Training a dog is no easy task, especially when you struggle to get your pup’s attention. However, many of the training methods that are impossible to ignore are also somewhat barbaric, which puts discerning pet owners in a tight spot.
These vibrating collars make an excellent compromise, as they grab your dog’s attention without causing him any physical pain. As a result, they’re a humane solution to a huge training problem.
Unfortunately, they don’t all work as well as they should. In the reviews below, we’ll show you which collars we think will make excellent additions to your training routine, and which ones are little more than glorified necklaces.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 9 Best Vibrating Dog Collars That Are Humane
1. DogRook No Shock Training Collar – Best Overall
There are two modes to choose from on the DogRook No Shock: sound or vibration. This lets you start off with a completely non-physical solution before transitioning to vibration if necessary.
It boasts seven different vibration settings, so you won’t overwhelm your dog from the beginning with a severe rumble. This makes it a smart choice for skittish dogs, and owners never have to worry about using more vibration than is absolutely necessary.
The collar itself is adjustable and fits dogs anywhere from 10 to 110 pounds. The strap is water-resistant, too, so you don’t have to worry if your pup feels like taking a quick dip in the pool while wearing it.
Our biggest issue with the DogRook is that it’s not ideal for training multiple dogs at once. The problem is that it gets activated by barking, regardless of where it’s coming from, so one dog’s barking will set off both dog’s collar, confusing each of them.
That can be solved by staggering your training, though, and it’s not an issue for everyone, so we didn’t think it was enough to knock the DogRook out of the #1 spot.
2. NPS No Shock Bark Collar – Best Value
The NPS No Shock handles one aspect of training for you, as it automatically adjusts its vibration levels depending on how long your dog barks. This prevents you from needing to do anything, and also helps control problematic barking when you’re not home.
It also pairs the vibrations with beeps, and both continue for as long as your dog barks. This is a double-edged sword, because while it means that your dog can’t just power through the vibrations until they stop, it also means that she might learn to ignore them over time.
The good news is that it’s calibrated to ignore false triggers, so you don’t have to worry about something innocuous — like your dog shaking her head, or someone else’s dog barking — setting it off accidentally.
It’s somewhat surprising that this device would be this sophisticated, given its low price. That’s why it’s our pick as the best of the vibrating dog collars that are humane for the money. Our concern is simply that it may lose effectiveness eventually, which is why it’s ranked here instead of the top spot.
3. SportDOG Brand E-Collar – Premium Choice
Unlike some of the other models that buzz automatically, the Sport DOG Brand 425 E-Collar puts the power in your hands — literally, thanks to the included remote control.
The remote has a 500-yard range and multiple settings, including vibration, sound, and static stimulation.
You may not agree with the use of static stimulation, but you don’t have to use it, and it’s there if you need it. Plus, it has 21 different levels of intensity, so if you do decide to give it a try, you can start off very light.
You can train up to three dogs simultaneously with this unit (although that would require purchasing two additional collars). The battery in the remote is rechargeable as well, and usually powers up in about two hours.
Beyond questions about humane treatment, the biggest sticking point with the SportDOG Brand 425 E-Collar is the price. It’s not cheap, and you may balk at attaching such an expensive piece of equipment to a furry machine that’s determined to eat it.
Still, it’s likely worth every penny if you can afford it. We just don’t know that it’s better than the two options listed above it.
4. GoodBoy Mini No Shock Collar
As the name suggests, the GoodBoy Mini is a very small device, and your pet likely won’t even notice it’s there — until it starts buzzing, that is. Given that it offers nine levels of vibration, it’s up to you how much of a wake-up call you want that to be.
The reason why this thing is so small is because it’s designed for small dogs; pups weighing as little as five pounds can wear it safely, and they won’t feel like they’re carrying a millstone around their necks. Of course, the flip side to this is that bigger pooches might not even notice it, even when you want them to.
