The 7 Best Training Collars For Your Dog, According to Our Testing Experts


Why We No Longer Recommend “Shock” Collars

While not all stimulation collars use electric shocks, research suggests that an approach to training that uses negative reinforcement is less effective at teaching your dog good behavior.

The Spruce Pets is committed to Positive Reinforcement training, which focuses on rewarding desirable behaviors to encourage their likelihood of happening again. We believe training should focus on reinforcing desired behaviors, removing all reinforcers of inappropriate behaviors, and addressing the emotional state and environmental conditions driving the undesirable behavior.

Whether you are socializing a puppy, have opened your home to a foster, or rescued a senior, you and your canine companion need to find a way to communicate. Humans tend to use words, gestures, and sounds, whereas dogs typically rely on barking, jumping, wagging/tucking of the tail, and licking—to name a few, so finding common ground takes time and patience.To help there are tools you can use, like a training collar, and treats you can give, but what works for one dog doesn’t work for all, so you should consult a dog trainer and your veterinarian to make sure you are using the proper equipment in the right way.

What to Consider When Selecting a Dog Training Collar

Size and Fit

It’s important to find the collar or harness that is best suited for your dog’s shape, age, and weight, and most collars can be adjusted for a customized fit. The weight of the collar should also be considered, especially with smaller dogs.


The material of the collar should be suited for the terrain your dog will encounter, and nylon should be suitable for most. If your dog likes to play in the water and you are considering a GPS tracker, a waterproof device is essential, like the Cube GPS Tracker for Pets.

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Why Trust The Spruce Pets?

This roundup was written by Anna Mejorada, a writer for The Spruce Pets, who shares her home with a pomeranian named Gidget. Before researching and writing about pet products for a living, Mejorada embarked on a self-mandated, ongoing quest to find the optimal items for her dog. She is now delightfully devoted to helping humans discover and select the most favorable products for their pets.

For this article, Mejorada consulted with Alison Buehler, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT) for Brooklyn-based dog trainers Dharma Dog NYC. Buehler not only keeps rescue dogs herself, but also provides training support to groups and private clients. Buehler specializes in “force-free” training methods, with a specialty designation that certifies Buehler as an expert in separation training.

A survey of our existing pool of dog testers was also taken, with detailed feedback provided by 15 dog owners. Each respondent provided comprehensive data on their dog’s age, size, and breed, in addition to their detailed history with dog training products and methods.

A previous version of this article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a lifelong animal lover who has raised and trained several dogs of various breeds and temperaments. She’s had great success using different types of training collars to train her dogs.