe it shocks the dog every once in a while without the dog barking. I sleep with my window open. It breaks my heart. What should I do? It’s very sad to me.
Shannon Burk
Shannon Burk
If you feel you have a good relationship with the neighbor, Talk to the neighbor, perhaps they are not aware… If you think the dog is being abused in any way contact Animal Welfare immediately. Sad that the dog is left outside all the time.
Margaret Bryant
Margaret Bryant
I have recently visited a professional trainer that uses a shock collar and I am very nervous about this method. Is this inhumane?
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Shock collars are commonly used to train dogs. Shock collars are not meant to cause pain so we do not consider them to be inhumane. However, if used improperly, they can definitely escalate to that. Shock collars should not be used at high enough levels to conduct any type of harm. We believe shock collars are meant to cause the dog to notice the feeling of the shock and stop the behavior. It may alarm the dog because the shock comes suddenly but it should not hurt him or her. Think of when you touch someone and you accidentally shock them. That’s how it feels for your dog, it more so alarms you than harms you. I have personally tested a shock collar’s strength by placing it on my skin and seeing how strong the shock is. It definitely alarmed me but I was not in any pain.

I suggest talking with your trainer about their use of the shock collar and asking the purpose of it for their training. They will be able to explain your dog’s exact situation to you and give you a better feeling for using one on your dog.

becky
becky
Hi, I have a one year old female Doberman we got from a lady. We’ve had her for 3 months now. We got her fixed a month ago. She has started to play bite and gets carried away. She gets on the bed and just bites at my hands and feet. I have tried everything to get her to stop. She doesn’t seem to care about the word no. Would the shock collar be good for her in this situation?
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Have you tried all of the tips in this article? https://www.caninejournal.com/how-to-stop-a-dog-from-biting/
Laura
Laura
Hi just wondering if I should give the collar a try. I have a cross mix breed but quite large since I got him as I rescued him and he is deaf. Now I have spent a lot of time with him and I also have a young daughter 4 years old. He has become very aggressive with his food. He bit me trying to put his bowl down so now I put the food down open the door then I go out as he scared, sorry to swear, but he has scared the living crap out of me. I have tried different techniques. I’m not scared of him just with food aggression especially with having a little girl who does walk around with food ect. Do you think this could be worth a try.
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Hi Laura, it could be worth a try. Each dog is different so it’s hard to say if a shock collar will work on your dog without attempting it. Let us know how it goes and best of luck!
Joyce Warren
Joyce Warren
I adopted a 1 1/2 year-old Akbash stray from the local shelter. She had probably been kicked out of some sheep herding job – most likely because she wasn’t aggressive enough. While she was reasonably friendly, she was indifferent to my opinion at the start and praise had no effect on her. In my part of the world, chasing livestock and game is a shooting offense sanctioned by law. Since she was used to measuring her territory in Colorado counties, my 80 acres were tiny for her. I tried getting her used to boundaries using a 30′ leash and sharp pulls away from fence lines. But she pulled me off my feet multiple times, and finally concussed me. At any age, that wasn’t safe, and at 67, I’m way too old for that.

I tried the shock collar on myself (not on my neck) before putting it on her. It stung fiercely, but not as bad as an electric fence, which is also common in my area for pasture management. And then, having read that correction followed by praise is the best teacher, I packed my pockets with small dog treats.

The results were little short of miraculous. And her level of affection and attention increased dramatically. I started in April; I haven’t had to do more than beep at her since May. She’s startled fawns in the pasture, and I’ve been able to call (well, scream) her off of chasing them. And she loves praise and petting and smooches now, and adores those training treats. The reward is definitely the secret ingredient to this method. I now have a 100-pound lap dog. I hope that’s what I wanted!

An Jesse
An Jesse
Thank you so much for writing this. My poodle puppy likes to herd cows, llamas & deer (yes, poodle herder- we find it incredibly funny that she herds but incredibly dangerous). We also live in remote Colorado where dogs are shot. We work as land surveyors so she needs to listen to “come”. Even treats couldn’t deter her from having a good “herd”. Every other command is obeyed but this one… I am happy it worked for you and will now give it a go.
Travis Bouck
Travis Bouck
Live on a farm. Had one dog 1 year and a bit (lab/Bernese) and thought it was lonely when we are gone often during the days. Now have 7 month old German Shepard also. Problem is that the two of them now run off and have started killing neighbor’s sheep. He will shoot them next time and I do understand that position. They shoot coyotes all the time to protect the herd.

