This guide contains a range of buyer and owner frequently asked questions about e collars and remote dog training collars.
We discuss what some of the best brands might be, safety considerations, buyer considerations, and more.
Let’s take a look!
[*Note – this guide contains general information only. For safe and effective use of an e collar, consult the right professionals – such as a veterinarian, and/or a professional dog trainer (who is experienced with safe and effective e collar training). Also, follow the operation manual and training instructions provided by the e collar manufacturer of the e collar you purchase.]
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Best E Collars & Remote Dog Training Collars – Top Rated List
Our top picks for the best e collars and remote dog training collars for most dogs are:
- Educator ET-300 Mini E Collar (on Chewy)
- Educator ET-300 Mini E Collar (on Amazon) (For dogs 5lbs to 150lbs, and has low to medium static stimulation, for dogs with soft to normal temperaments. Has 1/2 a mile range)
- Educator ET-800 ‘The Boss’ E Collar (on Chewy)
- Educator ET-800 ‘The Boss’ E Collar (on Amazon) (For dogs 25lbs and over, and has low to high static stimulation, for dogs with a soft to harder/more stubborn temperaments. Has 1 mile range)
- SportDOG FieldTrainer 425X (on Chewy)
- SportDOG FieldTrainer 425X (on Amazon) (For dogs 8lbs or larger, with necks that are 5 to 22 inches in size. Has 500 yards of range)
- SportDOG FieldTrainer 425XS (on Chewy)
- SportDOG FieldTrainer 425XS (on Amazon) (Similar features to the 425X, but, made for high-drive, more stubborn dogs by offering a higher static stimulation range than the 425X)
Some of the affordable but still popular models include the:
- PATPET P320 Remote Dog Training Collar (on Chewy) (For 15-100 lbs dog)
- PATPET Dog Training Collar, P-Collar 320 (on Amazon) (2 collar kit)
- PATPET Dog Training Collar, P-Collar 320A (on Amazon)
- DOG CARE Dog Training Collar (on Chewy)
- DOG CARE Dog Training Collar (on Amazon) (A cheaper/affordable e collar option. For dogs 15 to 100lbs. Has 330 yards of range)
All of the above e collar models have all three of tone, vibration and static stimulation training modes.
If you’d like to look at more models of e collars and remote dog training collars that come in different types and are designed for different things like backyard use, advanced and professional training, working dogs, sporting dogs, upland hunting, waterfowl hunting, and more, you can view this guide:
Factors To Consider In Deciding Which E Collar Or Remote Dog Training Collar To Buy
Some of the main factors you might consider might be:
What sort of activity is the remote trainer for? – basic training, hunting?
What size dogs is it designed for? 8lbs and above? 10lbs and above?
What sort of dogs is the system designed for – regular, hunting, stubborn? Certain breeds?
What temperament of dog is the system for – soft and normal, or stubborn temperaments?
How many dogs can fit on the one trainer remote/transmitter – one, two, or more?
What is the price range of the system?
What buttons, dials and controls are on the handheld remote?
Is there a screen on the remote?
Are the collar and handheld remote water proof and submersible?
What is the range from the collar device to the hand device – how many feet or yards?
How many levels of static stimulation does it have?
What is the intensity of the stimulation – regular, or higher stimulation?
Are there one off and continuous stimulation controls available?
Are there also vibration and tone training options?
Are there different beeper audio options available?
How big is the collar device and how light is it?
Is the collar rechargeable, or does it use replaceable batteries? What batteries does it take?
Is the remote hand device rechargeable, or does is use replaceable batteries? What batteries does it take?
How long do the batteries last?
If rechargeable, how long does charging take
What collars is the system compatible with (from the same brand and other brands)?
What neck size of dog does the collar strap fit?
Are there additional features like a low battery indicator?
What are the full range of settings the system can be set to
How does operation work for the system?
What comes in the starter kit? (what size contact points are available as well – short, medium, long?). Some remote training collars come with long contact points for long haired dogs or working dogs
What is the warranty available, and what are the conditions?
Is there a money back guarantee – what are the conditions?
Where is the remote dog training system made – which country? Where is the seller based – which country?
Is there customer service available?
What Is The Cost Of An E Collar?
The cheaper tier of e collars are the ones that tend to be found online.
These e collar brands tend to be less established, and sometimes more of the ‘pop up’ e collars.
There’s then the upper tier of e collars which are more expensive, but come from more established brands like Educator, SportDOG and Dogtra.
These brands might have features like customer service support, and might be American owned companies.
What Size E Collar or Remote Training Collar Do I Get For My Dog?
In terms of size, you might look for two main things:
The weight range the e collar is designed for i.e. it might say ‘for dogs 8lbs and over’ (up to say 100 or 150lbs)
The neck size that the collar strap fits i.e. it might say for dogs with neck sizes 6 to 28 inches. Measure you neck size and compare it to the collar strap length that the collar comes with
The manufacturer should provide you with sizing instructions in the product description according to neck size, and also pet size/weight.
