Puppies bite. They love doing so, especially when their teeth are growing. If there was a top 10 list of the doggiest things dogs do, biting and chewing should be high in that list. As much as we owners want to let them do what they are born to do, it comes at a cost. Ruined furniture, chewed-up shoes, shredded pillows, the list goes on. A chew toy ought to solve the problem during the teething phase, but it merely redirects the behavior and doesn’t solve potential issues.
However, there’s something much worse than chewing. If your puppy starts biting people and other dogs to the point of hurting, that may turn into a big problem if left unsolved.
The answer to this is training. At around 10 weeks or so, it should be easy to train your puppy using basic commands and positive reinforcement so they can be familiar with the process. Most would argue that you can use shock collars at this point but recommend you use it somewhere around 4 to 6 months instead. If you have to, opt to use the vibrate and sound functions included in these collars.
When they reach 4-6 months, you can then use shock collars on them. This is especially effective in behavioral issues like excessive chewing or problematic behaviors like aggression and biting.
Do Shock Collars Hurt a Puppy?
If you’ve ever seen or felt how a muscle stimulator works, then it has the same function as a shock collar. It has two metal prongs meant to touch the skin and it delivers electricity through that prong. The electronic collar had a bad rep a few decades ago because it used much higher voltages, actually causing painful shock. Since the advent of higher technology, they developed more and more precise ways to deliver the shock, making it much, much weaker than muscle stimulators we use on ourselves.
The pain, however, is subjective. You can try the collar’s shock on yourself and see, but that doesn’t mean your experience will be the same for your pooch. Fortunately, there is a way to minimize this and we’ll show them to you later.
We’ll do you one better too, we’ll show you a list of five collars that are proven to be suitable for pups 4-6 months old and has alternative training modes for those who don’t want to use the shock function.
In a rush? Here are the top picks!
The first collar on the list should properly introduce you to all the functions of a shock collar, hence it’s the first on the list. This training collar contains all the features you’d want in either a training environment or even when you’re outside with your dog. Let’s look at the features to see what we’re talking about.
- Three Training Modes: Shock, Vibration, and Tone Modes
- 10 Levels of Stimulation
- Automatic Anti-Bark Mode
- 3/4 Mile Range
- Remote Supports Up to 3 Collars
- Memorizes Settings for Each Collar
- Remote Activated Nightlight
- Always-Awake/No Stand-by Mode
- Splash-proof Remote, Waterproof Receiver
- Additional Extra-Long Prongs for Long Haired Dogs
- 2 Hour Quick-Charge Lithium-Ion Batteries
All collars on this list have shock, tone, and vibration modes. Gentler dogs may react to vibration alone, making it enough for training, but more stubborn and energetic dogs won’t even bat an eye with it, so you can opt to use shock. The remote provides 10 levels of shock and according to most users, the shock level overall is “moderate”, meaning the lowest shock value isn’t powerful at all and the maximum level is about the same as a mid-level muscle stimulator.
The training kit has above average range. Granted, 3/4 miles is a very wide range which is far, far bigger than what’s needed for a backyard training session. You’ll start to notice how useful this is when you go out with your dog, be it camping, going to the dog park, or even hunting. Even if we dampen the range by 50% it means if you can see your dog, the remote can interact with the collar.
What sets this collar apart is the automatic anti-bark mode. When switched to this mode, the remote will no longer interact with the collar and instead, it will start listening to your dog’s bark. If it detects barking longer than a few seconds, it will let out an audible beeping sound. If your dog doesn’t stop barking, it will send a pre-set shock. It doesn’t stop barking altogether. Instead, it automatically trains your dog to stop excessive barking.
When night falls or there’s just poor visibility like a thick fog, the nightlight becomes incredibly handy. It’s less for the dog since they can see more than what we can, and more for us. With a press on the remote, you can see where your dog is and if you can’t see clearly, press it repeatedly to strobe the light, making it much easier to spot where they are.
The kit will remain functional even in the worst rain and weather. The receiver is waterproof by up to 25 feet deep and the remote is splash-proof so it will resist even the heaviest rain or snow.
As an extra, the kit comes with a pair of extra-long prongs. Some dogs just have hair so thick and long you can barely see the skin. This is crucial because if the prongs can’t touch the skin, they won’t deliver the correct level of shock. Having longer prongs on hairier dogs means you don’t have to tighten the collar too much, which is a bonus for your dog.
