Updated June 30, 2019 by Jeff Newburgh

The 10 Best Shock Collars

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This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in February of 2015. Teaching Fido not to bark incessantly or pull on a leash is hard work, but it can be made easier with one of these e-collars. Once you've looked beyond their "shock" value, you'll find they offer a high degree of control over the level of intensity for each type of correction in order to not cause any actual harm, making them positive conditioning tools rather than forms of punishment. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.

1. Easy Educator

2. TBI Pro

3. Pet Resolve

Editor's Notes

June 28, 2019:

The point behind these types of shock collars is never to cause your pet any real pain or discomfort, rather, they are designed as training tools to help them understand the difference between acceptable and problematic types of behavior for a variety of outdoor situations (e.g. running, playing, hunting, etc.). Therefore, versatility is an important feature for these devices, as they need to be equipped to deliver varying types of stimulation to your dog at different levels of intensity depending on the situations in which you find yourself.

Maintained the Easy Educator for its ability to support up to 4 dogs simultaneously as well as its control of stimulation technology for preventing unnatural head jerking. I also thought the addition of a tracking light on each collar makes the set ideal for nighttime use. I decided to add the TBI Pro for its intelligent bark detection technology, which ensures only your dog's bark will activate the device and not just any random sound. I think that's an extremely useful feature if you live in a really busy neighborhood with a lot of other dogs in the area. The Pet Resolve has an integrated memory function and a 3/4-mile operation range, making it perfect for hunting purposes. I also added the SportDog X-Series because of its durable construction and the fact that it's submersible to 25 feet, so it's great if you're pooch loves to swim. This collar is also expandable to as many as 6 dogs. Also maintained the PetSpy P620B due to its touch-distinguishing button layout, which comes in handy when you want to keep a close eye on your 4-legged companion in the field without messing around with the transmitter. Added the Dogtra 1900S for the built-in nick, constant, and vibration modes and the included pet bowl. Finally, I maintained the Pro Educator due to the ability to program it via USB interface and for its lock-and-set feature for preventing overstimulation.

4. SportDog X-Series

5. Garmin Delta XC

6. PetSpy P620B

7. Dogtra 1900S

8. Planetico Ultrasonic

9. Bousnic Rechargeable

10. Pro Educator

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying A Shock Collar?

Conducting research might help you to avoid some early mistakes, while also sparing your dog some unnecessary pain.

The first thing you need to consider before buying a shock collar is the effect that it's going have on your dog. Assuming a shock collar is, in fact, the most viable option for correcting some types of behavior, you'll still want to schedule an appointment with your vet to determine what significant health risks might apply.

In addition, you want to find a shock collar that allows you some flexibility in terms of adjusting the amperes or voltage. Ideally, you want your dog's collar to operate as an occasional deterrent. This means a light and momentary shock might be enough, at least at first.

Next, consider reviewing information from dog experts and veteran trainers who have used a shock collar with varying degrees of success. What approach did these trainers take? How did they alter that approach when and if a dog failed to respond?

Conducting research might help you to avoid some early mistakes, while also sparing your dog some unnecessary pain. Keep in mind that the idea of a shock collar - at least from a Pavlovian perspective - is based on instilling fear. As a dog lover, you'd like to make the process as pain and stress-free as possible. This is where learning from the mistakes of others might save you weeks (or even months) of trial and error.

If you happen to be purchasing a shock collar to teach your dog how to stay within boundaries, make sure to confirm the maximum range on each collar's remote. A shock collar is no good if it cannot reach the boundary marker, and it defeats the purpose if you have to chase after your dog wherever that collar goes.

How Exactly Does A Shock Collar Work?

Shock collars operate by supplying a momentary zap to any dog based on either a predetermined parameter or a remote control. Most of these collars allow for a wide range in terms of the average length or voltage of any shock that is applied.

Shock collars are commonly used to assist with toilet training, curbing aggressive behavior, establishing boundaries, and reinforcing rules.

Shock collars are commonly used to assist with toilet training, curbing aggressive behavior, establishing boundaries, and reinforcing rules. Certain collars can be automatically triggered by a certain frequency or a forbidden mode. One example of this would be any collar that administers a shock every time a dog wanders out too far from its home.

There are two prevailing schools of thought when it comes to shock collars. The first school is known as positive punishment, a term which refers to the practice of applying a quick and immediate shock at the exact moment any dog exhibits a form of unacceptable behavior. The guiding principle being that every dog can and will equate the lack of any shock as representing a reward.

The second school of thought is known as negative reinforcement, a term which refers to the practice of providing a continuous, low-voltage shock right up until the moment a dog exhibits some type of desired behavior. Negative reinforcement is used in dire circumstances, when all of the other alternatives have been exhausted.

In the end, this type of behavior therapy can only be effective when a dog's owner - or trainer - remains consistently present, on-hand to police and deter the behavior, while also ensuring the prolonged shock is serving its cause.

A Brief History Of The Shock Collar In America

Shock collars were originally introduced during the 1960s as a way of training dogs to hunt. The idea was to keep these animals on track, and, more precisely, to forbid them from mauling their targets. These early shock collars were problematic in that they delivered a booming shock without any range of frequency or control.

Over the next twenty years, the shock collar was modified to offer an owner more control.

Over the next twenty years, the shock collar was modified to offer an owner more control. Shocks could be adjusted for both time and voltage. A shock could be very mild or very bold. With standards being heightened, and certain studies confirming positive results, the shock collar went from being a highly-specialized item to something everyday pet owners could purchase for their own dogs.

By the 1990s, the shock-collar industry was expanding. A wide selection of pet owners were purchasing boundary fences to keep their dogs from wandering too far, while others were purchasing noise-activated collars to keep their dogs from barking too long. The shock-collar concept, as it was, continued evolving. A great deal of research began asserting that shock collars represented an effective way of domesticating dogs for the home.

At the same time, a number of animal rights group, including PETA began denouncing shock collars, citing physical risks to a dog's health that included the possibility of cardiac fibrillation and burns. Despite these protests, a variety of studies continue to demonstrate that shock collars can and do effectively suppress aggressive behavior, while promoting a social attachment between humans and dogs.

Jeff Newburgh
Last updated on June 30, 2019 by Jeff Newburgh

Jeff is a dedicated writer and communications professional from San Francisco with a bachelor of arts in anthropology from UC Berkeley. He began his career in computer consulting and later branched out into customer service. Jeff focuses on making complex topics easy to understand. With over 10 years' experience in research, his relentless curiosity fuels a love of writing and learning how things work, and has helped to build expertise in categories such as heavy-duty power tools and computer equipment. Jeff's passion for animals affords him a strong understanding of pet products, including dog houses, beds, and grain-free foods. When he's not writing, he prefers spending time with his family and three dogs, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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