Dog Collars

10 Safest Shock Collars For Dogs in 2023 | DoggoMag

This page was last updated on 17 March 2023.

Training small dogs and puppies taught me something – hot shock collars are not for them. They have levels beyond their capacities.

Even level 1 on some collars are built for stubborn dogs would send the Terrier, Minnie, and yelping for help.

She was a good girl overall, only that she had an occasional mental meltdown. She’d bite everyone and everything.

That collar couldn’t correct her; instead, it destroyed her confidence in the owner. We had to change the collar and that’s when it occurred to me that the safest collars are a thing. 

After that, I rummaged through the internet every time I was training a pup or a small dog.

Below are some of the safest shock collars I’ve used for dogs. I’m sure they’ll be a huge help to you, too. 

Are Safest Shock Collars Worth It?

When you think of the safest shock collars, you may question their efficacy. Let me tell you, they are worth it in their own right. However, you cannot use them with all breeds as the safest collars do not have high static stimulations. That’s just one reason. Here are more!

1. They don’t destroy a dog’s confidence in you

The static stimulations on a safe collar are enough to phase a good-natured dog. I say good-natured because they are not stubborn and just need a little help with the recall. Use a strong collar with them and you may see a major change in their behavior. They may get aggressive or lose trust in you as you zap them with a potent device not meant for them. 

2. They don’t hurt the dog

I get asked whether shock collars could hurt a dog and my answer is yes, they have the potential to do so but only when you use them inappropriately. It’s a tool or a device that needs to be used within prescribed limits.

Let’s be honest here, owners sometimes get a little agitated and may lose control over their anger. As trainers, we never advise anyone to shock their dogs beyond their capacity or use it to punish them.

We also don’t advise using them for a long time per day. Despite being safe, they could still hurt the skin where the contact points are touching the dog. I always make it a practice to check the dog’s neck after getting done with the training session.

3. They still work despite being safe

When used with the right breed, a safe shock collar will work wonders. I recommend its use with small breeds or ones that do not need a lot of corrections.

4. You can use higher levels without worry

Lastly, the safest shock collars are worth it because they let you use higher levels without worry. In fact, their levels have gradually increased, not abruptly as some products are meant for large or stubborn breeds. However, I do not recommend you use levels beyond the capacity of the dog even when you have a safe collar at your disposal.

10 Safest Collars For Dogs That Don’t Hurt Them At All

Let’s discuss them one by one in detail.

1. Educator – Safest Shock Collar for Dogs

Educator E-collar is my go-to collar when it comes to suggesting the safest ones to my clients. It has 100 levels of stimulation, which alone makes it suitable for dogs that can’t take hot shocks. 

I’ve used it on big dogs such as a 2 years old Great Dane with excessive barking behavior and small ones such as a Chihuahua for her unrelenting liking for running around the house and breaking everything.

Both times, I had been successful in relieving the owners of the pain and stress that came with their dogs’ bad behaviors. 

Here too, I’d like to compliment the product’s 100 stimulation levels. For bigger dogs, you could go beyond 20 or 25 and for smaller ones, staying close to 5 to 10 seems enough.

With such a wide range, you have greater freedom to correct your dog without hurting it. 

That’s about the shock levels. There’s a tapping sensation and what they call a “pavlovian tone”.

Programming the remote to get either of the two sensations working by pressing the stimulation button had been a pain.

Still, after getting a hang of it, you’d have no problem. 

The pavlovian tone had been enough with several dogs. I remember a very hyper bulldog mix who had a knack for jumping on the family members whenever she’d get too excited.

She seemed a little fragile for increasing the shock levels, so we had to go with either the tone or the vibration. The pavlovian tone, which is more of a tap with the tone, got her attention quite well.

Whenever she’d try to lunge at someone, I’d press the button and she’d recall the distraction cue of “sit” without a second thought. 

The collar is a bit heavier than its contemporaries but nothing the dog can’t handle. The heavier receiver sits well under the dog’s jaw, thus, minimizing the usual stimulation losses.

I also like how it has a light for night strolls. 

Overall, the Educator E-Collar could easily replace any collar that’s too much for your pooch.

It’s safe in the sense that it has 100 levels of stimulation with a small increase between each level, remote control for hidden usage to keep your dog’s stress levels at bay, a tapping sensation that reduces your reliance on shocks, and a collar that snuggles around the neck of your dog well. 

