Shock collars for dog training

Shock collars are valuable dog training tools that can help a dog or even save her life in certain situations.

I fostered a Pomeranian mix named Elli who was terrified of being alone in the car. Whenever I opened or closed a car door she would go into a complete panic attack and bark, scream and pant.

I spent hours and hours using positive reinforcement dog training techniques to help Elli with no success.

Every day I put her in the car and practiced hundreds of repetitions of opening and closing the car door, getting into and out of the car and leaving her in the car for a few seconds. I provided her with a secure kennel to ride in and loaded it with all kinds of goodies. I remained as calm as possible.

We made no progress.

One way to stop a dog from barking in the car is to completely ignore her until she is quiet, but this only works if you are dealing with a dog with low or mild anxiety.

Elli was an extreme case and was never able to quiet down for even a second. If I got out anyway and ignored her, she would bark until I returned. I tried standing with my back to the car for a half-hour. I tried walking out of sight but where I could still hear her. Her barking always escalated the longer I was away because she was in a panicked state of mind.

To keep putting her through this kind of stress was starting to seem abusive.

Elli’s case is one example where a shock collar (also called an e-collar) can be an effective dog training tool to teach the dog self-control. I never actually used one with her because she was adopted before I asked the rescue if this would be OK.

I was worried about little Elli and her frantic anxiety and wanted a second opinion from someone I trusted. My friend and professional dog trainer Ty Brown of summed it up nicely when he said that dogs need to learn the skill of “turning off the switch.”

If there is no outside pressure on the dog to change her behavior, there is no need for her to grow as an individual and develop self-control, Ty said. Dogs usually aren’t creative enough to think of behaviors to make themselves feel better other than the ones they are currently doing.

“Few individuals ever gain self-control without an outside and compelling force that inspires them to action,” he said. “Pressure and stress are often viewed as four letter words but in reality they are essential to growth.”

Reasons to use a dog shock collar

Shock collars are not the answer to every dog behavior issue. If a dog is getting too many corrections for all kinds of different behaviors, she could easily become confused, stressed or scared. Just like a choke or prong collar, the shock collar must be used properly.

Elsie the golden retriever and Ace the black lab mix

Using a shock collar is actually very similar to using a clicker for training because the vibration must be given at the precise moment the dog does the behavior. They are great for teaching a dog physical boundaries or to stop jumping or barking.

Here are just a few reasons to use a shock collar for dog training:

1. Being ignored is usually not enough motivation for the dog to stop a behavior.

Elli was just one example of a dog that needed some outside pressure in order to change her behavior. She was an extreme case, but I see less intense examples all the time where the dog keeps on jumping or barking simply because she’s having fun! Who cares if her person ignores her, she’ll just keep on barking because barking itself is a reward!

2. Shock collars correct the dog at the exact moment she does the behavior.

Dogs need to be corrected the instant they are doing the unwanted behavior. There is no quicker or clearer way to correct a dog then to push on a button triggering a vibration. Shock collars allow you to correct the dog as she is barking or crying or jumping. “Leash pops” are not always effective if the handler has the timing or the intensity off.

3. Shock collars help a dog understand physical boundaries.

Because I used a shock collar to teach my mutt Ace the boundaries of my parents’ large yard, he now gets to have full range on their property every time we visit. I spent under 30 minutes teaching him where the boundaries were and in three years he has received two vibrations. I now trust him 100 percent to stay in the yard no matter what, even without the shock collar. My dog will not even chase a tennis ball across “the line.”

4. Shock collars speed up the training process.

It is very possible to train a dog to walk on a loose leash or to stop jumping or barking without a shock collar, but a shock collar speeds up the process. Some people spend the dog’s entire lifetime trying to get her to walk on a loose leash by constantly pulling back or stopping every time she pulls. Usually after 10 years the dog still pulls.

I could’ve spent months teaching Ace to “get back” when he got to the edge of the property through repetitions and rewards. But in reality I don’t have that kind of time, and I would’ve never trusted him 100 percent without the shock collar.

5. Shock collars allow the dog to experience more.

Some dogs would never get to run off leash if it weren’t for the freedom given to them by the shock collar. There is a reason so many hunters use them for their sporting breeds. It would be unfortunate if a dog had to spend her life behind a fence or on a long rope simply because her owner thought a shock collar was inhumane. Think of it as learning to ride a bike. The kid is going to fall and scrape her knees once or twice, but after that she gets to experience more freedom and adventures.

6. Shock collars allow you to correct the dog from a great distance.

When my dog is barking outside and I am inside, there is no way for me to properly correct him without a shock collar. Sure, I could stand outside with him and verbally correct him or pop his collar every time he barks. I could also ignore the barking and give him food when he’s quiet. But in Ace’s case and for most dogs, this isn’t enough motivation to stop barking.

When not to use a shock collar

1. The collar should never be used as a punishment.

Think of the vibrations as instant corrections, not punishments. If your dog gets into the garbage while you are at work, it is too late to correct him when you get home. The dog must be corrected as he is getting into the garbage. The same concept applies with delivering corrections with a shock collar.

2. Never use a shock collar when you are angry.

Someone who has a short temper shouldn’t use a shock collar. If you are upset with your dog because she doesn’t understand something, stop the training session and think about how you can be more clear.

3. Do not use the shock collar with a highly sensitive dog.

Dogs that are very shy, skittish or easily freaked out by loud noises and new things will do better with positive reinforcement and desensitization.

Different kinds of e-collars for dogs

1. Citronella collars

Citronella collars are anti-bark collars designed to spray an unpleasant blast of citronella into the dog’s face every time she barks. These kinds of collars are often used to teach a dog to stop barking. I’m not a big fan of these collars because I like to be able to have full control of when my dog gets corrections. Sometimes it’s OK for him to bark. I also don’t want him to get a correction if another dog near him barks. Another problem with these collars is that the spray needs to be refilled after about two hours or they don’t work. Dogs are smart enough to work around this.

2. Anti-bark collars

Some anti-bark collars come with a remote, but most vibrate when triggered by the dog’s barking. This isn’t so bad if you have one dog and want to train him to stop barking in his kennel. But I would be leery of these collars if you have multiple dogs or if you want to use the collar for training in situations where another dog or noise could trigger the collar.

3. Remote collars

Remote collars are my favorite because the remote gives me full control of when to correct my dog. I am able to set the vibration to the setting I want, and I can give my dog a verbal command first. The remote allows me to correct him at the exact moment necessary by pushing on a button. I don’t have to worry about my dog getting unnecessary corrections from out of nowhere.

Do you use a shock collar for training your dog? Why or why not?

Let us know in the comments!

98 thoughts on “Shock collars for dog training”

  1. Elli is definitely an extreme case. I don’t use shock collars on my dogs because I don’t need to. However, I can understand that if every other method of training doesn’t work, then try the shock collar… but only AFTER all other methods have been exhaused.