I never allowed dogs when we lived in town because I believe a big dog should have a large area to roam. Unfortunately, now I am tying the dogs up all the time and it feels cruel and unfair. Is there a viable alternative to giving the dogs away? Would love to have them on the farm.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
The only solution we can think of is putting a fence up. This will keep the dogs where they’re allowed to be. It may be pricey to put a fence up around your entire farm so the fence may not be as large of an area as they’re used to. Best of luck and let us know how it goes!
Amy
Control your dogs and keep them on your property or get rid of them. It seems “cruel” for you to tie them up but it’s not cruel for them to KILL your neighbor’s animals? Your neighbor has every right to shoot them and you would rather risk your dogs dying than restraining them or giving them to someone who will actually care about them. What’s wrong with you?
Beth
Beth
Hi, we too have lived on acreages and have used shock collars and invisible fence, you can buy them to work up to 100 acres or more. This has allowed our dogs a lot of freedom, and they have learned (with proper training) very quickly, I have to say this has changed their lives as well as ours, I wouldn’t be without this system now and we have used it for over 10 years. We have Rottweiler dogs and they can be very stubborn but have adapted very well to this system. That being said I also would never leave them outside unattended or with no one at home. I realize you probably have solved your problem by now but this may help you or someone else in the future.
Lyn
We just adopted a rescued Catahoula, he is about 80 lbs. and 2 to 4 years old. We have about 5 acres fenced around the home with hog wire so the rabbits, cats, etc. can get thru but not a large dog. Problem is he goes ballistic running when he gets loose and has gotten loose on a busy main road, the Rock Mountains, and here at home. If he was able to get into one of the pastures there is no telling where he may end up. He will not stop for any commands until he is exhausted. We have used all sorts of treats, rubs, toys, etc. but he is brain dead. We need him to run loose for protection, to run off the deer that eat my plants and trees, and to chase the rabbits off the main area. We also have badgers and an occasional mountain lion that may roam thru. Do not mind him chasing things but he has no response to any human words so I was thinking of a shock collar. Suggestions appreciated.
Fari GM
Fari GM
I have a 4 year old siberian husky. (We got her recently 2 months ago) Who barks and howls, every time we leave her alone at home. People started complaining that she goes like this for hours, until we are back. She is sweet with other dogs and people, but we have been having so many complaints, that I’m thinking to buy her the shock collar. Would be a good idea for the type of behavior?
Welcome for anymore ideas.
Thanks
Tanya Metzger
Tanya Metzger
Hi Fari. This is actually a pretty normal behavior for a husky. Have you tried leaving the radio or a TV on? It sometimes helps curb the separation anxiety and the constant crying. Ours will bark and cry, scatter the trash can contents all over the house, and clear canisters, coffee, or anything else off of the counters and table if we don’t leave the tv on. Not the best solution maybe but it works. Good luck
Shannon Burk
Shannon Burk
Tanya, I agree with you 100% I have 2 Huskys, and when we leave, we leave the TV on for them and they love it.
Taylor
Taylor
I have a siberian husmy too and am experiencing this same issue. Did you find any solution?
Josh Lebica
Josh Lebica
My two dogs won’t stop fighting each other when it comes to jealousy. And now, they both drew a little blood or more. Is a shock collar the right thing to use to stop them from doing this. For instance, they will growl at each other for a second or two before the fight, should I shock them there, or when they’re fighting? Please help.
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
We would suggest shocking them when the behavior begins, aka with the growling. Then they will associate the beginning of a fight as a bad thing and not acceptable so they don’t even begin fighting. Best of luck and keep us posted on the the progress!
zcsnightmare
zcsnightmare
I would recommend that you attempt to physically intervene by putting something in-between the two when the behavior begins. A shock collar could work, but a lot of times it can elevate aggression and fighting could be more severe.

