E-Collar vs. Shock Collar: Is There Any Difference? (2024)

Last Updated on July, 2024

Shock Collars and E-Collars are two similar types of training collars for dogs. Some people use the terms interchangeably, while others believe there is a difference between them. What’s the truth? Read on to find out!

Quick Summary

E-collars and shock collars are the same thing.

E-collars or shock collars can be used for positive reinforcement training, not just negative reinforcement.

It is important to consult with a professional if you’re having trouble training your dog with these types of collars.

E-collar Vs. Shock Collar: The Difference

Dog wearing shock collar

If you’ve been thinking about using an e-collar to train your dog, you may be wondering if there’s a difference between shock collars and e-collars. The answer is no. 

Shock collar is just another way of saying E-collar.

The term e-collar is a little bit more specific. E-collars are also called electronic collars, remote training collars or simply e-collar for short. Another name people use to describe an e-collar is “shock collar”.

There is no difference between both of them. They are basically the same thing. Now You might be thinking, If there are no differences, what is this article’s point?

Well, there is!

If you’re about to buy and train your pooch with an e-collar but don’t know anything about it, then you’re in for a shock (pun intended). This article will teach you everything you need to know about e-collars so that you can make an informed decision before training your dog with one.

Related: Bark Collar vs Shock Collar: Which One Should You Choose?

E-Collars Vs. Shock Collars: Things You Need To Know

2 Dogs wearing collars

These collars have been around since the seventies. And their primary purpose is to help dog owners train their dogs to behave appropriately by shocking them every time they misbehave.

The Shock these collars use is not what you think. These are totally different and do not shock dogs. E-Collars take advantage of electronic stimulation, which is vastly different from electric shock.

Electronic stimulation is kind of a vibration that stimulates a dog’s nerves and sensory receptors. Which in turn distracts them from whatever they’re doing.

If you’re concerned about whether or not these collars cause any pain to your dog, then you’ll be pleased to know that e-collars do not cause any physical discomfort.

The stimulation only feels like a slight tingle or buzzing sensation on your dog’s skin and nerve endings which should not hurt them at all!

Why Use An E-collar?

There is only one reason to use an e-collar, and it is to train your dog. These collars cannot be used for anything other than this.

For example, many dogs can be stubborn, and they don’t always listen to their owners.

E-collar is a great last resort option because it allows you to communicate with your dog even when there are distractions around that might prevent your voice from getting through.

Above, I mentioned the last resort option. There is a reason for it.

Before you go on and train your dog with an e-collar, you should at least give positive reinforcement training methods a try.

Small Dog Wearing a Shock Collar

Positive reinforcement training is when you reward your dog for good behavior instead of punishing them for bad. This type of training usually works better than using shock collars.

That being said if reward-based training doesn’t work or is not practical in certain situations. Then e-collar training can be very helpful in getting your dog to stop bad behavior.

Either way, the choice is up to you.

What Should You Look for When Buying One of These Collars?

Purchasing an electronic collar is not easy. You’ll have to factor in a lot of things before getting a perfect one for your pooch.

One of the most important considerations is safety and responsibility. You don’t want to buy a collar that’ll harm your dog in any way. So make sure you get a collar that has tone, vibration along with other humane stimulation.

Thankfully most modern e-collars in the market come with all of these options, so you will not have a hard time finding one.

Dog Training Collar

Another thing you’ll want to consider is your dog’s training goals. If your one and only goal is stopping them barking all together? Then bark collars can serve great. (1)

Likewise, if you want to train a working dog or a hunting dog, you’ll need an e-collar with a more extended range.

The size and temperament of your dog are also important. If you have a small dog, make sure to get a collar that’s not too big or heavy for them. 

We have a list of recommended best shock collar for small dogs on our website, Check it out here!

And if you have a large and energetic dog, make sure the stimulations are strong enough to get their attention.

And also we have a list of recommended best shock collar for large dogs on our website, Check it out here!

Last but not least, you’ll want to consider the speed and reliability of the collar. You’ll want a collar that has slight input lag. This means the collar should be able to provide the stimulation soon after you trigger the transmitter.

It is one of the most important things to consider if you’re trying to discourage undesirable behavior.

Before You Train Your Dog With An E-collar

Dog Wearing Training Collar

This is extremely important. Before you start training your dog with e-collars, it’s crucial that you teach them the basic dog commands such as sit, come and heel. If your dog doesn’t know these commands, it is not ready for shock collar training.