This unit also comes with a remote, this one with a 1,000-foot range. That makes it as suitable for backyard training as it is for working indoors.
However, the GoodBoy Mini isn’t without its flaws. Besides the fact that it’s probably not powerful enough for larger breeds, the buttons on the remote are completely smooth. This makes it impossible to tell which button is which unless you’re looking at it, which distracts you during training.
If you have a toy breed, this may be a good place to start. Otherwise, we’d recommend trying one of the three above it first.
5. TBI Pro V7 Bark Collar
We have no idea what’s actually inside the TBI Pro V7, but it certainly looks high-tech. It also boasts a database of over 5,000 dog voices, which helps cut down on false triggering, so this device is certainly no dummy.
It also has dual vibration motors, so it can pack more of a punch than some of the other models on this list. The vibrations are bark-activated, but you can set the collar to “normal” mode if you never want your pup subjected to the heaviest waves.
Crying and whining won’t activate it, however, so don’t expect it to eliminate all problematic vocalizations. The strap doesn’t hold it in place very well, either, and it constantly moves around the dog’s neck. This can be an issue because there are certain spots where the dog is much less likely to feel the vibrations.
All in all, the TBI Pro V7 is a sophisticated device that doesn’t quite deliver on its potential. That’s a shame, too, because wearing it makes your pet look like a battle dog from the future.
6. POP VIEW Dog Bark Collar
The POP VIEW allows you to customize how sensitive it is, so you can have it vibrate if your pup so much as whispers or wait until she’s full-on barking to go off. At its most sensitive, it has a hair trigger, and even breathing on it could make it vibrate.
That sensitivity makes it vulnerable to false alarms, especially in multi-dog households. However, you could even set it off by talking to your dog or petting her vigorously, which defeats the purpose.
It’s strange, then, that such a sensitive machine would also be so inconsistent. It doesn’t always go off when it should; one minute it will vibrate because you whispered to your dog while petting her, and the next it will remain still while she barks at the mailman.
It’s not the most durable unit, which may be understandable given its low price point. Still, it’d be nice to get more than a few months out of it before needing to buy another one.
The POP VIEW isn’t a bad collar, especially for the price, but you may find that it’s more trouble than it’s worth.
7. WOLFWILL Remote Dog Training Collar
The plain black ABS shell of the WOLFWILL Remote doesn’t attract a lot of attention, so you won’t have to answer as many questions about this collar as you would some of the others on this list. It’s also completely waterproof, making it a good choice for those who like to take their pups swimming.
The remote is simple and easy to use, and it has a helpful belt clip on it as well.
Beyond that, though, there’s not a lot to love about this collar.
While it has 16 levels of vibration, there’s not much difference between them, making that number a bit deceiving. Also, even on its highest setting, it likely won’t penetrate thick fur, so if you have a Husky, you’ll either need to find a stronger model or give her a shave.
The remote also needs to be charged after every use, which is a hassle — and oftentimes it will stop holding a charge at all after a few months.
Overall, the WOLFWILL Remote has some interesting qualities, but they’re not enough to make up for its other flaws.
8. Paws Furlosophy No Shock Dog Collar
The Paws Furlosophy is middle-of-the-road in terms of price, but there are several options that cost half as much that nevertheless manage to outperform it.
The biggest problem isn’t necessarily the collar’s performance — it’s the fact that the battery only sporadically holds a charge. It doesn’t do you much good if it doesn’t have any juice, and unfortunately, it’s hard to tell if it’s juiced up until you’re out in the field.
It’s fairly bulky, and may be a heavy nuisance for dogs under 50 pounds. Setting it up is a pain as well, as the instructions are basically useless.
It does have a decent range, at 650 yards, and it’s completely waterproof, making it suitable for use in any conditions. Beyond that, though there’s little we found worth recommending about the Paws Furlosophy.
9. BIG DEAL No Shock Dog Training Collar
The BIG DEAL comes in at a low price, but this is definitely a case of getting what you pay for.