Last, the batteries. Nearly all shock collars have a lithium-ion battery pack that can fully charge anywhere between 2-3 hours. The battery life varies from collar to collar, but on average, these collars can last up to 2 weeks of regular usage before they need charging. This kit’s LCD screen will show its battery life so you know when to charge it.
The second collar in the list shows how compact they can make the remote. Most shock collar remotes are already pretty small, but here they managed to jam the features into fewer buttons. This e-collar kit boasts fine precision, making it ideal for discerning owners who want to min-max the shock-to-effect values during training. It also has right about the same features as our first collar on the list.
- Three Training Modes: Shock, Tone, and Vibration Modes
- 100 Levels of Stimulation
- Stimulation Boost Button
- 1/2 Mile Range
- Small, Easy to Grip Remote with LCD Display
- “Blunt” Shock Sensation
- Supports Up to 2 Dogs (Depends on Model)
- Waterproof Collar and Remote that Floats on Water
- Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries
Like the collar above, we have the same three training modes. The reason why these are the standard is for owners to have a choice on what they need to use, especially if they have other dogs to train. Some respond to vibrate and some even more intuitive dogs simply need to hear a consistent signal like a beep to know what to do.
When you do use shock, the kit has 100 levels to choose from. That’s a lot of in-betweens that will really help you dial down on the lowest possible shock your dog will respond to. The collar is also around the “medium” strength category, so even the level 100 shock won’t be too powerful. This remote has a boost button which at first glance isn’t that handy considering that you must use the lowest shock possible. Instead, it allows you to technically use the boost button when your dog decided not to respond. (Dogs can be mercurial during training. They will even have moments where they don’t seem to know anything they’ve learned). When they do respond, you can then use the normal stimulation button. It should work because you have their attention back.
Despite having a small form, the remote has a good 1/2 mile range. 1/2 could be stated as your standard range, as it’s far enough to still send signals to your dog if they sprint away for a few seconds.
If you need to train two dogs, you need to make sure to get the other model. The 2-Dog model replaces the “shock tap” button on the back of the remote with the “dog switch” button instead. It will remember the settings of each dog so you don’t have to keep dialing it.
For all-weather and day-night training, the kit has you covered. The receiver and the remote are waterproof and as an added bonus, the remote floats, allowing easy retrieval in case it falls into the pool or a lake.
One thing different about this collar kit is the “blunt” shock. It means the collar will deliver the same power but at a slower frequency. This may help more sensitive dogs who don’t respond to vibrations.
As far as battery life goes, it’s the same. Around 1-2 weeks depending on usage and both the remote and the receiver will fully charge in 1-2 hours.
Our third collar has simplicity written all over it. The first different feature is that it combined the buzz and tone feature into one button. Another is that the remote doesn’t have an LCD display so you have to depend on the physical displays. We added this collar to the list is because it’s meant for medium-sized and slightly smaller dogs. (It may not be the best for the really tiny breeds.)
- Two Training Modes: Shock and Buzz + Beep Mode
- 100 Levels of Shock
- 400 Yards Total Range
- 2 Dog/Collar Support
- Minimal Remote Design
- Waterproof Collar, Weatherproof Remote
- Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries
The combination of the tone and the vibration lessens the overall potential of the device since you can’t use them as separate signals. It does, however, make the vibration function grab more attention from your dog, which may be enough for training.
When you do use the shock mode, you’ll have 100 levels to work with. As with all the collars, start with the lowest level and keep testing until you see your dog does the slightest twitch or reaction. This collar is on the “moderately light” level of shock but even so, don’t ramp it up the highest levels unless needed. Another mild drawback is that even though it supports 2 dogs, it doesn’t remember the levels, so you’ll need to manually change them.
The remote takes a bit to understand but once you know what each button does, it will be easy to memorize them. The important buttons are the ones labeled N for “Nick” which means a split-second shock, C which means “Continuous Shock” as long as the button is held (Maximum 10 seconds), and finally T for Tone which triggers the Buzz+Beep. Both of these functions scale to the level you set.
Battery life is also the same as the rest: 1-2 Weeks depending on use and fully charges in 2-3 hours of charging
The SportDOG brand has multiple models with slight differences depending on the situation. In this scenario, we chose one of their more affordable products since our goal is to keep your young dog from chewing or biting. Let’s go over the list of the features.
- Three Training Modes: Shock, Tone and Vibrate
- 7 Levels of Shock
- 300 Yard Range
- Only Supports 1 Dog
- Minimal Remote Design
- Waterproof Remote and Receiver
- Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries
As we stated, this is about as basic as it gets for the decent quality shock collars. It still has the same three modes but only has 7 shock levels. Despite that, the kit has an overall “Moderate” shock strength, so be careful when using the higher values.
