Dog owners and trainers use a variety of different tools to help teach and train four-footers, including various collars.
Shock collars, which produce a small amount of electricity to help get your dog’s attention or correct a problematic behavior, are one of the most popular styles, but they aren’t the best options for many dogs and their owners.
Some dogs are simply too sensitive for shock collars, and many owners reject them on principle alone. In such cases, collars that vibrate, rather than shock, may provide a worthy option.
There are a couple of different types of vibrating collars, but they all work in essentially the same manner. The collars typically attach via a rubber or fabric collar, which connects with a buckle, a set of snaps, or Velcro.
The vibrating module attaches to the collar and usually features a pair of rubber or metal prongs, which contact your dog’s neck.
Many vibrating collars can also be used to trigger an audible tone or a static shock, but others only feature a vibration mode. A few units can be triggered by a hand-held remote, but most models (primarily those of the “anti-barking” variety) work automatically when they sense your dog trying to vocalize.
Note that some trainers contend that vibrating collars should only be used to get your dog’s attention, rather than to issue corrections. However, other trainers take the opposite stance and encourage their use as correction tools.
Just be sure to learn as much as you can about the devices, and try to make the best choice for you and your pooch. If you are currently working with a trainer, it is probably wisest to embrace the view he or she takes.
The following five vibrating training collars represent the best options available, and you should be able to find one that will work well for you and your pup among them.
About: The Dogwidgets E-Collar is a remotely controlled vibrating collar, designed to help you get your dog’s attention or deliver corrections. These collars are actually sold in pairs, but they can be individually activated with a single remote control.
Features: Dogwidgets E-Collars are flexible training tools, which allow owners to manually trigger three different types of vibration via three different sets of buttons (one set operates each collar). One button produces a single vibration, another button causes the collar to vibrate twice, and a third button initiates three separate vibrations.
The collars feature adjustable straps, which can be adjusted between 12 and 20 inches, and they are suitable for dogs weighing between 15 and 100 pounds. These collars rely on a single, rechargeable 9-volt battery, thereby eliminating the need for replacements.
Additionally, the Dogwidgets E-Collar is backed by the manufacturer’s 6-month warranty, which gives owners the ability to purchase with confidence. Note that Dogwidgets E-Collars are water-resistant, yet they should not be considered waterproof or submersible.
About: The iPets Training Collar is essentially a conventional shock collar, except that you can use it to trigger audible beeps or vibrations instead of a static shock if you like. The iPets Collar has an effective range of 330 yards, which means that it is a great option for owners who train their dogs in wide-open spaces.
Features: Unlike many other collars, which require you to press a button multiple times to increase the intensity of the deterrent, the iPets Collar uses an intensity dial instead. You simply adjust the dial to the desired level and then press the beep, shock, or vibration button to trigger the stimulus. The iPets Training Collar also comes with a 5-year replacement warranty, which will give owners peace of mind when making the purchase.
The iPets Training Collar is a rechargeable unit, which allows you to recharge both the collar and the remote control at the same time. The collar (receiver) is 100% waterproof, and the remote control is water resistant, which enables you to use this product in inclement weather.
The iPets Training Collar adjusts to fit most dogs and is suitable for those as small as 10 pounds. Each remote control will work with up to two collars (sold separately).
About: The DogRook No Bark Collar automatically detects your dog’s barking and begins vibrating to get them to stop. The unit emits an audible “warning” tone after your dog’s first and second bark; after a third bark, the unit begins vibrating. The intensity of the vibration climbs until your dog barks for a 7th time, before it pauses, resets and begins the cycle again.
Features: The DogRook No Bark Collar comes with a lot of neat features and benefits, including reflective stripes to improve your dog’s visibility in low light, and two different sized probe sets, which help you attain a good fit for your pooch. The DogRook Collar also comes with two different face plates (one blue, one orange).
The collar is powered by two included 6-volt batteries, and a second set of batteries comes with your purchase. Additionally, you’ll receive a free training eBook to help you make the best use of the collar. Note that this collar is specifically designed for small to medium-sized dogs,
About: The BARKLO Anti-Bark Collar is an automatic vibrating collar, but unlike many other models, it does not feature prongs (which may irritate some dogs more than others). The BARKLO does not shock your dog at all, but it does produce audible tones when triggered, to help provide multi-sensory stimuli.
