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How to Introduce a Shock Collar to a Dog and Other FAQs

How to Introduce a Shock Collar to a Dog and Other FAQs

12 minute read

Training a dog can be a challenging task, especially for first-time dog owners. 

From mastering basic commands like sit and stay, to addressing more complex issues like aggression or separation anxiety, the process can be both time-consuming and frustrating. But despite the challenges, training a dog is an essential step in building a strong and healthy relationship between you and your pup.

Proper training is not only important for the well-being of your dog, but also for the safety of yourself and others. 

Think about it: A well-trained dog is less likely to be involved in accidents or aggressive incidents, and is more likely to be a well-behaved and well-adjusted companion. And while there are many different methods and tools available for training dogs, one of the most effective is the use of a shock collar.

A training collar, also known as an e-collar or remote collar, is a device that uses mild electric stimulation to communicate with a dog. 

It's a tool that can be used to teach dogs new commands, correct unwanted behaviors, and keep them safe in certain situations. But despite its effectiveness, many dog owners are hesitant to use a training collar, often due to misconceptions about the device.

It also doesn't help that some dogs are scared of new things. If you have a shy or timid dog, it might get nervous or freak out if you put a new collar (with metal prongs) on it. 

This is why it's so important to properly introduce your dog to a training collar. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explain how to incorporate a training collar into your routine and address some of the most frequently asked questions about the device.

From understanding how to properly introduce a training collar to your dog, to addressing concerns about safety and effectiveness, we'll provide you with the information you need to properly introduce a shock collar to your dog. This will create a better relationship between you and your furry friend.

Mastering Dog Training: A Comprehensive Guide to Introducing a Shock Collar

introduce shock collar for toy breed

We’ve previously written about how to train your dog with a shock collar

But what if your dog has self confidence issues and is afraid and skittish around new objects? What if your dog doesn’t like it whenever someone grabs his collar? What if your dog has a history of abuse and neglect?

Here’s the reality: A small dog shock collar is not meant to hurt dogs. It is simply a tool that helps with communication. 

This is why it’s important to introduce your dog to the shock collar. 

Think of it this way – some dogs are like children with social anxiety. If you’ve ever seen a child dropped off at daycare for the first time, they may have separation anxiety. But over time, they get used to it and will even look forward to it.

Similarly, some dogs might need time to acclimate to a new collar. Some dogs might have trust issues or are simply more cautious than others.

By slowly introducing a shock collar, you will build trust with your dog and strengthen your relationship. Here’s how.

First and foremost, it's important to understand that a training collar is not a magic wand. It will not fix all of your dog's behavior issues overnight. Instead, it should be used as a tool to aid in the training process. Think of it as a way to communicate with your dog and help them understand what you want from them. It's also important to note that a training collar should never be used as a punishment tool, but rather as a way to provide guidance and positive reinforcement.

Before introducing a training collar to your dog, it's important to establish a foundation of basic obedience training. This means that your dog should already be familiar with commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel. This will make the training process much smoother and more effective.

  1. Step 1: Get the Right Collar

    The first step in introducing a training collar is to make sure you get the right one. Look for a collar that is designed for your dog's size and temperament. For example, a toy breed should have a small dog shock collar. After all, you wouldn’t want a chihuahua to wear the same collar as a pitbull! The collar should fit snugly, but not too tight. It's also important to choose a collar with adjustable settings, so you can find the right level of stimulation for your dog. Visit Wiggle Kingdom to see the various options available.

  2. Step 2: Familiarize Your Dog with the Collar

    Before you start using the collar, let your dog get used to it. Show it to your dog, let them sniff it and investigate it. Put it on your dog, but don't turn it on. Let your dog wear the collar around the house for a few hours every day, so they can get used to the feel of it.

  3. Step 3: Start with the Lowest Setting

    Once your dog is comfortable with the collar, it's time to start training. Begin with the lowest setting and wait until your dog shows signs of unwanted behavior such as barking. Tell it to “stop” or be “quiet.” If your dog responds correctly, give it a treat. If it doesn’t respond, use the collar remote to trigger a gentle stimulation. The goal is to teach your dog the association between the command, the stimulation, and the desired behavior.

  4. Step 4: Increase the Setting Gradually

    As your dog gets used to the collar, you can gradually increase the setting. But always start with the lowest setting and work your way up. It's important to keep the stimulation at a level that your dog can tolerate and that doesn’t hurt or harm your dog. If your dog seems uncomfortable or stressed, decrease the setting.
  5. Step 5: Use the Collar Consistently

    Consistency is key when training with a collar. Use the collar every time you give a command. This will help your dog understand that the collar is a tool for communication, not punishment.
  6. Step 6: Phase Out the Collar

    As your dog becomes more responsive to the commands, you can phase out the use of the collar. Start using it less often, and eventually, you can stop using it altogether. But remember, always have the collar ready in case of emergency or unexpected behavior.

A training collar can be a valuable tool in training your dog, but it's important to use it correctly. Remember to take it slow, be patient, and always use the collar in conjunction with positive reinforcement. With the right training, you and your furry friend will be able to enjoy walks and adventures together, with a well-behaved pup by your side!