    Sometimes, compulsion training, such as a shock collar, can cause more stress, which can, in turn, lead to more anxiety and possibly even agression. So if you choose to use a shock collar, be sure to monitor your dog closely for signs of stress (excessive panting, eyes dialated, whining, trembling, cowering). If you see signs of stress, stop immediately. Lower the shock level and/or reduce the amount of time spent in training. And be sure to continue to include positive reinforcement for good behavior in your training with the shock collar.

  2. Lindsay Stordahl

    Thanks Dawn. Good point on the compulsion training. It’s easy to become obsessive and expect perfection from the dog no matter what training method or training tools you are using. This is only going to make the dog stressed and apprehensive about learning new things for fear of failing. Sounds stressful on the owner as well. Dogs are never going to be perfect!

  3. Amanda Steiner

    I am impressed that you posted this Lindsay, shock collars are very controversial among dog lovers! I bought one for my dog for 2 reasons 1) At the dog park, he would fence fight with other dogs and I could never stop him 2) When off leash he would run up to other dogs, no matter what. My friends and family could not get over the fact that I bought a shock collar for my dog! They think of me as a crazy animal lover, and before I owned my own dog I thought they were cruel punishment. Well…my opinions have changed! I do really want to stress that they aren’t a “fix all” tool, for instance, it has no effect on my dog’s excited whining in the car. I do really want to stress the importance of using it properly. I did a lot of research on the proper way to use shock collars before I got one, and if used right, it is just like a leash correction. I personally love how perfect the timing and intesity of the correction can be with it! The good news is, my dog no longer fence fights at the dog park or runs up to other dogs when off leash! I don’t put it on him as often as I used to, and now all he needs is the vibration to change his behavior. He even wags his tail and looks “happy” when I put it on because he knows we are going some where fun!

  4. Lindsay Stordahl

    Thanks, Amanda. I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time. It is a touchy subject. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. I had no idea Eli used to fight along fences! As you know, I’m also a crazy animal lover and also a vegetarian (mostly because of the way the animals are treated) and my dog is completely spoiled. But I don’t see a shock collar as cruel as long as it is used properly. It is actually more humane than constantly pulling back on the leash with a choke or prong collar.

  5. Great post. I am a firm believer that the e-collar, when used correctly, is the most humane way to train a dog. That’s why I don’t use it as a last resort, I like to use it first. It’s a great communicator, incredibly humane when used on low levels, and makes the training process easier and quicker for the dog. This is all based, of course, on proper use of the tool.

    In my years of training dogs I’ve presented the e-collar to hundreds of dog owners. I’ve had them all feel it on themselves. And in my years of doing this I have had a total of 1 person feel the collar on the levels that I use for training and still not be comfortable with using it. In fact they said, “Wow, that’s almost nothing. Still, though, I don’t want to use it.” Other than that, Every single person has seen the merits and been comfortable using it with their dog.

    Dawn makes a good point in that it needs to be coupled with heavy motivation.

    I always tell people that it’s a great finesse tool but a horrible power tool.

  6. Lindsay Stordahl

    Thanks, Ty! It is a good idea for people to feel the collar on themselves so they understand it is not painful for the dog.

  7. Good timing on your post. Here is another reason to use a shock collar that we’ve just realized:

    You can correct one dog among a group, without it affecting any other dog.

    We just adopted our second dog (yay!). He’s a good boy, and he does seem like the right fit for our family. However, he’s still learning the rules of our house & some of his habits are not tolerable, whether he previously was allowed to do them or he’s simply testing the boundaries at a new place. He does listen to sharp verbal corrections. He’s responding positively and then getting praised for the good behavior after.

    However, the constant stream of “No,” “Off,” and “Hey,” which don’t distress him ARE stressing out our resident dog (who is a model canine citizen). For the most part, she seems to get that she’s not the one being corrected, even though we take care not to use the dog’s name when correcting him. Nonetheless, she’s been more anxious about his misbehavior and has been over the top in trying to please us in the meantime.

    I don’t think it’s going to take him very long to learn our rules in the grand scheme of things. With consistent reinforcements of the right kind (positive and negative), he’ll get it. He is food-motivated and he wants to please. But there is only so long we can keep stressing her out about it, and we see the shock collar as a decent solution to getting everyone settled together as smoothly as possible.

  8. Lindsay Stordahl

    That is a great point that I would’ve never thought of! I’m so happy to hear you adopted a second dog. Keep up the good work!

  9. It doesn’t sound like this collar is a bad thing for the dogs. But chock collars are illegal in Some countries. Is there a reason for this?

  10. Lindsay Stordahl

    Shock collars, choke collars and prong collars are illegal in many countries because people misunderstand the purpose of these collars and misuse them. You can abuse a dog with any kind of collar.

  11. Hi there… I read your blog and find it very interesting. I use a shock and vibration collar on my English Shepherd who needs to run roughly 20 miles a day. He’s very scent-oriented. The training grounds I take him to run off-leash at are huge but are surrounded by large roads. A few dogs have gotten killed running after coyotes and into the street.

    My choices are limited. I can keep my pup on a leash during coyote season, walk him elsewhere on a leash, or use a remote collar to “snap him out of” his little coyote-induced moment of crazy.

    By now, he’s well-trained enough that all I ever need to use is the vibration unless he becomes extremely stimulated. At that moment, I really believe he feels way less, because I have to turn up the stim to a level I don’t really feel comfortable with. Hardly seems to bother him, though!

    I’d rather walk 5 miles a day with the dog running laps around me on a zap collar than trying to adequately leash-exercise a young herding breed dog.

    I have also found that many dogs train with very good recall on a vibration-only collar. I trained two dogs that way and both return even without the collars (unless coyotes are present 🙂

    Good blog!

    1. I am amazed you could use a shock collar on an English Shepherd, because I had one who was very sensitive and the other ones I’ve know were sensitive. Mine obeyed me even breaking midstride when chasing dogs though I doubt she’d have stopped when chasing a squirrel, so I get the coyote drive:) Glad it worked!

      1. Another good way to wear down your dog would be to take a true pack walk. Mental stimulation is much more tiring than physical and it leaves your dog with a more peaceful state of mind. This is not a hate on shock collars, I have one for my lab and love it. Just another suggestion to get your dog to a happier place with less pent up energy. Watch videos of Cesar Milan to see how to do a pack walk.

  12. Lindsay Stordahl

    Great points, Mo. I don’t think the shock collar should be a substitute for training a dog to walk properly on the leash, but I do think it is a good tool to use in addition to leash training so the dog can get more exercise as you are doing. If my dog didn’t have such a great desire to stay close by, I would definitely be using an e-collar with him for the same reason. It’s important for dogs to get some good off-leash exercise. Especially a herding dog!