What Is An E Collar/Remote Dog Training Collar?
An e collar and remote dog training collar are commonly referred to as the same thing.
They consist of:
– A handheld transmitter
– and, a collar with a receiver device
The user of the handheld transmitter is able to control the response from the collar device with buttons, dials and settings on the transmitter (the transmitter sends a radio signal to the dollar device/receiver).
Essentially, an e collar is a way of an owner or trainer being able to communicate with a dog via an electronic device (via stimulation, tone or vibration). This can be done at a distance too.
It is a form of electronic dog training that uses stimulation, tone and vibration to help correct or reinforce certain behaviors that the dog has already received training in.
The system allows a person to hold a handheld transmitter that sends a radio signal to a collar receiver on a dog’s neck.
The person holding the transmitter can instantaneously control what responses the collar receiver receives, such as stimulation, tone, vibration, and so on.
Types Of E Collars & Remote Dog Training Collars
E collars and remote dog training collars can be categorised into several different categories:
Based on the type of user they are designed for – e.g. regular owners, professional trainers
Based on the type of activity they are designed for – e.g. regular obedience, professional obedience, working dogs, hunting, and so on
Based on the size of dog they are designed for – e.g. 5lbs and up, 25lbs and up, 50lbs and up, etc.
Based on the temperament/disposition of the dog it’s designed for – soft, normal, and stubborn
Based on the range of the transmitter to the collar – 1/2 mile, 3/4 mile, 1 mile, and so on
Based on the type of modes the collar offers – stimulation, tone, vibration, spray (like citronella), multi mode, etc.
What Is An E Collar/Remote Dog Training Collar Used For, & Why Use One?
E collars/remote dog training collars are used to correct certain behaviors, and reinforce verbal commands and behaviors that dogs already know.
So, it’s technically not accurate to say that e collars are used to train dogs – it’s more accurate to say that they are used to correct some behaviors, and reinforce or prompt other already learned training and behavior.
E collars and remote dog training collars can be used for a range of activities and purposes:
For regular behavioral training
For professional training and obedience
For working dogs
For hunting dogs, and hunting activities
The ability to use stimulation, tone and vibration, especially from a distance, can be beneficial (where, for example, voice commands or body signals wouldn’t be effective).
How To Use A Remote Dog Training Collar
Each e collar comes with an instruction manual or operation guide which should be followed.
There’s usually a training period (training the dog to use the collar) that occurs first, before the collar can be used for specific activities.
The owner and operator of the transmitter should be aware of all the control and settings of the transmitter before using them i.e. know what they do, and their effect.
These things might involve:
Setting stimulation dial to the right level
Selecting the required mode – stimulation, vibration or tone
Being aware of what the different buttons on the remote do e.g. the booster button
Making sure the transmitter is properly charged
Once the transmitter/handheld remote, and the collar device/receiver are set up properly, they can then be operated.
How To Put An E Collar On Your Dog
Refer to the individual instruction manual/guide of the e collar you buy for specific instructions.
But, generally, it involves:
Measuring your dog’s neck size
Setting the collar device up with the correct contact points (length and type) and correct settings, Make sure the collar device is operating properly and safely according to instructions
Modifying the collar strap as required for the dog’s neck size (sometimes cutting is required, whilst other times the length can be adjusted without cutting)
Putting the collar on the dog’s neck – making sure it’s securely on, but making sure it’s comfortable and safe for the dog wearing it
How To Train A Dog With A Remote Dog Training Collar
Before using an e collar, a dog should already have been trained in and understand the commands, cues and behaviors you are trying to reinforce or prompt.
Positive reinforcement training with treats and a leash is highly recommended by several highly experienced dog trainers at this stage – prior to using an e collar.
After a dog has succeeded in doing what you are trying to teach them with positive reinforcement training, and with a leash first, they will likely more clearly understand why they are receiving a stimulation correction from e collar training (or tone or vibration stimulus).
E collar training can be done effectively as well as safely.
Once e collar training begins, a correction should be delivered at the right time, so a dog understands that one certain behavior is undesirable, and another certain behavior is what is required by the owner.
Can I Get A E Collar/Remote Dog Training Collar For A Puppy?
It’s best to ask your dog’s vet at what age you can start using an e collar on a younger dog, especially a puppy.
Some remote training systems might recommend waiting until a dog is 6 months old, or until they are able to learn and remember verbal commands and other training before using an e collar.
Read the e collar product owner’s manual and instructions, and safety information for further information on minimum age requirements.
At What Age Should You Start E Collar Training, & How Long Does Training Take?
This is something a vet should be consulted about, as well as the manufacturer of the e collar product (read their safety instructions).
Generally, a dog should be old enough to understand basic obedience, and the commands or behaviors you are trying to teach them without the collar first.
This might be around the 6 month to 1 year + mark.
When Might You Consider Using An E Collar/Remote Training Collar?