Also spray & noise cans, which doesn’t inflict pain. Pain can trigger defensive aggression.

Janice
Janice
I have the same problem. I have an 8 year old chow beagle mix who I’ve had for 7 years and I just rescued a year old beagle who I believe came from an abusive situation just by how he acts. My dogs have a love hate relationship. For the most part they get along but sometimes the beagle wants me all to himself and attacks the older one. They recently got into a fight two days ago at 2:30 a.m. I have no idea who or what started the fight but it got ugly and my older one bit his leg and I wound up taking him to the vet later that morning. They’ve been getting along for the most part since then but last night and just a few minutes ago the beagle was in bed with me and when my other dog started walking up her dog steps onto the bed he was ready to attack her. Now, if my older one is in bed first he’s fine. I’ve been crating him at night until this aggression dies down. I do have a shock collar but I hate the thought of putting it on him. It doesn’t have a remote either so I don’t know if it would help with his aggression. Any advice is appreciated.
Sarah
Sarah
We have a four year old Airedale. We adopted him 10 months ago and suspect he was “too much” for his previous owners. He has a big personality, is bright, affectionate and intelligent and well socialized with people and other dogs. But, outside, he is totally unreliable. We took him to classes over the winter and although he was top dog in his indoor school, he is a different dog outside. We are experienced dog owners and have always used positive reinforcement to great effect. But this dog is different! We can’t let him off his lead as he has such a strong prey drive and he just runs, ignoring all commands and favorite treats. He takes no notice of our older mongrel dog who is very obedient and simply does his own thing which means if he escaped, would be a danger to himself, livestock or vehicles. We knew training him would be a challenge but I would like a future for him that doesn’t involve only ever being walked on his lead. Would a shock collar help?
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
You can try a shock collar and see if it helps. Some dogs respond well to shock collars while others do not. Unfortunately, you don’t find this out until after you’ve purchased one and tried it on your dog.
zcsnightmare
zcsnightmare
It can definitely help if you know what you’re doing. I would recommend researching proper training methods for shock collar (if you’re referring to a remote shock collar) use. Improper shock collar use is very common and can be hard on the dog.

I’ve used one on a couple of my dogs for similar circumstances. (I prefer the ones with the vibrate warning option than beeping). Worked great when used properly and they understand what’s going on. Best to start from lowest setting and slowly work up to what is enough to get the dog’s attention.

I’d recommend, if you get one, to find an enclosed yard to introduce him to it. Also give out several verbal commands before using it. They’re for reinforcement, not a replacement for your verbal commands.

Lalala
Lalala
My dog chases small animals outside, including neighborhood cats. He chased and killed a groundhog today 🙁 which makes me think his chasing is not as innocent as I assumed. He is extremely sweet and harmless towards other dogs and humans, and only gets crazy when he encounters a squirrel or similarly-sized animal outdoors. I don’t want him hurting another critter or someone’s kitty. He is a scaredy cat and would respond very quickly to a collar, maybe even if it was in beep mode (he’s terrified of our fire alarm). Is a shock collar a good idea for when he wants to chase when off leash?
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
If you think he will respond quickly to the shock collar then it doesn’t hurt to give it a try!
Kimberly Jackson
Kimberly Jackson
Help please! 3 barking small house dogs. Minipooddle a rat terrier and their pup mix. They don’t listen to me tell them No with the barking. Other than the barking they are well minding dogs. They obey all other commands. I want to get shock collars. I tried the warning beep type but that was useless on them. They barked for 2 to 4 seconds then they get shocked. That’s too much barking before the correction. My mom has one and I don’t know the brand, but need to know because it shocks right away and it works great for her dog. Reading all the info on products is driving me crazy. Which produces an immediate shock, that’s what I want for them and I can’t find a reasonably priced one. Help anyone please.
Suzanne
Suzanne
I have a 4 year old lab Newfoundland but I have never been able to train to stop barking and charging at neighbors. There is a fenced-in yard but it seems like the shock collar I have is not working. Last Thursday he was so riled up that he ran over a little Chihuahua and fractured his skull but he is home now. He is doing good but for the moment he is blind. I still can’t seem to get the lab to quit charging at neighbors and the shock collar that has 10 different settings doesn’t seem to be working. I need advice please, we’ve had him since he was 6 weeks old but I’ve never been able to do anything with him.
PMH
You need professional help with this dog before he harms more dogs or people. A good trainer will work out a comprehensive training plan including tons of exercise, positive reinforcement training, and electric collar to supplement. Half measures won’t work If you want to keep this dog.
zcsnightmare
zcsnightmare
Newfoundland and mixes typically have a lot of dense fur, which insulates them from correction. Make sure collar is properly fitted. If needed, trim area where box usually hangs (most likely bottom of neck, under chin.)

