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Training collars for stubborn dogs can mean the difference between a happy life and a frustrating existence for your pooch. Unfortunately, most dogs develop challenging traits and behaviors due to a lack of training or socialization. While using a training collar takes additional time and commitment, it is one of the most effective ways to stop negative behavior. With repetitive positive reinforcement, you will have a happy and well-behaved companion by your side. Whether you’re starting the training process with a new best friend or trying to teach an old dog a new trick, we’ve put together a list of the best training collars for stubborn dogs.

How we chose the best training collars for stubborn dogs

You might be surprised to find out how many different styles of dog training collars are on the market. However, we quickly narrowed down the list, combining personal experience, sorting through reviews, and consulting with dog trainers. As a result, some common brands stand out from the competition in the dog-training realm. We’ve provided you with the top training collars so you and your dog can enjoy a long and stubborn-free life together.

The best training collars for stubborn dogs: Reviews & Recommendations

It’s important to note that improper use of these collars can lead to injury and discomfort in your dog. They can also cause aggression and teach bad behaviors if used improperly so we strongly recommend you talk to your vet or a qualified trainer before using any of these devices. Once given the go-ahead, choose from these top picks and start establishing boundaries and good behaviors.

Best overall: SportDOG Brand 425X Remote Trainers

SportDOG Brand


Why it made the cut: A well-rounded training collar that offers numerous desired features to curb stubborn dog behavior.


  • Waterproof and submersible to 25 feet using DryTek technology
  • Interchangeable short and long contact points capability


  • Easy to use
  • Range up to 500 yards
  • Supports training for multiple dogs
  • Fast rechargeable lithium-ion batteries


  • Expensive

If you are looking to stop nuisance barking, aggressive on-leash behavior, or train for off-leash hiking with your dog, the SportDog FieldTrainer can help solve your problem. Training your stubborn dog doesn’t have to be complicated with the right tools, knowledge, and commitment. 

The seven levels of stimulation allow you to modify the training process to achieve the desired behavior quickly. Stubborn dogs tend to have a mind of their own. With durability and the best waterproof capability, you can feel confident that the training collar will hold up to any unforeseen occurrences. In addition, the interchangeable contact points provide flexibility for breeds with thick fur. While the SportDog collar may have a higher price point, it’s no surprise why it’s the top choice used by dog trainers with such an outstanding balance of desired features. 

Best for barking: PATPET Dog Training Collar



Why it made the cut: An accessible and entry-level training e-collar for dogs to target barking or other obedience behavior. 


  • Remote range of 1,000 feet 
  • Waterproof receiver rated at IPX7
  • Humane, Safe, and Effective


  • Three training modes: Beep, Vibration, and Static
  • User-friendly 
  • Inexpensive
  • Wide variety of color options


  • Weaker vibration and static on dogs with thick fur

While a dog might find barking to be a helpful alert system for strangers or to communicate with other dogs, if perpetual, it can lead to disruptive behavior. The PATPET dog training collar provides dog owners with an affordable solution to stop obnoxious barking and nuisance behavior.

With the three training modes, you can choose the stimulation method that works best for you and your dog. A bonus feature is that you can personalize your dog’s training collar by choosing your favorite color. Obedience training doesn’t have to be boring.

Best for aggressive dogs: PetSafe Remote Dog Training Collar



Why it made the cut: The fast-charging training collar and durable digital remote allow for training on the go. The PetSafe training collar works best paired with positive reinforcement for medium to large dogs that display aggressive behavior. 


  • For medium and large dogs
  • Great for behavior training and correction
  • It comes with a complete training manual


  • Two quick-charging lithium-ion batteries included
  • Additional training accessory options
  • Waterproof and lightweight


  • Not recommended for dogs under 8 lbs

Taking a walk around the neighborhood with your aggressive dog can be stressful and leave you feeling defeated. However, by using consistent obedience training and the help of the PetSafe Remote Dog Training Collar, you can enjoy long walks or outdoor activities with your dog once again.

