There are many types of training collars out there. Shock collars use incredibly weak static shocks that only register as skin tingles or mild muscle spasms. Spray collars use a diluted citronella mix to lightly irritate a dog or cat’s nasal passages, and ultrasonic emitting devices use an ultra-high frequency beep that also irritates all mammals that can hear it.
Then there are vibration devices. It doesn’t seem much, but if placed on the neck, it could practically “tickle” their nerves.
The point of all these devices is to “annoy” your dog and it’s chiefly used either for “Positive Punishment” or “Negative Reinforcement” to help reduce unwanted behavior. Shock collars and the idea of using electric shocks, however, left a bad taste in some pet owners.
So, just as there are lists out there with great shock collars, we’ll provide a list of no-shock dog training collars on Amazon, show their features, and their pros and cons.
Safety and Training Tips
To make sure you have the best experience when using these collars, we want to share with you general safety and training tips about no-shock dog training collars. Even if they are labeled as “Humane Collar”, any misused tool can result in problems.
Always test the training kit before use
A shock dog collar always comes with a tester to see if the shock settings work properly. Test the vibration and beep as well, even with a no-shock collar.
Even if the remote no-shock dog collar comes from a good brand, there’s always that one in a million chance that something could go wrong, and testing it before use helps you detect problems.
For bark collars, simply blowing air at the microphone area is enough to trigger it. If it doesn’t trigger even with a vigorous puff, then it won’t pick up any of your dog’s barks.
Don’t let your dog wear the collar for more than 10 hours
This rule applies to training collars that use metal prongs. If the prongs press on the skin for too long, it could starve the thin layer of cells there of blood, causing them to die and fall off, the prongs will start pressing with the next layer and so on until it breaks the skin. Vibration collars will do more damage because the vibration causes friction.
This is easily avoided by removing it after 8 or 10 hours. It helps if you move the receiver to another part of your dog’s throat by rotating the strap every hour or two.
Understand your dog’s behavior more closely
This is less about the device and more about your activities as an owner. Some dogs do bad behavior because they are what they are, dogs. They are also very good at adapting to their human companions, but sometimes, certain things get in the way of that.
One good example is excessive barking. They bark because they perceive a threat and want it to go away, or they think there’s an intruder encroaching on their territory and must back off. Sometimes, when a dog is suffering from anxiety, illness, or pain, it will put more effort into barking to thwart potential threats because they know it can’t effectively confront the threat.
If your dog has barking issues and you haven’t been to the vet in a while, it might be a good idea to get them checked.
Sometimes, they resort to digging or chewing because they have a lot of pent-up energy or stress. There are a variety of behaviors they could do to relieve it, and one of the best ways to do it is to play with them or go out on walks.
We say this because training tools can only do so much. Some training techniques are really effective at stomping bad behavior, but if that behavior has a cause or a trigger, your dog might just circumvent whichever training or device they have in order to commit to the bad behavior because they think doing that behavior helps them in some way.
When using remote collars, always use Positive Reinforcement and Negative Reinforcement together
To avoid misconceptions, this isn’t the “Carrot and Stick” approach, where good behavior is rewarded and failure is punished. It’s different.
Negative Reinforcement means you’re removing something when they perform the correct behavior. With remote collars, you activate the stimulus (vibration or shock) right after you say the command, then remove the stimulus when they perform the correct behavior.
This gives urgency to do the action correctly and actually gives your dog a sense of control and order. As long as they understand what they need to do, they know how to turn the sensation off. This greatly reduces the anxiety they feel about it.
That’s just half of it. Positive Reinforcement means adding something when they perform the correct action and that’s the reward part. You do this by giving them a treat, praising them, or both. Sometimes, it’s better to alternate praise and treat so they don’t always expect one.
You must also show actual emotion that you approve of their action, such as using a more joyful tone. Dogs are surprisingly keen on the tone of our voices, that’s why some dogs already know to look “guilty” or avoidant when they hear that accusatory tone from their owners.
If you’re using any type of bark collar, giving them a treat when they stop barking after the bark collar triggers, will also dramatically speed up the training process.
The combination of these two makes a powerful training process that heavily focuses on positive behavior. If you teach your dog to follow obedience commands and reinforce those behaviors, you can stop bad behavior by simply commanding them, then rewarding them for stopping.
It’s better to undercorrect than overcorrect
This applies even to manual tools like a prong collar or a pinch collar. For remote collars, it’s the intensity levels and how often you use them. For shock, you need to use the lowest possible level that they will visibly react to. If the current level doesn’t elicit a reaction but the next level makes them yelp, defer to the lower level. For vibration, even if it’s harmless, strong vibration can still affect your dog in the long run, so use the lowest level they will react to.
