“Just call your dog.”
This is generally workable advice if you want your dog to come to you, but only if he can hear. What if your dog is deaf? What if he is off his leash? What if he is looking the other direction?
When you cannot visually summon your deaf dog, the result can be inconvenient at best, dangerous at worst. But it doesn’t have to be. What if there were another way you could “call” your deaf dog?
That is what vibration collars are for.
When your dog wears a vibration collar, you can activate it with remote control. Your dog will feel the sensation and know you are “calling” to him. He will then be able to respond, even if you were outside his field of view.
Finding the right vibrating collar for your deaf dog can be a challenge, but there are a few important things you should know before buying one.
In this guide, we're going to share overviews for some of the top vibration collars for deaf dogs that are currently on the market. We'll also share tips for choosing a vibration collar in our buying guide.
Vibrating collars fall into two categories: those that include remote controls for training and models that work automatically to prevent barking.
First, let's go over some top recommended vibration collars, which can be activated by a hand-held remote.
Our Top Vibration Collars for Training with Remote
The best vibrating collar
The DOG Care Training Collar is our top choice overall for a vibrating collar for your deaf dog. Equipped with multiple training modes and an abundance of extra features, it offers you excellent value and performance. It is a top-rated product with an outstanding reputation.
Note that this collar also can function as a shock collar. We recommend simply turning this feature off. If you do that, you can use it exclusively as a humane vibrating collar.
This product is excellent for large and small dogs. Because it includes more than one channel, it may be particularly suitable if you have multiple deaf dogs.
Why we chose it
- Along with the vibration mode, this product also features a beeping mode if you need an audible signal to help you locate your dog.
- You can connect the remote to multiple collars, as it comes with nine different channels. That means if you have more than one dog wearing a vibrating collar, you can signal up to nine at the same time without having to carry around multiple remotes.
- Because the product is waterproof, it is safe to use outdoors in the rain.
- You can operate the vibration feature from up to 1,000 feet away, which is an excellent range.
Keep in mind
- It may bother you that shock is a feature included in this product. Still, you can safely deactivate it and ensure that it will not misfire by mistake using the security keypad lock.
To learn more about the Dog Care training collar click here.
Best no-shock vibrating collar
If you are in the market for a particularly rugged vibration collar which is ideal for all weather conditions, think about the WOLFWILL Training Collar. With its IPX7 waterproof rating, ABS shell, TPU strap, and charging hole rubber plug, it should be safe from splashes and rain.
Unlike the DOG Care Dog Training Collar, this product does not include a shock feature. But it is equipped with a tone function and can also flash a light.
Why we chose it
- 660 yards is 1980 feet, which is almost double the range of the DOG Care Dog Training Collar, and very impressive.
- The manufacturer of this collar has gone above and beyond to make sure that it resists water as well as possible. The IPX7 rating means that the product can be submerged in up to a meter of water for half an hour before leaking occurs.
- 16 levels of vibration allows you to identify a setting that is appropriate for your pup regardless of the sensitivity level.
- Features a tone and light that can help you locate your dog.
- You can use the remote with up to two dogs.
Keep in mind
If you want to take a closer look at this no-shock vibration collar available on Amazon, you can view it here.
Best vibration collar for small dogs
As you may have already realized, quite a few vibration collars are uncomfortably large and heavy for tiny dogs, even when they have a wide size range. If you are looking for one which is lightweight and which has a slim profile that is ideal for smaller dogs, consider the GoodBoy Mini. Dogs as little as 5 pounds can wear this collar. If other vibrating collars are too large for your dog, consider this product.
Why we chose it
- The sleek design of this vibrating collar makes it a comfortable and safe choice, even for very small dogs, and also is appealing from an aesthetic standpoint.
- According to the manufacturer, you can get 16 hours of 8-second-or-less corrections from a single charge of the battery. Thanks to a standby mode which activates automatically after five minutes with no activity, you can go longer between charges than you could otherwise.
- The variety of vibration levels, along with the sound mode, provides you with many options for getting your dog's attention and locating your dog if necessary.
- The waterproofing, 1,000-foot range, and training manual all add value to the purchase.
Keep in mind
- Some customers mention a flaw that causes the device to activate and deactivate randomly, but this seems rare.
If you are curious about this training collar for small deaf dogs, it is available on Amazon.com (here).