Features: The BARKLO Anti-Bark Collar features an 8-step cycle to tailor the level of stimulus to your dog’s behavior.
Upon detecting your dog’s first bark, the unit emits a brief “warning” tone. A second bark will elicit a longer tone, and a third will activate the vibration circuitry along with the audible tone. The length of the tone and the vibration will increase up to stage 7, after which the collar will enter the “sleep mode” for 1 minute before starting again at stage 1.
Designed for tiny to medium-sized dogs, the BARKLO Collar is one of the smallest units available and is suitable for dogs as small as 6 pounds. The main module is not only compact (it measures only 2.4 inches in length and 1.4 inches in width), but the collar adjusts to fit dogs with necks ranging from 5 to 19 inches.
The BARKLO is a rechargeable collar, which comes with a USB charger for your convenience.
About: The GoodBoy Dog Barking Collar is an effective and humane anti-bark device, which emits a tone and vibrates when it senses your dog barking. With seven different intensity levels, you can easily adjust this collar to pick up your dog’s barking and nothing else.
Features: The GoodBoy Barking Collar is designed for dogs who are at least 6 months old and weigh 8 pounds or more. The manufacturer doesn’t explicitly state the upper size limit for the collar, but it features photos of dogs weighing up to 74 pounds in its advertisements.
The collar is powered by a single 6-volt battery, which should (according to the manufacturer) last for approximately 200 full cycles, totaling 1,400 individual corrections, before needing replacement.
Although the iPets Rechargeable Training Collar also features a shock setting, it is clearly the best option currently on the market.
Most owners found that it worked well, and you can simply avoid using the shock setting if you like. It is a bit more expensive than the other models in our review, but as is often the case, premium quality comes at a premium price.
Vibrating collars are pretty nifty training devices, but like any other tool, they have both strengths and weaknesses. Some of the pros and cons of these devices include:
You can also use vibrating collars to help train and manage hearing-impaired dogs. Deaf pups still want to get the chance to run, jump and play, but because they can’t hear, it can be difficult to recall them or capture their attention when off leash. This is obviously a problem, but vibrating collars are a great solution.
With a vibrating collar, you can train your dog to make eye contact with you anytime you activate the unit. From this point, you can use hand-signals and body language to communicate with your pup, whose eyes should now be locked on you.
Vibrating collars are not the only type of training collar available, and owners have several different options from which they can choose.
Each type has its proponents and detractors and offers different benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to consider your options carefully before making a selection.
Some of the most popular training collar alternatives include:
This includes things like chain collars, slip leads, martingales, and prong collars. Each of these styles is built slightly differently, but they all work in the same general way: You jerk the leash sharply, which causes the collar to cinch closed and then release very quickly.
Some believe that this simulates the way in which dogs correct each other (throat biting), while others think it is simply unpleasant, and therefore prompts the dog to stop the undesirable behavior.
Regardless of the psychological reason these types of collars work, they are often quite effective when used by an owner trained in their proper use.
We’ve written extensively about these types of collars, so be sure to take a gander at our training collar article if you are interested in them.
Citronella collars (which we’ve also covered before) are another type of training collar that many owners like to use.
Instead of delivering a small shock or squeezing your dog’s neck, a citronella spray collar delivers a whiff of citronella spray toward your dog’s face when he barks, yanks on the leash or displays some other undesirable behavior.
Citronella collars are generally assumed to be gentler than many other corrective collars, but they aren’t quite as universally effective, either. In fact, some dogs learn to appreciate the spray and begin trying to deliberately trigger the device.
Shock collars deliver a mild shock to your dog’s neck area when triggered automatically or when you press a button on a remote control.
Older than citronella or vibrating collars, these have been used by owners and trainers for years, but some are understandably reticent to shock their dog on a repeat basis.
Most of these collars can be adjusted to deliver shocks of varying intensities, which will help you get your dog’s attention without causing undue stress. When used correctly, they can be very effective and yield positive results.
Note that some manufacturers and reviewers try to draw a distinction between static discharges and electricity, but the difference isn’t very meaningful in this context. Lightning, for example, is caused by a static discharge.
Do you use a vibrating collar for your dog? How has it worked out for you? Has it proved as effective as you’d hoped? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
Last update on 2018-03-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Ben is a lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, trees, outdoor recreation, science and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com or @FootstepsForest on Twitter.
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