How to Use An Electronic Dog Training Collar? (Like a Pro)

Last Updated on September, 2023

Are you having a hard time training your furry friend? You aren’t alone!

Whether new to the task or a professional trainer, we’ve all struggled with teaching our dogs new tricks. To help with that, humans have come up with quite a few tricks themselves.

This includes using various things and tools to their advantage while training. One such tool includes the dog training collar. These come in many shapes and sizes, and they have many names.

There’s the e-collar, shock collar, and much more. But what’s more important than the name and shape is how they are used.

Don’t get started with them straight away! There’s a lot of information to learn about how to use a training collar. We’ve done our fair share of research to prepare this guide so you can learn said information!

Here are the 3 key points from this article:

  1. You will need to get familiar with the collar before using it on your dog, including testing it on yourself first.
  2. It is important to gradually introduce your dog to the collar over the course of a week or so.
  3. You will need to revisit old training routines with your dog while wearing the collar before moving on to new tricks.

TLDR: If you’re considering using a dog training collar, there’s a lot you need to know first. Make sure to do your research and familiarize yourself with the collar before using it. It’s also important to find the right settings for your dog, and to revisit old training routines with the collar before moving on to new tricks.

What You Need Before Starting Training?

Dog Wearing Training Collar

Before a dog trainer can start working on training, they should know what’s needed to get started in the first place. It makes sense. So, here’s what you’ll be needing on your journey to learn how to use a dog training collar.

  • Get someone with experience to supervise you during the initial stages. Just about all dog training collars use a shock feature. It would help if you got someone more familiar with these devices to supervise you as you learn how to use them.
  • An open area to learn more complicated tricks. The more room you have to work with, the better. Make sure that this area is free of any distractions. Training is always more efficient when you know there’s nothing to steal your dog’s attention away from you.
  • Get a lot of treats for the dog you’re training. If you’re going to use a shock collar to reprimand dogs when they do something terrible, you should also use treats to reward them when they do something good.
  • Make sure you have some patience. This is the only thing on here that you can’t buy. Instead, you’re going to have to work on it yourself. Never let your frustrations get the better of you, and be patient while you teach your dog.
  • Develop realistic and healthy training goals that your dog can live up to. This will give you an idea of what things you need to work on and how to work on them.
  • Last but not least, make sure you get your hands on the best e collar out there. This is no easy task, as there are lots of options to choose from. But we’re here to help with that too!

Worth reading: Why is My Dog Shock Collar Stopped Working?

How to Find the Best Dog Training Collar?

Dog with Collar

While looking for the best dog training collars out there, the first thing you’ll need to keep in mind is safety. Dogs are our best friends, and we don’t hurt friends, do we?

Make sure to remember that on your search for your new dog training collar. Only get a shock collar that provides a humane stimulation level. This refers to e collar stimulation that won’t hurt your dog at all.

Next up are all the most obvious things, such as size and design. We all hate wearing clothes that are too tight. Well, a small collar is countless times worse.

Clothes will only annoy you, but a tight collar will start to harm and suffocate your dog. But that doesn’t mean it should be loose either. A proper fit is essential. It would be best to get an e collar that you can tighten around your dog’s neck at will. 

Adjust it to the point where only two of your fingers can fit on the inner side.

The next thing to keep in mind is the way you’ll be training your dog. Different types of collars are better for specific types of tasks. Additionally, some collars also have more range and longer-lasting batteries.

Depending on where and how you wish to train your dog, develop a checklist and do some research. Then, get a training collar that ticks all the boxes on your list!

So, now that you know the basics of finding the best dog training collar, the next step is learning about using it. That said, here’s our guide on how to use a training collar on your dog.

Read our complete guide on how to choose the best e-collar.

Learning How to Use Electric Dog Training Collars

Electric dog collars aren’t something that you or your dog can get used to in one day. However, there’s a lot that goes into working with e collars. If you’re looking to train your dog with one, here’s what you’ll need to know!

1. Learn More About the Collar

Dog & Dog Collars

Now here’s what you might be thinking; “All the boring details are out of the way and I can finally get started with the fun part.” But, unfortunately, if that’s the case, we’ve got some bad news. Learning more about it is crucial before you can test and play with a collar for the first time.

This is because of how different each collar is. Take your phone, laptop, or computer, for example. It performs the same functions as any other device of the same kind, but how it does so is very different, right?

In the same way, e collars of different models and from different brands are distinct too. 

They have unique capabilities and features. As such, you’ll have to learn all about the ones that your new collar has.

Additionally, make sure to check out the packaging and the manual. These come with extra information about specific shock collars and how they’re used. 

You’ll be able to find a detailed guide on how to use yours in this manual. Additionally, it should also have some insight for beginners. This includes tips for how trainers can begin using the device on their dog.

You’re going to be subjecting your dog to static stimulation, so make sure to test it on your first as well. A great way to learn about the collar is to familiarise yourself with the shock.

Go from the lowest stimulation level and work your way up. When the stimulation is noticeable and feels bothersome, that’s where you should set your limit.