When it comes to how often you use it, only trigger it during negative reinforcement training and limit the stimulation to three seconds. If they don’t perform the correct action, stop the training and teach them again using the treats as a reward. The stimulus is only to teach them to perform the action as fast as they can, not a punishment.
You’re probably wondering why we have one of the mid-range shock remote collars as the first on the list. Two reasons: First is because all shock dog training collars have strong vibration modes.
This one, in particular, has plastic prongs you can use to replace the metal ones, ensuring that even if you press the shock button, none of the energy will be transferred to your dog. The level of vibration can also be adjusted if your dog finds the vibration too strong.
This vibrating shock dog collar has pretty solid features so even if you forgo the shock feature, it’s still a good tracking device and the vibration levels are pretty strong. The range you get for the price is pretty high and with the LEDs, you’ll have the ability to spot the receivers from more than 100 yards, or as far as your eyes can see the strobing light. Since 1 remote can be paired to 3 collars and you’re given both a wide range and strong signal, you can manage multiple dogs and locate them in low light conditions.
The flat-collar included is made of incredibly durable plastic, enough that only sharp scissors can cut it. It fits medium and large dogs properly. Any dog 15 lbs and above will fit properly, but any dog below that will have some trouble wearing it.
The remote device is rainproof with a nice rubber grip, while the receiver has a waterproof design that can withstand up to 10 feet of water for 30 minutes before suffering any water damage.
The kit comes with 3 metal prongs of different lengths for dogs with varying fur lengths, but more importantly, it comes with plastic prongs that don’t conduct electricity, converting the shock collar into one of the vibration collars in this list.
- Shock, Vibration, and Soft Beep
- 10 Levels of Vibration and Shock
- 3/4 Mile / 4000 ft Control Range
- Can be Switched to Automatic Anti-Bark Mode
- The Remote can be connected to 2 Additional Collars
- Remote Activated Reciever LEDs
- Compatible with Dogs 15 lbs and Above
- 3/4 inch Plastic Flat-Collar
- Splash Proof Remote Control
- IPX7 Waterproof Rating Reciever
- Comes with Non-Conductive Plastic Prongs
A spray collar uses a specific mix of citronella or lemon juice. This one is a citronella spray collar. The goal of this spray is to irritate your dog’s nose. If you’ve ever smelled ammonia, it’s like that but far milder. Since it uses citrus-based liquids, it also retains some insect repellant properties. It’s also worth noting that the spray can affect other animals besides them, so be careful when using this around other cats and dogs.
This no shock training collar has 3 spray levels: Strong, Medium, and Weak. Dogs are different, and some of them may have different resistances toward the spray. Some dogs will yelp at the lowest concentration, while others may even take two big sprays before they even react. The number of sprays you’ll get out of one full receiver depends on the settings, but it’s easy to refill the receiver when it’s empty, and it’s not difficult to buy an extra citronella cartridge or two
It might look like you have a wide range, but radio signals from this remote are easily blocked. You may just get 50% of the range in a typical urban environment. It’s different in wide open spaces like dog parks or beaches, as you’ll get the most out of the 1000 ft control range. In these scenarios, this will be a fantastic spray collar in case your dog gets into potential fights, as you can stop a ground of dogs in a small radius.
As far as using this like remote training collars, you’ll have no choice but to use this as a positive punishment tool. Generally, it’s not a good idea to use these training tools for punishment. Your dog may anticipate the spray at any point, causing them to fear the collar. In this case, you need to have a signal, like a firm “no!” before using the spray. Your dog will then, associate the word with the spray and only anticipate it when they hear it.
This spray collar is not waterproof, it shouldn’t be submerged in water. It can, however, resist moderate rain, but when it gets wet, make sure to dry it as soon as you can to avoid potential damage.
- Three Training Modes: Spray, Vibration, Beep
- Three Levels of Spray Intensity
- 1000 ft. Range / 300 Meters
- Comes with a Comfy Nylon Collar
- Collar fits Dogs with Neck Sizes 8-27 inches
- IPX5 Waterproofing
- 12-Day Reciever Battery Life
- 30-Day Remote Battery Life
Vibration is considered the best among the humane options among the types of training collars out there, but make no mistake, even collars like these can cause issues. The vibration is powered by a powerful rotor and can be enough of an irritant for negative reinforcement. Sadly, there’s not a lot of good vibration
The kit has 10 levels of adjustable vibration. The difference is quite a lot between 1 and 10, and if you’re using it for training, make sure it’s placed as high on their neck as possible, this is to stimulate the ear and neck muscles, which are the most sensitive parts. The effects vary. Stubborn dogs will ignore it completely, but more sensitive dogs will find the vibration incredibly annoying.
