Training collars are nothing new in the canine world. They've been around since the 1960s! Back then, they were a tool to keep hunting dogs in line. The collars were electrically powered and delivered a stunning jolt that could stop a dog in its tracks. Before, it seemed like every dog owner was using them.
If you think giving your dog a shock is inhumane; you're not alone! Fortunately, training techniques have evolved a lot in the last 50 years or so. Gone are the days of punishment-based coaching techniques.
These days, most canine behavioralists and trainers use positive reinforcement.
Not only is it more effective, but it avoids the messy ramifications that come with punishments.
All that said, training collars still serve a valuable purpose. They capture your dog's attention no matter how far away they are, reminding your pup of the rules and their training. Luckily, you don't have to go with a model that delivers a shock.
The best no-shock dog training collars rely on gentler and more humane methods for behavioral correction and communication. These collars serve the same purpose as their stricter counterparts. But, you can feel at ease using them! Plus, your dog will be much better off. Check out some of our top picks below.
Vibration Training Collars
1. Paws Furlosophy No Shock Dog Training Collar, 16 Levels of Vibration, 100% Waterproof
This shock-free collar is one of the most versatile options on the market! It's a full-featured collar that puts control at your fingertips. The system relies on two key components: The remote transmitter and the collar receiver.
The receiver isn't too bulky. It's curved to match the shape of your dog's neck and features a couple of contact prongs for more significant impact. The collar is also rechargeable and has a simple power button.
The remote controller is where the magic happens! With the handheld device, you can send an audible alert or 16 different levels of vibration. Best of all, it works up to 650 yards away!
2. Paipaitek No Shock Dog Training Collar, No Prongs Humane Vibration Collar for Dogs
With more than 20 different correction options, this collar has a lot of impact. You can choose to send a beeping audio warning, ten levels of vibrations, or ten levels of sound and vibration. Keep your dog on its toes and make sure that every alert is efficient!
The collar module is quite comfortable to wear. The system comes with a durable woven nylon strap. The receiver doesn't have any prominent prongs that dig into the skin. Instead, it's small, compact, and water-resistant.
3. GoodBoy Mini No Shock Remote Collar for Small to Medium Dogs with Beep and Vibration Modes for Pet Behaviour Training
Next up, we have this sleek and modern training collar. It's a low-profile unit, fitting dogs as small as five pounds. The unit is sleekly designed and doesn't jut out too much from your dog's neck.
Featuring a rechargeable battery, it's long-lasting. Plus, the rubber prongs are comfortable and don't dig into the skin too much like more severe alternatives.
The controller is full-featured. But, it has a minimalist design. There are only a handful of buttons and a beautiful screen display. Using the screen, you can choose between audible alerts, several vibration levels, and a slew of other setting options.
4. PetSpy P620 Easy & Effective Adjustable Waterproof Dog Training Collar
This heavy-duty training collar from PetSpy is incredibly versatile. Not only does it have an impressive range of 650 yards, but it has several correction options.
Not, it does have the option to send a shock to your dog. The collar module is sporting two metal prongs that poke through the fur to make contact with your dog's skin. You don't have to use this feature at all! With the remote control, you can send audible beeps and vibration alerts instead.
There are several intensity levels for the vibrations. So, you have plenty of opportunities to grab your dog's attention without resorting to the shock feature.
Vibration Bark Collars
5. PetSafe Waterproof Vibration Dog Bark Collar
Here's a no-frills collar that's packing some impressive features. At face value, it doesn't look like much. It doesn't come with a remote and only has a few LED lights on the collar module to represent the battery life.
Don't let the simple design fool you. It's fully capable of detecting vibrations coming from your dog's vocal cords. When it detects barking, the collar will send out randomized vibration alerts. Each alert runs in unique patterns. As a result, it will always catch your dog by surprise and stop them from barking!
6. Frisco No Shock Dog Bark Collar
The shock-free barking collar from Frisco is another simple solution to keep canines calm. Like the previous model, it can detect barks by measuring vocal cord vibrations. A couple of rubber-covered probes get close on the neck for accuracy.
The collar can send two types of alerts. It can send sounds as a warning. Or, it can send sounds and vibrations with seven levels of intensity. The sound-only warnings are quite useful. The beeps will let your dog know that they're barking a little too much. Yet, it still allows them to vocalize without correction.
