You’ve probably tried every type of tool and product in the pet industry when it comes to training your dog. Many products fail to deliver long-term results, while others simply don’t work to curb specific behaviors that puppies form.
Fortunately, shock collars have proven to be effective in training all ages, sizes, and breeds of dogs. Whether you want your dog to sit or heel, a shock collar will be useful to purchase and use on your pet as they learn various commands and improve their behavior.
You can use a shock collar on puppies that are at least 14 to 15 weeks of age according to Breeding Business. However, some dogs need to wait till they are at least 24 weeks (6 months) old before starting shock collar training. The exact age is determined by your dog’s temperament, ability to learn commands, and intelligence for understanding the shock collar cue.
The collar should be used in addition to positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and reward-based training.
Quick Facts – E-collars and shock collars keep getting better and better. Overall the market has grown more than 150% from 2016 through 2021 (source). According to Sgt. Rod Hampton, Canine Unit Supervisor of the Round Rock (Texas) Police Department Canine Unit, the most effective use of e-collars is controlling dogs at a distance (when verbal commands are harder to hear) and preventing accidental bites (source).
Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Table of Contents
- How to Train Your Puppy With a Shock Collar
- How to Introduce a Shock Collar to a Dog
- When Is A Dog Old Enough For A Shock Collar?
- Benefits of Shock Collar Training
- Shock Collar Side Effects
- Can You Use a Shock Collar on a Puppy?
- What’s the Best Shock Collar for Puppies?
How to Train Your Puppy With a Shock Collar
Training a new puppy with a shock collar is necessary to help them learn new behaviors and to avoid habits that can be harmful to their environment or other animals in the home. (1) You can train your puppy with a shock collar by taking a few steps, which includes:
- When making commands, activate the shock collar. Once the dog begins to return to you, stop stimulating the device.
- Re-active the collar if the dog becomes distracted and runs in the opposite direction again.
- Start on a low level of stimulation.
- Keep the dog on a leash while teaching them specific commands and behaviors.
- Activating the stimulation each time you call the dog’s name will teach the pet what you’re communicating. It can also be activated when the dog begins to bark.
We recommend this shock collar for puppy training.
How to Introduce a Shock Collar to a Dog
Training your dog with a shock collar can allow them to learn which behaviors are accepted and other types of behavior that you don’t permit as they grow and develop from a puppy into an adult dog.
You’ll need to introduce your dog to the collar as a tool that offers guidance. The tiny stimulation that they feel will teach them how to avoid tugging while going on walks or even to avoid crossing certain boundaries on your property.
Teach the dog what stimulation means because it’s a language that they need to learn. Put the dog on a leash and begin with light stimulation. You’ll notice the dog will have a slight turn of the head while also turning the leash slightly to begin training the pet.
You can then take the dog off of the leash and continue to use the collar to communicate different commands like to come, go to their bed, or sit. In the beginning stages, the dog can learn to return to you each time they feel the stimulation.
Consistency is key in helping your dog learn various commands and understand which behavior is not allowed by their owner. They’ll quickly learn not to chew furniture, bark excessively, or run away, which can allow you to form a stronger relationship with your four-legged friend.
A Special Note from veterinary spokesperson and registered veterinarian Dr Corinne Wigfall,
How to use shock collars for training effectively…
Training your dog can be a long, slow, challenging process. Patience,
commitment, and positivity are needed to successfully train a dog. Training
should be calm, and full of positive reinforcement, avoiding any cruelty or
physical punishment. There are many different training methods available.
Low-stress, force-free methods that utilize positive reinforcement and
reward-based training are the most welfare-friendly, and effective ways to
train a dog without distress, pain, or fear. Training methods that
deliberately uses pain, or punishment to stop, control or prevent an
unwanted behaviour is compromising the dog’s wellbeing and causing
Shock collars are electric devices that utilise an electric shock through
the dog’s collar on points of the dog’s neck. The shock is used as a
deterrent or punishment to prevent undesired behaviours by causing a
negative association with that behaviour, which in turn results in a
reduction in that behaviour being performed out of fear of the punishment
Some shock collars are remote-controlled so the human user can decide when
to apply the punishment in accordance with the undesired behaviour. They
can also be activated via a dog’s location, i.e. they are shocked when they
go outside a garden boundary in the hope to stop them from wandering.
Collars can also be triggered via certain behaviours, such as barking.
If you HAVE to use a shock collar, use as little as possible and at the
lowest possible setting is advised.