Lake Forest
Lake Forest
My wife and I have a Bichon Poodle (BP) and a mutt. The BP is a runner, best dog in the world, aside from this. Yesterday our 2 year old let the dogs out of the house. They ran outside of our community and onto a very large highway almost causing an accident. I hate the thought of using the shock collar, but we have already tried training programs. The BP is a runner. Does everyone think a shock collar would help? The BP is the runner and the mutt is a puppy who just follows the BP. I think it’s best to limit the shock collar to only the BP. What are your thoughts?
Rotti
Rotti
I use a petsafe invisible fence system which works wonderfully. It is a type of shock collar, but not the same as sort where you have to push the button to control the shock. It uses a radio broadcast that beeps when your dog is nearing the boundary and then shocks them if they continue. It has trained all five of my dogs to not leave the perimeter I have decided. You can set the boundary and also if you have a very very large yard (like me) you can add a second system to allow more space for them to run.

I highly recommend it for dogs that are runners like that. It doesn’t take them very long to learn the boundaries of the system. Just put them on a long leash and let them wander around and figure out where they are going to get beeped. Some people complain about how inhumane it is online but honestly, a few shocks vs getting hit on a busy road and losing their life is a pretty easy trade off.

Carrie Figlinski
Carrie Figlinski
I have a 6 months old mix breed. They believe she is border collie and german shepherd. She has started to herd me and my daughter. And it is starting to get a little frustrating. We have tried a few methods to get her to stop, but it seems to be getting worse. It has gotten to the point my daughter refuses to go near the dog. Which isn’t good since she picked her out. The only method I have not tried is a shock collar of types. She also has barking issues as well and we got a vibrate collar for that, which she hates but as soon as you take it off she starts barking and won’t stop. I am at the point where I am frustrated enough to give her a new home. She is a great puppy otherwise, minus the few puppy accidents in the house. She is very smart when it comes to commands and even rings a bell when she needs to go outside. Does anyone have any other suggestions other than all the other ones or is the shock collar my last resort?
anne
anne
Not trying to sound harsh, but since your puppy’s instincts as a working
dog are so strong, why not let her live a very useful & happy life on a farm
or wherever her talents are needed.
YK
We have the same mixed breed dog who is 8. We’ve had a pure breed border collie, a pure breed German, and a pure Aussie. Those are all strong drive herders and if you use a shock collar to deter your dog from doing what it is instinctively bred to do thru long lines of genetics, well that would be torture and a terrible idea! Please do not do that. The puppy just wants “work” – and when you don’t find her “work” she will make anything “her job”. That dog is not getting enough work and stimulation. They take an exorbitant amount of work to wear down their daily energy needs. If you don’t have the time or ability to do that – that dog will never be a good mix in your household. I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. You have to use a ball, frisbee, etc. to play for HOURS. A daily run of 2-3 mikes will help. You cannot let a dog like that outside to “wear off energy” on its own. You need to stimulate her mind with games, fun, toys, a job. Our border collie went for 13 mile daily walks with my husband, he threw a ball about 500 times a day, and she still wanted to “work” when she got in the house. We loved her. She lived till 13. We live on a large farm – no cattle though. She was always going. I hate to say it, but dogs like that are not for everyone. Hope that helps.
CharleeR
CharleeR
People that don’t have the property, time and energy to keep up to a herding dog, should not have them. They are bred to herd, and they NEED to work at something. They are meant to herd sheep or cattle, not be cooped up in a house all the time or they will go crazy and drive you crazy. If you decide you really want this dog; YOU will have to modify your behaviour to give the dog the stimulation it requires.
Upsetatitall
Upsetatitall
I have a pit/heeler mix pup that leads me through a merry chase through out unincorporated town. She also somehow learned to potty then ask to go out. A shock collar was recommended, but I have never used one. I have a fenced area I was using for chickens, but can use for the pup, but, the other dogs run through the property, with the exception of my carin, he loves to chase cars. I thought to use one on the pit and carin, the other dogs listen to me. Any advice?
Vince
Vince
Not all dogs will learn the same way. Some breeds are more stubborn than others. For example, my golden retriever, I never used a shock collar on. That breed is bred for obedience. However my husky is a stubborn princess and needed a different form of obedience as positive reinforcement did not work. I used a shock collar on her to deter her from unwanted behaviors as well as to help with off leash training (again, wasn’t needed for my golden). When using the shock collar though, I recommend having a form of positive reinforcement with you (treats, ball, toy) to give to your pups when they do what you ask. This leaves your pup realizing what is wrong and being rewarded when they do something right.
Natalie Robinson
Natalie Robinson
Hi there, we have a Yorkshire Terrier cross with a Sydney Silky, we got him when he was about 16 weeks, which has caused some behavior issues as his personality had already developed quite a bit. He is now 5.5 years old and loves to bark at our neighbors – and I mean bark. It’s not aggressive, it’s more of a ‘hello, I’m here’ kind of bark. But obviously for the neighborhood it’s not ideal at 7am! When he barks, he really goes for it, he has a loud strong bark and has an undertone of a howl to the bark too. Essentially the neighbor can’t enter their garden without being barked at. We have tried so many times, and every time we hear him we tell him off. I feel like I am constantly yelling at him, and he doesn’t listen! We want to get a shock collar, but am unsure whether this will actually help?