  13. I would not use one because of the “sensitive dog” reason. Gus is really emotional, has been through at least five families before I got him, and survived a major natural disaster as a puppy. Call me a big baby that spoils my dog but so be it!

    That said, I have been around dogs that had these and they still seemed like very happy, well-adjusted doggies.

  14. Lindsay Stordahl

    The e-collars are definitely not for every dog. I’m glad Gus has an owner who knows what’s best for him considering his background and personality.

  15. I agree the shock collars are great but in the wrong hands are dangerous to a dog and can make behavior worse. Remember don’t use remote trainers for boundaries in your yard it won’t work.

  16. Lindsay Stordahl

    I disagree. Remote e-collars can work really well for teaching the boundaries of a yard. “Invisible” fences work, too, with the same concept.

    Of course, any collar can be dangerous when use incorrectly.

  17. Can I suggest that you use TTouch with your dog before you start using another method that is on the side of punishment.

    I have used TTouch on numerous dogs, and the difference it makes is phenomenal. When you see it working, you are quite amazed at how simple, but how effective it is.

    I would have used a Thundershirt with your Pomeranian mix named Elli. Then I would have used TTouch around the mouth, and the tail… then you would have seen a difference. I don’t quite know how shocking an already stress out dog would help, but I do know that massage therapy is connect with your nervous system, and that is what you want to work with. Go for a weekend workshop. See what you can learn. Just do it. Money very well spent.

  18. I’m sorry, but I don’t understand why you wanted to try a shock collar on your Pomeranian mix named Elli, especially since you said the following statement:

    3. Do not use the shock collar with a highly sensitive dog.

    Dogs that are very shy, skittish or easily freaked out by loud noises and new things will do better with positive reinforcement and desensitization.

  19. Lindsay Stordahl

    Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I believe I explained it well in my post why a shock collar would be necessary to help Elli. I do agree with you that massage therapy can be very beneficial.

  20. I agree that shock collar can be good training tool and we have seen some new models that are greatly improved when it comes to the level of correction.

    However, I prefer citronella collars and they also have some models such as Spray Commander that can be activated remotely and based on some studies it seems that they are even more effective.

    No matter what training collar we use IMO the best results are achieved if combined with positive training methods and rewarding for good behaviors

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I agree. Positive training methods must be used in addition to an e-collar. I’m glad you pointed out that whether you are using a “shock” collar or a citronella collar, a remote is a good idea so that you can control the correction.

  21. Well I’m not for shock collars in general for the main reason that too many people do not train themselves how to use them properly and abuse their proper application, hence being illegal in many countries. Fortunately, I have never with any of my dogs had to resort to shock collars, prong or pinch. They all can be lethal in the hands of angry people and become weapons of abuse to dogs. A shame about Elli. I will make a point of finding out more about Ttouch, as I have not heard of this.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Thanks for your comment. Any dog training tool can become abusive. I’ve seen a dog with a too-tight Gentle Leader that eventually cut into the dog’s skin, for example. Each tool must be used properly.

  22. I would agree with the others that the citronella collar is the way to go. I spent a year studying learning and memory and the sense of smell is very powerful when it comes to forming an association.

  23. I absolutely agree with {almost} everything in the post and comments. I have a great dane who knows all of the important commands; stay, come, sit, no etc… But when he was about 1 we moved and the dog next door was allowed to run the neighborhood. Canon, my dane, ran into the road a few times chasing him and came so close to getting hit by a car! I was terrified! We got an e collar, worked with the stay command with it, and positive training, He hasn’t ran in the road since. It worked wonders. I also have a boxer pit mix that is an amazingly well behaved boy, the e collar isn’t needed for him but when the kids walk him he has a tendancy to pull, or chace cats, so we use a pincer collar. All of my kids can walk the dogs and that’s the point of having family dogs. The whole family needs to feel safe walking them. I researched how to use the e collar and the couple times a week it gets put on him, I rarely have to actually “shock” him. The beep is almost always enough. That all being said, I’m being taken to court because the people across the street call these methods “cruel” and got animal control involved. These are both legal in my count, as far as I know, I’m still looking for some kind of law. They are both sold here. I’m furious at being taken to court for animal cruelty. It’s incredibly offensive. I LOVE my dogs and spoil them rotten. My dane gets to go on “doggy dates” with me! They are also well trained because they are big and powerful and they have to be safe and well balanced with 4 kids around. Thanks for letting me vent and write a novel!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      It’s too bad when people waste their time going after loving dog owners like you just because they have a different opinion than you do on training. There are a lot of dogs out there that really are suffering. It’s a shame the time isn’t being spent to help those dogs.

  24. I agree. I mentioned that to her and she didn’t seem to be bothered by it at all. Court is Next wed so we’ll see…

  25. I have tried the shock collar on myself. 3 of my kids were curious to see what it felt like and tried it too. I’ve gone up to 5 and I rarely go over 2 on the dog. It’s generally on 1.

    Anyhow, I just wanted to update {and vent} since my last comment! I turned down a no contest plea and I’m going to a jury trial! It’s such a mess and I “could” lose my dog, spend 3 months in jail and pay a $2000 fine. They have NO PROOF or EVIDENCE! Because It never happened. I’m hoping when the judge sees it, it will get dismissed. My baby is so loved and spoiled and it’s so devastating having to go through this. 🙁 Thanks for listening!

  26. Lindsay Stordahl

    Well let’s hope the people on the jury have some commonsense and you should be fine. You haven’t done anything illegal. If you are being charged for animal “cruelty,” then I guess I should also be charged since I also use pinch collars and e-collars.

  27. I’ve never used a shock collar and am not that thrilled by the idea but my dog likes to run off and have adventures. She thinks it’s a fun game of chase. She absolutely cannot be trusted off leash and we have to be very careful near doors. She’s pretty well trained other than this and if we tell her to stay she’s pretty good about it. She runs when you aren’t paying attention. I want her to have more freedom and be able to be off leash. I want her to be safe and running off definitely isn’t. You said shock collars are good for establishing physical boundaries, what is the best way to do this with a shock collar?

  28. Lindsay Stordahl

    It depends on your goal. Do you want your dog to come when called? Or do you want your dog to stay within certain boundaries of your yard?

    Does your dog know what “come” means? Have you worked on this with a leash and treats and progressed to a rope? If not, I would do that, first. Make sure to reward her with her favorite treats. Never tell her to “come!” unless you can reinforce it. And never give the “come!” command more than once. Make her obey after the first command. Here are my tips for teaching a dog to come when called:

    If you have been working on the above, and she still won’t come, you can use the shock collar to correct her when she does not come. You would still want to keep her on a rope when you are first teaching this. Give a single “come!” command. Reward her with treats and praise if she comes. NEVER correct her while she is running to you or after she approaches you, even if you are upset with her for not coming to you fast enough. If she does not come, then instantly give a correction, and then “reel” her in. Give her tons and tons of praise and treats for coming, even if you had to give her a correction first. Coming to you should always be a positive experience. Start with mild distractions of course and progress from there.

