BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

Best Dog Training Collar: Solving Your Dog’s Behavioral Problems

Best Dog Training Collar
John Walton
Written by John Walton

Is your dog having problems with basic obedience commands? The answer to your problems can be solved by using the best dog training collar. This safe and effective training tool is used to deter common dog behavior problems like barking, food aggression or jumping.

Dogs are naturally friendly animals that only want to please their masters. However, they are also easily distracted and very excitable. It can be very hard to hold their attention if there are playing children around, other dogs or cars running by.

They also learn that if you are not nearby, it is easy for them to ignore your command which is why a dog collar is a great training tool. Generally speaking, training collars are tools to teach and reinforce commands like «come», «stay» or «down».

Best Dog Training Collar

However, they can also be used to deter other behaviors like jumping, barking and digging. There are different kinds of collars you can choose for your dog. Some of them deliver citronella spray which dogs do not like, others dogs receive a mild shocking sensation from their collars while there are other collars that tighten to correct behavior.

Our top picks

ProductSizeTypeRangePrice
Herm Sprenger Chrome Plated CollarLargePronged CollarN/ACheck price on Amazon
Guardian Gear Martingale Choke-Style Dog Collar16-24 inchesMartingale CollarN/ACheck price on Amazon
StarMark Training Collar20 inchesPronged CollarN/ACheck price on Amazon
eXtreme Remote Dog Training Collar25 to 100 lbs with adjustable belts from 25-65cmStatic Correction300 m/330 yardsCheck price on Amazon
PetSafe Petite Martingale CollarLargeMartingale CollarN/ACheck price on Amazon
SportDOG Brand FieldTrainerN/AStatic Correction500 yardsCheck price on Amazon
Garmin Delta XC BundleN/AStatic Correction1/2 mileCheck price on Amazon
Dogtra Element Training Collar15 lbs and upStatic Correction1/2 mileCheck price on Amazon

Knowing the Best Types of Dog Collar for Effective Shopping

If you wish to know how to shop for dog training collars, you should definitely know their many variations. For example, pronged collars are designed for dogs that like to pull. They are a good training tool so that your dog does not drag you down the street when you are on a walk.

Static correction collars on the other hand work to correct problems like incessant barking, digging or jumping. They can also be used to train dogs to respond to verbal commands. When shopping, take a look at these types of dog training collars.

Dog Collar

Traditional Dog Collar and Leash

The traditional dog collar and leash has been in use for many years. It is a popular choice among dog owners because they are easy to use and relatively easy to put on your dog. There are no special instructions for using this type of collar since you just put it on your dog clip on the leash and you’re ready for your walk.

You can also put in a name plate with your contact info to make it easier for your dog to go home should he get lost. This type of collar is best used by all types of dogs with no behavioral problems. Generally speaking, you can transition your dog to this type of collar once he has learned to behave.

Dog With Collar And Leash

As a training tool, the traditional dog collar is easy to use and can easily correct problems like pulling. Once your dog is pulling too strongly, just give the leash a strong tug to signal your dog to stop completely or to stop pulling. For this type of behavior modification to work more effectively, you can reward your dog with praises or a treat so that he will know that his behavior is being corrected.

It is important to note that this kind of collar can choke your dog or damage his vocal cords if it is on too tightly or if you tug too hard. To know the correct size for your dog, measure his neck using a tape measure and add two inches to order the proper size.

Measuring Dog Neck

When putting it on, it is important that you can still slip two fingers between your dog’s neck and the collar to ensure that your dog does not choke or cough. Make sure not to tug the leash too tightly when correcting behavior. The idea is to startle your dog not to choke or to damage his vocal cords.

Dog Harness

The dog harness is specifically designed to stop your dog from pulling. The leash attachment ring is located in the center of your dog’s chest. The harness tightens and adds pressure to your dog’s chest if he pulls too hard. This is best used by large dogs like mastiffs and other large dog breeds that can easily overpower their humans when walking.

Dog With Harness

The harness is a good alternative to collars that go around the dog’s neck. This is a good idea if your dog has neck or trachea injuries that resulted in constantly yanking, pulling or fighting the leash. This is because the body harness between their shoulders with a hook attached to the leash. This prevents neck and trachea injuries and gives you better control of your dog during walks.

