Best Dog Training Collars: Reviews and Buying Guide for Dog Lovers

Training your dog can be a long and rough road without the right equipment.

A training collar, also known as a shock collar, is a fantastic method of control.

Don’t panic, either…

The level of shock delivered is actually little more than you’d feel from a static electricity shock so we’re not talking about any kind of meaningful pain for your furry friend. Think of these collars as a firm electronic hand to help them fall in line and obey your commands. Just make sure it’s a light hand you exercise.

We tested out 10 of the best shock collars before whittling that selection down to the top 3. After all, if you’re here to be steered in the right direction of the most capable collar, the last thing you want is to leave even more confused after wading through pages of largely similar products.

So…

We’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to.

These are the 3 dog training collars we’ll probe into in more detail:

After these concise and honest reviews, we’ll double down on the most important things to think about when you’re hunting down the best dog training collar.

Let’s get this show on the road!

3 Best Dog Training Collar Reviews

If you have a larger or more stubborn dog, you’ll know it can be difficult getting him to toe the line.

For this reason, a generic collar won’t necessarily work well with less obedient or bigger dogs. In steps the SportDog SD-425S as the ideal solution.

You should be wary of using this collar on smaller dogs or any dog that’s a little weaker or timid. The range of shocks steps up through 7 different levels culminating in one of adequate strength to make even a bulky and wilder animal think twice about disobeying. Make sure you step up through these shock levels until you’re able to comfortably get the right fit for your dog. Do not ratchet the collar up to the high end of the range straight out the box.

As well as these static encouragements, you can also make use of a vibrating pulse or an alert tone instead. There’s no correct approach here, simply choose what meshes best with your dog’s behavior.

If you live somewhere where it rains a great deal or you’re training anywhere with water around, the submersible, waterproof construction of both receiver and transmitter mean you’re in safe hands with this collar.

Range is pretty impressive at around 500 yards making the SportDog a fitting piece of kit for training out in an open field or in more substantial gardens.

You really do the best of both worlds with the SD-425S… Build quality is solid enough that the collar will stand up to some serious punishment but it’s also extremely lightweight.

The only real downside with this collar is the dramatic drop in range when the battery starts wearing down so factor this into the equation when you’re training. In all other respects, it’s a wonderful addition to any pet owner’s training kit.

Pros.

  • Perfect if your dog is willful and resistant to commands
  • Great for use in all weathers since receiver and transmitter are waterproof
  • Flexible choice of 7 shock levels with optional tone and vibration for a complete training package
  • Accurate to 500 yards so works well even out in the field with hunting dogs
  • Extremely rigid unit but also compact and lightweight with a neat remote control

Cons.

  • Range can dip significantly when battery starts to fade

Conclusion

This dog training collar is by no means the cheapest option at your disposal but it makes a fantastic aid to teaching your dog how to behave assuming they are already aware of basic commands. Trying to use this collar to coach them in the very basics is liable to lead to aggression so buyer, beware.

If you’ve got a heavy-set dog who just doesn’t seem to do as he’s told and you’ve got the cash to spare, the SportDog SD 425S will be money very well spent. Compared to the cost of a professional training service, it actually translates to excellent value for money.

Next up in our dog training collar reviews is a much more affordable option from PetTech, a highly reputable brand in the pet space.

While the instructions could be clearer, once you get going everything about this collar is tailored for an easy training experience.  If you want a quick overview, this great, short video clears up the basics for you.

The over-sized display on the remote is a joy to read without straining your eyes. It’s back-lit in blue so the collar works well even in the dark. The whole unit is waterproof so it will stand up to any weather condition fuss-free.

You can flick between shock mode and vibrating, light or tonal warnings depending on your preference. Shock mode is always advised as a last resort rather than as an ongoing corrective tool. You can fine-tune the vibration or shock levels on a sliding scale of 1 to 100. This offers far more adaptability than many more expensive training collars.

The lithium-ion battery is a quick charger and gives you plenty of legs for most reasonable training sessions. There’s a power protection mode that kicks in to save the battery from draining when the collar is not being used.

A nice touch is the ability to hook up an extra collar to the same training device so you can save even more money beyond the low initial cost if you have more than one dog at home.

At 400 yards, range is above average and should allow you ample freedom for training even if you’re out in the fields. The transmitter is clear and effective. In terms of dog size, the manufacturer suggests it will help animals in the weight range of 10 to 100 pounds.

Pros.

  • Supersized LCD remote with 4 modes and static shock rate from 1 to 100 for a highly flexible training solution
  • Impressive 400-yard range so works well even in larger spaces
  • If you have 2 dogs, just add an extra collar and use the same unit so save money with PetTech
  • Extremely user-friendly once you’re up and running with very clear transmitter
  • Lifetime guarantee offering you a free replacement in the event of anything going amiss

Cons.

  • Instructions are not particularly clear so not ideal if you haven’t used a training collar before

Conclusion

Considering the almost budget price point, the functionality of this PetTech training collar is exceptional.

With a long-lasting battery, a wide range of customization and a pretty extensive range, this collar works to correct all types of behavior in your dog. Whether it’s excessive barking, aggression or simple leash training you’re looking for, this collar takes everything in hand.