    If you are trying to teach the boundaries of your yard, then you would teach her to stay in the yard as though you have one of those invisible electronic fences. Put up something to mark the boundaries such as flags or a rope. Put her on a leash. Walk up to the boundaries with her and when you are a few feet from the boundaries, give a warning beep with the collar (not a correction), tell her “get back!” and then take her a few steps back and praise and treat. Walk along the boundaries and do this several times until she seems to get the hang of it. Then, unfortunately, to get the dog to fully understand, she is going to have to experience a correction. Don’t try to force her to walk to the boundary, but if she does, give an actual correction, say “get back!” and give her lots of praise. Usually it only takes one correction for the dog to understand as long as there is a visible boundary like white flags. After a few weeks, you can start removing some of the flags and eventually remove all the flags.

  29. Lindsay Stordahl

    Yes. My comment directly above yours has some tips for teaching a dog to come when called and also for teaching physical boundaries.

  30. Thank for putting something POSITIVE about the collars up. I have a dog who enjoys walking himself after he climbs the fence. When I started looking for a collar…. wow! I’ve been called every name in the book and accused of everything including animal cruelty.

    My situation is my dog has no sense of where the boundaries are and he’ll CLIMB the 6 ft fence to escape. Then once he’s out, his nose takes over and there is just no stopping him. Last night he was almost hit by a Mini Van and I can’t have that happening. Its a hard situation when you have to make a choice to use something that most people don’t understand and constantly get hounded by those uneducated people or to let the dog get hit by a car. I personally see there being no choice, but most people seem to think you are doing something wrong when you resort to a Collar.

    The biggest issue is, most people seem to see these collars as the older ones that could cause BURNS to the dog, not to current ones on the market. I personally have used every tool I use on my dogs on myself first, and I can say those collars get your attention, but they don’t hurt. Same as Pinch or Prong Collars, used properly they put a stop to being drug down the street.

    My 13 month old Cyote Shepherd is a good boy, but bad for trying to do the walking. Its a great tool and it works well. For my other dog though, I need to correct him at a distance. HE KNOWS IF HE’S WEARING A ROPE, so that is no good for when he takes off.

    Its good to see someone who knows what they are doing and has posted it for the world to see. Enough is enough, my dog won’t be getting hit because no one can train him to stay in the yard. We’ve gone through 10 trainers, offering them a grand each if they can stop him from taking off, not one succeeded. The Collar is our last resort and best friend. Thanks again.


    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      People are quick to judge about “shock” collars without knowing how they work. I’m glad you’ve found something that will keep your dog safe. Thanks for your comment.

  31. My situation is with my Lab x – Albie. He is a great dog at home, but when we take him out, to the beach for example and let him off the leash, he will run back to the car. We’ve tried different areas e.g parks or someone elses house, and he will plead tempory deafness and return to the car.

    I’ve recently been in contact with his previous owner, and they have said that on a walk across the paddock surrounding the house, he would always get half way across – then run home.

    Would an e-collar help this? I want to be able to take him out and have him around me without a leash, but at this stage, its too dangerous to do, as running back to the car in on the road is dangerous as he could be hit!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      No I don’t think an e-collar is a good idea in this situation. It sounds like your dog is insecure and just wants to be back in the car where he is “safe.” I don’t think he should be off leash. Instead, work on building his confidence and doing fun things in new situations. The correction from the e-collar will just make him want to go to the car even more or if you correct him for going to the actual car, then he might bolt elsewhere. Try a long rope (20 or 30 feet or more) and use that to keep him within range. Try to keep his attention with highly valued treats like pieces of real meat.

  32. I always thought shock collars were inhumane. My dog, however, tends to chase cars and can never be called back. Then when he comes i struggle so hard to not get mad because hey! He came back! So that actually makes me happy. Im just having quite the hard time trying to train him to not chase the cars, for his safety! He also like to pounce on children (in a playful way….he would never bite or attack) but that can be terrifying for someone. I jus tpurchased a remote shock collar to teach him boundaries and to “stick with us” when we are at parks etc. I hope Im right about this. Does anyone have advice, I rather like this article on shock collars.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      When you are first training him with the e-collar, I would also keep him on a long rope so you have more control. That way you can “reel him in” if he is chasing something and does not respond to the e-collar correction.

      Also remember to reward with treats when he does the behavior you want.

  33. Excellent article

    Like many here, I tried many different methods for training. I was reluctant to use a shock collar. We have very large yard appox. 6 acres with very well defined borders not a fence but easy to see where the edge is. We tried countless methods of trying to train our dogs (weimaraner and beagle) to stay in their yard but the second either could get a chance they would run and not recall so they were relegated to life in a kennel if they wanted to be outside even when we were out because we could not trust them. This spring our beagle got loose and ran away, wolves killed her. The shock collar decision was made and we got one for the weimaraner before we lost another beloved family pet. It took 2 shocks and a walk around the edge of the property and that was it, we now have a dog that can be outside with us, that can run free in her yard and is safe. If used properly they can be an effective training tool that protects your dog from danger.

  34. I am coming into this conversation late, but wow what a help this has been! Thank you for posting.

    I have been struggling with some, I guess it’s called fence fighting. I have a corner lot in a suburban neighborhood where everybody and their grandmothers have one to three dogs. I fenced the yard when I first moved here and had little dogs that were not at all interested in what happened outside the fence. Since then I have gotten a cocker spaniel who consistently chases people who are walking dogs down the side walks. I have worked really hard with positive methods and actually he will no longer go after people who are walking without dogs (he used to chase and bark at them too). He comes and stands near me and watches them quietly and get rewarded now and again. But come a dog walker and the whole thing falls apart. If he is really wound up I run up and hold him physically away from the fence. A couple of weeks ago I rescued a dachshund mix. He has been a real good learner for basic commands, but not only joins the Cocker in chasing and attacking at the fence, he also chases and pins my cats in the house. The use of a lead has not stopped him when he is off lead.

    So. Do you think using an e-collar would be appropriate for these dogs. I have one that is 10 years old that works on two dogs. I have tried it and it feels sort of like a tingly bug bite at level 2. How do I let the dogs know what the expected behavior is when I want them to stop chasing at the fence or chasing my cats? I can see that they would startle at the correction, but then what?

  35. I just adopted a 9 mos. belgian malinois X from our local shelter, although he seems to be somewhat trained, but is very stubborn, often he will not respond to my 1st, 2nd and sometimes 3rd command, he barks while in the yard when the neighbors are out and also he will bark when no one is out for no apparent reason at all. I purchased a barking collar and it works great. For training purposes I was considering a e collar to help with training.

  36. While it is true that aversive techniques such as shock collars, prong collars, and choke collars can work in some situations, the reality is that the vast majority of owners and trainers do not have the skill or the timing to use them effectively. If they are just for training, when is training over?

