At What Age to Start E-Collar Training on a Puppy? The Truth

Last Updated on July, 2024

You find it very easy to handle when you just purchase a puppy. It looks cute, and all it does is eat, sleep, and be amazed at its toys. Fast forward a few weeks, and you start to see the opposite of it with nuisance whining and a continuously barking dog with you.

Your new puppy starts to develop a mind of his own and adapts a different behavior. Things start to get messy as your still learning puppy cannot identify the difference between good and bad behavior. You need to train him on basic manners as your puppy starts barking at everything.

Different people have different opinions on this matter. A general rule of thumb is that you should wait a period of six months before using a training collar such as anti bark collars or shock collars on your dog. 

Suppose your puppy is younger than that; it may not understand the whole purpose of a dog training collar. Your pup needs time to adapt to the learning curve.

Before starting shock collar training on your pup, there are several more factors to consider. Here is what you should know to best determine when you need to start collar conditioning your young dog.

It ensures that you have a happy pup with better manners and a well-trained dog later on.

Quick Summary

Puppies should not wear an e-collar until they are at least six months of age.

Young dogs may not be mature enough to understand the purpose of e-collar training.

It is important to slowly introduce the e-collar and to consider factors such as the dog’s temperament and collar size before starting training.

What is the Best Age to Start E-Collar Training?

Dogs in a Ground

The recommendation is not to use an e-collar on your puppy until it is at least six months of age. Make sure your dog understands basic commands like ‘sit,’ ‘come,’ etc. before you use a shock collar on it

Dogs of a young age are not mature enough to associate the correction of bad behavior. They can’t receive the various types of collar stimulation properly.

Begin training your dog with basic commands like ‘fetch,’ ‘sit,’ and ‘stand,’ etc. You can try various training techniques, including reward-based training, positive reinforcement, and negative reinforcement.

Focus on something like whistle training as it will set the base for e-collar lessons.

Dog’s Characteristics and Shock Collar Training 

You should know your dog’s characteristics and temperament level before introducing it to the e-collar. Many dog owners ignore this factor and understand the consequences only after awkward situations. (1)

Along with the appropriate age, you should consider this factor. Different dogs have different temperament levels. Relatively mild dogs might be adverse towards beginning shock collar training early. (2)

On the other hand, if your pup is prone to aggressive behaviors, you need to handle e-collar training carefully. It could be challenging to manage an aggressive dog during dog training sessions.

How to Introduce an E-Collar to Your Dog?

Let’s say your pup is finally ready for e-collar conditioning. How can you introduce it to the basic concepts of shock collars?

  • First, show your dog what it needs to do. For instance, say you want to use the kennel command. Put it inside the kennel while it’s wearing the dog training collar, but make sure it is turned off.
  • Once your dog begins to get the hang of the command, turn on the collar. Remember to start from the lowest setting and gradually move up.
  • First, turn on the stimulation and then give the command. You can choose either shock, vibration or tone stimulation modes. More on that later. Once the dog follows your order, turn off the stimulation.
  • After around 1-2 weeks of starting training, your dog should have got the hang of a few commands. If so, give the order first and then turn on the stimulation.
  • The other stage is to command the dog and turn on the stimulation only if it does not obey.
  • Finally, you need to generalize the command using it in different places and conditions. Your dog should respond to your commands with reliability, whether he is in your backyard or in the local park.

Remember to allow the dog to wear the training collar for a few days before turning it on. It will make your dog understand that e-collars are just like any other collar. You should also adjust the collar at least every six hours.

The Impact Of Collar Size In E-Collar Training 

Shock collars should sit comfortably on dogs’ necks. You need to insert one to two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck to ensure this.

You can determine how many fingers to insert based on the dog in concern. You can insert one finger and test for small dogs. Too much of a gap between the neck and collar can cause the latter to fall off the dog’s neck. Check out this best small dog shock collar reviews, if you’re looking a collar for your furry friend.

