Shock collars have long been a controversial tool in the world of dog training. While overuse of these collars is certainly not advisable, they can help correct bad habits in German Shepherds. These dogs are known for their loyalty, bravery, and intelligence, but they are also powerful animals that need proper training to avoid aggression, and E-collars can certainly be helpful.
The key to using shock collars correctly is using them sparingly. When used too much, these collars can easily have the opposite effect of what you intended. They are by no means a replacement for good, consistent training and should only be used when you have exhausted all other options. When this happens, they are a great way of gently getting your dog’s attention and honing their focus.
The E-collar that you choose must be safe yet effective, and it can be challenging to find the right one for your German Shepherd. We put together this list of 10 of our favorite models, complete with in-depth reviews, to help you choose the best E-collar for your needs.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites – 2023 Update
|Best Overall||Educator Dog E-Collar||
|Best Value||PATPET P320 Remote Collar||
|Premium Choice||Garmin Sport Training Collar||
|PetSafe Static Dog Bark Collar||
|PATPET P-C80 Remote Collar||
The 8 Best Shock Collars (E-Collars) for German Shepherds
1. Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar — Best Overall
|Battery life:||24–72 hours (collar and remote)|
|Coverage range:||½ mile|
The Educator by E-Collar Technologies is a safe and effective training tool and is our top choice of shock collar for German Shepherds overall. The collar delivers a low-level, blunt electronic stimulation that humanely conditions your dog toward good behavior. It has a ½-mile range, with an ergonomic transmitter fitted with a bright, easy-to-read LCD screen. The collar has variable stimulation levels ranging from 1–100, depending on your dog’s needs, with an additional boost level of 1–60, and it is suitable for dogs over 5 pounds. It includes a “Pavlovian Tone” option for training, emitting a tone rather than the vibration, which may be more suited for some dogs. The collar is made from tough polyester webbing, both it and the transmitter are waterproof, and it comes with rechargeable batteries included.
This collar is difficult to fault, but some users report that the purported ½-mile range is a stretch, and the collar is not that responsive at long distances.
2. PATPET P320 300M Remote Dog Training Collar- Best Value
|Battery life:||Remote –15 days, collar — 7 days|
|Coverage range:||300 yards|
|Features:||Waterproof, reflective collar, rechargeable|
The Patpet P320 dog training collar is inexpensive yet effective and is the best shock collar for German Shepherds for the money. This collar is unique in that it enables you to choose between loud beeps, eight levels of vibration, or 16 levels of mild electric shocks at various levels of intensity, depending on what’s needed for your pooch. It also has a warning feature at more than eight levels of stimulation to let you know if the correction is getting too intense. Both the collar and receiver are waterproof and powered by rapid-charging lithium-ion batteries, and the collar itself is made from soft, comfortable nylon.
Unfortunately, while this collar works for correcting behavior, there is poor quality control at the factory, as several customers reported that the receiver simply stopped working intermittently or altogether. Also, the 300-yard range is a bit small for large dogs such as German Shepherds.
3. Garmin Sport PRO Training Collar Bundle – Premium Choice
|Battery life:||Remote and collar — 60 hours|
|Coverage range:||¾ mile|
|Features:||Rechargeable, interchangeable contact points|
If you are looking for a premium choice of E-collar for training your German Shepherd, look no further than the Garmin Sport PRO training collar. The receiver is compact and lightweight, with a ¾-mile range and easy, intuitive controls. There are 10 different stimulation levels to choose from, with four buttons that control momentary or continuous vibration, stimulation, and tone. There’s a built-in BarkLimiter to help with out-of-control barking. The collar is made from tough plastic and is designed with interchangeable and replaceable contact points so it can work with any size of German Shepherd. Both the receiver and collar are waterproof and fitted with rechargeable batteries that can provide up to 60 hours of battery life. Up to three different collars per receiver are supported.
This collar is superb quality, packed with features, and almost impossible to fault, although it has a hefty price tag.