Spray Bark Collars
7. PetSafe Water Resistant Rechargeable Spray Dog Bark Collar with Disposable Spray Cartridges
If your dog is a stubborn barker, stronger corrections may be in order! The PetSafe spray collar utilizes citronella cartridges to put a stop to excessive barking once and for all. The cartridges are disposable, so you don't have to worry about dealing with messy refills.
The collar itself is fully adjustable to necks that measure up to 27 inches in circumference. The module is also waterproof, ensuring that it doesn't limit your dog's physical activity in any way.
The unit uses a rechargeable battery that can last up to 40 hours on a single charge. It's also customizable. You can connect it to a separate remote for great control over corrections.
8. PetSafe Elite Little Dog Waterproof Spray Dog Bark Collar
Also from PetSafe, this collar offers a more economical option. Like the previous PetSafe collar, it's waterproof and reacts automatically to excessive barking. Rather than providing a vibrational correction, it squirts some citronella up towards your dog's nose to catch them off guard.
But instead of using disposable cartridges, this collar is refillable. It's compatible with PetSafe's line of spray control products. Whether you use the citronella spray or the unscented one, the collar is specifically designed to accept the refill bottle's tip. That way, you can load up on correction spray without making a huge mess.
No Pull Headcollars
9. PetSafe Gentle Leader Padded No Pull Dog Headcollar
Here's an interesting alternative to spray or vibration-based collars. It's a non-powered option that relies on clever design to deliver corrections. The headcollar wraps around the snout and neck.
If your dog lunges, barks, or pulls, the snout piece's movement pulls on the neckpiece. In turn, the headcollar creates pressure on the back of the neck to correct the behavior. It catches them by surprise! However, the pressure isn't painful. In fact, the collar has padding on the nose section to prevent chafing or discomfort! It's also designed to prevent choking.
The Benefits of Training Collars
When some dog owners see the words "training collar," they automatically picture old-school shock collars. Thanks to their history, these tools have a bit of a sordid reputation.
However, modern-day training collars offer several advantages. The first is a direct method of correction. When your dog is not following commands or doesn't something it's not supposed to do, what do you do?
Chances are, you scold them or give them a light tap to capture their attention.
When you do this, you're showing your dog that what they're doing is wrong. It pulls their focus and directs it towards you. That direct stimulation is immediate and useful. Your dog has to know that its behaviors are inappropriate. Otherwise, they'll continue to do them!
Collars pull focus in seconds. However, they don't alarm pups as much as shock collars. They are a bit surprising but certainly not painful.
Correct from a Distance
Another big perk of training collars is the ability to correct from a distance. Some models come with remote controllers. With a push of a button, you can deliver the stimulation to correct the behavior from several hundred feet away. It beats yelling and usually has a more significant impact.
If you don't have a training collar, you'd have to run to your dog or wait until they come to you to correct the behavior.
By the time you meet up, they've already forgotten what they were doing. So, that correction will not stick. A remote training collar can ensure that your dog gets the message!
Train Hearing-impaired Dogs
Finally, training collars are useful if you have a dog that's deaf or hearing impaired. Handicapable dogs still deserve the chance to run free! They need exercise and outdoor playtime all the same. The problem is, however, planning for the unpredictable.
Hearing-impaired dogs aren't capable of responding to verbal commands. They must make eye contact with you. But if they're in the midst of play, grabbing their attention is no easy task.
A training collar will take care of that for you! It's a non-verbal alert that trains your dog to look at you. Collars come in handy during your pup's daily play sessions and walk. Not only that, but it can help keep your dog safe in the event of an emergency they can't see or hear.
Why Use a No-Shock Collar?
Would you like to wear a shock collar? Old school collars like that are archaic. We've come a long way as a society. Our relationships with pets are stronger than ever, and animal welfare is a top priority.
No-shock collars offer a safer alternative to shocking electric devices. They do not harm your dog in any way, shape, or form. Instead, these collars provide a gentle form of stimulation.
They can grab your dog's attention, alerting them of trouble or correcting bad behavior. But the sensation is nothing more than a little startling.
Shock collars can be downright painful.
Manufacturers say that shocks are akin to static shock. But on the small body of a dog, those jolts are pretty significant.
