When to Start E-Collar Training?

Pet Training


September 13, 2022

Having a dog can be fun, but if your dog isn’t the best listener, it can definitely be frustrating. There are a wide array of training tools and methods out there to choose from. One that has a bit of controversy surrounding it is the electric collar.

These devices can make for effective training tools but must be used responsibly. It also helps to know when to start e-collar training. The more information dog owners have about this device, the more effective a tool it can be in the training process.

At What Age Can You Use a Shock Collar on a Puppy?

It is very important to note that some breeds are more sensitive to shock and the pain it can cause than other breeds. Some puppies can be trained at an earlier stage, particularly German Shepherds or Siberian Huskies.

That said, shock collars should be used no earlier than the 10-week mark with most puppies. Training with e-collars at that young age definitely takes consideration and the proper amount of care. It is not intended to be used as a punishment, which is what many owners think it is for.

The purpose behind a shock collar is to discourage bad behavior as your pup grows, learns, and develops. A training device like this can help them to learn not to chew on things, not to react aggressively in front of food, or not to wander purposelessly.

The shock should be a gentle one at most. It should show them that the behavior they are conducting is unwanted, not hurt the dog. It is important to manage the level of the shock, particularly with a puppy, to keep from hurting it.

How Long Can a Dog Wear a Shock Collar?

There are a few important pieces of information to know before you decide when to start e-collar training on your pet. Knowing the size, settings, and how long your dog can wear the collar are all crucial pieces of information.

For starters, the size has to be just right so that it suits your dog properly. If it is tight, not only can it be uncomfortable for your dog to wear, but the prongs may actually poke them in the neck, causing even more discomfort or outright pain. But if there is too much slack, then they may not receive the intended shock that is used for training purposes.

There are also the settings to consider. Make sure you know what level is proper for correction or providing a little stimulus to the dog. Remember, you are not intending to “punish” or hurt your dog. You want to provide them with a gentle suggestion that their current behavior is not a desirable one.

The limits of the collar

Far too many dog owners go into the training process not having a full understanding of the limits of the collar. If you are among those owners, change that methodology by knowing the limits of each setting. Always start with the lowest possible setting, gradually increasing if the dog is not showing a response.

Whenever you test the shock level of the collar, look to your dog before you increase it any further. You want a response but not one of pain and discomfort. It can be helpful to test the collar out as you grow to understand where the limits are for your dog.

Finally, there is the question of how long your dog can wear the shock collar. It is vital to know that they are not meant to be worn at all times. This is something that owners incorrectly assume, and it is harmful to the dog. Only use it for specific training periods, and keep the collar off of your dog otherwise.

Are Shock Collars Bad for Dogs?

There are two schools of thought on the matter. There are those that feel that it is an effective tool for changing behavior, particularly in the earlier development stages of your dog.

On the other side of the coin is the belief that shock collars are bad for your dog. There are a few reasons for this, and it is up to the individual pet owner to decide if shock collars are the way to go.

There is the obvious factor of pain. When used on a low setting, it can provide stimulation that shows the dog that their behavior is not desired. But many pet owners do not use shock collars with an understanding of the settings. This can lead to a painful shock for the dog, one that produces fear instead of understanding.

There is also the concern about changing long-term behavior. Shock collars are believed to correct that short-term behavior, but the dog is not necessarily learning that what they are doing is “bad” behavior. They are learning that they will get shocked if they do that act. It isn’t necessarily teaching them but instilling fear.

Finally, it can possibly create more aggressive and challenging behavior. It can lead them to feel disempowered and helpless, which can lead to anxiety, depression, and even potentially more aggressive behavior. Dogs learn to be fearful instead of really learning the commands. Using a shock collar is like balancing on a tight rope. It can be used effectively, but it can also lead to myriad issues as well.


In this day and age, there is a stigma surrounding the shock collar. In the past, it has been used as a training tool to familiarize a dog with certain responses and to train them to adhere to those responses.

With the right information and caution, shock collars can still make for an effective training tool. But it helps to be as knowledgeable as possible on the subject to avoid hurting your dog when you are simply looking to train them.