How To Train A Dog Not To Run Away With A Shock Collar (Solved!)

There a variety of ways to teach your dog to come using an electronic collar or shock collar. We cover another method to train “come” in this article (scroll to the end of that article).

This is another method of recall training.

  1. Teach your dog to recognize the collar signal just like they would a clicker – This is the same as clicker training. Set the collar to the sound function. Stand next to your dog with a bag of treats. Press the remote transmitter button to start the sound function. Did that get your dog’s attention? Give them a treat with praise. Repeat this till they learn that the sound function means for them to pay attention to you.
  2. Get a friend to stand 20 feet away from you with a bag of treats. They will be a distraction.
  3. Have the friend show the treat – The distractions begin!
  4. Basic training – As soon as your dog walks away say “Come” then press the remote button, pause, wait for a response (even just your dog pausing), then treat and praise. It’s key for them to be close at first.
  5. Practice – Repeat over and over letting them get further away before pressing the button, pausing for a turnaround, treat and praise.
  6. Keep the training sessions short – 15 to 20 minutes at a time no more than a few times a day.


Will A Shock Collar Stop A Dog From Running Away?

Yes, a shock collar can help you train your dog to stop running away, to learn the command “come”, and to return to you while your hiking or walking together and the dog is off-leash. No, the shock collar by itself will not stop your dog from running away without training. 

dog with shock collar and prong collar on snow

What Is A Dog Shock Collar?

A dog shock collar or electronic collar is a training tool. It can be used similar to one would use clicker training with positive reinforcement.

red orange shock collar closeup of prongs

It can also be used as part of negative reinforcement training where a gentle but unpleasant signal is started during a bad behavior then turned off within a few seconds after the behavior changes.

In general, studies have found that positive reinforcement training has been more effective in reducing aggression in dogs than negative reinforcement training. Sadly, there’s not a lot of studies directly using shock collars and other training commands and behaviors.

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Another use of a dog shock collar or cat shock collar is in combination with a wireless, invisible, or underground fence. In that instance, there’s either a buried wire around the property or a small transmitter in the house that creates an electric field boundary.

When the shock collar gets close to that boundary the sound function, beep, vibration, or electric shock is triggered in the collar. This can be used to train your dog or cat to stay in your yard.

Wireless fences have also been used to keep cats or dogs away from certain rooms, doggie doors (to keep cats inside), furniture, or countertops. These utilize the same transmitter but it has a very small adjustable range of 2 feet up to 20 feet. It’s designed to keep your dog or cat out of that area instead of inside it.

You can read more about that in our article on shock collar boundary training for cats. The same setup works for dogs as well.

How Does A Shock Collar Work?

Shock collars create a sound, vibration, or electric shock in the collar receiver. This stimulus is triggered either by a remote with a button that you control or via an automatic system.

chihuahua with cute blue shock collar

The automatic system is most commonly used with bark or meow collars. Those work by sensing vibration or sound coming from the throat.

When automatic collars recognize the vibration or sound signal they then emit a beep or sound function. If barking or meowing continues they then move up to the vibration function to get your pet’s attention.

Most automatic bark collars stop at the vibration setting though some can also induce an electric shock.

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New electronic collars usually have a safety feature built-in where they automatically stop the sound function, vibration, or electric shock even if the dog keeps barking or the cat keeps meowing.

This safety feature is also often present in remote-activated collars. It prevents the trainer from over-correcting a behavior and causing pain or anxiety in the dog.

How Do Vibrating Collars Work?

Vibration collars work the same as shock collars. They usually have both a sound function or beep as well as the vibration function. They do not have an electric shock function.

Like electric shock collars, they are either remove activated using a remote transmitter or they are automatically activated in a bark or meow collar.

How Does a Shock Collar Guide Your Pet?

A shock collar does not guide your pet. You must actively train your pet to understand the beep, vibration, or shock signal and how they should respond to it.

By following the instructions above you can teach your dog to use the sound, vibration, or electric shock as a signal to come back to you after they are called.

How Do You Teach Your Dog Using A Shock Collar?

Basic shock collar training can be done as part of positive reinforcement training or negative reinforcement training.

With positive reinforcement training, you’ll use the shock collar as a form of a clicker. An example of that training can be found in the instructional above. Another example can be found in our article discussing if shock collars work.

The more common form of shock collar training is used as part of negative reinforcement training. You can see an example of how to do that at the end of our article on negative reinforcement training. We cover how to use negative reinforcement shock collar training at low intensity to teach the command “come.

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What Else Can You Teach Your Dog Using A Shock Collar?

Shock collar training can be combined with positive or negative reinforcement training to cover any command or habit.

It works well if you as a trainer have been trained to use this tool.

Common commands trained with shock collar training include:

  • Come
  • Heel
  • Sit
  • Lie Down
  • Down
  • Stop
  • Fetch
  • Some specialized military or police units will also teach attack and other forms of aggression