The Best Dog Training Collar for 2023: Our Top 5 Picks

The saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is patently false. You can teach ANY dog new tricks…or new behaviors. You can even help them unlearn a few tricks if needed!

Whether you’re training your new puppy or trying to correct an older dog’s problematic behavior, dog training collars and harnesses are fantastic tools. However, finding the best dog training collar or harness isn’t easy.

There are hundreds of different training collars on the market, and many aren’t so stellar. Some can even be harmful. To help out, we’re sharing our picks for the best dog training collars right here for you!

A dog closely watching its owner.

Our Top Picks

Best for Pulling Behavior:
PetSafe Gentle Leader No-Pull Dog Headcollar

Best Vest for Pulling Behavior:
Rabbitgoo Dog Harness

Best E-Collar:
Educator E-Collar Humane Dog Training Collar

Best for Anxiety:
Dexil Limited Nervous Dog Harness

Best for Barking:
STOPWOOFER Dog Bark Collar

Best for Correcting Pulling Behavior

PetSafe Gentle Leader No-Pull Dog Headcollar

Our pick for the best dog training collar for dogs prone to pulling may surprise you. It looks a bit different than you might be used to!

Anything that even slightly resembles a muzzle often gives dog owners pause. However, this headcollar doesn’t restrict mouth opening or movement at all!

The strap across the dog’s snout is designed to discourage pulling and yanking on the leash during walks. (No more sore wrists or frantic sidewalk chases for you!)

It also doesn’t choke the dog the way slip collars do. Instead, the leash attaches below the chin, lowering the pressure on the dog’s neck as they walk.

The instinct to pull comes from the dog feeling something holding it back. By having the leash attached in the front, that sense of restriction is lessened.

However, keep in mind that this headcollar does not fit every breed.

Any dog with a short or “squished” snout will not benefit from this collar because it’s not designed to fit their face, regardless of which size you purchase. The description specifically mentions that this isn’t the best dog training collar for bulldogs or pugs.

There are multiple sizes available to you, for small to large breeds and everything in between!


  • Easy to use
  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Comes in multiple colors
  • Budget-friendly


  • Not suitable for certain breeds

Best Vest Harness for Correcting Pulling Behavior

Rabbitgoo Dog Harness

rabbitgoo Dog Harness, No-Pull Pet Harness with 2 Leash Clips, Adjustable Soft Padded Dog Vest, Reflective No-Choke Pet Oxford Vest with Easy Control Handle for Large Dogs, Blue Coral, L

If your dog can’t handle having straps around their head, that’s okay. A headcollar isn’t your only option to prevent pulling!

Our next pick for the best dog training collar to prevent pulling is the Rabbitgoo Dog Harness. This harness implements the same idea as a headcollar, but with a different design.

Instead of going over the dog’s head, this harness goes on like a vest. The leash still clips in the front, reducing the urge to pull.

While a bit bulkier in design than the headcollar, this harness is better for escape-prone dogs. It’s not as hard to get a dog comfortable with its design. It’s also easier to put on your dog if you have a wiggler!

This vest is designed with plush fabric and adjustable straps. This makes it easy to prevent soreness or other discomfort caused by tightness or friction.

Another benefit? These harnesses have no breed restrictions! Unlike the headcollar, which can’t be used on dogs with scrunched-up noses, the harness works well for everyone. All you need to do is pay attention to the measurements and order the right size for your dog.

There are different sizes and colors available, so you have plenty of options!


  • Works for all breeds
  • Easy to put on
  • Safe for long and short-haired dogs
  • Multiple options


  • Bulkier than a headcollar

Best E-Collar

Educator E-Collar Humane Dog Training Collar

Our next pick for the best dog training collar is considerably more expensive than the first ones. However, it comes with a list of features that make it worth the money!

This is considered an e-collar, or an electric collar. However, it is not considered a “shock” or “zap” collar because it doesn’t include a shock mode at all. Instead, it employs different levels of vibration stimulation to catch your dog’s attention.

Because of the great number of levels, the jumps in stimulation are minute, so it’s far less likely you’ll frighten your dog by upping the level on the collar when needed.

This collar also comes with the option to use a “Pavlovian tone” in addition to the vibration of the collar. This is a different take on the “Beep” mode often included in other e-collars.

This “Beep” mode can be used similarly to a training clicker. When paired with a vibration, this can become even more effective.

While this system is designed for a single dog only, it comes with quite a bit of adjustability. There are 100 levels to scale through on this collar, allowing you to find the exact level your dog needs.

This collar is suitable for smaller and larger breeds, with the minimum weight being five pounds. No maximum weight is listed.

While this collar is on the pricier side, some things are worth the investment! This is the best dog training collar for general training purposes. You can use this collar to teach your dog new behaviors or curb problematic ones.


  • Wide range of stimulation levels
  • Not considered a “shock” collar
  • Both collar and remote are waterproof
  • Suitable for smaller and larger breeds
  • Suitable for both long and shorthair breeds


  • High price tag
  • Made for only one dog (Other e-collars have systems that connect to multiple channels)

Best for Anxious Dogs

Dexil Limited Nervous Dog Harness

NERVOUS (Give Me Space) Yellow Color Coded Non-Pull Front and Back D Ring Padded and Waterproof Vest Dog Harness PREVENTS Accidents By Warning Others Of Your Dog (Small Harness 15-24inch Chest/Girth)

Oftentimes, nervous dog behavior can be misinterpreted as aggressive behavior. People who don’t know your dog’s limits might approach with good intentions but become frightened when they react poorly.

