Training a Dog with a Shock Collar Guide

Last Updated on September 21, 2021 Ashley Camelia

There are currently a large number of dog collars and other electronic equipment are available that help in the training of dogs, especially when correcting inappropriate behaviors. All of them generate great controversy and discussion about whether they are humanitarian or not, whether they cause pain and suffering to dogs or not. 

We think you cannot generalize; there are particular situations where they are very helpful and also more sensitive and at the same time some fearful dogs that may be damaged by training a dog with a shock collar. 

We will make a description of the shock collar for dogs as objective as possible so that you know it and can decide if it is good or not for your pet.

training a dog with a shock collar


What are the most common uses of an electric collar for dogs?

Let’s have a look at the areas where training a dog with a shock collar can have more potential than simple collars.

  • Keep the dog inside the property or Premises

The idea is that the dog is redirected when it tries to go beyond the limit of our property, so the shock collar for dogs is known as “the invisible fence”. The idea is to produce a small discharge when the dog is approaching the limit of the house.

  • Stop excessive barking

This correction is made, many times automatically when the dog begins to bark and the collar can be programmed so that the intensity and duration of the automatic altering are becoming longer and more intense if the dog does not stop barking.

  • Behavior training and behavior problem improvements

A dog shock collar is used to perform canine training without the use of a leash and even to improve behavioral problems such as aggression.

  • Teach our dog to stay away from dangerous places and objects

If we want to teach our dogs to stay away from dangerous things or animals, especially if we live in a rural area with the possibility of reptiles, we can use the electric collar for dogs to teach them to stay away from certain animals which are dangerous.


Meet the Pros of training a dog with a shock collar

  • Allows the owner to control the mode used and make the correction at a distance

One of the biggest problems of choosing a training method that is based on applying force or producing pain is the amount of sensation that is implemented; If we use a lot of force, this can cause our dog to develop fear or aggression problems and the use of very little force will make him get used to the learning process and eventually the dog will be trained as you wanted.

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The difference with the shock collar for dogs is that in a simple way we can adjust the mode and intensity of the correction that our pet will receive in training which will help us to prevent our dog from becoming fearful.

  • Corrective measures will be taken even if the owners are not present

One of the important things for canine training to be effective is to be consistent in the corrective measures we make and in this, the shock collar for dogs can be an excellent choice, especially if we want to treat behaviors such as barking or escape attempts from Premises. The shock collar for dogs can be programmed to react automatically to a certain action so it is an excellent option to be consistent without the need to always be next to our dog.

  • The source of the stimulus is not very clear

Some people who use other types of training methods that are based on punishment suffer the consequences that their pet knows perfectly well that the pain comes from us which can cause serious problems in establishing our relationships with our dog.

For example, if we use the corrective measures with the leash, it will be evident that the action is associated with us which may cause our dog to decide to fight with the leash and therefore with us. This is why the use of the shock collar for dogs prevents our pet from knowing exactly what the correction comes from us so there is no one to fight with.


Training a dog with a shock collar

Starting from the fact that we should never use the electric shock under any circumstances, we will explain how to use the shock collar for dogs in vibration mode and in sound mode (beep).

We will put the collar on our dog so that it is tight, but does not prevent him from breathing. To do this, we must be able to insert two fingers vertically between the collar and the neck without a problem.

We will go for a walk as we would normally do with our dog, but we will have the remote control in hand to press the sound/beep button when the dog does something wrong.

As an example, suppose our dog is fond of eating feces from other dogs or animals, we will only press the sound button when the dog is lowering its head to eat poop, never before.

While pressing the button, we will speak to our dog verbally (with a “no!” Is enough). The dog will be scared or be surprised to hear the sound and will not eat the poop.

How we have scolded him, he will know that we are the ones who have caused that beep, because he is doing something wrong. It is important that he associates the beep or vibration with us that he knows that we are controlling and quarreling with him.

If the beep function does not work, we will use the vibration mode. When the dog is going to do something wrong, like to eat that poop we talked about earlier, we will press the button to make the collar vibrate.

At the same time, we will scold the dog to associate the vibration with us. The dog will be scared to feel the vibration and will not eat the poop. This is applicable to other inappropriate behaviors, but only in extreme chaos, we should never do it on a regular basis.

VERY IMPORTANT: The use of the training collar is always indicated for dogs over 6 months of age and with the sole purpose of educating them, as we have repeated throughout our blog we will always begin training with the lowest stimulus and we will go increasingly monitoring our dog’s reactions to find out at what level he reacts correctly, we will never begin an education at the highest levels of the shock collar.


The first step for training a dog with a shock collar

For our dog to get used to it we must put on the training collar for some time without connecting or using it, in this way our dog will become familiar with it.

We must constantly check the neck of our pet to verify that it is not suffering any friction or irritation.

The placement of the training collar must be correct, the leash must remain fully adjusted so that the electrodes always remain in contact with the skin, of course without adjusting it too much for the dog to breathe normally.

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Depending on the hair of our pet we will choose the type of electrodes to be placed on the electronic collar, we have short spikes for dogs with little hair and long spikes for long-haired dogs.