Pros
  • The small increase between stimulation levels
  • Made for dogs big and small
  • Pavlovian tone and tapping sensation are good substitutes for shock levels
  • Stopwatch-designed remote control encourages blind usage
Cons
  • Learning to use it could be a little hard for new users

2. Dogtra IQ Plus

Dogtra takes things up a notch when it comes to the safety of your dog. I have used many products of this brand, including the Dogtra 1900S, but the Dogtra IQ Plus has gotten my attention for a long time. 

It is compact, which makes it suitable for small dogs. The collar isn’t heavy like the Educator E-Collar but not light enough to fall off the neck.

I didn’t have to tie it up too tightly around the neck of the dogs I used it with. 

Many times, owners are wary of using shock collars on their pets, and rightly so. When you don’t understand how it works, you could potentially harm the dog.

IQ Plus somehow solves this problem. It has an easy-to-understand manual. The remote isn’t hard to understand as well.

In fact, with a few days of usage, you may well be able to memorize the whole layout. 

The top button is for Nick, the second one is for Continuous shock, and the third one acts as a Pager. I didn’t find any sound or beep button on this one. The pager acts well enough to replace that, though. 

As compared to the Educator E-Collar, setting the stimulation level from 1 to 100 on this remote becomes easier with the rheostat dial. While training a stubborn lab, I had absolutely no problem rotating it to the desired level.

However, I still wish there was a locking mechanism. Once set, accidentally disturbing the levels does not take much time. That serves as a huge setback for the so-called one-handed mode. 

Still, I’d term this product my number one choice for small dogs. On the other hand, Educator E-Collar offers an adjustable collar and that’s what makes it suitable for small, medium, and large dogs.

You could still use it for smaller ones, but the Dogtra iQ would serve the purpose well enough. 

Mind you that this is a two-dog system. Switching between the dogs has been a breeze for me with the dedicated switch. I despise remote controls that do not have such a switch.

It’s extremely hard for me to work with them because I accidentally switch to the other dog. IQ Plus treats me well in this regard.

However, there’s no way the remote allows you to set separate shock levels for the two dogs. You’ve to manually tweak it. 

Pros
  • Compact receiver fit for small dogs
  • 1 to 100 shock levels make it safer for sensitive dogs
  • 400 yards range is decent for walking, netting, and obedience training
  • The pager works well enough to improve the dog’s recall
  • Dog switch has been designed nicely
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Cannot set individual shock levels for two dogs

3. PetSpy M686 Premium Dog Training Collar

PetSpy is yet another trustworthy brand. Its shock collars offer great variety for dogs of any sort. I’ve used a PetSpy P620 and it was one of the most convenient collars for the German Shepherds I have trained. 

The PetSpy M686 also takes up a good chunk of my heart. First, the prongs of the collar are built for dogs with huge hair. Again, GSDs owners should consider this because these dogs can have heavy coats. I’ll also recommend them for huskies as they have two layers of coats.

Built for double-coated dogs, the prongs penetrate the second coat just enough to reach the neck. 

But that level of penetration does not hurt the dog at all. It’s not like the prongs will drill into the skin. They will only when you use them for a long time.

There are only four buttons on the remote. Two of them work to stimulate the dog with short and continuous bursts of shocks. One button is dedicated to vibration and the last one is for tone. Vibration and tone are the alternatives to shock.

While this layout looks promising, it does not deliver a lot of promise. It would have been much easier if the buttons had been laid out in a line, not in descending steps. 

I pushed the wrong buttons when I used the remote blindly. In a week, I got a hang of it but I had to endure the stress of getting there. 

I do want to mention that there’s not the slightest delay in response. Your dog will get the stimulation you administer with razor-sharp surety. 

Changing back and forth between the 8 stimulation levels is easy, too. With each level, some indications tell you how hot the level is. For example, level 0 is as hot as a shock collar with 20 levels. Level 8 equates to 100. 

The collar is safe for the dog in many ways. It’s waterproof and your dog won’t be electrocuted in any way when it’s swimming. None of the dogs that received this collar had a problem with the strap.

You know that a dog does not like the strap from the whining, head shaking, and running in circles. With this product, I didn’t see any lab, GSD, a bulldog mix, or any other breed show any distress. 

Still, I suggest you look for the signs the dog shows when you use the collar with its remote. Sometimes, malfunctioning devices could play havoc with the confidence of the dog. It’s not just this one but any device could malfunction in the long run. 

