What Age Can You Start Using a SHOCK COLLAR On a Dog? 

In this article, we are going to take a look at the appropriate age to start using a shock collar on a dog.

Generally, a puppy is ready to begin their shock collar training at around 6 months of age, though some pups are ready to begin sooner, at closer to 15 weeks old.

Though it is advised that no puppy’s training starts at less than 8 weeks. 


Before opting for shock collar use, we strongly recommend obedience training as your first response to bad behavior.

Training your dog can prevent the potential stress of a shock collar, and is a more positive way of deterring unwanted behavior. 

Using a shock collar should only be considered if obedience training fails or if you have a very stubborn, large, or aggressive dog.

While shock collars aren’t innately cruel, and have been used by trainers to get the attention of tough cases for decades, for some dogs they can cause emotional distress.

Brain training techniques are a science-backed way to improve your dog’s behavior without the use of force or dominance!

What Age Can You Start Using a Shock Collar on a Dog?

What Age Can You Start Using a Shock Collar on a Dog
Some puppies are ready to go around 15 weeks of age, while others should be close to the typical 6 month old time frame before you begin.

It’s generally agreed upon that the best age to begin using a shock collar to train a puppy is 6 months of age.

Though there are some conditions that may allow the training to begin sooner. 

One of the conditions that would allow for sooner shock collar training is the type of collar used.

There are many different types of collars that fall under the umbrella term “shock collar”, and some of them are more appropriate to use on younger dogs. 

Read More: How Long Can My Dog Wear a Correction Collar For? It’s important to remove your dog’s collar to prevent chafing and sores. Here’s what you need to know!

Bark Collars

One of these types of collars are bark collars. These collars provide a miniscule shock or vibration to an animal to discourage barking.

Most sources agree that these collars are usable when a pup is around 15 weeks old. There are a few different types of bark collars.

There are some that are manual and need the owner to send the correction, and some that are automatic, sending the correction in response to audio that is picked up. 

There are also a variety of unpleasant stimuli that are used to correct your pet.

More details can be found in this article about Barking Collars and Bark Training.

If you’re looking to purchase a bark collar for your puppy, here are the Best Bark Collar for behavioral training!

Shock Collars

The typical shock collar, used to keep a dog inside an underground fence, or for other purposes, is generally not advised to be introduced until the pet is 6 months old.

At that point, a careful introduction to training is to be made.

Ultimately, the age you can start using a shock collar really depends on the size of the dog, its personality, and its temperament.

If they’re anxious, stubborn, aggressive, etc, it might be better to wait until they’re older.

It’s also important to recognize that these collars can have an adverse effect on the puppy if used incorrectly.

So, careful research is necessary before any new training tool is introduced.

Read More: Can Shock Collars Cause Seizures? If you’re worried about potentially affecting your dog’s health, here’s what you need to know.

What Will I Use My Collar For?

What Will I Use My Collar For
Electric collars are used for training a dog to disengage in unwanted behavior or to keep them inside a designated boundary.

Electric collars can be used in a few different ways. Primarily, they are used to keep a pet inside of a boundary, like an underground fence or as a training tool.

Using My Collar to Keep My Pet Inside of a Boundary

Some pet owners choose to use an electric collar to keep their dog within the safe boundaries of an underground electric fence for dogs.

If this is the way you plan to use your electric collar, the dog needs to be taught the boundaries before the collar is used while the pet is unsupervised.

This video is an excellent tool for this type of training:

Using my Collar as a Training Tool

Pet owners may also choose to use their electric collar as a training tool.

In this case, the collar can be used to train the pet to a whole host of different commands.

These systems tend to be a bit different from the aforementioned systems, as they have a collar and a remote for the dog owner to use.

In this case, there is a careful training method that often begins with training your dog to come when called as the first step.

From there, owners can use this tool to comfortably walk their dog off leash.

Off-Leash Training

A common behavior that can be addressed with an electric collar is pulling when walking on a leash. 

The training for this is rather simple.

Use an electric collar as well as your usual walking setup (a collar/harness and lead) and take your pet on a walk.

  • If your dog starts pulling, send a bit of stimulation to the collar and a firm vocal correction. 
  • Once your dog stops pulling, he should come to you and sit in front of you.
  • Once he sits, you and the dog begin walking again, and repeat the process if he pulls again.

Read More: Radius Shock Collar for Dogs With Remote. We put the best radius shock collars for dogs 10 pounds and up to the test and ranked them!

Introducing an Electric Collar (E-Collar)

Introducing an Electric Collar
You should slowly introduce your puppy or dog to an electric collar so that they don’t become afraid of the sensation.

One of the most important steps to training your puppy to use an electric collar is the introduction.

If a dog is introduced to an electric collar inappropriately, he may be stunted in his training for the rest of his life. 

One of the first things that can be done is to simply get your puppy comfortable around the collar.

The best way to do this is to lay the collar on the ground near the pup, slowly bringing it closer while giving plenty of praise and rewards

Introducing an Electric Collar with Recall Training

Once the collar is on the pup, the real work begins. 

The first step is to find a level of stimulation that works for your pup. Every dog is different, so this is something that takes some experimentation.

You can start by taking the dog to a large, enclosed area, and letting him explore his surroundings. 

Once he’s exploring, use the collar on the lowest stimulation level, and watch for a response. If there’s no indication of a response, use the next stimulation level.

Keep in mind that the response will be small, like a twitch of the ear or scratching at the collar.

If the dog jumps, yelps, or starts to become fearful the stimulation level is too high. Don’t go beyond the minimal stimulous that your dog reacts to.

Once you have established a stimulation level, put your dog on a long leash.

Then you will pair continuous stimulation with a verbal recall command, bringing the dog towards you with the leash and stopping the stimulation.

Once your dog is by your side, give it a good deal of praise.

Repeating this step will help your dog to realize that any stimulation will be stopped when it’s near its owner.  


A shock collar makes a good addition to your arsenal of tools when it comes to training a new puppy.

But just like all tools, it is important that it is used and introduced correctly.

With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to use a shock collar on your pup in a way that’s beneficial for both you and your pet. 

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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