Continual shocks can lead to some significant health problems. The risks vary from skin rashes to full-fledged heart issues!
To make matters even worse, shocks are an extreme form of punishment. Even if your dog gets the message that they were doing something wrong, the associated shock is difficult to handle. It's a form of fear-based training.
Your dog will grow wary of you. They can become distant, fearful, or even aggressive. It's not uncommon for canines to reach their breaking point and go on the defensive after years of regular shock therapy.
With a no-shock collar, those risks are a thing of the past. Your dog will stay happy, healthy, and loving!
Methods of Correction
So what are the alternatives to electrical shocks? Well, you have a few different options. Each of the following no-shock corrections are safe and humane.
One of the most popular no-shock correction methods is simple vibrations. Sudden vibrations are pretty surprising. They're a great way to alert your dog and pull their focus from whatever they're doing.
Generally, collars will have a small vibrating box that jumps into action whenever the correction triggers. Some may have prongs like shock collars. But rather than delivering a jolt, the prongs simply move the vibrations closer to the skin to ensure that your dog feels them.
Sprays are another excellent option. We all know that dogs aren't fans of getting sprayed in the face. So, why not use that to your advantage?
While not as popular as vibrational collars, spray collars are still mighty effective. They feature a small reservoir, which points a spray up towards the face.
Whenever the collar triggers, it blasts your pooch with a gentle stream of water. Like vibrational systems, it's completely innocent and doesn't do any harm. If anything, it's just a minor annoyance!
Some spray collars take things a step further by using citrus-based liquids. Dogs hate citrus! So, a bit of citronella oil with turn them off from bad behavior and teach them a valuable lesson!
Your last option is pressure. These collars are similar to choke chains, which is another controversial training tool of the past. They operate very similarly to those old-school chains of yesteryear. But rather than choking your dog, they only create some slight pressure.
These collars are much safer. Yet, they do the trick! Best for dogs that like to pull on walks, the collar takes care of correction for you.
Best of all, the amount of discipline your pooch gets depends on their actions. The collar responds automatically, tightening whenever your dog pulls too much.
Things to Look For
Choosing your dog's training collar is not a decision you should rush! The quality of the accessory is going to impact its efficiency and overall safety. In addition to the type of correction it provides, here are some important considerations to make.
Of course, comfort is a top priority. Just because the no-shock collar has some corrective action doesn't mean that it needs to be uncomfortable to wear.
Look for adjustable sizing, smooth materials, and an overall lightweight design. Most no-shock collars have a control box. These boxes are notorious for weighing the collar down and adding a ton of bulk.
To keep things comfortable, look for models with a streamlined box that won't get in the way too much as your dog runs and plays.
Adjustable Modes of Operation
How much correction does your dog actually need? This is something that many dog owners fail to think about. Not all dogs are going to need a super-strong vibration alert or a massive spritz of citronella to the face! Some dogs will respond well to light stimulation.
It's always a good idea to choose a collar with adjustable settings that cater to your pup's needs. Start small and light. Then, work your way up to stronger stimulations.
Adjustable collars provide more leeway over time. They ensure that your dog doesn't get desensitized to the experience and makes things a bit easier for naturally skittish canines.
Remote Control Function or Automatic Operation
Earlier, we mentioned that some collars come with a remote control activator. These small handheld accessories are a must-have.
Training collars are not like invisible fencing. They aren't smart enough to determine when your dog was digging through your flowers or running into trouble. You have to take the reins!
A remote control will let you correct behavior from several hundred feet away.
They are battery-powered and easy to use. Some will even have a cool warning feature, which provides an audible alert without the vibration or spritz.
If you prefer something more automatic, you can easily find a collar that suits your needs. Bark collars are specialty training collars that are purpose-built to tackle excessive barking. They don't require your intervention. As a result, they are a fantastic choice for dogs that bark from separation anxiety.
The collar measures the vibrations coming from your pup's vocal cords. Once the vibration level reaches a certain threshold, the collar will warn before sending a gentle correction.
Shock collars are a relic of the past. While there are still owners out there who use them, you don't have to participate in that archaic form of training.
No-shock collars offer all the same benefits. However, they don't harm your canine companion or instill a sense of fear. Instead, they help remind your dog about their training, pushing your pooch to become well-behaved!