Shock Collar Alternatives
Dog Care Tips · Dog Training Guide

Shock Collar Alternatives To Train Your Dog Organically

Last Updated/Info Checked on October 20, 2023 by Linda Michaels

Shock collars have made dog training faster but some argue about its moral grounds. So, here are the shock collar alternatives:

  • Positive reinforcement with treats
  • Dog Whistles
  • Citronella collars
  • Clickers 
  • Training classes
  • Releasing their pent-up energy
  • Recreational activities

7 Alternatives To Shock Collars

Let me explain each one based on my own experience. 

Alternatives To Shock Collars

1. Positive Reinforcement With Treats

As a trainer, I’ve trained many aggressive dogs, the ones that do not yield easily to commands, and professional competitors.

What I’ve found is that no matter what the breed, they are all suckers for a good treat. 

The moment you introduce treats in training, things change before your eyes.

However, as in most processes, things are not always a breeze. 

You have to learn when the dog responds to your cues and offer him treats right at that point.

As you will notice in the other methods, it’s all about associating the taste of the treats with their good behavior. 

How to do it? 

  • Combine praise words with treats when they obey you.
  • Refrain from yelling when they don’t.
  • Do not feed them when they disobey. 
  • Repeat the next time if you failed the first time. 

2. Citronella Collars

Citronella is a naturally occurring scent. While it calms our nerves, dogs hate the smell down to their bones. 

There are citronella collars available in the market.

Yes, they are not as effective as the shock collars and they may not work with stubborn dogs at all.

Trying them out isn’t a bad choice, still. Who knows your dog may respond to them.

There are two types of citronella collars:

  • In one type, a mic triggers the citronella spray right beneath their jaw when they bark.
  • The other one has a remote control to let you control the spray.

I used the first one to treat dogs with separation anxiety while the other one has been my go-to collar for malleable dogs. Not in the physical state, of course, but I’m terms of behavior.

3. Dog Whistle

Dog whistles are great for command articulation and association. 

They give out a sound not audible to us but to the dogs.

Wherever you whistle when the dog performs according to your wishes, they associate that sound with that very behavior. 

It’s almost as if the sound triggers them because only they hear it. 

Most of the trainers including me associate the “come here” command with the whistle.

However, here too, you’d have to perform positive reinforcement for the dogs to understand what you mean when you blow that whistle. 

It could also be used to call the dog when it’s indulging in one of its willful intricacies.

Do know, however, that the dog may in time ignore the whistle.

That happens when it’s deep into an ancient behavior such as following a lingering smell of his taste. 

4. Clicker 

Just like the whistle, the clicker too could come in handy if you well associate it with the command. 

Here, too, you’ll have to follow the click with a treat. 

How to do it? 

I recommend that you click when the dog does exactly what you told it to. The click sound helps him identify what he has been rewarded for. 

If you click before or after the action, the dog may take the wrong cues. 

5. Training Classes

Going a bit further, you could enroll your companion in training classes near you.

Most of them are suited and designed for pups but they might have adult classes as well. 

I have worked in such facilities. The owners of the enrolled dogs trust the professionals working there. This mutual trust creates a positive environment for the animals involved.

It sure is a tedious task to train a whole class of dogs. The affluent or the ones who could afford one on one classes would do gladly. 

I’d like to mention here that in those classes we used a ton of training techniques and tips.

Some of those involved the shock collars.

We have been trained to use such collars so when you enroll your pup and if you’re asked about it, don’t worry to say yes. 

The professionals know what they’re doing. 

6. Play With Them

Sometimes a dog’s pent-up energy makes it do all the stuff you hate.

So the next time it chews on the sofa, jumps on the counter, or breaks things, it could be wanting your attention to play. 

Play with your dog almost every day to help them release that energy where it doesn’t hurt anyone emotionally or physically.

Take them to the trails and walk with you. Buy dog toys to indulge him in a better way. 

As for the trails and walk, you may have to first train him off-leash if that’s what you’ve been considering for your dog lately. 

7. Make Him Feel Home 

Dogs have separation anxieties.

Their intense care and attachment to you are to be blamed.

I understand that you can’t be with them 24/7. That’s why I’ve come up with my strategy to make them feel at home again. 

  • Turn on the TV in front of him whenever you’re running errands. 
  • Radio does the same wonder. 

You have to play human voices and what better way than this. The dog won’t feel alone and you’ll be better off with your work. 

Do know that it may wander off after getting bored of staying in the same spot.

That’s where the limitation of TV and radio hit.

They work until your dog wants to check out if there are some leftovers on the counter or if the squirrels have invaded its backyard again. 

Why Should You Use Shock Collars?

Let me tell you why you should get a shock collar for your dog.  

Why Should You Use Shock Collars?

1. It’s How Well You Use Them

Shock collars are not entirely as evil as it seems.

I have been using them in training dogs around my facility and that of my client and the results have always been encouraging. 

At the same time, though, I believe that you should only use them after getting adequate training yourself.

Most products have training videos available online and their pamphlets also say a lot. Read and watch thoroughly before you’re able to train your dog. 

Remember, the collars become abusive only when you start punishing your animals with them.

My strategy has always been to combine positive reinforcement with collars. 

2. Multiple Corrective Functions 

Almost all of the brands these days are coming forth with collars that have at least three modes of correction.

Besides shocks, they vibrate and beep. 

I have seen a fair share of dogs respond just enough to vibration and beeps, which meant I didn’t have to use the shock at all. 

Some brands have pagers in their remotes that work equally great.

So, if you’re wary of the negative aspects of a shock, you could easily use one of these functions and train your dog accordingly. 

Shock Collar Alternatives – Conclusion

The shock collars of today have more than one corrective function.

They zap, vibrate, and beep. If you don’t want to shock your dog, you could use the other two modes.

As a dog trainer, I’ve seen that stubborn dogs aside, these modes correct unwanted behaviors of many dogs.

However, if you’re still into organic ways of training the dog, then I’ve listed 7 ways above. 

Dog training is a continuous process. Remember to try different methods until your dog accepts one.

Similar Posts