Other benefits of using a body harness include security. Some dogs dislike any kind of restraint and will fight their way out of a collar. A dog harness is also easier to use during walks because it is less likely to tangle if your dog is excited, jumping or twisting.

Dog With Harness

Remove the harness after an outing. Constant wear can irritate their coat and skin. The material of the harness can also rub and matt their fur.

Halter Type Dog Collar

The halter-type dog collar looks weird because it is basically a collar with dog muzzle. According to the Human Society of the United States it is one of the most humane dog training tools because it does not cause the dog any pain and works better to get your dog to stop pulling.

This type of training tool consists of a strap that goes around the dog’s nose and another one that goes around his neck behind the ear. The leash goes under the halter under the dog’s chin to a ring that’s also attached to the dog’s nose strap.

Halter Dog Leash

When the dog begins to pull, the straps of the halter causes his nose to be turned down towards you making it impossible for him to continue pulling. This works better compared to a choke strap because it is more effective and more comfortable for the dog.

When putting on the halter, it is important to make sure that it fits properly so that it is effective. It should be snug around the head and high behind his ears but still loose around his nose. It is also important for dog owners to remember that the harness-type collar does not prevent your dog from biting. The nose strap is not a muzzle. Your dog can still bite, bark, drink water, eat and pant.

Chain Slip Dog Collar

Also known as the slip collar, choker, choke collar or slip chain, the chain slip collar was one of the first training collars for dogs. Unlike the traditional collar where you preset the tightness, the chain slip collar slides when it comes under pressure and slides again when the pressure is released.

Chain Slip Dog Leash

The more you pull back on the lead and the harder your animal pulls back, the tighter the collar. But because the chain slip slides when the tension slackens, the collar becomes looser as soon as your dog falls back. This reminds your dog to stop pulling on the leash too hard.

This training tool is best used by compliant dogs that are already trained and just needs a reminder to behave. It is not a good choice for dogs that are chronically oppositional because the pressure from the chain can cause injury. This is also not a good choice for dog owners who pull too hard or like to jerk the lead. All it takes is a hard jerk at the right place to cause permanent injury to your dog.

Chain Slip Dog Leash

If you plan to use this type of training device for your dog, have a trainer instruct you on how to properly put it on. Correct use of the collar involves tug-and-release action that tells the dog that a different behavior is desired. It should only be worn during training sessions and should be avoided in dogs with delicate tracheas like Yorkies.

Pronged Collars

Pronged dog collars are similar to chain slip collars but have blunt prongs that protrude inwards from the links. They are designed only as a temporary behavior tool for the most stubborn pullers who do not respond to any other type of collar.

Proper use of the collar is needed so as not to cause injury to the trachea. The collar should sit high above the dog’s neck right behind the ear. When the dog pulls too hard on the lead, the prongs tighten and cause pain to the animal causing him to stop pulling. The ease in tension loosens the prongs reminding teaching the dog to stop pulling.

Prong Collar

Many people do not like using this type of collar on their dogs since it causes pain and can cause injury. The pronged collar should only be used as a temporary training tool and correct usage is very important. Some people prefer to use the halter-type dog collar instead of this type of collar for humane reasons.

Static Correction Collars

Sometimes referred to as shock collars, static correction collars do not actually shock your dogs. They deliver a safe and mild sensation that is not painful and is designed to get your dog’s attention. The static collar is not a punishment tool, rather it is a training tool that allows you to redirect and teach your pet.

The sensation from a static correction collar is akin to the slight tickle you receive when touching a metal doorknob. When set on a low level, it is mild and is usually enough to catch your dog’s attention just like a tap on the shoulder reminds you to pay attention.

Dog Shock Collar

Many people use this type of collar because it addresses many different behaviors and is an effective training tool. With proper use you can teach your dog to stop barking, stay within your backyard, stop digging, chasing, chewing, jumping and many more.

You can also use it to train your dog to respond to verbal commands like «sit», «down» or «stay».  When used properly, the effects of the static correction collar are fast and reliable with no lingering psychological effects.

The static correction collar has 2 main parts: the handheld remote control that you use to send signals and the receiver on the collar that receives radio signals. The collars can be set to different intensities so that it delivers a warning tone, vibration, electronic pulse or a combination of these.