Thanks!

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Hi Natalie, I suggest you read this article. It’s about collars for dogs who bark. Hope it helps!
https://www.caninejournal.com/no-bark-dog-collar/
Brooke
Brooke
I have a 6 month old chocolate lab. He is a good boy and listens mostly. He jumps on our 10 and 6 year old children and nips at them and bites at their clothes. He is slowly getting better with this, however, he is now starting to bark and nip at me when I redirect him or say no. More recently when he jumped on the bed and I told him to get down, it’s happened twice, he started barking at me, jumping around and trying to bite at me. He seems like he is upset and not just playing. My husband is definitely the alpha and I’m trying to train and become that, but every time I try to become the alpha, our puppy becomes almost aggressive towards me. Help!
Vince
Vince
It sounds to me as he is not being aggressive but does not know the limits to what is accepted as play and what is not. I work with up to about 120 dogs a day and on occasion we will get a lot of labs [I have one myself]. It is very common in their breed to bark (sometimes appearing aggressively) when they want to play or want something. A good solution is to make sure they know it is not okay. A good way to handle your issue is to give him something to do. A lot of owners just say “No” but that leaves the dog in a confused state. If you were to say “No, OFF!” he understands that it is wrong and is given a command to do. Then if you give him a reward verbally or with a tasty treat, your problem will diminish quickly! hope this helps.
Stephanie
Stephanie
How do I bring cats into the home without my dogs killing them? I was told to use the remote collar but I don’t want the dogs to be scared to go around the cats I just don’t want them to kill them.
Rocker
Rocker
Sometimes you just can’t have cats with certain dogs. (I’ve had dogs who play, eat and sleep with my cats and dogs who will never be able to live with a cat.) It depends on the individual dog. Dogs learn predatory behavior before 4-5 months of age and so raising a pup with cats then should have no issue. If your dog is a rescue, the shelter should have performed behavioral checks that would tell you if it is/may be ok with cats. If your dog is older than 5 months, it depends on its temperament. A local shelter or training organization may be able to help assess whether your current dog will do ok with cats. Or you may have to forego having cats while you have a non-cat-having dog. (I am currently in that boat myself.)
Venessa M.
Venessa M.