E-Collars for Small Dogs (and how to use them)

An E-Collar, when used properly, is a very effective training tool for small and large dogs alike. When it comes to e-collars for small dogs, our favorite (for many reasons) is the Micro Educator.

Adding an e-collar to your dog’s training is a big decision. So we’ve included tons of helpful information for you below…we discuss uses, proper training, special precautions, and detailed reviews of the best available options.

What is an E-Collar? 

Is an E-Collar a shock collar? Well, E-collars do provide a shock or stimulation to your dog to ward off unwanted behavior. They have adjustable levels of stimulation and can help your dog learn what behavior is acceptable without causing harm.  

They help you communicate with your dog on and off-leash. The level of stimulation needed differs for each dog and can start at a level that humans can not feel.

E-Collars can be used to help keep your dog safe in potentially dangerous situations such as running towards a busy street or to pull your dog from a fight. They can also help you correct unwanted behavior in obedience training such as barking, digging and jumping. 

They can also help train your dog to be more comfortable in new situations, ease aggression towards other dogs and create a stronger bond between you and your pup.

How Does an E-Collar Work?

An E-collar has a remote that you hold and a receiver that is on your dog’s collar. When you press the stimulation button your dog will get noise, vibration or shock depending on the mode you are using.

If your dog jumps up on a person you can press the stimulation button while saying no. Sometimes this might be all your dog needs to not jump again. In other cases, you may need to remind them. 

For a dog trained on an e-collar, you can start a stimulation at a low level and if your dog does not correct their behavior slowly increase levels until the behavior stops.

Many remotes will have a few different buttons to help increase stimulation levels and change the type of stimulation. You might find your dog stops the unwanted behavior with vibration and may not need to use a shock. 

Holding a remote and putting it to use for the first time can be intimidating but you gain confidence quickly and will get the hang of it.

Is an E-Collar Right for Your Dog?

Here are some questions for you to think through…

  • Does your dog come when you call them? 
  • If your dog does come when you call, will you be able to call them off of a squirrel, cat, deer or moving vehicle?
  • Do you have a hard time in public with your dog barking and showing aggression towards other dogs and humans?
  • Have you been trying to have a nice meal and your dog just won’t settle?
  • If you open your front door will you have to chase your dog if they escape?
  • Is your dog resistant to getting into their crate?
  • Does your dog jump on or bark at strangers?
  • Do you wish you could have your dog lay down and stay even during distractions?

Most people will answer ‘Yes’ to one (possibly three, ha) of the questions above. How many did you have?

These are all common issues that dog parents deal with. Many of these issues can be solved by using an e-collar and behavior modification to help your dog understand what you are asking of them. 

Dogs like structure. Showing your dog that you are in control and you have set expectations will help them be less apt to have anxiety, aggression, and other behavior issues. 

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is great! No dog should miss out on all the affection, treats and rewards for a job well done. Training your dog requires a lot of positive reinforcement in addition to minor corrections that you can provide with the e-collar. 

Once your dog understands the rules and knows what you are asking, you will need to use the stimulation less and less. Your dog will also respond better to your commands even if they don’t have their collar on. 

The stimulation is not a punishment, but a deterrent for continuing the unwanted behavior.

Training E-collars Responsibly

Training your dog on an e-collar may not solve all of your problems but it can help in huge ways to allow for your dog to have more freedom and for you to be in control. If you have the means to hire a professional, do it.

Professionals can help ensure you are applying stimulation at the correct time and level without confusing your dog. 

If you are unable to hire a professional, study up. Finding resources like friends with e-collar trained dogs to give you some pointers will be very helpful.

If you have a fearful dog, talk to a professional before training them on an e-collar. The e-collar is meant to provide freedom and peace of mind for you and your dog.

Using this tool incorrectly can result in injury and loss of trust. 

Obedience should always be taught on a leash first. If your dog does not know what you are asking of them and you stimulate them through an e-collar it can be very confusing and scary for your dog. 

A basic command such as sit can be asked for verbally and you can hold the stimulation button on a very low level until your dog complies. Try this with lay down as well.

Help your dog know what you are asking by applying leash pressure. As soon as the dog is in the correct position, release the button. Praise your dog and provide treats! 

Your dog will soon realize that the stimulation stops when they do what you are asking. They will be much more responsive to your commands. 

Training your dog with an e-collar can be a huge help to stop unwanted behavior. If your dog jumps say no and stimulate. If they bark say no and stimulate. It should not take long for your dog to understand exactly what is acceptable behavior. 

If you decide to seek a professional to help your dog learn about the e-collar ensure you find a trainer that teaches basic obedience on a leash first before asking your dog to comply with a stimulation. 

Concerns with E-Collars

An ill-fitted collar can lead to neck irritation and sores. Also, leaving your dog in an E-collar for too long can cause skin irritation. 

Some say that using an e-collar on a fearful dog may cause additional trauma. When training a fearful dog on an e-collar you may need to seek help from a professional. 

Training a dog on an e-collar without a professional’s help can lead to confusion and frustration for both you and your dog. 

Features to Look For in an E-Collar

E-collars come in many shapes, sizes and have a great range of features.  

Levels/Types of Stimulation

Your dog might only need a small reminder when they are doing an unwanted behavior. If you have a stubborn dog they might need a bigger reminder.

This is why having multiple levels of stimulation is important. In a dangerous situation, you might need to add a few levels of stimulation to have a faster reaction time to keep your dog out of a street or away from an animal. 

Many collars come with a beeping sound or a vibration that can be used along with the shock or instead of. 