Best vibration collar for medium to large dogs
This product from Paws Furlosophy appears to be nearly identical to the WOLFWILL collar. But while that product says you can use it for dogs weighing up to 88 pounds, this one states that you can use it for dogs weighing up to 100 pounds. In all other respects, it appears to be roughly equivalent in terms of features.
Because of its high-quality build, solid features, and sizing, it is our top recommendation for medium and large dogs, especially one which goes outside a lot in the rain or splashes through puddles.
Why we chose it
- By earning the IPX7 waterproof rating, this product has proved that it can survive in up to a meter of water for up to half an hour. Its overall rugged build should make for excellent longevity.
- If you are in low light conditions, the LED backlight in the remote should make it possible to see what you are doing with ease.
- The 16 levels of vibration allow you to pick the setting that is perfect for your pet. Light and tone provide additional functionality.
- The 650-yard range is incredible, another feature which again makes this product ideal for outdoor use.
Keep in mind
- The beep may not be as loud as some users would like.
If you are interested in this vibration collar for your medium or large dog, you can click here to check the current price on Amazon.
Top Anti-Bark Vibration Collars with No Remote
If you are getting a vibration collar to prevent barking rather than to get your dog's attention, you do not need to purchase a product with a remote. The following are some of the top anti-bark vibration collars which sense when your dog is about bark and activate automatically.
The best bark collar for small to medium sized dogs
If you have a small or medium-sized dog with a barking problem with a barking problem, the TBI Pro V7 might be just the product that you are looking for to issue gentle, humane corrections.
The product includes a database with over 5,000 recorded barking sounds from a variety of breeds. So, no matter what breed of dog you have, chances are good that this collar will be able to recognize and respond to barking accurately and reliably.
Why we chose it
- This product features a range of sensitivity modes as well as smart, automated adaptability for different levels of barking.
- The CPU chip in the device ensures its accuracy so that only the sounds of your dog barking will trigger the vibration, not other sounds in the environment.
- The TPU strap and water resistance make it suitable for use indoors and outdoors.
Keep in mind
- Some dogs with sensitive skin may develop a rash using this product. You can sometimes prevent this by making regular adjustments to the collar.
You can check out this TBI Bark Collar here.
Best size-range vibration bark collar
If you are in search of a product to prevent barking, which has a broader size range than the TBI Pro above, consider the NPS No Shock Bark Collar. This product is suitable for a dog as small as 6 pounds or as large as 120 pounds.
In fact, it has a lightweight design, which should make it comfortable no matter how big or small your dog is.
Why we chose it
- This collar offers excellent versatility when it comes to sizing.
- The hypoallergenic materials should be suitable for dogs, even with sensitivities to other products.
- The microprocessor in the device (usually) does a pretty good job at screening out background noises and activating the vibration feature only in response to your dog barking.
- The inclusion of a pair of replacement prongs adds value to your purchase.
Keep in mind
- The sensitivity on this device can run a bit high and pick up on external noises, triggering the vibration when you do not want it to do so.
If you would like to buy this top-rated bark collar, you can find it here.
Before you shop for a vibration collar, let's go over some basics in our buying guide.
How Does a Vibrating Collar Work For Training and Anti-Bark?
A vibrating collar is equipped with a vibrating module. This module features a pair of prongs (in most cases), made of either metal or rubber. The prongs touch your dog's neck.
When the vibration feature activates, your dog can feel the sensation through the prongs. It should be noted that the vibration is not a very strong sensation, and feels nothing like a shock. That means that a vibrating collar is safe and humane to use with your pet.
How Will You Use the Vibration Collar?
There are two main uses for vibration collars, and they are very different:
Either purpose is fine, but it is important to choose one use for a vibrating dog collar. If you try to use the collar for both purposes, you will send confusing mixed messages to your pooch. Not only are mixed messages stressful, but they also can lead to safety issues. You don’t want to be trying to urgently summon your pet off the leash outdoors only to have your dog mistake the collar’s vibration for “don’t bark.”
What should you look for in a vibrating dog collar?
Comfort and size. As with any other collar, a vibrating one should be comfortable to wear. It shouldn’t chafe, and it should fit properly (use the two-finger test).
Construction. Also as with any other type of collar, a vibrating one should be rugged enough to stand up to lots of wear and tear, especially since your deaf dog will probably wear it to the dog park where he can be off leash.