Nervous dogs can and should be socialized, but it’s best to do it carefully. The best way to let people know your dog is nervous is to put it out there loud and clear.

That’s where the Dexil Nervous Dog Harness comes in!

This is the best dog training collar (well, harness) if you have an anxious or reactive dog. It’s designed in a bright, eye-catching shade of yellow with letters that are big and bold and easy to read.

This vest makes it clear to everyone that your dog should not be approached willy-nilly and allows you to control how you introduce your dog to other dogs and new people. It’s far less likely people will choose to approach without asking if your dog is wearing this harness.

The harness is easy to put on, lightweight, and comes in three sizes.

Unfortunately, it only comes as small as 15 inches and as large as 32 inches around the chest. This means it isn’t the best dog training collar for very small or very large breeds.


  • Brightly colored, easy to read
  • Easy to put on
  • Lightweight


  • Not suitable for very small or very large breeds

Best for Vocal Dogs

STOPWOOFER Dog Bark Collar

STOPWOOFER Dog Bark Collar - No Shock, No Pain - Rechargeable Barking Collar for Small, Medium and Large Dogs - w/2 Vibration & Beep Modes (Orange)

You have to love a good play on words! The STOPWOOFER is the best dog training collar for especially vocal dogs.

This collar falls under the umbrella of e-collars, but, like the Educator E-Collar, it doesn’t have a “shock” mode. It has three modes: Sound, Vibration, and a mode that implements both simultaneously. It’s a perfect choice if you’re seeking a humane, effective way to stop your dog’s excessive barking.

One downside—or upside, depending on how you look at it—is that this collar doesn’t come with a remote. This means you can’t control when the collar delivers a vibration or beep, nor can you control the levels it scales through.

However, the collar comes with a protective measure built into it. If it scales through the levels of vibration and your dog doesn’t stop barking, the collar will shut off briefly to prevent agitation.

It’s waterproof, which is helpful if you have an adventurous pooch! It also comes with silicone covers on the vibration tines to prevent any excess rubbing or sores on your dog’s skin.

This collar is ideal for apartment living or other situations where a vocal dog could result in complaints.

So if you’re struggling to sleep at night because of your dog’s barking, or you’re tired of receiving complaints from neighbors, the STOPWOOFER is the best dog training collar for you!


  • Waterproof
  • No shock mode
  • Automatic shutoff


  • No remote control

The Dog Training Collar Buyer’s Guide

You might notice there are a few types of collars excluded from our list of the best dog training collars: slip, prong, and shock collars.

Slip and Prong /Pinch Collars

A metal link slip or choke collar.

It’s widely recommended that you avoid slip collars (sometimes called “choke” collars) or prong collars when training. These collars are not considered safe or humane for the average dog owner to use.

They can cause injury to your dog or even worsen problematic behavior if the dog becomes fearful of the collar. We’re recommending most dog owners not use these.

Shock Collar vs. E-Collar

Closeup of the prongs for a shock collar.

Another type of training collar that often gets called into question is the shock collar, which is sometimes lumped in with e-collars.

Shock collars, however, are just what they sound like — they deliver an electric shock that gets more noticeable as the level is increased. The shock is a punishment that’s intended to stop an undesired behavior (barking, running after something instead of returning when called, ignoring a command).

There’s tons of debate about what forms of behavioral training are best. As a rule, punishment is less effective for training dogs than positive reinforcement like praise and treats.

Non-Shock E-Collars

While many people shy away from using e-collars because of the negative association with shock collars, we chose our pick for the best e-collar based on its exclusion of the “shock” mode. The vibration of this training collar isn’t painful and isn’t the sharp, stinging sensation we associate with the word “shock.”

An e-collar is meant to capture your dog’s attention.

Best Practices for E-Collars

The only time a good-quality e-collar can harm your dog is if it’s used improperly. For instance, leaving it on for too long can result in sores caused by the metal tines rubbing against the neck.

Never leave the e-collar on when you’re not actively engaging in training!

Go slowly through the levels. We advise never jumping straight to the strongest vibration setting, especially if you have a smaller or easily frightened dog. You don’t want to scare or upset your dog unnecessarily.

The highest levels of an e-collar are only meant for potentially life-threatening situations. For instance, if your dog runs away from you by a busy road and won’t respond to your calls, you might have to go higher to quickly get their attention.


A beagle sitting on a log wearing a front-clip harness, one of the best dog training collar styles.

Are there any breeds that shouldn’t be trained with specific types of training collars?

There are no breeds that can’t be trained with a training collar when it’s used properly. The only thing to keep in mind is your dog’s weight and size. E-collars, for example, shouldn’t be used under (or above) a certain weight threshold.

The harness options on this list are perfectly safe regardless of size and weight. You just need to make sure you purchase the right fit for your dog!

If a harness or collar is too big, your pup could easily wriggle out. If it’s too small, it could cause discomfort or injury by over-restricting movement.

How old does my puppy have to be before I can start using these training collars?

A man using treats to train a young puppy.

The rule of thumb to begin using any training collar is six months.

With e-collars, weight is the bigger concern. Monitor your puppy’s weight and check the minimum weight requirement to determine when they’re ready to start training.

For the rest of the best dog training collars, it’s really up to the temperament of your puppy.

You know your dog best. If you’re unsure, you can always consult with your vet or dog trainer.

Find the Best Dog Training Collar for Your Dog

A Husky wearing a head collar.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of training collars out there. After all, you want to make the best choice you can for your dog. Our picks for the best dog training collars all combine functionality with comfort to get you the best results!

For more tips on caring for your furry friend, visit All Paws!

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