In addition to the quick charging handy remote and training collar, you will receive a complete training manual to start the training process off right. With range options between 300 and 900 feet, you can select the targeted collar and range you find most comfortable to tailor your training to your dog’s specific behavior. 

Best for hunting dogs: Garmin Sport Pro



Why it made the cut: Explicitly designed for extensive in-field use, the training collar offers up to 10 stimulation levels with the best long-range for hunting adventures. 


  • Ergonomically designed
  • Waterproof and rated to IPX7
  • Range up to 1,300 feet or ¾ mile
  • Built-in beacon lights to locate your dog in low-light conditions


  • Compact and lightweight
  • Ten stimulation levels
  • Interchangeable short and long contact points
  • Customizable colors and accessory options
  • Durable for extensive in-field use


  • Expensive
  • Requires additional devices to train multiple dogs

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you are probably familiar with Garmin. Not only do they make high-quality gear for backcountry exploration, but they have the best shock collar for hunting dogs. 

The experiences you share with your dog while hunting in the field create a unique bond with your dog. However, before heading out into the field, it’s essential to make sure your dog is trained, and the best way to do that is by starting with a training collar. 

The Garmin Sport Pro was designed with hunters and their loved best friends in mind. The compact and lightweight design has a 1,300-feet range to prove that. While most training collars have a range of 500 feet, the Garmin Sport Pro offers additional distance to hunters to retain control over their dogs while out hunting for quarry. 

Best budget: Petrainer PET998DBB Training Collar



Why it made the cut: An affordable option for dog owners looking to teach basic commands or stop bad behavior.


  • Basic entry model for beginners
  • 1-year warranty
  • Requires two lithium polymer batteries


  • Affordable
  • Adjustable sizes for all dogs
  • Range up to 330 yards


  • Less durable & long-lasting
  • Longer charge

With a lower price point than other dog training collars, the Petrainer collar allows dog owners to take control of their boisterous dog without breaking the bank. The Petrainer dog training collar ranges up to 330 feet, making it an excellent option for initial off-leash obedience training. In addition, the Petrainer is suitable for dogs of all breeds or sizes. 

If you’re looking to explore and use training collars but are unsure of how to start, this is a good starter collar for beginners. It is user-friendly and can be used for all breeds and sizes. In addition, the 330-foot range will allow you to start within a comfortable short-distance range until you’re ready to step up to a higher-quality training collar. 

Things to consider before buying a training collar for a stubborn dog

Data shows that positive reinforcement with treats and other rewards provides the absolute best way to train a dog, but not every pooch responds to that kind of training. While some vets and organizations reject the use of corrective collars, others embrace them as an opportunity to train a stubborn dog and give it a chance to live a more balanced life.

Choosing a suitable dog training collar can be challenging with so many features, stimulation methods, and convenient capabilities. When purchasing a training collar, the first step is to clearly identify what behavior you want to train your dog. Then, you can start narrowing down on features that will enable you to do that. Here are some helpful factors to consider before purchasing a training collar.

Training modes

Each training collar has different training modes. Some may offer static, spray, vibration, or ultrasonic. While each provides different training methods and benefits, the most effective is static. With a static or shock training collar, you can modify and adjust the stimulation levels to suit your dog’s reactivity and behavior. We know shock collars are controversial.


Are you trying to stop your dog from barking in the backyard? Then there’s no need to get a training collar with a 1,000-foot range. A shorter range of 300 feet might be adequate in that situation. However, if you’re looking to train your dog to be off-leash, that range of 1,000 feet or more might come in handy. Choosing the proper range for you and your dog will all depend on that identified behavior you desire.

Size and fit

Most training collars are adjustable to fit small, medium, and large dogs of all breeds. However, you’ll want to check the recommended weight for each collar. Some collars are not recommended for dogs under a weight of 8 lbs. In addition, if your dog has a thick, dense coat, you’ll want a training collar with interchangeable short and long contact points to ensure a proper fit. The training collar will securely fit just above their traditional dog collar. Make sure to find the best dog collars to accompany your training collar.


Q: How much does a training collar cost?