Suppose you don’t know how to teach these commands to your dog. You will need to hire a professional dog trainer to help you out. You can also try out dog training courses if you’re on a budget.

Going with any of these options will help you learn the basic commands. But, I’ll repeat it: if your dog does not know these commands, there’s no point in starting training with e-collars.

How to Use An E-collar?

Modern electronic collars are not something you can get used to right away. So if you’re to alleviate your dog’s behavior safely and effectively, it’s vital that you use an e-collar correctly.

Following tips can help you get used to an e-collar with ease and get rid of your dog’s negative behavior.

You Need to Know More About An E-Collar 

Dog Training Collar

E-collars have three primary parts: the transmitter, collar and receiver.

The transmitter is what you hold in your hand and send signals to the receiver on your dog’s collar.

The receiver delivers the stimulation through a contact point on the dog’s skin.

An e-collar can deliver different stimulations, such as a shock, a beep or a vibration.

Regardless of what the stimulation is going to be, it’s essential that you learn how to use it before putting it on your dog.

Start with the lowest available stimulation level and gradually increase. Once you get the feeling that this amount of stimulation is perfect, Introduce the shock collar to your dog.

To learn more, it’s essential to take a look at the manual that comes with the collar you bought.

Let Your Dog Get Used to the Collar 

Let the dog wear the collar for about a week, along with occasional breaks. That’ll get your dog used to the collar and will get him ready for e-collar training.

Also, don’t forget to see how your dog reacts to the level of shock you’ve chosen. If it seems too high or too low for him, make sure to change it.

Don’t Let Your Dog See the Remote of the Collar

Dogs are highly observant creatures. If they see the remote, they’ll immediately understand what is going on and will try to stay away from it. This is more of a problem if you have dogs with aggressive behavior.

If they notice you using the shock collar, there is a chance that they might attack.

Training Your Dog Safely Yet Effectively

The good news is you can use an e-collar for positive methods and not just negative reinforcement. As a dog trainer, you’ll need to be patient. If your dog doesn’t obey your commands, simply ignore him, but if he obeys, reward him. You can use treats or praise to show your appreciation for his good behavior.

Is E-collars Safe for Dogs? 

Many people regard it as cruel, but it isn’t. If dog trainers and owners know how to use it properly, it’s totally safe.

As mentioned earlier, never use a shock collar at its highest level, as this might harm your dog. Instead, use the collar in low or medium settings as this will not cause any problems. The electric stimulation is somewhat similar to a flea bite if used at this level.

In addition, make sure to not leave the shock collar on for an extended period of time as it may irritate your pet’s skin and cause damage. Typically you’ll have to remove or even adjust the collar every six hours or so.

What Are the Benefits of Using a E-collar?

Best Shock Collar For Dogs

E-collars have a lot more benefits than you might think. If you use it in a proper way, expect nothing but positive results.

First of all, e-collars are great for correcting uncontrollable behavior in your dog.

If your dog has behavior problems such as jumping, digging or running away, this is a great way to train him and get rid of the negative behaviors.

Second, e-collar training can be done in conjunction with positive methods such as treats and praises. If your dog obeys, make sure you praise him for his excellent behavior.

Next is if you own a dog that gets aggressive towards you, other dogs and animals, using a shock collar can help you train them without worrying about them attacking you.

Since shock collars are operated by a remote, you can train your dog from a distance with just verbal commands without having to worry about physically interfering with them.

Fourth, shock collar dog training is time effective. As a result, you’ll sometimes see results in a shorter period than other training methods.

The process is not easy by any means. Patience and consistency play a considerable role. But in the end, you’ll see the results and will have a well-behaved canine companion. Not only that, the bond between you and your furry friend will be stronger, which is one of the significant benefits of e-collar training.

Consult a Professional Trainer

If you can’t get a hold of training dogs with e-collars, it’s best if you consult a professional dog trainer. They will show you how shock collar training is done correctly and teach you the correct methods of using an e-collar for your pet to behave well.

Final Verdict

E collar vs shock collar is not even a term at this point. Both of these devices are virtually identical, with nothing between them.

It might seem cruel at first, but shock collars are not harmful to your dog when used correctly. In fact, they provide several benefits that other training methods can’t.

With patience and consistency, you’ll be able to train your dog using an e-collar and have a better behaved furry friend. Remember to consult with a professional if you’re having difficulties handling the shock collar on your own.



  1. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/common-dog-behavior-issues/barking

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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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