    If you look at science based behaviorists (Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, Sophia Yin) you will see that they are all against the use of these collars and in fact think that they are inhumane. In the case of Elli, perhaps trying medication would have been a better alternative to a shock collar. Since dogs learn by association, you may have stopped the barking but not really changed the underlying cause–further increasing Elli’s anxiety at being left alone in the car (I don’t know where you live but there is a ton of information out there about how quickly cars can heat up and cause serious injury to dogs left inside even with the windows cracked). It may seem like you have fixed the problem, but Elli may be experiencing what is known as learned helplessness, which is really a sad state for a dog to live in.

    I applaud your devotion to dogs and rescue organizations, but I also encourage you to read what PhD Behaviorists have written about these collars and reconsider your use of them. This column explains the science behind the shock collar and how it actually ends up making things worse rather than better:

  37. I whole heartily agree with you Ryan about in the wrong hands or unskilled, or uneducated using such collars can be cruel but as a last resort
    when a person has exhausted all the other methods of recall, such as the long training lead, positive reinforcement, reward etc. and the risk of losing a pet or your pet becoming a nuisance/danger to others these can be a very effective tool. I have to ask the question which is more cruel, allowing your dog to run to get ripped apart by wolves, hit by a car or relegated to life on a lead or in a kennel.
    My weimaraner is a perfect example, while working in the bush hunting, she recalls (even when game is present), and works about 50 to 75 yards ahead, stops and points, holds and flushes on command but on “home turf” she would bolt and run and not recall. Nothing worked, she knew when she was on the long lead and the second it was off, she was gone. I could not risk losing another pet as we did our beagle (wolves got her), not a pleasant way to go I assure you.
    After some internal debate I purchased the shock collar, and only after delivering a shock to myself (if you can’t shock yourself you shouldn’t shock your dog) I used the collar, it took 2 shocks, on the same day and now the command “come” means come now not when she feels like it. Since that day we have not had to use the collar and she has only left the yard once, but recalled instantly when she did.
    That is my only experience with shock collars and found that it worked when ALL other methods we exhausted.
    As for using to control barking I would not use a shock collar for, the cintronella anti-bark collars are a better tool in my opinion, but some breeds were bred to bark, ie the beagle and I would never use one on a beagle. As with any breed some traits were bred into them and trying to counter this is almost impossible and could actually cause more undesirable traits in your dog. There are countless online resources that will tell you what to expect from a particular breed both the good and the bad, and what my rule of thumb is to look at the bad and double it in my mind and ask myself can I live with that and accept it.

  38. Shock collars are definitely controversial. I know that they have been banned in 13 countries because they fit all the legal requirements for abuse. But I didn’t comment to talk about ethics.
    I like facts. People tell me that shock collars work for their dogs. But what else did they try, how long did they try it, what were the conditions? One dog does not make a study. I want numbers. I want facts. If all I have are anecdotes, then I’m not going to try it on my dogs. My dogs deserve the very best I can give them and punitive methods of training is not the best I can give them. Dr. Karen Overall M.A., V.M.D., Ph.D. (ie an actual expert) says here ( that they are dangerous and that there is not a single study that has EVER been done to show that they are safe and effective.
    On the other hand, there have been countless studies done that prove how damaging they are. (This page, for example

  39. My daughter-in-law is using a shock collar on her dog to correct barking. The problem I have with this is that the collar is so tight the prongs literally dug holes into the dogs neck and became infected, it also causes the dog to loose hair at the contact area. She says the collar has to be tight to be effective. (so tight I can’t even get my finger between the dog and the collar)

    It is right that this collar should be embedding into her throat .. creating holes, blood and puss (infection)?

    I’m concerned that this is not right and am concerned for the dogs welfare.

  40. I had to give in to getting shock collars for my dachshund mix and cocker spaniel who were charging my fence any time people walked by with dogs (which is often in my otherwise quiet neighborhood). I wish they could find another route to walk on and was toying (ha ha) with planting a female Gingko tree near the busy corner in the hopes that the putrid smell of the fruit would change the traffic patterns. Any way this a whole other approach that is not really possible. So I got what seems to be the least harsh shock collar which starts on a low vibration and increases to the point where the dog stops barking and next time starts there. Both dogs learned in a few trials but if the collar is off, charge the fence barking again. Well the cocker seems to get it more and has been staying back with me when people with dogs go by at least sometimes. The collars have to be on tightly, but the instructions say that you should be able to put one finger between the probe and the dog’s neck. It can be pretty darn tight and I can still fit a finger under the probe. I dislike the tightness and my doxie started throwing up and I just took off the whole thing. (Oh they don’t sleep with them on.) Now I am trying to look before I go out and take the dogs out with me and monitor them and don’t have the collars on. So far okay. Not great, but okay. Maybe your daughter should try giving breaks to the dogs without the collars and see if the message is sinking in. I have read that some dogs get to the point where they only need to be shown the collar and they stop barking.

  41. I have a 9 month old chocolate lab who is extremely distracted, hyperactive, and can be aggressive off leash. Even with exercising him constantly (games, walkts, and dog parts). Most recently he knocked over my 5 year old nephew, started nipping at him, and ended up bitting me on my leg. He is completely out of control off leash outside or when there are distractions (other people around) We have worked with two trainiers (one who was in-home and suggested medication). We were unable to use a choke or prong collar on him (it had no effect on him)…even with the personal dog trainer present. My dog is extremely smart and knows several commands but only choses to use them at his leisure We have exhausted all possiblities of training and have now consulted with a new trainer regarding the ecollar. We had a consultant yesterday and he responded very well to an extremely low setting. We are highly considering this as our last resort. I am still doing some research as I know this is controversal…in the end I do not believe there is one training method for every dog.

  42. Lindsay Stordahl

    Yes, if it works for your dog you should definitely give it a try. Don’t feel guilty.

    Another option is the Gentle Leader type of collar that fits over the dog’s muzzle. This is kind of the opposite approach of an ecollar, but it works well for some dogs. You have to use whatever is best for you and your dog.

  43. Great article. I have been using a shock collar for years on my pit bull (I rarely ever have to shock him… Just beep and he always responds.) it definitely opened a lot of new doors for him as I felt very comfortable letting him run around the dog park with other dogs and have fun. It was an invaluable tool for both myself and my boy… Its nice to see so many other people accept this as a form of highly effective and efficient training tool. Good stuff and thank you all for sharing your inputs. 🙂

  44. Is there a good book or website you can suggest that teaches how to properly use a shock collar when training your dog?

