How Many Volts in a Dog Shock Collar? All You Need to Know

As any dog owner knows, the use of shock collars is an intensely debated issue inside the dog community. Some people swear by using them, and others see their purpose as cruel.

Due to this, it’s essential to have all the information possible about shock collars before deciding on using them. You don’t want to get sucked into using or not using them based on someone pushing their agenda onto you.

By answering the following two questions (how many volts in a dog shock collar, can a shock collar kill (hurt) a dog), this article will help you make an informed decision about whether or not shock collars are a product you want to use. 

Although, before we answer these two pivotal questions, it’s important we go over what exactly is a shock collar.

What is a Shock Collar?

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A shock collar looks like a regular dog collar with a small box that has two metal electrodes. The collar is put around your dog’s neck to ensure the electrodes press against your dog’s skin.  Often, the idea of volts of electricity entering their dog’s body will scare off owners from using this type of collar.

Regardless, there are three basic types of dog shock collars: two types of stimulus-response shock collars and one type of remote activation shock collar.

  • Stimulus-Response Shock Collars

The two types of stimulus-response shock collars are bark deterrent collars and invisible fence collars. Both are relatively simple; the bark deterrent collar sends a shock when your dog barks and the invisible fence collar sends a shock when your dog reaches a part of the yard you don’t want them to enter. 

  • Remote Activation Shock Collar

As you would expect, the dog’s owner controls a remote activation shock collar. This control allows you to choose when the shock occurs by pushing a button. Also, these collars give you the option of setting the shock level and duration according to your preferences.

Since we now understand what a shock collar is, it’s time to we tackle the questions you need answering before you decide on using one.

How Many Volts in a Dog Shock Collar? 

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When discussing shock collars, people tend to focus strictly on the number of volts inside these collars. Because of this, voltage is a topic this article must cover. The voltage of a shock collar can vary from model to model. However, the typical range on a shock collar is from 400 to 6000 volts: 400 being the lowest setting and 6000 being the highest.

Honestly, voltage doesn’t matter. It’s about how long your dog’s exposed to the electricity that will affect the damage. The companies making these collars should understand this and make sure the shock is over quickly. Despite this, you should research the company you intend on buying from to ensure you don’t buy a malfunctioning shock collar. If you don’t, a tragedy could occur.

Now, that we understand the voltage of dog shock collars, we’ll discuss if a shock collar can hurt or kill your dog.

Can a Shock Collar Kill (Hurt) a Dog?

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In the past, shock collars were inhumane torture devices that were nightmares for dogs. The term “shock collar” comes from these old collars. They only had three different settings: high, very high, and intensely high. These collars represented everything you hear about from the anti-shock collar side of this debate. Thankfully, these types of shock collars no longer exist.

In reality, the term “shock collar” doesn’t apply to the modern collars because these shock collars provide a very subtle stimulation. Their purpose is to alert your dog that their behavior’s wrong. It’s a proven way of giving obedience training for your dog. But, this low-level shock can still be quite startling.

Therefore, even modern shock collars can cause a dog physical or mental harm. Some people are terrible and misuse them to inflict pain on a dog purposely. These people either find inflicting the shock to be funny or pleasurable. I know, it’s crazy to think these types of people exist, but sadly they do.

To provide some overview of the shock collar debate, below is a list of pros and cons concerning their use:


  • Faster results: Dogs hate the feeling of being shocked. They’ll recognize the behavior that causes the shocking and stop relatively quickly compared to other less drastic training techniques.
  • Ability to Control: Modern shock collars allow you to control the intensity of the shock. It gives you full control over the training of your dog.
  • Training Continues in Your Absence: Certain shock collars allow the training to continue without you even there. It saves you time and effort, in addition to, stopping your neighbors from being mad about your dog’s constant barking.
  • Cheap:  In comparison to other training or prevention techniques, a shock collar can save you quite a bit of money. These products range from about $25 to $200 significantly less than paying for a professional dog trainer.


  • No Positive Reinforcement: Usually, dog training depends on providing your dog with a positive reward: treat, belly rubs, etc. Instead, a shock collar relies on negative reinforcement to eliminate specific behaviors.  You’re engraining behaviors through fear.
  • Getting Shocked: Nobody likes being shocked. Not surprisingly, dogs share this feeling with human beings.
  • A Negative Experience For Your Dog: On the dog’s side of this training technique, there’s nothing positive about this experience. All they get is something new to fear.
  • Suppresses Natural Instincts: The petsafe shock collar might correct an instinct that you didn’t mean to fix. Since it can send shocks on its own, it might shock them when they’re doing something right.


Overall, a shock collar should represent the last resort for a dog owner. It’s an extreme way of cultivating the correct behavior inside your dog.  In other words, don’t invest in a shock collar unless there’s no other way to keep your dog safe. Regardless, consult with your vet before purchasing one to ensure there’s no other way of training your dog.

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