Never go beyond this limit. You should only consider increasing the stimulation if you’re sure that it’d be better for getting the dog’s attention and that it won’t hurt him.

2. Introduce Your Dog to the Collar

Now that you’re well acquainted with the electronic dog training collar, you’ll have to let your dog do the same. But, as a dog trainer, you must avoid one common mistake during this.

A lot of people get shock collars and start trying them out on their dogs immediately. But, unfortunately, this isn’t good for the dog’s temperament. He’ll get annoyed and start to hate the tool. (1)

Instead, only use it as you’d use a regular collar. Wrap it around the dog’s neck for a week, with occasional breaks in between. Make sure that your dog understands that this collar will be a part of his routine now.

Check out the video below to know about introducing a training collar to a dog:

Once that’s done, dogs are ready for the remote training collar. But, before we start using the collar properly, there’s one more step to take care of.

3. Find the Right Settings

Dog Training Collar

We already mentioned finding the best stimulation level, and now we’ll be going a bit more into detail. In most cases, whatever level bothers you will bother the dog.

But you should still test it out on the dog, too, before deciding on a level. Put the electric collar on your dog. Please keep it on the lowest setting before pressing the stimulation button. It’s unlikely that this level will make your dog act.

Now try all the rest, working your way up. Do so until you see a noticeable change in the dog’s reaction. This change usually means that there’s some discomfort. (2)

This ultimately means that the dog’s collar is doing its job. Of course, we never want our cute little friend to be uncomfortable, but it’s a must when using an e collar correctly.

Some handheld remote training collars might also have different modes. You can experiment with these as well. For example, vibration modes and beeping modes provide much less discomfort but are great for making the dog learn.

Try these different modes on your pup and note his reaction to them. Note how your dog responds compared to other dogs. If he seems less phased, then the shock is your best option. But feel free to try these if you think that they’ll work on your puppy.

4. Reinforce Old Training Routines

You probably got your dog the e-collar because you wished to take your training to the next level, isn’t that right? Well, there’s still one thing left to do before you can get there. This means revisiting some old training drills you’ve already practiced.

Look at it this way. If your dog isn’t trained to handle the basic routines with remote training collars, he won’t do a good job at new routines, will he? That’s why revisiting old ones is essential.

Wrap the remote training collar around the dog’s neck and take him out for a walk. Use the stimulation button whenever he walks well out of line, displays aggressive behavior, or starts barking.

Being shocked at bad behavior will start to scare him. This will get him to stop barking, and he’ll listen to what you have to say more often. (3)

Once that’s done, work on things like the sit command and others. If your puppy refuses to follow basic commands when asked, make use of the stimulation button.

For example, press the stimulation button for correction if you’re trying to practice the sit command, but the little guy won’t behave. Nevertheless, it’s a great way to teach him what the remote training collar is there for.

The point of this whole step is to let your dog adjust to working with the training tool. Then, once you’ve gone through all the routines that come to mind, move on to the next step!

5. Work on Teaching New Things

Dog Training Collar

The next step is using the remote training collar to teach the little guy some new tricks. Make the dog wear the collar and work on things like “bark on command.”

There is one problem with this, though. You’ll have to use the shock as a correction method whenever your dog doesn’t bark when you want him to. 

If other people kept pinching you when you didn’t do something for them, you’d take it to heart and get annoyed, wouldn’t you? So why would it be any different for dogs, who are living beings just like us?

Some puppies might start to get annoyed and develop a hatred for the remote trainer. We’ve researched and found that some pups even start to fear the remote trainer, which negatively impacts their growth. It also impacts their relationship with their owner. (4)

While an electronic collar is humane enough, other training methods can serve you better. An example of this is positive reinforcement, which uses words, reaffirming, and reward-based actions to train dogs instead.

But, if you’re aware of this and still wish to continue, move on to other training commands as well. For example, use the electronic collar to teach him how to play fetch. Stimulate him whenever he doesn’t fetch for you, and he’ll give in.

Similarly, please work with your pet to teach him all kinds of other tricks. This includes teaching him how to stand on his hind legs, cleaning up after himself, and other things of the sort. 

Just ensure that you’re using the collar correctly during all this. Correct use is essential, as you might end up causing some pain to the dog otherwise.

Recommended to read: How to Clean & Wash a Dog Collar?


That’s a wrap for our guide on how to use a remote collar to ensure that the dog responds to your commands.

There’s always the option of using positive reinforcement training if you aren’t a fan of discomforting the pup. You encourage them and avoid the risk of any pain.

This is great for both the trainer and the dog. When used correctly, this method is a great option as well. But, if you’re still bent on using the remote collar to train your dog, we recommend at least getting a professional trainer to help out.

They’ll help you protect the pup from any hurtful situations and teach you how to use the collar perfectly. It’s a much better option than going about it alone. Whether you decide to enlist their help or not is up to you in the end.

Either way, we hope that the information shared in our guide above was able to help you out! If you have any queries, feel free to ask in the comments. Consider sharing the guide with others, too, so more dog owners can learn just as you have!




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Thomas Villalpando is the main author of IPet Guides. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. You can find more about him here.

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