The place where we begin the training should not be chosen at random, we will begin training in a place that is known by our dog, it is very important that it is a safe place where the dog cannot suffer any kind of danger or escape.


Level of stimulation of the shock collar

We make a lot of mistakes in selecting the intensity of the shock collar because each dog needs a different level of correction to react correctly, the electric educational collars have several levels to adjust to the weight or character of our pet.

It is evident that a 15 kg cocker will not react the same to a level 5 stimulus as a German 30kg shepherd, the educational collars have a scale of levels to select manually based on these needs.

We will select the appropriate stimulus according to the reactions of our dog if the level is too low the dog will practically not have any type of reaction or simply gives a little response.

An average level of stimulation should be noticed in our dogs attracting their attention and modifying their gestures and postures, this level can already become a basis for education.

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A higher level will make our dog react incorrectly by getting scared, jumping, or even running scared, there is the importance of finding a safe place for the first training sessions.

In short, the main thing is not to hurry and start step by step from the lowest level

We always use the training collar accompanied by our voice

In order for our dog to understand why the corrections of the educational collar should always be accompanied by our order, in this way the animal associates our voice and order with the corrective stimulus.

The purpose is to reach for our order without the need to apply a stimulus, the dog will try to avoid the corrective by reacting immediately to our voice.

The intonation of our voice must be the correct one, strong but without shouting, our pet will quickly understand the type of intonation we use to give him the orders

The use of the training collar must be fast

The speed with which we make the correction is decisive for the dog to understand the training if our dog has a negative behavior and we penalize him late he will never understand the reason for that sanction.

The educational command must always remain ready in our hands, at the moment that we detect the behavior to be corrected we must react immediately and apply the corrective, in this way the dog will associate its negative behavior with the stimulus that it likes so little.


How does training collar work?

The electrostatic collar modifies the behavior of our dog through a conditioned reflex, this means that our pet associates the corrective with the action that has just been performed and will try to modify it so as not to receive the impulse.

The behavior of dogs is of two types instinctive and product of conditioning, our pets have, in varying degrees intelligence and rationing ability, a clear example is that if our dog approaches the oven to a stove and burns it will never come closer to that device.


Different correction modes to use the training collar

The vast majority of educational collars use three training modes:

  • Beep mode or sound training,
  • Vibration.
  • Electrostatic discharge.

All electronic educational collars have the option of downloads but the beep or vibration functions can be optional.

1.) Sound mode

In this option, an annoying beep is emitted every time we press our educator knob. This Beep can be used as a marker, in the same way, that we use conventional clickers.

For training with a beep, we must educate our dogs beforehand so that they associate the sound emitted with a positive or negative consequence.

We give you an example, if after each beep the dog receives a prize then our dog can stop and wait because he knows he will receive a prize for his behavior.

In the same way, the dog can react when he hears the sound because he knows that the breach of the order will be followed by electrostatic discharge.

2.) Vibration mode

In this mode, the collar will vibrate on our dog’s neck, drawing attention, just as in the sound mode it can be used as a marker or as an interruption.

3.) Electrostatic discharge mode

In this training mode, the electronic collar will send a small electrical impulse through the contact points on the dog’s neck.

The amount of stimulation received by the dog depends on three key elements, the level selected, the duration of the impulse, and the frequency, it also depends on the physical characteristics of the dog, skin, hair, weight, and temperament.

It is important to read the instructions for use that come with the necklace 

We must know its technical characteristics before placing it on the neck of our dog, knowing how many levels it has, modes of education, distance, etc.

We will place the batteries or charge the batteries depending on the device purchased, we must ensure its proper operation, and many electronic collars carry a small component of the operation.



1. What about the selection and adjustment recommendation?

To choose the most appropriate accessories for your dog, you must take the measurements with a tape measure or a string. Different brands usually offer guides and recommendations depending on the size and breed of the dog.

Beyond the specificities of collars and harnesses, a good fit is an essential point for user and dog comfort:

  • They should not be too loose or too tight;
  • They are well adjusted when the passenger can easily run a finger under the webbing
  • The index and middle fingers can also be passed between the dog’s skin and the webbing.

2. What should be kept in mind for the health of a dog while having a collar?

When choosing a shock collar for the dog, the main factors that you should take into account are the risks to the health of the dog, depending on its behavior when it is attached to its leash. On the other hand, it is also important to assess the frequency and force with which the animal pulls on the leash.

3. What are the problems with the electric stimulus?

The stimulus must be applied at the right time so that there is an opportunity for the animal to associate it with its behavior. If this is not done, you can associate it with other non-objective behaviors of therapy or with any other elements of the environment, be the characteristic of the environment, people present, etc. The welfare of the animal can also be seriously compromised, simply if the application of the discharge is varied at different times in the sequence of behavior to be suppressed.

This risk of undesirable associations exists in any case and compromises the welfare of the animal, generating stress and anxiety against originally neutral elements such as the caregiver or the training environment. The effect of these negative associations may remain long-term.

An inadequate application that causes the animal to have no control over what is happening can generate learned helplessness, a condition that seriously damages well-being, whereby the animal inhibits all its behaviors, given the impossibility of escaping from an aversive situation. This can happen before a single shock application.