  45. BOY DO I NEED HELP. I have a Rottie that minds like a dream until the dog next door came in heat. My boy is fixed but that doesn’t matter to him. At first I though he was digging out but now have decided that he is going over the top. We have tried everything. He seems to like getting into their yard at 5:30 in the morning or late at night. I was told you can’t leave a shock collar on him all the time so what good would it do. He will just wait till I take it off and then get out. He is smart that way. Which electronic fence can I use that the collar can stay on him all the time. I hate getting those calls early in the morning. By the way, are they water proof? We have a large pond on this 3 acres.

    1. Is your dog mostly an outdoor dog? You could leave the shock collar on him most of the time, but take it off when he is in the house.

      There are different electronic fence companies that will be able to help you out. I recommend contacting them directly. My parents use Invisible Fence for their dogs, and it has always worked well. Some collars are waterproof, and some aren’t.

    2. Why not use electric fence(like for cattle and horses ) on your yard fence…it is cheap easy to attach,almost no cost to run and your dog will not touch the yard fence after getting zapped.
      Many kennels run elec. fence along the tops and bottoms of their fencing,,, dogs can’t go over or dig without a rude surprise you can get it online or at Tractor’s Supplys or Lowes…!

  46. I rescued a Black lab 4 years ago, she is 7. I have known her since she was 3 months old. Her previous owner had an 8 foot fence, and was given up because she would bolt at least once a day out the front door, or picking the gate. When I took her in, I did not have a fence. I spend 1 weekend installing an invisible fence, spent 15 minutes showing her the boundaries, and 1 shock later, and a handful of tears from myself, she is the absolute best dog someone could ask for. She would do absolutely everything i ever asked her do to, without a fuss from that point on. She is dream, and I highly recommend anyone with a dog that can escape to try this out.

  47. Hello,
    Ally is my 7 year old lab mix, I have recently moved in with my boyfriend who owns a female husky. For some reason ally has recently shown aggression towards the husky. Unfortunately I feel as if I have no way to correct this. Trying to segregate ally into another space as punishment only results to damage to my house or her hurting herself attempting to bite and claw through kennels and fences. Will a button activated collar be a good option not only to correct the aggression but for boundaries and her habit of bolting out the front door when opened?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      A shock collar could possibly help your situation, but don’t use it as a quick fix, especially if you don’t have experience training with one.

      When you are dealing with a dog with anxiety and aggression, it’s best to look at the bigger picture. Does this dog have structure? How are her overall obedience skills? Does she come when called 99 percent of the time? Is she fearful? Sometimes adding a shock collar can make the situation worse.

      If you don’t see progress soon, you may want to consider hiring a professional trainer in your area to evaluate the dogs and offer some suggestions.

      1. I have studied many different suggestions on how to train loose lead walking with an ecollar. A lot of them are opposites from each other. It seems you have had great sucess. Can you share the approach you use on how to use the ecollar as a training tool for loose lead? We have already got great results with only 2 corrections and our dog no longer jumps on people, now will obey the OFF command –> no longer jumps up on the furniture or counter surfs. Im just not sure how to apply it on a loose lead train.

        1. Lindsay Stordahl

          Personally, I have never used an e-collar to teach loose leash walking, so I should not be giving advice. I prefer to use a prong or choke collar and give a correction if the dog pulls and praise when the dog walks in a heel position (or a loose leash, if that is the goal).

          If I were to use an e-collar, I would use a similar method, giving a quick correction if the dog broke from heel position and praise when the dog returned to heel. I trust my timing better with the choke collar than an e-collar for this type of training.

          1. I have a husky/bernese mountain dog mix. We adopted her 5 months ago. I have a small italian greyhound also. They get along fine but when in the yard the husky tries to play with him and is extremely rough. There is zero agression, all play, but when he snaps at her to stop she just continues. She also ignores me when i try to call her away. I have called in a behaviourist who of course suggested food rewards, etc., but honestly i think it’ll take years as she just doesn’t get it. Would an e-collar work here? The second reason i was thinking about an e-collar is that we also have a land turtle. She is in a huge enclosure, which i assumed dog proof. The husky got in and chewed her up very badly. I modified the enclosure to what i hope will now keep her out, but after hurting the turtle so badly i though the collar might work Well just on boundaries to stay away from the enclosure period.

  48. My Great Dane – Dalmation mix keeps jumping the fence. I’m buying a shock collar tonight, I really hope it works.

    Walking here is a pain too, literally. She is so hyper D:

    1. For walking, Try a HALTI, i have a 2yr old Foxhound that I rescued who was not leash trained and the HALTI worked wonders. within 5 days we had a loose leash. But he still pulls when we don’t have the HALTI on him tho… Oh well. Just my 2 cents Rin…

  49. At home we have 7 month old german shepherd and his good behavior comes and goes. We’re not sure why, maybe its because we spoil him or he feels equal to us, but he is becoming very agressive towards me and my husband. Luckily the dog as never acted agressive towards our son and is very gental with him. We’ve tried positive reinforcement but it doesn’t always seem to work. He doesn’t stop messing in the house (sometimes gives us a sign) dosen’t stop going through the garbage, is always jumping on the couch, stills food of counters and tables, chews up everything he can get his mouth on(we are constantly have 3-4 toys in rotation to not have too many) doesn’t stop pulling the leash, and has been barking bad in his kennel when it’s bed time or when we have strangers come to the house (just started do that in the past 3 weeks). As long as we use a shock collar correctly and not as a punishment, do you think it may be a good alternative for us. Really we can hardly get this dog to listen and if we try to take something away from him or scold him for something he gets very agressive. We don’t want him to hurt anyone. We need to show him whose boss.

    I hope you can help.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Sorry to hear you are having some trouble with your dog’s behavior. How frustrating! For my own sake, I’m listing the issues you mentioned:

      The dog is not housebroken
      The dog gets in the garbage
      The dog jumps on the furniture
      The dog steals food from counters
      The dog chews
      The dog pulls on the leash
      The dog barks in his kennel
      The dog shows aggression to you and your husband

      It’s so hard to give advice without seeing the dog, but I’m guessing your dog could really benefit from a solid routine, some strong obedience skills and some structured exercise. Easier said than done, of course! German shepherds are very smart, active dogs and they do know how to push the limits. They generally need strong leaders or they will become the leader themselves (as you know). If you need some ideas or help with this, let me know. It sounds like too many issues to solve by simply using a shock collar. The only type of collar I might suggest is a citronella spray collar to stop the barking when he is in his kennel.

      I did write a post awhile back about some ideas to get control of a generally “crazy” dog. I think it might help you:

      And here is a post you may find helpful on how to be a leader to your dominant dog:

      Hope that helps!

  50. Thank you- I think it is time to break out the shock collar for my three dogs for off leash control. What is the best way to train the recall, in your opinion? My dogs have been trained and trained with markers, etc. for recall, but still break it at times when they see another dog OR (this is the most dangerous) a snow plow goes by…

    So- for car chasing- is it just a correction- no words, no training? I know this could be recall only- but I simply don’t want them to chase vehicles. Aversion only.