Dog Shock Collar

To make this type of collar effective, you need to include it in a training program so that you can immediately correct behavior even from a distance.

Martingale Collar

A Martingale collar tightens around your dog’s neck when it needs to and loosens when pressure is released. It is similar to a chain slip collar but is specifically designed for dogs with slimmer necks like the greyhounds, whippets, borzoi and wolfhounds.

Martingale Collar

Unlike slip chain collars, Martingale collars are usually made of fabric or soft nylon so it is more comfortable around the dog’s skin and neck. The correction your dog receives with this collar is also gentler compared to pronged collars as it won’t pinch or choke your dog. They are also more stylish and colorful compared to slip chain and pronged collars.

Dogs find this type of collar harder to remove compared to traditional collars. This is because the Martingale has two loops. The first loop looks like a regular collar and goes around your dog’s neck. The second loop is for control when the leash is attached. This makes it harder for him to work the collar free.

There is still a chance of choking when using the Martingale collar particularly if your dog is unsupervised because the D-ring attached to the collar can get caught on something and tighten and choke your dog. In this instance, it is better to use the collar only as a training tool and should be removed and replaced with a regular collar after instruction.

Martingale Collar

Dog owners know that there is nothing worse than a misbehaving dog. A pet that digs up plants, barks incessantly, jumps on guests and exhibit other untrained behavior reflects badly on you. A good way to stop bad behavior is through training with a dog collar. Here are some of the best dog collars you can consider for your dog.

Dog Collar Product Review

If you want to train your dog, a good dog collar can be an effective tool. But choosing a dog collar can be intimidating. Learning about different products and comparing them can help you make an informed decision. Check out our reviews of some of the best products available today.

Herm Sprenger Chrome Plated Collar

Size: LargeHerm Sprenger Chrome Plated Collar

Type: Pronged Collar

Features: High quality chrome plated steel, recommended by trainers

Range: 23 inches

Best use: Stubborn pullers

Built for safety, strength and durability, the Herm Sprenger Chrome Plated Collar is a pronged-type collar that can train even the most stubborn puller. It is made from high-quality chrome plated steel that comes in different sizes.

This pronged training collar from Pet Supply Imports has a Quick Release feature with HS Scissor Snap for fast release of your dog. The collar is designed so that pressure is spread evenly around the neck to prevent neck and trachea injury and damage.

There is also a snap so that you can easily fasten the collar around your dog’s neck. The D-ring is located on top of the collar where you can fasten the lead for better control of your dog.

Many dog owners will be hesitant to buy this product because it looks like a medieval torture device. But with proper training and correct use, you can see great results using this training collar. Many dog owners reported seeing an improved behavior in their dogs particularly when walking them.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
 CONS:
  • Looks painful
  • Not for owners that jerk or tug too hard

Related: the Herm Sprenger Prong Collar is similar to the above mentioned product but is from Herm Sprenger. It has similar features and design but this product is a bit cheaper.

Check the price on Amazon

Guardian Gear Martingale Choke-Style Dog Collar

Size: 16-24 inchesGuardian Gear Martingale

Type: Martingale Collar

Features: Safe design, more control, wide range of sizes

Best use: Canine training

Get more control and more style with the Guardian Gear Martingale Choke-Style Dog Collar. This training collar from guardian gear has a safety design that features limited closure to prevent your dog from choking or injuring your pet.

The collar size adjusts as pressure is applied to the leash but does not fully tighten to prevent choking and injuries to the trachea, making it an ideal tool for training.

The product also features an easy to adjust collar so that it fits your dog properly and comfortably. The material is durable nylon so it does not chafe your dog’s skin and it comes in various sizes and fun colors for more personalization.

The adjustable sizing of this product makes it ideal to use for different dog breeds of different sizes including puppies. This product from Guardian Gear is ideal for dog owners looking for a gentle and effective way to train their dogs since it works by adjusting in size as you apply pressure to the leash signaling your dog to slow down without choking him.

To ensure that it works properly, dog owners should know how to use this type of collar for training. Owners should also measure their dog’s neck properly to ensure proper fit and prevent injuries. Make sure that the collar is not too tight and to avoid tugging too hard on the leash during training.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Harder to take off compared to traditional collars
 CONS:
  • Not so easy to put on as it does not have a buckle. You need to slip it on your dog’s neck

Related: For everyday walks, use the Guardian Gear Pet Lead Leash. It is made with high quality nylon for durability and style.