The collar is made of cheap plastic, and it won’t last long if your dog is the rough-and-tumble type. The inexpensive construction may also be why it’s not capable of producing much vibration, allowing it to be easily ignored.
There’s also a slight delay between the remote and the collar, which may not seem like a big deal, but that can totally derail your training. Your dog won’t be able to associate the vibration with the problematic behavior, and she’ll likely just end up confused and frustrated.
The buttons aren’t very intuitive, and the instructions aren’t helpful, so expect a lot of trial-and-error in the beginning until you figure it out. The buttons are big, though, which should reduce the likelihood that you’ll hit the wrong one accidentally.
There are other inexpensive collars on this list that prove you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good training aid, so it’s hard to find any reason to recommend the BIG DEAL at this time.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Vibrating Dog Collars That Are Humane
Any sort of training aid will inevitably invite scrutiny from suspicious dog owners — and some have been known to start fights between passionate pet parents.
In the guide below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about vibrating collars, so you’ll be able to decide if buying one is right for you.
How Do They Work?
Whenever your dog performs an unwanted action — usually barking — the collar vibrates around her neck. Sometimes the vibration is automatically triggered, and other times the owner has to set it off manually.
The basic idea is that a sudden and unexpected buzzing around her neck will get her attention and cause her to stop the problematic behavior. You can then redirect her energy into something more constructive, or reward her for stopping the behavior.
Are They Truly Humane?
That ultimately depends on your definition of “humane.”
The fact is, a vibrating collar should never cause pain. However, it can still be used as a form of punishment, and many people feel that using any sort of punishment is inhumane. These people believe that only positive reinforcement should be used.
There are strong cases to be made on both sides. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you’re willing to use punishment in your training methods, but at least you can sleep soundly knowing you didn’t hurt your dog.
Do They Actually Work?
As with any other training method, this is a difficult question to answer. After all, so much depends on how they’re used, and whether the owner is consistent during training.
The fact is, some dogs respond wonderfully to them, while others don’t seem to notice them at all. It’s impossible to guess how a dog will respond beforehand, either, although dogs with thick coats are less likely to feel them unless they provide strong vibrations.
You also have to be careful how you use them, or else they can just confuse your pup and add an unnecessary complication into your training ritual.
However, they do seem to be remarkably effective for training deaf dogs, as they allow you to get their attention without having to make eye contact first.
- You might also be interested in: E-Collar vs. Shock Collar: What’s the Difference?
How Are You Supposed to Use Them?
If you have a collar that vibrates automatically, then the problem should resolve itself (if the collar does what it’s supposed to do, of course).
If you have one with a remote, however, the best way to use it is as an attention-getter. That is, you want to interrupt the problematic behavior so that you can swoop in and teach your dog how to behave instead.
For example, if your pup is barking at the mailman, you can buzz her collar. This should hopefully stop her in her tracks, and likely will leave her confused. At that point, you can come in, get her attention, and redirect her energy with another command.
What you don’t want to do is simply use it as a buzzer that you set off every time your dog does something you don’t like. That will do nothing to solve the problem, and will only teach the dog to ignore the vibrations in short order.
The DogRook No Shock is our favorite vibrating collar, as its seven different vibration settings offer quite a bit of difference between them, allowing you to choose between a subtle nudge and an unmissable attention-grabber.
Despite its low price, the NPS No Shock makes training easy, as it automatically adjusts its vibration settings to match your pooch’s activity levels. All you have to do is attach it, and it does the rest — even going so far as to ignore false alarms.
Buying any correctional device can create a lot of guilt in dog owners, so we hope these reviews have shown you that a vibrating collar can be effective while remaining humane. After all, a gentle buzz is vastly preferable to allowing your dog to ignore his manners — because there are certain bad behaviors that could get him killed.
Featured Image Credit: BIG DEAL Humane No Shock Dog Collar, Amazon