The 6 Best Dog Training Collars of 2020

Find the right fit for your pup's needs

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"Rather than using a sharp static shock, it relies on blunt stimulation technology that has an effect that feels more like a strong tap."
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"This collar exclusively uses tones and vibration to give your dog feedback and is still highly effective."
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"The transmitter can control up to three collars, making it ideal for owners working with multiple dogs."
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"This budget friendly option offers 100 levels of vibration and static shock, with the delivery preceded by a warning tone."
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Best for Gentle Lead Collar:
PetSafe Gentle Leader Head Collar at Amazon
"There’s no painful pressure to your dog’s throat or head—just a gentle redirection of their attention."
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Best Martingale Collar:
PetSafe Martingale Collar at Amazon
"Customers say it’s ideal for collar escape artists, and call it a no-cruelty alternative to the standard choker."
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Dog training collars are a great way to promote good behavior, improve a canine's retrieving skills, or curb bad behavior. Most collars are waterproof and come with a transmitter that uses vibrations or static stimulation to foster obedience.

To help you find the right kind of collar for your four-legged friend, here are the best dog training collars that you can buy.

Best Overall: Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar

This collar from Educator is great for dog owners who want an alternative to a traditional shock collar. Rather than using a “sharp” static shock, it relies on “blunt” stimulation technology that has an effect that feels more like a strong tap. Educator describes this as less stressful for dogs, but just as effective for motivating them to comply. It also includes a Pavlovian Tone feature (named for the famed conditioning study), where dogs learn to respond to the sound before the stimulation rather than the stimulation itself.

The Educator E-Collar also includes an ergonomic, stopwatch-style controller, which also controls a tracking light to help keep your dog visible after dark. Customers say the whole package is well designed and is especially valuable for pet owners with super-smart dogs that still struggle with some destructive behaviors.

Best No-Shock: WOLFWILL Humane No-Shock Remote Dog Training Collar

The “shock factor” of many training collars doesn't appeal to everyone. That’s understandable—and there are other options for pet owners who want to promote better behavior, but are worried about causing their dog pain. This collar from Wolfwill exclusively uses tones and vibration to give your dog feedback and is still highly effective. The vibration feature has 16 levels of intensity, and the collar works at a range of up to 660 yards. The transmitter is designed with touch-distinguished buttons made with blind users in mind, but the product isn’t specific to owners of seeing-eye dogs.

Customers say the product works exactly as described, and does a great job of getting dogs to stop jumping on tables, chasing squirrels and demonstrating numerous other behavioral issues. They also like that since it uses vibration and sound only, it doesn’t have the uncomfortable prongs common to other training collars.

Best Sporting: SportDOG Brand 425X Remote Trainers

The lightest of SportDog’s training collars, the Field Trainer 425X works well for hunting enthusiasts who want to teach their dogs to improve their flushing and retrieving skills. It’s waterproof and has a range of 500 yards, with batteries that last 50-70 hours per charge—making it perfect for long days on the range, no matter the weather or terrain. The transmitter can also control up to three collars, so you can work with multiple dogs at once.

This upgraded version also includes 21 (rather than seven) levels of static stimulation, with the option to train with both vibration (buzz) and tone (beep). The latter is usually used for behavior corrections, whereas the former is for reinforcing good behaviors.

Users say that the device is easy to operate and durable, and suits a variety of different breeds and temperaments. Some reported changes in their dog’s behavior in as little as two days! Note that it’s best used as part of an overall routine, though, rather than a one-stop solution.

Best Budget: Mockins Rainproof Rechargeable Electronic Remote Dog Training Shock Collar

Training collars typically use vibrations or static simulation (or a mild electric shock) to foster obedience, whether you’re trying to stop an aggressive behavior or teach your dog to walk with a leash. While many of these products can be expensive, this one from Mockins checks all the major boxes and comes at a low cost. Fitting dogs 15 pounds or larger, it offers 100 levels of vibration and static shock, with the delivery preceded by a warning tone. It’s also waterproof and fully rechargeable.

Customers say this collar works exceptionally well, especially for the price. Most owners stick with the vibrate feature, with several noting that it produced good results even in larger dogs.

Best for Gentle Lead Collar: PetSafe Gentle Leader Head Collar

Do your daily walks with your dog tend to feel more like the dog is walking you? Take a different approach when it comes to promoting better leash habits—rather than a typical training collar, go with a simple (but effective) no-pull harness. The idea is pretty straightforward: Simply loop the lead around your dog’s muzzle, and a light tug will remind your dog to not to pull away (or lunge, jump, or otherwise misbehave). There’s no painful pressure to your dog’s throat or head—just a gentle redirection of their attention.

The PetSafe Gentle Lead Head Collar is available in sizes suitable for dogs from five pounds to over 130 and comes in eight different colors. The package also includes an explainer DVD that demonstrates the appropriate way to use the collar. Customers rave that it really does help dogs that won’t quit pulling on the leash—and it won’t break the budget, either.

Best Martingale Collar: PetSafe Martingale Collar

Martingale collars are the humane successor to the choke chains of old. They operate in a similar fashion, with the collar tightening when your dog starts to pull. But because of the limited closure, it’s much safer and won’t actually choke your dog—just adjust to the size of their neck. For that reason, it’s also a great choice for pet owners whose dogs have a habit of slipping out of their leash.

This martingale collar from PetSafe in five sizes for petite dogs up to large ones, as well as five colors. Customers say it’s ideal for “collar escape artists,” and call it a no-cruelty alternative to the standard choker.

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