    For recall, do your recommend low-level stimulation or a higher level correction if the dogs knows the command and has been proofed positive-only extensively?

    Is there a good way to train the dogs to stay with you post-recall until released? This is probably my biggest issue because one especially will bounce back and forth… she wants to do the right thing but is very excitable and somewhat reactive. She is also actually the least aggressive, but doesn’t look it to other people. Due to her very white teeth, pointy black nose and prick ears.

    How do I avoid the pitfall of the dogs associating the shock with the other dog(s) or people? It is fine if the dogs associates a shock with a car for car chasing but I don’t want that with other dogs.

    Finally, I agree with you- I could train this positive-only but it would take months to years. I want to run with my dogs on trails ASAP without concerns or bothering other people dogs.

    One more thing… how long do the dogs need to wear the collar post initial training?

  51. When I got my first incredibly high drive and prey driven dog I got my first e-collar. Over the year I have saved hundreds of dogs from death row. I even became a professional dog training and competed in the UK and Europe.

    Dog collars, e-collars, shock collars, whatever people want to call them, I would like to guess they are responsible for saving more dogs lives that your average behaviourist.

  52. I have a large 4 year old poodle named Fozzie. When my wife and I bought our house the owner’s said they couldn’t take him to their new home and were going to take him to the shelter so we obviously had to take him. He is very energetic, low confidence, and is also smart. He gets along with the little jack russel we have, but every other dog (especially large dogs) that he encounters on walks or in the yard turns into a fight. He stares (fixates) at other dogs right away, pulls toward them, will get quiet, tense, and then nip or try and bite the other dog, who then will react by trying to fight back. I’ve tried treats before, but the minute he sees another dog he ignores the treats. I’ve also tried yanking the leash up or giving him a hit to the stomach with my heel, but he will continue to try and get to the other dog. Do you have other suggestions? Would an e-collar be appropriate to try for Fozzie. I want him to be able to sniff or walk by other dogs without attacking. Thanks for any help.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      This is just my opinion, but I don’t suggest an e-collar for that type of training. I think it would be better to sing up for an obedience class and practice general obedience around other dogs. This will get him used to working and remaining calm while close to other dogs.

      While out on walks, I recommend you desensitize him to other dogs by giving him highly valued food items when you are just close enough but not too close to cause a reaction. So that might be 10 feet away or 100 yards away, not sure. Then slowly get closer to other dogs as he is more comfortable.

  53. I have a 3 year old german shepherd cross. She is super high energy and smart. She is generally a pretty good dog, we have really big “dog parks” where I live so sometimes she runs a bit too far but she always comes back.

    My only real problem with her is the high prey drive. She plays quite aggressive with most dogs but never hurts them and it usually doesn’t get out of control. She can be quite loud about it and likes to “mouth” other dogs – i.e. bite them but not bite down if that makes sense. If the other dog starts looking timid, or the owner looks uncomfortable, I will get my dog and proceed on my way. The REAL problem is small dogs who are terrified! The ones that roll over and start screaming before my dog even reaches them. Those ones really get it. She doesn’t even listen to me at that point and just continues to pin them down and bite them all over, run and roll them over. To this day she has not hurt a dog but I still don’t think it’s appropriate behaviour and other dog owner can get really upset and I would rather avoid the confrontations. The latest incident had me dealing with a hysterical lady who thought my dog was actually killing hers.

    I have had her off leash probably over 300 times and only dealt with about 5 incidents where she got really out of control with a small scared dog. So that is my issue with the shock collar – will it work? Should I just put it on every time we go off leash? It’s really the only issue I have with her and any advice or other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      How frustrating! Yes, it could work, but you can’t just put it on her, let her off leash, shock her and expect her to come running back to you. I would use a long rope and practice calling her back to you with the collar on. If you don’t get a quick response, then give a mild correction with the collar, reel her in and give her lots of praise. Don’t hesitate to seek help from a trainer in your area who has experience with these types of collars.

    2. Lucy, you just made my day! I have a one year old rescue who is either border collie or cattle dog (or a lovely combination of the two) and he does EXACTLY the same thing. My dog is great on leash and doesn’t play nearly as rough as he does off-leash in the park (i think it’s due to the fact that he came from a dog hoarder…) so I’m thinking of trying the collar since he’s so responsive to me if i command AND give a little tug on the leash. I had a shock collar for my Golden years ago and I’m trying to find it. I was going to do the citronella remote control spray collar but I fear the other dog will get sprayed when my pup has his throat in his mouth!
      Let me know how it works out!

  54. I have never considered using a shock collar on an animal before. But worry and desperation has me considering one. We have a 14 week old pit bull / lab mix puppy. So far training has gone rather well. She has done well with crate training, potty training, and even performs “sit” 90 % of the time. The problem is she has became bi-polar with our 10 year old cat. Most of the time they are best friends, drinking from the same water bowl, taking naps together; she even gives the cat long baths that the cat thoroughly loves. But when the puppy wants to play with kitty, she plays way too rough. No amount of “no’s”, “sits”, treats, leash pulls, outside play or substitute toys will take her mind of playing with her favorite toy – the cat. As she is getting bigger, I’m really worried that she could hurt our cat. I thought about using a shock collar that might work quicker than I can get to her when she is in one of her moods that seem to come out of the blue, but also worry it might make her more aggresive. Do you have any advice? Thank you!

    1. Hello, i just read your post and i have pretty much the same problem only with a husky and an italian greyhound. the husky likes to play but it’s too rough and when she is in the mood, becomes deaf to anything i say. have you decided to use a shock collar? if yes, have you seen any improvements? i have been considering it myself, but am worried because the behaviour is not necessarily bad, but still unwanted. would love to know what you have decided or even think….my email is

  55. We have a norwegian elkhound almost 1 year old. She is very keen on learning to sit, and laying down on command, with rewards . But she is very strong and when someone arrives she forgets any idea of a treat or command and just is out of control. She has jumped on people and their cars even getting in and jumping from front to back. We have had to tie her up when company is arriving. This is no life for a dog, do you think a shock collar could stop this unwanted behavior.

  56. I have a husky/bernese mountain dog mix. We adopted her 5 months ago. I have a small italian greyhound also. They get along fine but when in the yard the husky tries to play with him and is extremely rough. There is zero agression, all play, but when he snaps at her to stop she just continues. She also ignores me when i try to call her away. I have called in a behaviourist who of course suggested food rewards, etc., but honestly i think it’ll take years as she just doesn’t get it. Would an e-collar work here? The second reason i was thinking about an e-collar is that we also have a land turtle. She is in a huge enclosure, which i assumed dog proof. The husky got in and chewed her up very badly. I modified the enclosure to what i hope will now keep her out, but after hurting the turtle so badly i though the collar might work Well just on boundaries to stay away from the enclosure period. Btw, the husky is 3 years old.