Regular dog owners might look at using an e collar after they’ve checked off the following:
Once you’ve worked on building a strong bond with your dog & you have their trust
Once you’ve undertaken basic obedience with your dog, or advanced training courses
Once positive reinforcement training, using a leash, and without a remote dog training collar has been undertaken
Once you’ve consulted your dog’s vet
Once you’ve consulted a professional dog trainer
Once you’ve consulted the laws in your area as to the use of e collars
Once you’ve done your own research and due diligence on the use of e collars
Safety Considerations With A Remote Dog Training Collar
Safety is extremely important with a remote dog training collar.
Always always get your vet’s advice or the advice of an animal health and/or training expert – nothing is a substitute for professional advice.
Some general safety guidelines for using an e collar humanely might be:
Buy from a reputable company who put proper use of the e collar and the safety of the dog as a priority
Read and follow the operating guide, instruction/safety manual and training guide that comes with the e collar system from the manufacturer for operation and safety instructions and guidelines
Pay attention to any warnings issued by the manufacturer
Monitor your dog’s response both mentally and physically to using an e collar. Take the collar off immediately and discontinue use of the system if you notice any negative implications or reactions
A good remote dog training collar that uses static stimulation should simply stimulate the muscle (to the point of reflex) to get the dog’s attention, but should not cause pain (it might be slightly annoying for the dog to act as a small deterrent – but shouldn’t cause pain or harm). It certainly shouldn’t cause a ‘sharp pain’ to the muscle or body.
To get a safe stimulation level – you can always start from the lowest stimulation level, and work your way up to a level that gets the dog’s attention (such as changing body language when a stimulation, vibration or tone is administered) without any visible sign of pain or harm (such as yelping, or showing signs of stress).
A good e collar company should give you all the necessary safety, use and training instructions, and should have a dedicated customer service line to help when you being using the collar system.
The static stimulation function does not need to be used either – tone and vibrate training modes can be used instead.
Some owners like to even use their e collar as a temporary training tool, and may go back to using body or verbal commands once behaviors are reinforced (if suitable).
E Collars/Remote Training Collars vs Bark Collars
E Collars, which are controlled manually from the handheld, should be distinguished from Bark Collars which are just collars that respond automatically when they sense barking.
Bark Collars are only for bark training, and do not include a handheld device.
You can read more about Remote Trainers vs Bark Collars in this guide.
What Is A Shock Collar, & Is It Different To An E Collar/Remote Dog Training Collar?
‘Shock Collar’ is the outdated phrase used to describe an e collar or remote dog training collar.
E Collar is a more accurate phrase for the remote dog training type collars for a few reasons:
A good and safe remote training collar shouldn’t shock the dog, but rather stimulate their muscle. The static shouldn’t cause any pain to the dog
The static training mode (which is what ‘shock’ refers to) doesn’t need to be used. Vibrate or even sound/tone training modes can be used instead
Note – some people also refer to bark collars (which is a separate device altogether) as a shock collar.
Alternatives To E Collars & Remote Dog Training Collars
Below are both non electronic and electronic alternatives to remote dog training collars
What alternative you use depends on what purpose you are trying to achieve.
For example, you might use clicker training for barking, or using a dog fence for pet containment as another example.
Let’s check out 4 alternatives!
1. Basic Non Electronic Dog Training
The first and most obvious option as an alternative is non electronic training by you or a professional trainer.
Positive reinforcement reward based training is popular.
For example, if you are trying to get your dog to ‘come’, you may start off using treats, and then progress to a favorite toy, and then verbal praise.
Another example is if you are trying to discourage a certain behavior like barking, you might use redirection where you interrupt your dog whilst barking and redirect their attention to something else, and you reward them when they stop barking.
These are just a few examples though – there are many different training techniques and strategies that involve no electronic training devices.
2. Non Electronic Dog Training With A Leash Or Other Non Electronic Equipment
It’s also an option to add non electronic training equipment to your non electronic dog training.
For example, with dog recall, you may use a short leash and then progress to a long leash.
Using a clicker for click training is also popular. You might use a clicker like the Big Button Pet Clicker (on Amazon), or even a dog whistle for bark control training.
Instead of an in ground or wireless dog fence to contain a pet, you may simply use a portable lightweight fence panel system like the Amagabeli Metal Garden Fence (on Amazon). This gives your dog a physical barrier they can’t go past without having to use electronic training systems.
3. Bark Collar
Bark collars are electronic battery operated collars that are intended to train against, deter and minimise problem barking.
They automatically sense a dog’s bark and deliver a vibration or static stimulation as a correction/training cue.
Bark collars work for some dogs, but for others can be inconsistent and ineffective. There’s several factors that can impact how effective a bark collar is.
You can read more about those factors in this guide – ‘Do Anti Bark Collars Actually Work?’.
If you want to read about some of the best bark control collars – you can do so in this guide.
4. Invisible Dog Fences
A popular option for training dogs to stay contained within your property/in your yard.
Dog fences can be in ground with a perimeter boundary wire, or wireless with a non physical signal based boundary.
Dog fences require installation, and work automatically compared to the zero installation and manual functioning of a remote training collar.
You can read more about the best dog fences in these guides:
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