4. PetSafe Static Basic Waterproof Dog Bark Collar
|Battery life:||3 months|
If you’re looking for a simple, inexpensive method to control your German Shepherd’s barking, the PetSafe Basic Bark Collar is a great solution. The collar is waterproof with a long-lasting battery, requires no programming, and is perfectly safe and effective. The collar has automatic, progressive correction, gently increasing the levels until your dog stops barking. There are six levels in total, automatic safety shutoff, and 50-second correction shutoff. The vibration sensor will easily detect your dog’s vocal cords moving and turn on and shut off without any need for manual programming, making bark correction simple and easy.
Some users reported that this collar didn’t work for their dog at all, and they barked with it as much as without! Also, the clip is of poor quality and breaks easily, especially on large dogs like GSDs.
5. PATPET P-C80 Lightweight Remote Dog Training Collar
|Battery life:||Up to 24 hours|
|Coverage range:||350 yards|
|Features:||Waterproof, rechargeable, quick-charging|
The PATPET dog training collar is lightweight and waterproof and has lithium-ion batteries that charge in 3 hours or less. The small and lightweight receiver can work for up to 350 yards, has 16 different levels of vibration, beeps, and static, and can be used for two dogs. The collar is made from tough nylon and plastic that is fully waterproof and is easily adjustable to suit any size of German Shepherd. This collar can be used for barking control and for basic training, like sitting and command training.
However, the PATPET dog training collar has a comparatively short range that is not ideal for more advanced training. Also, we were disappointed to discover that the unit only comes with one charger, so you’ll need to charge the collar and remote separately.
6. SportDOG SBC-R Waterproof Rechargeable Bark Collar
|Battery life:||200 hours|
|Features:||Waterproof, rechargeable, progressive correction|
This E-collar from SportDOG is ideal if you simply need to stop your GSD from barking. It has a safe, simple interface that automatically detects and then corrects your dog’s barking. The unique technology detects your dog’s unique bark and filters out any other noise, making it far more consistent and safe than many other bark collars on the market. It has three programmable correction modes and 10 levels of static stimulation, and it is made from tough plastic and is 100% waterproof. The collar comes fitted with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and charges in less than 2 hours, with an estimated 200-hour battery life.
The stimulation provided by this collar is rather small, though, even on the highest setting, and this is not enough for some larger dogs. It is also rather poorly constructed for the price, as several customers reported that it stopped working after 6 months or so.
7. SportDOG YardTrainer Waterproof Dog Training Collar
|Battery life:||Remote: 50–70 hours, collar: 20–25 hours|
|Coverage range:||100 yards|
The SportDOG YardTrainer E-collar has eight different levels of stimulation with vibration and tone options too, making it ideal for basic training in your backyard. The remote is lightweight and intuitive, making it quick and easy to use without looking at it, and has a 100-yard range. The collar is made from tough plastic and fully waterproof and comes with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can last up to 25 hours! This particular collar has a higher stimulation range than the YT-100, so it’s ideal for larger dogs like German Shepherds.
While the battery has a reported 25-hour life, many users said that it lasted far less, especially with higher stimulation settings. This is disappointing, especially since the unit comes with only one charger.
8. Hot Spot Pets Wireless Rechargeable Waterproof Collar
|Battery life:||1–3 days|
|Coverage range:||300 yards|
|Features:||Waterproof, reflective collar, rechargeable|
The Hot Spot dog training collar is inexpensive but packed with great features. It can deliver up to 100 levels of static shock and 100 levels of vibration, which are easily controlled using the ergonomic remote control, complete with a programmable LCD screen. The collar comes with two different-sized prongs that make it ideal for any sized dog and is made from tough nylon that is waterproof up to 3 feet. We love that two collars can be used with one controller.
Several customers report that the remote is fairly confusing to operate, as the settings are not changed with a single button. The collar also enters into sleep mode quickly, which can become a hassle, and the battery life is comparatively short.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Shock Collars for GSDs
Every German Shepherd owner will tell you how intelligent, loyal, and thus, relatively easy to train these dogs are, but there are certainly times where training can be a struggle. In these cases, shock collars can come in handy. German Shepherds have fairly high prey drives and are impulsive animals, and this can make using collars for behavioral training highly useful. There is a great deal of controversy over the use of E-collars for dog training, but with careful, proper use, they are helpful tools.