Dog training collars tend to vary in price and related features or capabilities. Prices range from $30 to $200 depending on the targeted behavior or activity you are trying to teach. 

If you are a dedicated hunter or outdoor enthusiast, one of the key factors when considering a dog training collar is that it can hold up to the elements. While a $30 training collar may be suitable for curbing destructive or nuisance backyard behavior, it may not hold up to extreme conditions in the field. However, if you are just starting out training a new dog and want a user-friendly beginner model, there’s no need to break the bank. 

Q: Do shock collars work for training stubborn dogs?

Shock collars are controversial and we can’t recommend them without having a serious discussion with your vet or trainer. With a solid foundation of proper training and skills, you and your dog can build a healthy and mutually trusting relationship. Some professionals believe shock collars can be a helpful tool and resource to accomplish this objective. If traditional training is not working and your stubborn dog is not responding to verbal commands, then these may be a viable option.

A shock collar reinforces the behavior by using a minimal amount of pressure. After using static stimulation, the dog will understand that it needs to stop a particular behavior. So whether it is barking, digging, lunging, or off-leash etiquette, a shock collar can improve the desired behavior.

Q: What to do if your dog doesn’t react to shock collar training?

One of the most critical factors that contribute to the success of using a shock collar is that there is some foundation of basic obedience training. Training a dog takes commitment and a lot of patience. Some dogs might catch on right away, while others need more time to connect the dots. With consistent training, the likelihood of stopping a negative behavior increases. If your dog is not reacting to shock collar training, you can take a few options, but this is a complex topic and we recommend listening to your vet or a qualified trainer for this information. 

Another avenue to explore is finding the best dog harness for your dog, this will allow you more control of your dog while training. If none of these work, and you are still having trouble training your dog, it may be time to consult with a dog trainer.

Q: How do you train a stubborn dog with an e-collar?

Start the training process slowly and first familiarize your dog with the e-collar by creating a positive association. The next step is to fit the collar on your dog and find the minimal stimulation level that will grab your dog’s attention. Again, you want to start training on the lowest possible level while ensuring that your dog can feel the vibration or shock. 

Once you feel confident, it’s time for some basic training in a controlled environment. An e-collar is essentially a line of communication with your dog, and it will take some time for them to learn the new method of communication. It’s best to do that in an area where the dog feels comfortable and has minimal distractions.

Whether in your living room, garage, or backyard, start by casually walking around while working on recall training. Next, you will want to use stimulation to grab your dog’s attention and immediately reward them with treats or praise. Over time, your dog will begin to associate the shock with you and a positive reward. Ultimately, you want to reward the dog for paying attention and displaying your desired behavior. 

It may sound easier than it is. However, you can eventually reinforce the behavior you seek and train your stubborn dog to stop undesired behaviors with a commitment to practice.

Q: How do you train hunting dogs with collars?

Hunting with a dog is an opportunity to form a unique bond while working together to achieve a bountiful hunt. Using a shock collar to train a hunting dog is one of the most successful training methods. 

Follow the steps above as you get started in the training process. However, with a hunting dog, the main goal is to ensure the dog’s safety and for the e-collar to take the place of a leash. Therefore, focusing your training on recall and the ‘whoa’ command will be some of the most important steps. 

As your dog shows positive behavior in a controlled environment, it’s time to take what you’ve learned and apply it in the field. Start by keeping your dog on a lead or check cord and follow the same steps as before. With continual practice, you can keep building layers of trust. 

Repetition is key. Monitor your dog’s process and slowly start adding in new training. With time and practice, you and your dog will be roaming the fields and finding quarry in no time.

Final thoughts on the best training collars for stubborn dogs

Your dog is your best friend. The best way to give them a happy and meaningful long life is to have a solid foundation of training that develops into mutual trust and respect. Our best overall pick, the SportDOG Brand 425X Remote Trainers, offers a great balance of range, training modes, and durability to tackle the most stubborn behavior. A reliable and durable training collar can make all the difference in providing a safe, happy, and healthy life for your dog.

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