Pros
  • Well built for its price
  • Easy channel switch with numbers for the channel selected
  • The brightly colored strap makes finding a dog easier
  • Long prongs suitable for tough coats
  • Comes with a free e-book guide
Cons
  • The shocks aren’t too strong for stubborn dogs

4. SportDOG Shock Collar for Dogs

It seems as if SportDog wanted to try a different design with the SportTrainer. Its previous products that I have reviewed on this blog have much or less the same design, especially, that of the remote.

You get a rheostat dial to change the stimulation level, two to three buttons to shock the dog as per your will, and a few side buttons for other purposes. With SportTrainer, however, you get a remote control that’s a little weird but altogether handy. 

The front buttons only serve to increase or decrease the shock levels or change the channel between 1 to 6.

When I was training a pack of 4 Golden Retrievers used for hunting, calling them with the push of a single button was a breeze. There’s a tone button at the side and by the looks of it, you may think there isn’t any button for vibration. 

Wrong. The remote could be programmed to either use the tone, vibration, or shock, or two of them at the same time.

I’ve had owners who didn’t want to shock their companions, which was understandable on their part, not that the collar’s shock levels are too hot. I had to use the tone and vibration modes on the remote. 

But just as with other SportDog products, programming this one is also a pain. You’ll have to go through the manual several times before you’re ready to change the functions of the buttons.

Once you learn it, you’ll see how versatile the device could be. 

And did I mention that you could set individual settings for each dog? That is such a relief for owners with multiple dogs to train.

So, yes, this device is a godsend for people with more than one dog, puppies, sensitive huskies, or hunting dogs that could go berserk sometimes. 

Despite its programming difficulty, though, the OLED screen provides greater convenience in reading the stats of what you’re using.

You won’t feel lost or out of control because everything is right there from the battery indicator, to the channel, stimulation level, and mode indicators. 

Pros
  • Highly customizable remote control
  • Bright colors suitable for dull hunting areas
  • 6 dogs expendable
  • Individual settings for each dog
  • The OLED screen is a cherry on the top
Cons
  • Not easy to understand

5. Bousnic Dog Shock Collar

The previous three shock collars have 100 levels of shock, save for the SportTrainer which has 8 levels but they equate to 100 levels as shown by the indications on the remote control.

Having many levels means that the shock difference between each level is not too harsh. That’s something I’m speaking about from my experience as a dog trainer. 

While Bousnic does not have 100 levels, its 16 levels are too soft to hurt any dog.

I’ll go on to take the liberty of calling the shocks as strong as vibrations on a collar for stubborn dogs. Again, I’m saying this because the Doberman I was trying to train it with didn’t budge even on the highest setting. 

So, sensitive and small dog owners should pay heed to this product. It will work for them. I’ve trained terriers and chihuahuas with this collar and the results have been acceptable. I didn’t have to go beyond 5 or 10 for some dogs. 

If you ask me, apart from the low intensity of the shocks, the remote itself is the biggest highlight (and convenience). It’s big but that size doesn’t stop you from using it blindly. Thanks to the raised indications on the buttons, you could reach a function just by sliding your finger. 

There’s a convenient on/off button on one side and a channel change button on the other. Both respond well to switching by your thumb.

I wish all the rest of the brands took some advice from this design because turning on and off this thing along with switching the channel didn’t ruin my days at all. 

Another convenience that the collar offers is that you can charge it from any USB-enabled device, be it your laptop, power bank, and so on.

I have to tell you that the battery on the collar does not last as long as on the remote, but it is still a decent two weeks. 

And this is a two-dog system. So, before purchasing, see if you need an additional collar. If you do and they are puppies or small dogs, I highly recommend Bousnic because it lets you set different settings for the two dogs you’ll train with it.

Tip: Bousnic is one of the top-selling dog training collars with over 10K reviews on Amazon. You can also consider its previous version that can be used on 2 dogs.

Pros
  • Different settings for each dog
  • The stylish design takes its aesthetics to next level
  • A huge LCD screen makes readability easier even during the day
  • Shock levels are not too hot
Cons
  • The remote is still bulky

6. ABBIDOT Safest Training Collar

Most of the products of ABBIDOT that I’ve used were for small or medium dogs. This one, however, could be used to train bigger breeds as well. As to what makes it “safe”, the separation between shock levels from 1 to 15 and from 15 to 36. 

The levels up to 15 are benign. That means your dog wouldn’t be harmed by the shocks if you choose to administer them to it. Beyond 15, the levels get hotter.

I had a client who wanted to train her Great Dane adult and puppy.