Check the price on Amazon

StarMark Training Collar

Size: 21 inchesStarMark Training Collar

Type: Pronged

Features: High-strength link design, links can be removed or added

Best use: Training, behavior aid

Train your dog effectively using the StarMark Training Collar. This is a pronged collar with a  patented humane design certified by behavior and training specialists at Starmark Academy that develop dog behavior tools. The pronged, linked design is gentle but effective in enforcing pack leadership. It helps to prevent pulling and lunging behavior in your dogs.

It is made from high strength polymer for durability so that you can train any size or breed of dog. It features a linked watch band design for easy sizing adjustment. It also features a quick-release snap for easy release and comfort of your dog.

This collar comes in small (15 inches) and large sizes for better fit. However, you can remove or add links to ensure a snug fit for your own dog. At first this device looks scary but once it is on your dog, it looks flat, just like a traditional collar.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to put on
  • Looks flat when put on
  • Buy additional links for custom fit
 CONS:
  • Looks scary
  • Hard to use for small dog breeds

Check the price on Amazon

eXtreme Remote Dog Training Collar

Size: 25 to 100 lbs with adjustableWIFI Collar
belts from 25-65cm

Type: Static correction collar

Range: 300 m/330 yards

Features: 4 modes, easy to use, 300m remote control range

Best use: Training, behavior aid

Train your dog with easy and effective intensity levels of stimulation using the eXtreme Remote Dog Training Collar. It features 4 modes: static shock, vibration, beep and light to correct or train your dog easily. The control has an easy to read backlight LCD screen so that you can easily see the stimulation level.

This training tool is very easy to use. Just follow the directions on the manual and you’re ready to go. It comes with 1 remote control with 2 collar receivers and is water resistant so you can continue training even on rainy days. The collar will be able to fit dogs that weigh between 25 to 100 lbs with an adjustable belt from 25-65cm.

Enjoy training even if you’re far away from your dogs. The product has an operational range of 300m or 330 yards. It has 3,000 identity codes to prevent conflict with other dog collars. The Advanced RF434Mhz Technology boosts range up to 330 yards so it is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

The remote dog training collar is safe to use. It delivers a beep and then a vibration so that you can correct your dog’s behavior easily. Over time your dog will begin to recognize the beep so it stops the bad behavior so the device does not deliver the «shocking» sensation. It is very subtle and very mild, just enough to get your dog’s attention.

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • Long range
  • Gentle vibration
  • Affordable
 CONS:
  • Some dogs can slip out of the collar and shred it to bits

Related: The Petrainer Dog Shock Collar is a good alternative for its 0-100 Levels of customization and 100% waterproof receivers.

Check the price on Amazon

PetSafe Petite Martingale Collar

Size: LargePetSafe Petite Martingale Collar

Type: Martingale collar

Range: N/A

Features: Comfortable, high-quality nylon

Best use: Training, behavior aid

For dog owners who do not want to use a choke collar, the PetSafe Petite Martingale Collar is a good alternative. It is made from high-grade nylon material so dogs are more comfortable and is recommended by vets and trainers for daily wear.

The PetSafe brand has been around since 1991 and is one of the leading manufacturers of pet behavior and lifestyle products. This collar is a premier collar that that tightens as you apply pressure to prevent your dog from pulling on the lead or from escaping. It is safe to use thanks to the limited closure that prevents the collar from being too tight to avert choking.

Unlike other collars, this product is best used behind the ears to prevent neck and trachea damage. For a snug fit, measure the area behind your dog’s ears. This ensures a better fitting collar that not only trains pets but also makes it hard for them to remove the collar.

Once you tug the leash or when your dog pulls too hard, the collar exerts gentle pressure so he does not get hurt wearing it. The collar comes in different colors so you can select a collar that suits you and your dog.

This type of collar is safe for dogs but it is best to remove it after training. This is because the D-ring can snag on something and cause your dog injury.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Color varieties
 CONS:
  • No snap on feature. You need to slip it on your dog which can be harder depending on how well behaved your dog is
  • D-ring can snag onto something

Related: The PetSafe Leash is made with durable nylon and is easy to put on and off. It should be a perfect match to the featured collar.

