Are Dog Training Collars Effective?

Whether you have a newly rehomed pup with behavior problems or you want to teach your dog to stop barking at others, you might have considered using a dog training collar. However, you worry if such a tool can help at all. With that in mind, we thought of weighing in on the effectiveness of dog training collars or shock collars. Does it work? What are the pros and cons of using one on your dog?

What is a Dog Training Collar?

By nature, dogs love to wander around. This is especially true for newly rehomed dogs who want to investigate and familiarize themselves with their new environment. At first, you might find it quite challenging to keep them in control. Thankfully, with the help of a suitable dog training collar, it becomes easier to instill obedience.   

You can choose several types of dog training collars, depending on the materials used and how they help during training sessions. Below are the most commonly used dog training collars and how they work:

Shock Collars

The use of shock collars dates back decades ago to the 1960’s when they were first introduced to work with hunting dogs. These crude, elementary collars which had little customization and were often harmful to the dogs. As the industry has advanced over the past several decades, so have the training tools. These collars that would shock dogs would send an electrical current from the collar through the dog’s body. This antiquated system of remote training collars is outdated and often viewed as inhumane, considering the advancement in the e-collar industry.


Some might argue that shock collars and e-collars refer to the same thing. However, if you look at the mechanism used in the recent models of e-collars, you’ll find that they do have a bit of distinction with the latter. Instead of using electronic shock, e-collars use electronic stimulation or vibrations. This means that e-collars won’t cause pain to your beloved dog. 

When used correctly, the electronic stimulation from the collar helps you communicate better with your dog. It will help you guide your dog in situations where he might get in trouble. It would be best to work with a professional dog trainer when incorporating e-collars into your usual routine. 

The modern, quality e-collar utilizes a stimulation that is most similar to the TENS unit that humans use in physical therapy. It is designed to be used at the lowest level possible to simply refocus your dog and communicate when they are overly distracted.

Halter Collars

Halter collars are a bit similar to horse collars. They come in handy in controlling a dog’s direction when walking around at the park or around the neighborhood. Typically, this type of dog collar doesn’t restrict air flow, so your dog won’t have any difficulty wearing them around the back and neck. When you tug on the leash attached to this collar, your dog’s head would most likely turn towards you. 

Prong Dog Collars

When a pup misbehaves, a momma dog corrects the action by grabbing the pup with her mouth. This reaction produces a gentle tugging around the neck, discouraging the pup from repeating the same behavior. A prong dog collar works in the same manner. 

Essentially, this type of collar comes with blunt prongs designed to put gentle pressure around a dog’s neck when you tug on the leash. Unlike the traditional choker collar, this doesn’t impede airflow or cause pain. When used correctly, it helps you deter bad behavior like lunging towards other dogs. It can also help you communicate verbal commands quickly. 

The only prong collar owners should be using are from Herm Sprenger brand. They are the highest quality, safest, and have the best features to better communicate with your dog.

Do Dog Training Collars Work?

The effectiveness of a piece of training equipment or tool heavily relies on how you use them. As we’ve mentioned in the discussion above, even the poorly-received shock collars can provide good results when used the right way. 

It’s a good idea to know when to use a training collar’s functionalities. For starters, it’s crucial to avoid using them to punish your dogs. Otherwise, it could lead to less desirable results, such as worse behavioral concerns. It will also foster fear and anxiety, affecting how well your dog perceives each training session.

Additionally, before opting to use a training collar, you should try teaching obedience plus basic dog commands first. It will lay the groundwork for the training. Also, if your dog already responds to your call, you don’t need to activate the shock or stimulation function of an electronic collar or the prongs of a prong collar. 

Here are other simple tips and tricks to help you maximize the benefits of a training collar:  

  • Put the collar on at least a week before you start training
  • Be sure to check how well the collar fits on your dog’s neck
  • When using the remote (especially for e-collars and shock collars) be sure to keep it away from the dog
  • Try to check what sort of training collar would work best for your puppy
  • Always use verbal cues even when you use a dog training collar during sessions 
  • Combine positive and negative reinforcement when teaching your dog lessons and constantly assess areas for improvement in your approach

Professional Dog Training Service in Delaware

Teaching basic lessons and instilling proper discipline and decorum can be tricky, especially if you have a temperamental pup. It takes a lot of time and effort, especially if it’s your first time to care for a canine buddy. 

Fortunately, with the help of Delaware K9 Academy, you won’t have to spend a lot of time doing trial and error. Instead, you can rely on our extensive experience in helping dogs and their humans form a remarkable emotional bond through proper training.

With our help, you can introduce basic dog commands and help your pup learn essential socialization skills. We also have lessons that help dogs deal with distractions and avoid pulling on the leash while you take them out for a walk. 

Whether you’re looking for a better way to introduce an e-collar, discourage bad behavior, or teach fundamental skills to your dog, we can help you. Call us today or send us a quick message using our online form