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Debunking the Myths and Misconceptions About Shock Collars for Small Dogs

Debunking the Myths and Misconceptions About Shock Collars for Small Dogs

12 minute read

Did you know that less than 5% of all dog owners attend a training class with their dog?

This means that most dog owners train their pups themselves without any professional help. Some pawrents grew up with a family pet, so they have some experience on training a dog. Others rely on books and tips that they read online.

No matter which training method you use, chances are that you might eventually feel stuck. No matter how hard you try, your dog might not obey your commands or even understand what you’re trying to communicate.

You might even be the victim of dog training myths that sabotage your progress and make you run in circles. 

When this happens, many people finally consider looking into training collars, which are also known as “shock collars.”

Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions when it comes to training collars for small dogs. These myths prevent many innocent pawrents from finally stopping unwanted behavior. What can change this dilemma? An evidence-based approach to dog training and behavior modification. 

In this article, we will debunk the top myths surrounding shock collars for small dogs and will provide free tips on how to enhance your training!

Myth #1: Shock Collars Are Cruel and Painful 

Does a shock collar hurt a dog?

This is the #1 concern that pawrents have when looking into training collars – and understandably so! 

Here’s the truth: When used responsibly and as intended, training collars are safe, effective, and they do not hurt your dog. 

At most, a training collar will feel like a tiny rubber band snap on the palm of your hand. The purpose of a training collar is not to hurt or punish a dog; rather, it is to get your dog’s attention back to you. For example, if your dog begins chasing a squirrel and is charging towards the street, it’s going to be in “hunting mode” and won’t hear you trying to call it back to safety. A training collar will help you snap your dog out of its tunnel vision so that it listens to you.

Think of it this way: A knife is not inherently a bad item. It’s a tool. It’s meant to help you prepare food in the kitchen. But someone can easily use a knife the wrong way to cause harm. Similarly, a hammer is just a tool. A hammer is meant to help you build something (such as a house) and to create, but it can also be used incorrectly.

At the end of the day a training collar is just a tool. When used correctly, it will not hurt, punish, or scare your dog. 

This is why so many people are advocating to stop using the term “shock collar” and to use the term “small dog training collar” instead.

Here at Wiggle Kingdom, we LOVE dogs and we understand the concerns that pawrents have. This is why our training collars offer multiple features:

  • 3 different modes/settings. We understand that every dog is different. Some are more sensitive than others, whereas some dogs need something stronger to grab their attention. This is why our collars have 3 settings: Sound, vibration, and shock. We recommend that owners use the settings in that order. In many cases, owners don’t even have to go all the way up to shock. Sound or vibration might be enough to get your dog’s attention!
  • 9 different levels. As if 3 different settings wasn’t enough, the vibration and shock settings both feature 9 different levels. On the low end, 1 is designed for the most sensitive dogs. If your dog is more stubborn, then you can move up one level at a time; 9 is the strongest level. Only the vibration and shock settings have intensity levels ranging 1-9. Sound has one preset level.
  • Rubber probe covers. Still want something more muted? We provide rubber probe covers that you can easily put over the probes on the collar. This helps mute the sensations.

With so many settings, levels, and add-ons, it’s never been easier to customize a training collar for your dog. This ensures that you get the training impact that you need, while keeping your dog safe and comfortable.

shock collar myths

Myth #2: Shock Collars “Work Like Magic” 

Most people don’t know how to train a dog with a shock collar.

This means that training collars are misused, which feeds into the negative stereotypes and misconceptions around them.

You see, a lot of people will put a shock collar on their dog and activate it. So far, so good.

But here’s the issue: Without proper training, your dog isn’t going to understand what you’re trying to communicate. It’s going to be confused.

So what happens? The dog isn’t going to stop its behavior when the collar is activated. It might even become scared of its owner. 

In other words, you cannot just put a training collar on your dog and expect your dog to immediately behave. That would be magic – and as we all know, magic doesn’t exist.

We recommend checking out our previous article on how to train a dog using a shock collar

We do a deep dive into the step-by-step process to ensure that you experience success while protecting your dog. 

Simply put, a shock collar is not a tool that modifies your dog’s behavior. Rather, it’s a tool that gets your dog’s attention and brings it back to you. It helps you communicate with your dog. It’s up to you to modify your dog’s behavior. After all, your dog won’t be able to understand what a beep, vibration, or shock means, but it can understand your commands. 

The training collar brings your dog’s attention to you, so you can stop unwanted behavior!

Myth #3: This Will Be My Dog’s Main Collar 

It’s called a “training collar” because the collar is meant for training. It’s not meant to be your dog’s every day, all day collar. 

For example, let’s say you’re trying to stop unwanted barking. Rather than having the collar on all day, put the collar on when you know your dog is the most likely to bark. For many people, this is whenever the mailman comes to drop off the mail. This might be during rush hour when your neighbors are coming home from work. 

Then, whenever you’re not training, take the collar off your dog. This is for your dog’s comfort and safety. Plus, it will help increase the battery life of the collar!