We recommend reading our previous article on how to use a shock collar to stop bad behavior if you want a deep dive into collar training.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shock Collars 

shock collar frequently asked questions

Now that you know how to introduce a shock collar to your dog, there are other questions that may come up. Below are some of the common questions we hear from people considering a shock collar for their dog. 

Can you use a shock collar on a puppy? When is a dog old enough for a shock collar?

It's generally recommended to wait until a puppy is at least six months old before introducing a training collar. Puppies are still developing and their necks are more delicate, so it's important to use a collar that is specifically designed for puppies and to start with the lowest setting. It's also crucial to use positive reinforcement and patience when training a puppy.

How to pair a shock collar with a remote?

With Wiggle Kingdom, this isn’t an issue! Our shock collars for small dogs come with a remote control that can work up to 1,000 feet away. The remote should work immediately, and unlike other brands, you won’t have to worry about pairing and keeping your devices in sync. Our goal is to help you make training as efficient and easy as possible!

Is an e collar the same thing as a shock collar?

The terms "e-collar" and "shock collar" are often used interchangeably. An e-collar, or electronic collar, is a type of collar that delivers a small electric stimulation to the dog's neck. This stimulation can be used for training and communication purposes. Other names include “training collar”or “bark collar for small dogs.”

How tight should a shock collar be?

A Shock collar should fit snugly on your dog's neck, but not too tight. It should be tight enough that it won't slip over the dog's head, but loose enough that you can comfortably fit two fingers between the collar and the dog's neck. 

A tight collar can cause discomfort or injury, while a loose collar may not be effective in delivering the stimulation. It's important to check the fit of the collar regularly, and adjust it as necessary, especially if your dog is growing or losing weight. When in doubt, stick to the two finger rule.

Can you leave a shock collar on all the time?


It is not recommended to leave a training collar on all the time. A training collar should only be used during training sessions or when necessary to communicate with your dog. It is not necessary to keep it on all the time, and it can be uncomfortable for your dog to wear it for long periods. Also, it is important to give your dog breaks from the collar, to let their skin and fur breathe. 

Most experts recommend leaving a shock collar on for 8 hours at a time; 12 hours max, per day. Additionally, leaving a collar on all the time may cause your dog to become accustomed to the stimulation, and it may lose its effectiveness as a training tool.

Does a shock collar hurt a dog?

When used improperly, a shock collar can hurt a dog.

When used correctly, a shock collar will not hurt your dog.

It all depends on your individual pup and the settings that you choose. At Wiggle Kingdom, we know that there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all. That’s why we developed an extra small dog shock collar for tiny dogs like toy breeds. Not only do we provide three different settings (sound, vibration, and shock) for your dog, but we also provide 9 different intensity levels (1 is low and 9 is high) for the vibration and shock settings.

With these features, you can rest assured that a shock collar won’t hurt your dog. Rather, you will be able to get your dog’s attention without causing any harm. This provides peace of mind for you – as well as a better behaved pup!

For more tips on how to properly use a shock collar, we encourage you to read our previous article explaining how to use a shock collar for toy breeds.

Do you leave rubber tips on a shock collar?

do you leave rubber tips on prongs shock collar

It depends! The rubber tips are designed to diffuse the stimulation, making it more comfortable for the dog and reducing the risk of injury. 

If you have an especially sensitive dog, then you’ll want to put rubber tips on the prongs to “mute” the effects of the collar.

However, if you need more stimulation, then it’s better to leave the tips off of the collar. Also, if your dog’s skin is having a reaction to the prongs (which is rare), then the rubber tips can provide comfort and alleviate the issue. 

Will a shock collar stop a dog fight?

Using a shock collar in an attempt to stop a dog fight is not recommended and can be dangerous. A shock collar is a tool for training and communication. While fighting is certainly unwanted behavior, dogs in a fight may not respond to the stimulation and it could escalate the situation. 

In cases of dog fights, it's important to intervene safely and appropriately, using techniques such as distracting the dogs with loud noises, water, or separating them physically. 

A training collar can help stop aggressive behavior such as growling or barking – but if a fight breaks out, dog training experts recommend using the distraction methods mentioned above.

Can you use a shock collar on a pregnant dog?

It is not recommended to use a training collar on a pregnant dog. 

Pregnant dogs have different needs and sensitivities, and it's important to avoid any unnecessary stress or discomfort. The use of a training collar may cause additional stress on a pregnant dog, which could be harmful to both the dog and the unborn puppies. It's best to wait until after the dog has given birth and weaned her puppies before reintroducing the collar. 

Additionally, it's important to consult with your veterinarian and a professional trainer before introducing a collar to a pregnant dog, as they will be able to provide guidance on the best course of action for your specific behavioral needs.

What does a shock collar feel like?

Imagine taking a rubber band and lightly snapping it against your palm.

When the correct setting is used, the stimulation should feel the same to your dog – just enough to get its attention, but not enough to cause pain or harm. 

Final Thoughts

A training collar can be a valuable tool in training your dog, but it's important to use it correctly. 

Remember to take it slow, be patient, and always use the collar in conjunction with positive reinforcement. Use the tips in this article to slowly and safely introduce and acclimate your dog to the training collar!

With the right training, you and your dog will be able to enjoy a happy and well-behaved relationship, where the collar is just a tool to communicate and not a punishment. So, purchase a training collar from Wiggle Kingdom, train responsibly, and enjoy your time with your pup!

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