Discover the Top Dog Training Collars for 2023: Tried and Tested

If you’re a dog lover, you understand the joy and fulfillment that comes with having a well-trained canine companion. From walks in the park to camping trips, a well-behaved dog can enhance many aspects of your life. However, training a dog can be a challenging task, especially if they have a tendency to pull on the leash or ignore your commands. That’s where the best dog training collars come in. With consistent obedience training and the right collar, you can transform your pup’s behavior and improve both their quality of life and your own.

How We Selected the Best Dog Training Collars

To choose the top dog training collars, we embarked on a comprehensive testing process. We enlisted the help of three adult dogs with varying degrees of leash training, ranging from compliant to leash-pulling enthusiasts. For electronic collars, we tested the effective range of tone, vibration, and stimulation over varying distances and terrains. We also evaluated their waterproof ratings and tested battery life. Our selection process was informed by the expertise of professional trainers and a licensed veterinarian with decades of experience in dog training and competition.

We tested the best training collars for dogs.
We tested the best training collars for dogs on three canines with varying strengths and demeanors. Natalie Krebs

Best for Moderate Leash Pullers: Gentle Leader

The Gentle Leader is the go-to choice for moderate leash pullers. This halter-style collar guides your dog’s muzzle instead of applying pressure to the neck. While some may mistake it for a muzzle, the Gentle Leader is a gentle and effective training tool. It’s especially popular among service dog trainers and provides quick results in leash-pulling dogs. However, it’s important to note that some dogs may find the appearance of the collar intimidating. With clear instructions and proper use, the Gentle Leader can make a significant difference in your dog’s leash manners.

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Best for Problem Leash Pullers: Herm Sprenger Prong Collar

The Herm Sprenger Prong Collar is an excellent choice for dogs that struggle with severe leash pulling issues. This German-made pinch-style collar may appear intimidating, but it’s actually safe for your dog. The prongs apply pressure evenly around the neck, discouraging leash-pulling without causing harm. In fact, it’s a safer alternative to constant pulling with a slip-style lead. While some may question its appearance, the Herm Sprenger Prong Collar is effective and comfortable for dogs, offering a solution for both prevention and correction of pulling behaviors.

Prong collars like this one can be effective with dogs that pull.
Prong collars like this one can be effective with dogs that pull. Natalie Krebs

Best for General Obedience Training: Dokken Pro6 6-Foot 5-in-1 Leash

Although not technically a training collar, the Dokken Pro6 6-Foot Leash is a versatile tool for general obedience training. This slip-style lead is a favorite among trainers and provides light guidance and corrections for well-behaved dogs. It offers a range of zero to firm neck pressure for corrections and allows you to choose a configuration that best suits your dog. The waterproof nylon construction ensures durability, and the lightweight design keeps your hands dry during walks. If you’re looking for a training tool that seamlessly integrates into everyday activities, the Dokken Pro6 6-Foot Leash is the perfect choice.

Best E-Collar for Family Dogs: Garmin Delta SE

For family dogs in need of training reinforcement, the Garmin Delta SE stands out as an excellent option. With 10 levels of static stimulation, tone, and vibration settings, this e-collar provides a humane and effective training solution. Its simple and intuitive design is perfect for beginner trainers, and the range works as advertised over varying distances and terrain. The loud collar beep is suitable for hard-of-hearing dogs and trainers. While the included lanyard may be thin and uncomfortable, the Garmin Delta SE offers a reliable and user-friendly experience for training your family dog.

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Best E-Collar for Hunting Dogs: SportDOG SportHunter 825X

If you’re a hunting enthusiast with a dog that loves the field, the SportDOG SportHunter 825X is the ideal e-collar for you. Designed for working dogs, this collar offers 21 levels of static stimulation, tone, and vibration to ensure precise training. The customizable remote buttons allow you to set up your training sessions according to your preferences. With a half-mile range and excellent battery life, the SportDOG SportHunter 825X provides reliable communication and control even in challenging hunting environments. Whether you’re training your dog for bird hunting or tracking, this collar is a standout choice.

Best with GPS Built-In: Garmin TT15x

For the ultimate in tracking and training capabilities, the Garmin TT15x reigns supreme. Designed for working and tracking dogs, this collar boasts an impressive 9-mile range and precise GPS tracking. With 18 stimulation levels, tone, and vibration settings, it offers top-notch e-collar training. While it may be unnecessary for most dog owners, the Garmin TT15x is the perfect choice for those who require advanced functionality for their working dogs. Keep in mind that this collar is pricier than other options and requires a separate handheld remote for full functionality.

Even the best dog training collars can't help if you don't follow through on your training.
Even the best dog training collars can’t help if you don’t follow through on your training. Natalie Krebs

How to Choose the Right Dog Training Collar

Selecting the best dog training collar depends on the specific behavior you’re trying to address. For puppies or new dogs, a slip-lead style leash combined with treat-based commands can be a great starting point. If your dog struggles with leash pulling, the Gentle Leader or Herm Sprenger Prong Collar can provide effective solutions. For off-leash obedience training, an e-collar like the Garmin Delta SE or SportDOG SportHunter 825X can reinforce behavior at a distance. It’s crucial to consider your dog’s specific needs and choose a collar that aligns with their training requirements.

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Tips for Successful Dog Training

Regardless of the training collar you choose, success relies on following the instructions provided, allowing your dog an acclimation period, and consistently reinforcing behavior. It’s important to introduce the collar with positive reinforcement and associate it with enjoyable activities. For e-collars, gradual introduction and proper use are crucial to ensure your dog’s safety and well-being. Proper sizing of the collar is also essential, particularly for Gentle Leaders and prong collars. If your dog has any health issues affecting their throat or neck, consult your veterinarian before making a purchase. When in doubt, consult reputable sources, books, or professional trainers for guidance tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

Choosing the right training collar can make a world of difference in your dog’s behavior and your relationship with them. With the right collar and consistent training, you and your dog can enjoy a safe and harmonious life together.