Both mom and pup behaved well with the family. The adult had some problems with strangers. She would get excited enough to either hurt herself, the stranger, or the pup. 

As for the puppy, it needed general obedience training because it had received its second dose of vaccination. The owner wanted to walk it down the street. 

This collar worked for both dogs. I’d train the pup on level 3, occasionally when he’d get a bit troublesome, and the mom on level 15.

The vibration was enough for the two to understand what was coming after it. So, it worked most of the time. I didn’t have to use the shock feature at all. 

The nylon strap on the collar is strong enough for a relentless dog. It does not break off even if the dog runs in the wilderness under your supervision. That means hunting dogs won’t be able to get rid of it. 

I also like how the remote has been designed. A small knob sits beneath the dome-shaped antenna.

You’ve to press it down to change the shock level. The LCD is big enough to be readable in the dark and light. I do hope the size was a little smaller because sometimes hiding the remote from the dog becomes harder. 

Pros
  • Sleek design
  • Press-down knob discourages accidental changes in shock levels
  • Separate buttons for separate functions
  • General and Boosted shock levels
  • Readable LCD
Cons
  • Beep isn’t promising

7. Dogtra 1902S Safest Dog E Collar 

Dogtra 1900 series are highly reliable not only for the way they work but also for the promise that the company gives its customers. I’ve used Dogtra 1900S and Dogtra iQ Plus. Both of these devices have never failed to amaze me.

The former has been my priority when training stubborn breeds like Rottweilers, while the latter has helped me tame the unruly behaviors of pups. 

This one, the Dogtra 1902S is similar in every aspect to the 1900S, only that it comes with an additional collar for two dog owners. Since we trainers keep this company on the top tier of the best and safest shock collars, there’s little to worry about it hurting your pooch. 

But like many collars, it can hurt only when you use it excessively. I’ve seen owners wrap it around their dog’s neck for more than 6 hours, sometimes even overnight. That’s a surefire recipe for bruises and burns

At the same time, the 127 levels provide a wide range of shock spectrum. Each level is a gradual increase from the previous one and possibly that’s what makes the collar suitable for sensitive dogs.

Also, it increases the precision of correcting behavior. I call that fine-tuning. 

That helped me a few months ago to train two pretty Brittanys off-leash. They were from the same litter but their personalities couldn’t have been more different.

One was prone to dashing after a bird and the other had an occasional liking for trying to run away. They had to be trained with different intensities and that’s where 1902S helped me. 

I had to program the remote for each dog with separate shock levels and that was it. The separate buttons for each dog on the remote help a lot since you don’t need to change any sort of dial or switch to get to the desired dog. 

There’s no sound on this one, so beeping is amiss. To make up for that, the pagers for both dogs triggered by separate buttons are a major update. It’s a slight vibration cum tapping. I’d use it with the less active dog from the twins and it would work like a charm. 

The collars are comfortable. I cannot emphasize more how ergonomic they are. My only complaint is the weight of the remote and the bulkiness of the receiver. 

Pros
  • High-quality and output receivers
  • Each dog has separate buttons
  • Pager works for most corrections
  • Easy to learn and use
  • 127 levels offer flexibility for choosing the right level of shock
Cons
  • Bulky remote

8. Pet Resolve Safe Dog Training Collar

Pet Resolve’s safest feature lets you remove the shock altogether by using the plastic prongs available right in the box. I understand that some owners like you don’t want to shock their dogs at all. This feature comes in handy for those. 

When you remove the shock feature, you’d only have two correction modes to work with – the tone and vibration. I’m not a big fan of the tone because it’s hard for the dog to distinguish it from the surroundings. Sometimes, it doesn’t help with the recall at all. 

The vibration, however, is strong enough to stop the dog in its stride and listen to you. 

There’s even a barking mode but I don’t understand why they’ve included it in the features when it seldom works. With the Bulldog mix I trained it with, the bark mode worked 3 times out of 5. So, most of the time, I had to manually do the honors. 

Manually, the product does not disappoint at all. The remote has separate function keys for one. There’s no switch for changing the channels and that’s a good thing, given the three keys related to it do well. The LCD could have been bigger and better. 

While the collar overall isn’t harmful to the dog, it is still bulky. If the dog you’re training it with is a pup or a small dog, it will have a hard time keeping up with the weight. 