Check the price on Amazon

SportDOG Brand FieldTrainer

Type: Static CorrectionSportDOG Brand FieldTrainer

Range: 500 yards

Features: 500-yard range, rechargeable batteries, waterproof

Best use: Training, behavior aid

The seven levels of static stimulation of the SportDOG Brand FieldTrainer can help train your dogs using vibration and tone. It is best used for training dogs in the yard, field, while hunting or at home. It features the SD-425 which allows you to choose instantly between 7 levels of low/medium simulation for gentle guidance and training.

For people with more dogs, this product can be expanded to 3 dogs with the purchase of additional collars (SDR-AF). The DryTek transmitter is waterproof and is submersible up to 25 feet so you can train outdoors if you want to. The device uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can last 50-70 hours on a single charge. The product is best used by dogs 8 pounds and higher.

Like most static correction collars, the FieldTrainer 425 works by delivering stimulation every time you want to change your dog’s behavior. The vibration is harmless and not painful so it is safe to use for most dog breeds and dog sizes.

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • Expandable up to 3 dogs
  • 7 different levels of simulation
  • Rechargeable batteries
 CONS:
  • Expensive

Check the price on Amazon

Garmin Delta XC Bundle

Type: Static CorrectionGarmin Delta XC Bundle

Range: 1/2 mile range

Features: 18 levels of stimulation, 3 training configuration, half-mile range

Best use: Training, behavior aid

Give your dog 8 levels of momentary and continuous stimulation with the Garmin Delta XC Bundle. It is a simple and effective way to train your dog.

It features 3-button handheld controller unit with easy-to-read LCD display, 18 levels of stimulation plus tone and vibration, changeable/replaceable contact points and allows you to train up to 3 dogs with additional purchase of dog devices.

To train your dog, this dog device uses Tri-Tronics technology to give you more control. The changeable contact points allow you to adjust points according to the most appropriate part for your dog’s coat. It also has improved stimulation levels for more effective training at home or in the field.

The 1/2 mile range for this dog training device is decent and allows you to supervise your dog at a distance.

The device has rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in both handheld and dog device. The latter has a water rating of IPX7 so it can be immersed in up to 1 meter of meter for up to 30 minutes.

PROS:

  • Good range
  • Easy to use
  • 18 stimulation levels
 CONS:
  • Very expensive

Check the price on Amazon

Dogtra Element Training Collar

Size: 15 lbs and upDogtra 300M Element Dog Trainer

Type: Static correction

Range: ½ mile

Features: Precise stimulation levels, waterproof, designed for smaller dogs

Best use: Training smaller dogs

The Dogtra Element Training Collar is designed specifically for dogs as small as 15 lbs. It features precise stimulation levels (0-100) for successful behavior management of mild mannered dogs that do not require high levels of stimulation.

The product has a good range of ½ miles and features rechargeable batteries with a fully waterproofed receiver and transmitter. Purchase includes customized bone shaped dog tag.

Functions include: nick (momentary) and constant stimulation. It also has a non-stimulating vibration (pager) function so you can «call» your dog when he is out of hearing range.

For better control, the rheostat dial allows gradual increases in stimulation with no jumps between levels (0-100).  The device is expandable up to 2 dogs with additional dog device purchase.

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • Pager function
  • Precise stimulation levels
  • Custom dog tag
 CONS:
  • Very expensive
  • No LCD display on controller

Related: The Dogtra ARC Wetlands Camo has ¾ mile range, slim design and up to 127 levels for a gradual adjustment in stimulation. Best used for dogs with medium to easy temperaments.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

Dog training calls for commitment and consistency. A dog collar is only a tool that you can use to reinforce and teach good behavior to your dog. A good dog training collar is not only effective, it should also be easy to use and can correct your dog’s behavior quickly.

Dog Collar

To choose a good training collar, take a look at your dog and observe his behavior, then ask yourself what behavior you want to correct. Knowing which behaviors need correcting and knowing the size of your dog can make it easier for you to choose a collar.

Before buying a training collar, make sure you know how to use it correctly. When in doubt, ask the help of your veterinarian or consult a professional. The right techniques can make dog training effective, safe and fast. Which dog collar are you going to buy? Tell us by leaving your comment below.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

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