Prospective clients often ask if I will use a shock collar to train their puppy. Over and above that, the reason for the inquiry is to compare my method of training to another trainer who claims to use a shock collar as their preferred and customary tool of the trade.

I clearly and emphatically do not condone the use of a shock collar to train a puppy or adult dog. If a dog trainer claims to use “SHOCK” as their method of choice, get another trainer.

There may be extenuating circumstances where such a device if used properly, may save a dog’s life. Pet parents who permit and encourage off-leash activities or lifestyle for their dog will often encounter situations where their dog is in danger of getting lost, hurt, hit by a car, attacked by other animals, or even stolen. Then and only then would I consider using a remote collar, and only to reinforce obedience training.

HOWEVER, and this is the important part, so listen up.

  1. Remote collars have two other settings that are extremely effective in many situations to help modify unwanted behaviors. Those settings sound (beep) or vibration.
  2. Remote collars are most effective when used to reinforce prior training.
  3. If you use a shock collar to train your dog, you are instilling fear and pain and the dog has no idea what is expected of them. Why would you want to hurt the dog you love?

Let’s talk about the use of a remote collar set on VIBRATION. Think of this method as not only a correction but a distraction. Does your dog get distracted by every person and dog on the street, making a walk down the block stressful, impossible, and even embarrassing?  A vibration collar set on low and used after other corrective methods of tugging on the leash and sternly say “NO” have failed, may help.


The trick is to use the vibration just seconds before your dog is “acting out” and not wait until they are in the “peak of excitement” to correct the behavior. The same applies to many other training scenarios.