In general, it’s best to limit collar wear to 4 hours a day. In some cases, however, you can increase this to 8 or even 12 hours, but that should be the maximum – and if you go to the upper end of this range, it’s recommended to give your dog a break from the collar the following day.

Here are some cases when might want to consider putting a training collar on your dog:

  • Each time you go on a walk
  • Whenever guests are coming over
  • Going to the dog park
  • Allowing your dog to play outside in the yard
  • During mealtime to curb food aggression

It’s not enough to learn how to properly train a dog with a shock collar. You also have to learn how to properly and safely use the collar. Limiting daily wear is an overlooked, yet critical, factor!

Myth #4: Training Collars Are For Young Puppies

Can you put a shock collar on a puppy?

You might get different answers from different people when you ask this question. 


Because puppyhood is a wide age.

So a better question to ask is, “When is a dog old enough for a shock collar?”

Most veterinarians and professional dog trainers agree that 6 months is the youngest age you can put a collar on a dog. Anything younger than 6 months is too early. 

This is part of the reason why shock collars get a bad reputation. If you think about it, the puppy months are the main training months. This is when a dog is the most likely to have bathroom accidents, chew on your belongings, dig and tear, bark and whine, and jump. 

When people don’t know how to train a dog with a shock collar, they’ll put one on a dog that is too young. 

To properly and safely use an e collar, you should wait until your dog is at least 6 months old. This is especially true for small dog breeds, such as toy breeds, because of their size and sensitivity. 

Myth #5: Shock Collars Are Expensive

Did you know that the average cost of a professional dog trainer ranges between $60 and $125 an hour?

Of course, the exact cost will vary depending on where you live. Those who live in the city, for instance, can expect to pay more for a professional trainer compared to those in rural areas. 

Group dog training classes aren’t much cheaper. These usually cost several hundred dollars and require a large time commitment. Classes range anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks, though more intensive classes might be 12 weeks. This is a massive time commitment for both the pup and its owner.

When compared to the alternatives, a training collar is a much cheaper and convenient option. 

Plus, the longer you wait to begin looking into training options, the more expensive it can get. For example, let’s say your dog has a bad habit of chewing your belongings. The longer you wait to stop this behavior, the more expensive it will become as your dog destroys precious valuable belongings such as shoes, shirts, and furniture. 

Or if your dog has aggressive behavior, this could lead to dangerous scenarios for not only your dog, but for your family, strangers, and other animals. 

Costs can come in the form of veterinary bills, medical bills, and replacing damaged items. 

The sooner you train your dog to behave, the better!

myths shock collars debunked

Myth #6: You Can’t Use Training Collars on Small Dogs  

In the past, this used to be true.

Most training collars were one-size-fits-all. 

This is obviously dangerous for small dogs. You wouldn’t want to put a training collar that works on a pitbull on a chihuahua. It would obviously be too powerful for a chihuahua. 

At Wiggle Kingdom, our training collars are designed specifically for small dogs between 5 and 15 pounds. Many pawrents of toy breeds trust our brand for their training needs. 

And don’t forget, in addition to being designed for small dogs, we even provide multiple customization options:

  • 3 settings/modes
  • 9 intensity levels
  • Rubber probe covers (for a muted effect)

In fact, training collars may be the perfect solution for hyperactive small dogs. A dog that has small dog syndrome, for example, might not listen to you otherwise. It might try to bark or run away when you’re trying to get its attention. When used properly, a training collar will help you bring your dog’s attention back to you so that you can stop unwanted behavior. 

Size doesn’t matter when the collar is made specifically for small dogs!

Myth #7: You Shouldn’t Use a Shock Collar

When you Google this topic, there are many articles on “why you shouldn’t use a shock collar.”

But if you read closely, you’ll see that most of these articles admit that training collars are not inherently bad or evil. 

Again, this all comes back to the negative stereotypes that come from misuse or misunderstanding. 

After reading this article, we hope that you understand the reasons why you should consider using a training collar:

  1. You can customize the stimulation level.
  2. You can get a training collar specifically for small dogs.
  3. It helps you communicate with your dog by getting its attention.
  4. It’s another tool in your toolbox to stop unwanted behavior. 

So is a shock collar bad for dogs? Is it animal abuse?

When used properly, a shock collar can be an incredible tool that brings your relationship with your dog to the next level! It will help you stop unwanted behavior and most importantly, keep your dog safe!

What Is the Best Shock Collar for Dogs?

More and more people are discovering that Wiggle Kingdom is the best training collar for small dogs. Our collars are designed for dogs between 5 and 15 pounds. This means that if you have a toy breed, you can use our collars with confidence that you are keeping your pup safe!

In addition to providing the best quality collars, we are proud to offer ongoing support for our clients. 

In our blog, we offer advice, tips, and insights to make the most out of your collar.

Check out some of our most popular articles:

We hope these articles help you better understand your dog so you can stop unwanted behavior and keep your pup safe!

Happy training!

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