I think this is the only product on this list that comes with a plethora of accessories. There’s a shock checker, three different-sized prongs and plastic prongs, a dual-headed charger, and a rigid plastic buckle. These things are going to come in handy for the most part of using the collar. 

About the shock levels, there are only 8 so far. They don’t have a lot of jumps in between but I wouldn’t call them versatile as such. 

Pros
  • Comes with multiple accessories
  • Plastic prongs remove the shock feature
  • Separate function keys for each function
  • Continuous and momentary shocks
  • Sturdy
  • LED lights in the collar
Cons
  • Uncomfortable strap

9. PATPET Safest Dog Training Collar

PATPET offers a better remote, more range, and an easy dual-channel switch that lets you find peace of mind. I’ve trained two dogs with this device and the features didn’t give up on me or the dogs at all. 

The lab was like a mirror to the rottweiler of the hunting duo of my client. Whatever he did, the other one repeated with perfection.

Now that was a good bond when it came to hunting, but in other behaviors such as barking at squirrels and doing unruly dog things, it would be a pain for all. 

We had to break that bond in other behaviors and that’s when this product came in. I’ve always trusted PATPET for its ergonomic design around the dog’s neck.

We had to go for long hours in training sessions with the two dogs. Thus, having a collar that didn’t hurt the dog was a top priority. 

Of course, we didn’t leave the collars 24/7. There were constant checkups to keep the health of the dogs intact. 

The remote has three buttons and that’s more than welcomed. But what I like is the hourglass design.

It fits in the hand well. I only had to use a thumb to operate it. I do wish the level-changing buttons above the tone button were a little farther away and bigger. For someone with huge thumbs like mine, pushing those tiny buttons accidentally is easy. 

That’s where the product lags a bit. It has no locking mechanism that could eliminate accidental operations. You’ve to be vigilant to not hit any button and confuse your pooch. 

About the 16 shock levels, they get hotter as you climb upwards. So, I suggest you first check the intensity and then use it on the dogs. 

Pros
  • Comfortable and ergonomic collars
  • Easy channel switch
  • Buttons on the front side only
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • Small intensity changing buttons
  • No keypad lock

10. HKZOOI Dog Training Collar: Extremely Safe

First off, the flashy orange color of HKZOOI is going to catch your eye. I prefer this color during hunting but it works in a simple setting such as that of your backyard as well.

A dog wearing an orange color becomes easy to spot as compared to other colors. I’m saying this because my memory takes me back to the time when we had to call a Chihuahua out of the thick bushes.

She had a knack for playing hide and seek. Hiding she had mastered. 

We were able to find her the first day when we put this collar on her and she went into hiding. Orange against green was vivid and visible. Not so sneaky, miss.

As for safety, the collar has silicone prongs. Not that metal prongs are too harsh but silicone prongs’ ends are round and well-crafted. They dig into the fur without hurting the dog’s neck. 

There’s another feature called the zero-level lock setting. When she’d get too feisty and decide that vibration and beeps could be taken, we’d shock her slightly. But the shock does not work outright.

You’ve to press the button for a few seconds before it works. That gives you a delay to not accidentally shock the dog. It happens with some remotes, trust me. 

I like the size of the remote. It’s small and fits well in the hand, although it’s a bit imposing. Maybe because of its size, they had to compromise the channel switch.

It’s just a single button that takes you back and forth between the two channels. When I was training two labs, both of them with a slight age gap, there were a few instances where I changed the switch accidentally. 

But the good thing is that the remote remembers individual settings for each dog. 

It also remembers the vibration settings you choose. With many dogs, I’m sure only the vibration will suffice. It was enough for the older lab that’d bully the smaller ones. With one buzz, he’d understand that if he didn’t comply, the shock was to follow. 

Pros
  • Bigger and more readable LCD
  • Easy to use and understand
  • Tweakable vibrations
  • Silicone prongs don’t hurt your dog
Cons
  • Only one button for both channels

Wrapping Up

The safest dog collar would have gradually increasing shock levels, not to mention three correction modes. It will also have harmless prongs and features that inhibit accidental shocks.

I’ve listed 10 of the safest ones that I’ve used. They have provided good feedback. I think you’ll like them.

Before choosing, however, make sure that you know what you’re going for because a shock collar should only serve to help your dog recall well. They shouldn’t be used for punishment at all. 

About the author

Linda Michaels

Linda Michaels is a proud owner of a Labradoodle named Mylo. She is a trainer who posts about dog training and behavior.
🎓: University of California, Davis
📍: Washington Boulevard Animal Hospital