Steffi Trott and Dr Corinne Wigfall (https://spiritdogtraining.com)
When Is A Dog Old Enough For A Shock Collar?
It’s important to know the appropriate age when dogs can begin to use the shock collars to ensure it’s used correctly and effectively without causing any emotional stress. According to Breeding Business, it’s acceptable to use a shock collar on puppies that are at least eight to 10 weeks old. However, it’s recommended to only go ahead in exceptional cases.
Puppies benefit the most from shock collar training because they’re like a child that has a learning curve and needs to be taught the basic concepts before they begin to form new habits and listen to commands well. The collar should be used in addition to positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and reward-based training.
Benefits of Shock Collar Training
Shock collar training continues to be a common method for teaching pets commands due to how effective it’s proven to be over time.
The top benefits for shock collar puppy training include:
1. Communicate and train at longer distances
Shock collars let you send a signal to your dog even when they are too far away to clearly hear you. That helps teach them the boundaries of your property or to return to you even if they can’t see you.
2. Cheaper than building a real fence
You can use invisible fences that use shock collars to define an invisible boundary for your property. These are far cheaper to install than building a true fence and won’t incur issues with your neighbors.
3. Reduces aggression and other serious behaviors
For violent and aggressive behaviors that need to go a well-used shock collar training program can help. This is high-level training though and you’ll want to get trained yourself how to do it. See our article on how to train an aggressive dog using a shock collar.
4. Better Distraction Training
Like the distance benefit mentioned above. Using the stimulation from the collar helps you communicate with your dog even if they are in a loud urban environment or are distracted by other animals nearby.
5. Train Without Your Dog Getting Fat
Most treat-based training can lead to unhealthy weight gain in your dog. Using a vibration or shock collar gives you another option to train them without putting on the pounds.
6. Faster Training (Easier to Connect Trigger to Command)
Typical treat training requires you to give the treat to reward a behavior. If the time between the treat and the behavior is too great then your dog will not connect the two and set in the desired behavior is delayed.
With a collar, the signal is instant so you can get an instant connection between wanted behaviors and commands.
7. Automated Bark Training
There are bark training dog collars that can effectively train your puppy to not bark at the door or other distractions even while you’re away. These must be used according to the instructions and take some initial setup work to make sure your dog knows how to turn off the collar stimulation by not barking. After the initial setup though this can save you weeks trying to get your dog to stop barking at the door whenever you get a package or someone knocks.
See our article and training on bark collars.
We recommend this bark collar which you can pickup off Amazon.
Shock Collar Side Effects
Like any training device, shock collars can be abused by their handlers, which can affect the emotional well-being of the dog. (2) Make it a point to go at a slow pace and take your time with training the puppy to ensure they become accustomed to the low-level stimulation.
Puppies need time to process everything, which makes it necessary to remain patient to avoid prompting stress with your pet. If they begin to develop aggressive behavior, take a break from using the shock collar.
Can You Use a Shock Collar on a Puppy?
Shock collars can be used on puppies when they are at least 10 weeks old. They must be used correctly and with proper training. They are not meant to be used as a form of punishment but can be used as a deterrent to negative or unsafe behavior, according to Canine Journal.
The low-level simulation will teach your pet to stop certain habits like chewing, wandering away, or acting aggressively. According to Bark Post, the shock is not painful but merely grabs the puppy’s attention to correct certain behaviors.
The intensity of the collar can also be controlled to ensure that it is used as a warning rather than to harm the animal. They can even function when you’re not present if you have an electrical fence present on your property.
The dog will learn the boundaries that they need to stay within to prevent them from escaping when the collar emits a small but gentle shock. Ultimately, this can protect their safety and reduce the risk of getting hit by a car or encountering an aggressive pet in the neighborhood.
You can have peace of mind knowing that shock collars don’t cause any physical or lasting harm. There are several levels of reinforcement and intensity. Using a shock collar doesn’t make you a bad parent, but instead helps your dog to remain safe and trained to ensure that you can own a pet that respects you and others around them.
If you want to learn more about shock collar training for puppies, contact us today to obtain more information from one of our experts.
What’s the Best Shock Collar for Puppies?
What if your dog has long hair? Then you’ll need something different. The best overall shock collar for puppies with long hair was made by Dog Care. You can read more about that in our article on the best shock collars for dogs with thick fur or long hair.
My name is Ken and I’m one of the staff writers at Petloverguy.com. I’ve cared for pets most of my life starting with hamsters, turtles, and snakes. Then moving up to parakeets, guinea pigs, and even ducks.
I currently live with two yorkies and a chihuahua mix.