    1. I was referring to an “electronic collar”, a word sometimes used rather than a “shock collar” and sometimes shortened to “e-collar”.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        The e-collar could work well to teach the dog physical boundaries. It could also work for teaching some limits during play. The concern I have would be that if the dog is getting corrections for two different things, she could get confused. If it were my dog, I would consider the e-collar for keeping her away from the turtle’s enclosure. For the play, I would get after her with a strong “No!” and then remove her from playing if she does not leave the other dog alone. I would teach a solid down/stay and allow her to go back to playing once she’s calm again. That’s just my opinion, but of course I don’t know your dogs.

        1. I agree. If you decide to use a e-collar, use it to correct one behavior as to not confuse the dog. I recently adopted a 2yr old American Foxhound who is a good dog all around, and listens pretty well, but loves to run. and run… and get quite far away from me at dog runs. I decided on a e-collar and a whistle. I decided that all I really needed to do was get the dog to recall. so I blew the whistle, waited 5 seconds, Blew the whistle again, wait another 5 seconds and then used the collar. After 2 days I no longer need the collar, just the whistle to get him to recall. (unless he is very distracted…. he is a scent hound and needs patience..) and I only use praise on my dogs since I forget treats at home too often… Hope this helps. Just use the e-collar for one behavior correction. (my opinion)

          1. thank you for the replies! they are hugely appreciated. i have decided not to use the collar as i don’t want to confuse her (i didn’t know you couldn’t use it for two different behaviours). she is/was a really wild dog as she grew up in the kennel, and then mixed with the husky stubborness, she can be a handful, but she is very food motivated and in the past four months has learned a lot. I will still use the food, and as you said, try removing her from play when she doesn’t listen and gets too rough with my little one. As for the turtle, I hope I have corrected the problem by making it completely dog proof now. Time and close monitoring will tell. If necessary, I can use the collar only for this. Or possibly in the near future once we start working on getting her off leash. thanks again!

  57. An E-collar is NOT the same thing as a shock collar.
    E-collar stands for Elizabethan collar, which is the “cone of shame” worn to keep a dog from licking a wound or bumping into something after eye surgery.

  58. Hi there, I have an 8 month old male puppy. He was recently neutered. After this, he has reverted back to many of his early bad habits. He picks up things on the floor and runs away with them, and often chews them. He also sometimes digs (rarely, but there is 2 or 3 small holes in the garden). I have taught him how to drop, and he DEFINITELY knows how to do it. He drops immediately if there is a ball in his mouth and a game of fetch is on its way. He listens to me when I say drop, but not my mum. Would using this method work to enforce the drop and reduce the likelihood of him picking up things in future (NOTE: there is small children in the house, items being left on the floor is inevitable, I try to pick up what I can)

    -Leave out a box with his toys in, give plenty of exercise

    1.When he picks up an object that Is not from his designated box of toys, call the ‘Drop’

    2. After 2 seconds if he does not respond, tap him with low level stimulation on the collar and repeatedly tap until the item is released. (Say ‘Drop’ again as the ball is released)

    3. verbally praise and then direct him to his special toy box

    Would this work??? I read up about this sort of method on the ‘Dogtra’ collar website.

    *****I would NEVER shock my dog to the point that it was moderately painful, it is more to get his attention and to show him that when the command is said, he can stop the mild taps by performing the command.
    I do not want to use the collar for any other aspects of training, I prefer long lines, a clicker and a bag of treats. But it is getting to the point where in the hosue he is now being naughty, and then stopping, just to get a treat for stopping.


  59. So I come home tonite and my room mate has put a shock collar on our Jack Russell mix…. and the dog is cowering in the corner and won’t let me near it to take the collar off. Roomie tried and has a bleeding bite for his effort…. So how do you take a shock collar off a dog once its been abused with one? The dog won’t let me touch him without trying to bite me… every time he moves he gets shocked, it seems, I haven’t read the directions on the thing but there is no question that its triggering him…there is no remote… I have no idea what this thing is, I would never bother….. I never would have done this and it was done without my permission… so how do we remove a collar from a panicked and aggressive dog?

  60. My husband and I have a 6 month old bloodhound mix, Humphrey, who has selective hearing. He knows a few commands like sit and stay but all of this leaves his mind when company is over….or when he ever he feels like it. He jumps up, plays too rough (I have the bruises and scratches to prove it). He steals things off my husbands desk and nearly bites my hand off when I try to get them out of his mouth. No matter what we do he just won’t listen. He was also neutered a few weeks ago which we hoped would help but it just hasn’t. We have signed him up for training classes at our local PetSmart starting this weekend. My husband has also ordered a vibration/sound/shock collar with a remote. It really is a last resort for us but we plan to stay away from the shock setting and just use vibration and sound to get his attention and stop bad behavior. He is going to be a big boy, and while he can be a cuddly sweetheart, we need to nip those bad habits while he’s small because we are hoping to start a family soon 🙂

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  62. I use and recommend QUALITY remote e -collars, like the Mini Educator by E collar Technologies. The basic commands like sit, down,and heel are all taught with a collar and leash, I layer the remote collar over already known commands. I train the dog to understand that the stimulation they feel coming from the collar on their neck means they need to look to the handler for instructions. I first fit the collar properly on the dog, it has to be tight enough it will not slip around on the dogs neck. To find the dog’s “working level” I start at the lowest level on the collar, which is a one out of one hundred on my collar. I go up slowly until the dog shows the first subtle reaction to the collar- often just an ear twitch or a reaction like if a fly landed on them. Now I will let the dog move around in a quiet low distraction area on a lead or rope. I will call their name and “here”, at the same time I say the word “here” I will give a nick (split second stimulation) on the collar at the dog’s working level. If needed I will lightly pull on the leash/rope to get them to come to me. I will give a treat and praise when they get to me. I repeat this several times, if the dog veers off instead of coming right in I will give another nick and verbal “here”. Lengthen rope and increase distractions to proof dog often. Go to a safe fenced area and work on distance recall. I start at the dog’s current working level of stimulation, and raise it as needed once the dog understands the collar to get the desired results. I go off leash often with my foster Australian Cattle Dog, every time I call “here” I tap his collar at a one or two. His recall even at a distance is phenomenal , instant spin and come in fast and happy as he knows he will be praised for it. Every now and then I give a treat, sometimes a “jackpot” handful of treats which keeps him always hoping for it. I use the word “break” as a release word- so he can go from a heel position and just run where he wants to.
    For this dog I use the e collar to correct whining after I taught him “quiet”. I can keep him in PLACE on his cot from across the room with just a tap on the button, and keep him in proper heel position. Every time I use a leash correction I can layer that with the e collar. I NEVER use an e collar to correct something the dog is afraid of- adding physical discomfort to mental fear can make the situation much worse. In my opinion a quality remote collar is the best form of canine to human communication available, and my preferred training tool.

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