Waterproof. To prevent electrical hazards, make sure that the vibrating mechanism on the collar is fully waterproof. That way, it will be safe to use in the rain or if your dogs splashes in a puddle.
Distance. Check to see from how far away the remote control can operate the collar. The higher the range, the better.
No shock. You should not purchase a collar that will shock your pet. If it includes a shock feature, you must be able to deactivate it at all times.
Reflectivity. Just as reflective detailing is a useful safety feature on a regular collar, it is as well on a vibrating collar.
Beeping or light. While you do not want a collar that will shock your dog, vibrating is not the only feedback that can be helpful. Some vibrating collars can flash a light or sound a beep. Either or both can be particularly useful if you are worried about being able to locate your pet off-leash outdoors at night.
Overall reliability. Finally, like any electronic product, some vibrating collars are more reliable than others and can offer superior performance and longevity. Research the product you are considering to see how many years it can feasibly last and whether it will reliably produce vibration when necessary.
How To Train With a Vibrating Collar
You cannot expect to simply put a vibrating collar on your dog and get instant results. Like anything else, it requires a period of introduction and training.
The first step is to get your four-legged friend used to simply wearing the collar, as you would with any other new dog collar.
The next step is to start using the vibration feature, and teaching your deaf dog that you are the one that is creating the sensation. The way to do this is by feeding your dog treats as you activate the vibrating. This also helps to build a positive association with the vibration.
After you get your dog used to this, you next need to start only providing the treat rewards if your dog looks at you when you activate the vibration.
Once you have mastered that, you can begin putting some physical distance between you and your pooch when you activate the vibration feature and continue training your dog to look at you from further away. It takes time and patience to get your dog to respond consistently to the collar.
As the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund explains, “The keys to training your dog to respond to a vibrating collar are, as with any training, patience, and consistency. In the early stages of training, treat your dog every time you page him, even if it seems as though he ignores the vibration. The dog may not understand what the vibration is, where it is coming from, or that you are causing it. But eventually, the dog will associate the vibration from the collar with treats.”
After you purchase a vibrating collar for your dog, I highly recommend reading that entire page in detail, as it includes an in-depth version of the instructions provided above.
Vibrating Collar FAQ
Now that you know how to select a vibrating collar and train your dog to look at you when you activate the vibration feature let's answer a few frequently asked questions about vibrating dog collars.
The exact steps to pair a collar with a remote depend on the model you have purchased. But in most cases, it is as simple as pressing and holding down a button on the collar mechanism while pushing a button on the corresponding remote.
Vibration collars do not hurt dogs. The vibrating sensation is fairly subtle, to the point where some dogs scarcely notice it. So, even if you have a very sensitive pet, the vibrating will not be overwhelming or unpleasant in any way.
Note that if you purchase a vibrating collar which also includes a shock feature, you should deactivate that feature in order to keep the product humane.
A vibration collar should be fine to use on an older puppy. People who use shock collars may start with a dog as young as 10 weeks old, but they shouldn’t. Given that vibrating collars are, by contrast, gentle and humane, they are a better option for puppies than shock collars. Pay attention to product instructions, however. Many products will stipulate how soon you can start using them. Follow the instructions. Generally, you should wait until a puppy is around 6 months old before using a vibrating collar.
As always, start slow and carefully observe how your dog reacts to the collar. Your puppy should not be uncomfortable at all. If he is, you should hold off until later or consider an alternative. Most dogs do not have a problem with vibrating collars, but some may never take to them.
Vibrating collars are generally pretty quiet. If you need to be able to hear the collar, you should purchase one which has the option to sound an audible tone when you activate it.
The reason that anti-bark models of vibrating colors usually do not include a remote control is because they have the ability to detect automatically when your dog is attempting to bark, and respond without your intervention.
How far away you can stand from your dog and still transmit the signal from the remote control to the collar depends on the model that you purchased. Many models allow up to several hundred feet. But some can transmit up to 1,000 feet. The fewer obstacles that there are between you and your pet, the more likely you are to be able to send a clear signal over a longer distance.
Find the Ideal Vibrating Collar for Your Deaf Dog
It can be scary being out with your deaf dog off his leash and not being able to get his attention because you are out of his line of sight.
But after you train your dog to wear a vibrating collar and respond by looking at you when you activate it, you will be able to get your pet's attention no matter where you are standing.
The result will be an enhanced connection between you and your pup and much greater safety for your deaf dog.
Featured image via edogaustralia