It has a range of 300 yards on open space which is quite small compared to the rest of the collars. 300 Yards is still pretty far, twice the range a normal baseball would fly from a home-running hit. Perhaps not ideal when you’re out hunting, but if you’re considering just home use and mild outdoor use like walks and going to dog parks, it should suffice.
It doesn’t support any additional collars, but fewer features do mean more battery life. Depending on how much you use it, it can work for as long as 3 weeks before it needs charging. When it does, all it needs is 2-3 hours of charging before it’s full.
The last collar on the list pushes the limits of how “handy” the shape of a shock collar remote can be. It also has the basic features you’d want in a collar with a little bit of punch. This collar can handle really stubborn dogs and equally stubborn weather. The features are as follows:
- Three training modes: Shock, Vibrate, and Tone
- 18 Levels of Stimulation
- 1/2 Mile Range
- Can Support Up to 3 Collars
- Waterproof Collar and Remote
- Minimal Remote Design with LCD
- Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries
This collar’s overall shock strength is on the “Moderately Strong” so setting it to lower levels is a must. It helps that it has 18 levels to choose from so each rising level isn’t a big jump for your pup. Some dogs grow huge even at just 6 months and it’s not uncommon for large dogs to have more resistance against vibration and shock. The vibrate scales with the stimulation levels so use that to your advantage.
The remote has a range of 1/2 miles in open range. A good standard range for collars. If you’re working in thick foliage, with plenty of fences or other structures, expect around 50% of the total range. Even worse in strong rain. Despite that, both the collar and the remote are waterproof so even if you get soaked, the kit will still be in good working condition.
Battery Life is also the same as everything on the list. 1-2 weeks depending on usage and charges to full in 2 hours. The LCD will have a handy battery life indicator so you know when to charge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you’ve seen the list, you may have a few questions, especially if it’s your first time. We have three commonly asked questions for our focus for today:
Don’t Shock Collars Cause Aggression?
Aggression is one of the potential outcomes when misusing shock collars. If used properly, you can actually use shock collars to help dogs learn how to minimize aggressive behavior, alongside any other unwanted behavior. A shock collar is not a restraining tool nor is it for punishment. It is, in fact, a communication tool designed to help your dog understand which correct behavior to perform.
Why Do Puppies Bite and Chew On Things?
On younger pups, it’s because of teething. Like humans, they will also lose their baby teeth and new ones will grow out. The growing phase is uncomfortable but chewing helps massage the gums. It stops at around 6 months, but the behavior might stick. Older dogs also like to chew to relieve anxiety, just like how chewing gum helps some people calm down.
How Do I Train a Puppy Without an E-Collar?
You may be at a point where your dog is too young for shock collars, however learning the training process is beneficial, and helps master the timing when using shock collars. There are many ways to train them but a good positive reinforcement training for pups is:
Call their Attention – Show Treat – State Command – Give Treat if Dog Performs/Say Negative Signal if Dog Doesn’t Perform.
For example, you need them to sit. This is pretty easy for pups. First, get them to learn what “sit” is. One way, among many, is to hold the treat close to their nose, then bring the threat over their head. Their reaction is to follow the treat with their head and when it goes past, they will very likely “sit”. When they do sit, say your affirmation word which could be “Good!” or “Good Dog!” or even any other sound like a whistle, so long as it’s consistent. Then give them the treat.
As soon as they consistently sit when you bring the treat over their head, start with calling their name to get their attention, then say “Sit!” when you take the treat over their head. After doing it around ten times, stop moving the treat over their head and simply call their name, then the command.
If they do the sit properly, state the affirmation and give the treat. Otherwise, say something like “No” and state the command again. Puppies are quick learners and your only enemy would be their attention span.
Now, this is as basic as it goes and if you’re lucky, it will work even with older dogs. In some cases, however, the pup will be a little too smart or stubborn for the training. It won’t be a surprise if your pup decides to yap at you and jump around just to give the treat.
Conclusion Best Shock Collars for a Biting Puppy
There you have it. Five shock collars we picked for prickly pups. We’ve also stated how relatively harmless they are, being much weaker than muscle stimulators. (At least these ones we picked are.) And we hope that what little information we gave on training would provide you with an idea on how to start it. Even though shock collars are one of the most efficient ways to train even the most stubborn pups, eventually, positive reinforcement should prevail. Like all great relationships, love and positivity should always come out on top.
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