You can keep a gap of two fingers for a large dog like a German Shepherd. It will help make the German Shepherd feel comfortable while ensuring the training collar does not fall off.

Check out this best large dog shock collar reviews, if you’re looking a collar for your big friend.

Fit the e-collar when your dog is in a standing position and not a sitting position. Make sure it is off when placing it on your pet.

It is appropriate to fit the collar so that the receiver sits high on the side of your dog’s neck. Swap the receiver’s side from time to time to avoid irritation or a rash from forming on your dog’s neck.

Stimulation Level and Type Of E-Collar 

A human holding a Shock Collar Remote

It is vital to ensure that the stimulation type and level of the training device are suitable for the dog’s temperament. There are three stimulation types for e-collars.

  • Shock stimulation – This type will emit a slight shock when you press the stimulation button. It is suitable for an adult dog and for one that is aggressive. These types of dogs will be more receptive to shock stimulation.
  • Vibration stimulation – This is a stimulation type that best suits young dogs and dogs with a timid nature.
  • Tone stimulation – This type of stimulation is suitable for young puppies and incredibly timid dogs.

Along with the stimulation type, you should also be mindful of the stimulation level of the e-collar. Find a comfortable setting for your dog, and do not let it feel a disagreeable sensation.

Always start from the lowest level setting and gradually increase it. Your dog should turn its head or push its ears once you press the button. If it whines or puts its tail between its legs, then it means that the setting is too high. 

Begin training in an area with a comfortable and safe setting with fewer distractions.

Make sure to purchase a collar with a higher number of settings. This way, you have more levels to choose from to ensure that your puppy feels the shock or vibration and not be in pain. You can test the vibration levels by holding the e-collar in your hand.

At What Time Does Your Puppy Need to Wear the E-Collar?

Dogs need to wear e-collars only during practice sessions. These sessions last anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.

Training usually consists of sessions short enough to provide a learning opportunity for both you and your puppy.

If you’re training your dog away from your own backyard, you can make the dog wear the collar on the way. It is to enforce any commands on the way to and back to the training field.

Under supervision, you can even let it wear the e-collar while on a walk or at home. There is no need for the dog to wear the e-collar if you’re not with him. 

Your dog can safely wear the e-collar for up to 8 to 10 hours a day with breaks in between. An e-collar should not be on for more than 4 hours, uninterruptedly.

a scared puppy

How Long Does Your Dog Need a Shock Collar? 

It takes time to train your dog, depending on how well he takes it up. For example, if your pet has a long history of aggressive behavior, it might take more time to get rid of undesired behaviors.

Most dogs complete training within six to twelve months of starting. It is only if you are consistent with practice sessions. There is no rule that you should not let your dog wear the collar if it provides extra security and peace of mind.

I got you covered in my ultimate guide to training an aggressive dog with a shok collar.

Effects Of Shock Collar Training Your Puppy Too Early

Big dog & a Small Dog

If a pup wears a training collar too early it could have adverse effects. A puppy has a learning curve just like an ordinary human child. You need to teach it basic commands and concepts at first.

Your pup might feel anxious and stressed if he is not ready for a collar yet. It will make him refuse the collar or avoid barking at all because of anxiousness. Start training your puppy slowly.

Begin with different training like positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Gradually move on to using the collar.


Now you know when you should start puppy training concerning e-collars. It is best not to use shock collars at least until your puppy is 8 to 10 weeks old. However, it is best to start using it once your pup is six months old.

Always remember to find a suitable stimulation type and level for your dog. It depends on the characteristics of your pet. You should observe this yourself and decide your own way. If in doubt, go for the lower level setting.

Remember not solely to depend on a puppy shock collar for training. You should combine it with different training methods like positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. 

Keep these collar conditioning protocols in mind next time you go shopping for puppy wear. It will help your dog learn, be fully trained, and have positive adventures each day.




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Thomas Villalpando
Thomas Villalpando is the main author of Dogs Academy. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. He has been featured in MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Sun, Entrepreneur & More. You can find more about him here.

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