There are two basic types of shock collars available today: training collars and anti-bark collars. Training collars will generally have remotes with various stimulation modes, while anti-bark collars are remote-free and work by automatically sensing when your dog is barking and adjusting the stimulation as needed. Anti-bark collars are also generally less expensive, so if the only behavioral issue that your pooch has is barking, a training collar may not be necessary.
What to Look For When Buying a Shock Collar for Your German Shepherd
Shock Collar Stimulation Modes
Most shock collars, apart from simple anti-bark varieties, have multiple stimulation modes to help correct your dog’s behavior. These usually include shock, vibration, tone, and light, and it’s great to have these options because some dogs may respond better to one mode than another. You can begin with light vibration, tone, and lights and only move onto shock mode when needed.
Shock Collar Stimulation Levels
Almost all shock collars have multiple levels of stimulation, with up to 20 or more on some collars. This is a great feature because you can begin on the lowest setting to prevent causing too much stress to your dog and then progress up from there as needed.
Shock Collar Range
Different shock collars have varying ranges in which the remote can reach the collar. The range that you’ll need depends completely on what your intended use is, but for basic backyard training, around 100 yards is suitable. German Shepherds have a strong prey drive, though, and you may need a longer range if you are training them to respond or stop chasing an animal out in the field.
Shock Collar Utility
The shock collar that you choose should be waterproof because you never know when your pooch will go dive into a river or pool, and it’s great to be able to train in all weather conditions. The collar should also be lightweight and comfortable, and the remote should have easy-to-use function controls. A collar and remote with rechargeable batteries and as long a lifespan as possible are best, as disposable batteries can quickly become expensive.
How to Use a Shock Collar Correctly
Shock collars can certainly be useful when used properly, but it’s important to remember that these collars should not and cannot be used as replacements for proper training. Rather, they are additional tools. Begin with regular training techniques first, especially with young German Shepherds. Only once they have mastered basic commands should you move onto a shock collar.
Let your dog get used to the collar before making any corrections, as they do feel different from standard collars. You can then begin making corrections after a few days. Remember that even with the E-collar, it will take time for your pooch to learn, so do not rush the process or overuse the tool, or you could end up doing more harm than good. Make your intentions clear to your dog, with and without the collar; otherwise, they may only respond when the collar is on, which is not good either.
Finally, begin with the vibrate or tone setting on the lowest and progress from there. Most dogs inherently want to please their owners, and the collar is not a permanent solution but a means to an end: a well-trained dog. Hopefully, you’ll be able to stay with the low settings and eventually not require the collar at all.
The Educator by E-Collar Technologies is our top choice of shock collar for German Shepherds overall. The collar delivers a low-level electronic stimulation and has a ½-mile range, complete with an ergonomic transmitter and variable stimulation levels. The collar is made from tough polyester, is 100% waterproof, and comes with rechargeable batteries included.
The Patpet P320 dog training collar is the best shock collar for German Shepherds for the money. This collar enables you to choose between loud beeps, eight levels of vibration, or 16 levels of mild electric shocks at various levels of intensity, with a warning feature at more than eight levels of stimulation to let you know if the correction is getting too intense. Both the collar and receiver are waterproof and powered by rapid-charging lithium-ion batteries.
If you are looking for a premium quality E-collar, look no further than the Garmin Sport PRO training collar. The receiver is compact and lightweight with a ¾-mile range and 10 different stimulation levels to choose from, with momentary or continuous vibration, stimulation, and tone, as well as a built-in BarkLimiter to help with out-of-control barking.
With all the controversy that surrounds using an E-collar, it can be stressful to find the right one. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have narrowed down the options somewhat and helped you choose the best E-collar for your needs.
- Related Read: Best Treats for German Shepherds – Reviews and Top Picks