For fantastic overall value married to top-notch performance, we can’t recommend the PetTech highly enough. The lifetime replacement guarantee removes any lingering reason not to buy this collar so what are you waiting for?

We’ll wrap up our trio of dog training collars with another keenly-priced model, this time from Petrainer. Used by home pet owners and professional trainers alike, this collar offers first class results at a third class price.

The range is 330 yards which is sufficient for most normal training needs but not quite as extensive as the other 2 models we tested. If distance is a driving concern, we’d suggest looking at the SportDog instead.

For anyone else, this water resistant unit is rugged and dependable serving up a great control method without being overly aggressive. You can alter the shock levels from 1 to 100 much like with the PetTech. There’s also a tonal alert and a vibration option since you should not rely on shock therapy as more than an occasional warning.

This collar works with neck sizes from 14 inches right through to 23 inches so you’ve got plenty of scope. If the supplied collar is not to your taste, you can easily swap it out which is a nice feature not available on most other models.

One word of warning…

The receiver is separate from the collar itself so you’ll want to keep a close eye on proceedings so it doesn’t work away and detach itself.

When it comes to charging, you can give the transmitter and receiver a boost at the same time so you won’t need to wait around too long before heading out for another session.

The crowning glory is a comprehensive 5-year refund or replacement warranty giving you complete peace of mind and showing you how much the manufacturer stands behind this excellent training collar.

Pros.

  • Class-leading range of 100 correction levels giving you superb control
  • Collar can be interchanged easily with one of your choice
  • Accurate up to 330 yards which is more than enough for most purposes
  • Multiple modes with static shock, tone and vibration so tailor to what suits your dog best
  • Charge receiver and transmitter simultaneously so you’re always good to go

Cons.

  • Collar is tricky and tiresome to adjust until you get used to the procedure so be patient

Conclusion

Not everyone wants to spend the earth on a training collar but it’s crucial not to waste your money on something cheap but wildly ineffective. The Petrainer collar is very competitively price but doesn’t stiff you on the performance front. Indeed, it’s commonly used by professional trainers so you can buy with total peace of mind.

Although the range could be improved, this waterproof and flexible training collar will help with all behavior correction at a price you’ll love. The only thing to be careful of is that the separate receiver unit doesn’t become detached from the collar if your dog is playful and tends to paw at things. That aside, this collar can’t be beaten in terms of overall value for money.

Dog Training Collar Buying Guide

Dog training collars are pretty basic but there are a few things you need to be aware of when buying one to get the right equipment for the job:

  • Collar Size and Size of Dog
  • Vibration and Tone Features Are Essential
  • Adjustability Counts
  • Weight and Comfort Factor
  • It’s All About The Range:
  • Price: Look Beyond The Bottom Line

Collar Size and Size of Dog

Unless you have a particularly tiny or unusually large dog, chances are most regular training collars will fit. Check closely before committing to purchase and ensure you don’t sell yourself short.

It also pays to consider the size and temperament of your dog. Some e-collars are expressly designed to help train bigger or more stubborn animals. If this sums up your situation, buy something like the SportDog collar which is superb for less obedient canines.

Vibration and Tone Features Are Essential

Don’t think of the tonal alerts and vibrating function as being nice extras. They’re critical.

The last thing you want is to rely on the shock mechanism permanently. This is neither humane nor effective. Used as a last resort and at the appropriate level, it can be an efficient tool.

Go for a collar offering you the complete training package you need and for which your dog will thank you.

Adjustability Counts

Think of fine-tuning on a couple of levels…

Firstly, it’s nice to have a collar that you can quickly and easily adjust to fit your dog’s neck snugly while ensuring it’s not too tight.

It’s also key to have a nice range of customization available for the shock levels. Many of the best dog shock collars give you the scope of up to 100 correction levels so choose one in line with your training needs.

Weight and Comfort Factor

Few dogs enjoy carrying any excess weight so don’t load yours down with an unnecessarily heavy collar.

All the models we review are nice and durable but also very compact and lightweight.

Think also about the overall ergonomics and comfort factor. Don’t make training your dog any more unwelcoming for him than it needs to be.

It’s All About The Range

Most mainstream training collars will give you a range of several hundred yards which is good enough for even a large garden or use out in the fields.

If you have more specialist needs like training a pointing or running dog and you need something with longer reach, you’ll need to dig a bit deeper. There are collars with ranges of up to a mile long but they are overkill for most pet owners so we have not focused on those here today.

Price: Look Beyond The Bottom Line

Unless you need something more exotic, there’s no sense at all in spending an undue sum on a training collar.

While the SportDog we review first is not exactly cheap, it’s not prohibitively pricey either. The PetTech and Petrainer both come in at almost the same low cost so you can get a relative bargain without looking too hard.

That said, if you look at more than the price tag and think about one of these collars set against employing a professional training service, even the SportDog suddenly looks attractively priced.

A Final Word

We hope you’re now perfectly placed to get the very best dog training collar for your needs. Teaching an old dog new tricks needn’t be impossible. Indeed, it’s relatively straightforward with a training device like any of the 3 collars we reviewed today.

Let us know if there’s anything else pet-related you’d like us to look into here at HomeNDGarden. We love to hear from our readers and we’re highly responsive to messages.

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