The collar has a range of about 500 yards with a decent antenna. It will likely work at around 80% in an average urban environment, and especially well in open areas like dog parks.
The nylon collar it comes with can be easily attached and tightened. It fits almost every dog apart from toy breeds, as long as their neck size is 8 inches up to 27 inches.
IPX7 Waterproofing means the collar can be submerged 3 meters underwater for 30 minutes before any potential damage. This virtually means the vibration dog collar will be fine in most environments a dog will play and hang out.
Since it doesn’t use shock, it won’t need that much power, giving the standard battery a 20-day lifespan on a single charge.
Even if the collar doesn’t use shock, you may be ‘shocked’ to find your dog getting the same wounds some owners find in shock collars. These hole-like wounds or burn-like wounds are pressure sores. This can happen when your dog wears the collar for more than 8 hours, or if you place the collar on too tight. If you’re only using it as a way to signal your dog, consider removing the prongs and loosening the fit a little.
- Two Training Modes: Vibration and Beep
- 10 Levels of Vibration
- 1600 ft or 500-Yard Range
- Comfortable Nylon Collar
- IPX7 Waterproof Reciever
- Battery-Saving Standby Mode
- 20-Day Long-Lasting Battery Life
- 2 Hour Quick-Charge Lithium-Ion Battery
Since we’re talking about the best no-shock dog training collar out there, the simple bark collar is still part of that list. If the only bad behavior you need help with is excessive barking, then this is perhaps one of the best shock-less bark training collars out there. It’s worth noting that if you know you have a stubborn dog, we can’t guarantee this kit’s effectiveness.
In lieu of shock, it instead has 2 vibration rotors. This actually triples the actual vibration as both the rotors don’t really sync up. There are 5 vibration settings and based on reviews, if it works on the highest, it will work on the lowest, as it’s equally annoying either way.
If you don’t want to fiddle with the adjustable vibration, let the device do it for you. When switched to “progressive” mode, it will start at the lowest level. When it detects barking, it will give a warning beep first, then if the dog keeps barking, it will then vibrate. If your dog still keeps barking, it will raise the stimulation levels by 1, give another warning beep, then vibrate again.
This keeps on going until it’s at max levels of intensity, or until your dog stops barking. If it stops barking, the level of vibration stays for a few minutes and if they don’t bark for a while, it will return to the lowest level.
Since all it does is vibrate and listen for barking, a single 2-Hour charge will keep it up for 2 weeks. If your dog keeps barking though, expect less battery life.
Nylon collars from any type of collar will always be more comfortable than plastic ones and are easier to place and adjust. The drawback, as always, is that occasionally, they can loosen, especially if you have a very active dog, so check the tightness every now and then.
- Dual Rotor Vibration and Gentle Sound Mode
- 5 Vibration Levels
- Manual and Progressive Bark Programs
- Fits Dogs with Neck Size 9 to 22 Inches
- 14-Day Battery Life
- 2 Hour Quick-Charge Lithium-Ion Battery
Sometimes, simple is best, and oftentimes, simple means affordable. All it does is spray citronella when it hears your dog bark. The citronella formulation affects their taste and smell, which is just irritating enough to hinder them for a few seconds. There’s no adjustment needed, and a full receiver will be good for 15 sprays before it needs refilling.
The idea is to distract your canine companion while they are barking, almost no different than you squirting your dog with a harmless spray of cold water when they are doing any undesirable behavior. It’s enough to divert their attention to you, and more often than not, it stops them from barking. Done enough times, they will eventually, they will learn to stop barking too much.
You do need to purchase additional spray refills, but if all goes well, your dog will bark less. The nylon collar also ensures a great fit and since this is a spray collar, you don’t need to aim for optimal tightness but the receiver does need to face the dog’s snout.
The battery, though not rechargeable, is affordable and will last for a month before needed another replacement.
- Simple Citronella Spray
- Low-Sensitivity Microphone
- Soft but Durable Nylon Strap
- Needs 1 LR44 Battery
There are a lot of training tools out there in the market like the choke collar, head collars, and martingale collars. Even the humble treat can be considered a training tool as long as you do the correct process. Each one has its specific use and its pros and cons, but there’s no such thing as the perfect collar.
To maximize effectiveness, know what you can about the training tool, do your basic training homework, and always treat your dog with love and care above all else. This way, your dog will find training enjoyable, and anything enjoyable easily etches in their memories.
Last update on 2023-09-26 at 16:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API