Weatherproof / Waterproof 

If you plan to be outside in the rain or have a dog that likes to swim ensure you choose a waterproof e-collar. Many remotes are also waterproof just in case you drop them. 


How far are you letting your dog wander off-leash? You may want a remote with a long-range if you plan on being far away from your dog. 


Some e-collars come with a light on the remote or collar. This is extremely helpful when your dog is off-leash at night. This feature may not be as important for basic obedience training. 


E-collars can run you hundreds of dollars or less than fifty. The features, range, and quality all are a factor in price but there are some great e-collars on the market that are both affordable and have great quality.

Here Are Our Favorite E-Collars for Small Dogs

1. Micro Educator

Educator E-Collar Humane Dog Training Collar with...

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The Micro Educator is our top pick for e-collars for your small dog. The Micro Educator has 1/3 mile range and can fit dogs five pounds and up. The Micro has a smaller collar and receiver so it can better fit around a smaller neck.

You can even change the direction of the receiver to have the contact points fit differently. The remote is an ergonomic stopwatch shape that allows for easy adjustments while you are on the go.

The Micro Educator uses proprietary stimulation that is blunter vs sharp but still able to pull your dog away in prey drive. You can even track your dog at night with the tracking light on the receiver. 


  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Smaller receiver and Collar for a better fit on small dogs
  • Tracking light on the receiver
  • Ergonomic remote 
  • Waterproof


  • Higher cost for more functionality 

2. Dog Care Training Collar

DOG CARE Dog Training Collar for Large Medium Dogs...

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The Dog Care Training Collar is a great affordable option that still provides 99 levels of stimulation in addition to an independent audio system to give verbal commands even while they are far away.

The Dog Care Collar can pair with up to 9 dogs 15 pounds or more. You can work with your dog on beep, vibration or shock mode making for a good option for multiple dogs and sensitivity levels. 


  • Can pair with up to 9 dogs
  • 99 levels of stimulation 
  • 330 Yard range 
  • Independent audio system
  • The long battery life of 15 days


  • The receiver might seem pretty large for a small dog

3. TBI Professional Collar

Professional 2020 K9 Dog Shock Training Collar...

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The TBI Professional Collar is a quality collar with a 2000 foot range, 100 adjustable stimulation levels, and a waterproof receiver. The remote has a flashlight built-in for those moments you just can’t find your keys and the collar can fit dogs from 10-100lbs.

This system also comes with both a leather collar and a nylon one to provide options for the best fit. 


  • Flashlight on the remote
  • 2000 feet range
  • 100 Adjustment levels
  • Can pair with two dogs


  • Remote is not waterproof

4. PatPet Dog Shock Collar

The PatPet Dog Shock Collar has 16 levels of stimulation and 8 levels of vibration and tone. It can pair with up to two dogs from 15 to 100 pounds. This collar is at the lower end of price but has a great value for what it is.

It also does not appear to be a shock collar when it is worn by your dog and might help ward off some unwanted conversations. 


  • Discreet design
  • Many levels of stimulation, vibration, and tone
  • Affordable but effective 
  • Dual-channel for up to two dogs
  • 1000 foot range 


  • There is no hook for a leash on this collar

5. PetSafe Yard & Park Collar

This PetSafe Yard & Park Collar is rechargeable, waterproof and good for dogs 8 pounds and over. With a 400 yard range, it is great for hanging out at the park or in your backyard.

You can pair up to three dogs and the PetSafe brand provides great training materials.


  • Rechargeable
  • Can pair with three dogs
  • Waterproof


  • Charging times are lengthy
  • The collar material is plastic

6. Pet Resolve Training Collar

Dog Training Collar with Remote - 3960Ft, Hunting...

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The Pet Resolve Training Collar has one of the longest ranges of up to three-quarter miles and can pair with up to 3 dogs that are 15 pounds or larger. This collar comes with a few additional features such as the ability to remove the shock option and 3 different lengths of contact points.

Vibration and sound are both available on this collar and it also has 10 levels of stimulation. The battery in the Pet Resolve Collar has a long life and the system even comes with a training book to help you get started. 


  • Included training book
  • Pairs with up to three dogs
  • 3/4 mile range
  • Ability to remove shock option


  • Not very many stimulation levels

7. Sport Dog Remote Trainer

SportDOG Brand FieldTrainer 425X Dog Training...

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The Sport Dog Remote Training collar was initially designed for hunting dogs. However, fitting any dog larger than 8 pounds and providing a range of 500 yards is a great option for family dogs.

You can pair up to three dogs and provide 21 levels of stimulation including buzzing and vibration. 


  • Range of 500 yards
  • 21 levels of stimulation
  • Vibration and Buzz modes
  • Rechargeable batteries 
  • Discreet design 


  • Switching modes can be tedious
  • Batteries can go bad over time 

Well, That’s a Wrap!

Training your dog on an E-collar can be a huge lifesaver. You can have more peace of mind while your dog is off-leash, meeting strangers or out on a walk. 

We have discussed many reasons to have your dog e-collar trained, features of e-collars and reviewed our top recommendations. Our top pick for an e-collar that works well with small dogs is the Micro Educator.

The Micro Educator is specifically designed with small dogs in mind. The thinner and smaller receiver and collar will fit much better around a smaller neck. 

Keep in mind that professional training is always best when introducing an e-collar. If you are unable to hire a professional to become an expert.

Start your dog on a very low level and practice reinforcing commands they already know. Remember, the stimulation is not a punishment, but a deterrent for continuing the unwanted behavior.

Last update on 2022-12-10 at 22:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API