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Dog Training Collar and Pressure Necrosis

Some time ago, a distressed owner claimed that a dog’s training e-collar burned two holes into the neck of her dog. When I saw the photos of the “burned” neck (as seen below), I immediately knew that the two holes in that poor dog’s neck were not burns but neck sores. This is the equivalent of bedsores or what medical professionals call “pressure necrosis”. The holes in the dog’s neck were caused by the ignorance and negligence of the owner.

Pressure necrosis on a dog’s neck caused by wearing a training collar for a prolonged period of time.

Remember that Training Collars (or e-collars) are different from regular dog collars. Dog training collars are only used when you train your dog. They are not designed to be worn like regular dog collars. Regular Dog Collars are collars you can have on your dog wear for long periods. Although e-collars are awesome training devices like the ones below:

These types of collars can be easily abused when used by an ignorant dog owner.

So what exactly went wrong?

  1. Misuse.
  2. Too tight.
  3. The owner treated the training shock collar as a regular pet collar and never took it off for several days.

If you use a dog training collar without fully learning how to use it, you certainly increase the chances of abusing your dog without even realizing it.

What is Pressure Necrosis?

Pressure necrosis in relation to dog collars happens when a collar has been worn too tight and longer than what is recommended. They look like bedsores or in this case sores on the neck of a dog.

It’s called pressure necrosis because pressure restricts the flow of blood causing skin tissue to rot (necrosis). 

In the picture above, pressure necrosis seen on the dog’s neck was caused by two prong (two points) of a training collar that was worn tightly for days or possibly weeks. When worn tightly, the two prongs restricted blood flow and the skin began to weaken and likely rotted in those two isolated area. As the skin weakened, the prongs buried its way into the dogs neck.

Pressure Necrosis is Commonly Mistaken for Electrical Burns

Unfortunately for amateurs who use training collars, pressure necrosis is commonly mistaken for electrical burns and they often place blame on training collar manufacturers. Some even threaten to sue claiming manufacturing defect but this is not the case. Dog training e-collars do not produce heat but they produce controlled stimulus such as a static shock, vibration, or sound to encourage positive behavior or discourage  negative behavior.

E-Collars are Banned in Some Countries

Some countries such as the UK have banned the use of remote controlled training collars because of animal abuse issues. The main reason is that people can easily commit abuse through ignorance, misuse and negligence.

In the picture above, the owner unknowingly abused her dog by simply leaving the collar as if it were a regular flat collar. In other words, this is ignorance, misuse, and negligence.

Learn How to Use a Training Collar Before Using It

Before you use a specialized tool such as a dog training collar, learn how to use it properly. The most immediate way to start is to read the user manual but this is not enough. You need to practice and know exactly when to apply the stimulus you need on your dog. Timing and practice is very important.

If you are not confident about using training collars, enroll in an e-collar training class in your area or seek professional advice from a professional dog trainer who knows how to use training collars that include pinch collars, remote controlled collars, and choke chains.

In short, to use training collars correctly and safely, you must properly read the manual provided. If reading does not help or if you have questions, contact the manufacturer or try attend a dog training class on how to train your dog using a training collar..

Note the first sentence: “To prevent irritation from the contact point…”Garmin Manual (page 2).

Page 2 Garmin Dog E Collar Fitting Caution
Page 2 of a Garmin E-Collar Manual

Furthermore, training collars should always be removed when it is not in use (e.g. when the dog is sleeping, feeding time, when nobody’s home, and etc.).

Finally, you never ever tie a leash to a remote controlled training collar. 

Should you Buy a Dog Training Collar?

Not really. It’s not necessary and there are many other ways to effectively train your dog. However, as person who doesn’t use leashes in the open field for various activities, a shock collar is a useful tool that can effectively keep your dog out of trouble over a long range.

What is a Training Collar (E-collar)?

A remote controlled dog training collar (aka as an e-collar or a shock collar) is a specialized training collar that uses static to shock a dog for training purposes. When used correctly, this tool can be very effective with dog training. However, when used incorrectly, a dog training collar can cause injury, abuse, and even death.

1. Dog training collars, especially collars with bulging points are not supposed to be worn for more than 16 hours a day.

2. when a dog has two points worn tightly on it’s neck for a long period of time, it will cause irritation.

In this case, the prongs buried its way into the poor dog’s neck. What a shame!

Again, this is known as “Pressure Necrosis”.

If you want a Dog Training Collar, Only Buy the Best Ones

If you really care about your dog, buy a high quality training collar.

I use a Garmin. It is reliable, effective, and consistent. It is worthy of being listed with because you can use vibrate and sound mode to train with it.  Here are the ones I highly recommend below:

Furthermore, if I need to use shock mode on a Garmin collar, the level of shock always stays consistent throughout. I know this because I strapped a collar on to my wrist and shocked myself dozens of times while testing out all the levels. What I learned with cheap training-collars is a level 1, the weakest level would sometimes feel like a level 10 or above.

I like to mention that the online market is over-saturated with cheap training-collars so be careful. Cheap training collars are not always reliable and I would not dare use them on my dogs. Buy high quality training collars like a garmin delta sport because they are high quality, consistent, and durable.

If you don’t agree with what I mentioned about about cheap shock collars, try testing a cheap training collar on yourself. I will almost guarantee the shock levels of cheap training collars are not as consistent as a high quality training collar. It is punishment a dog does not need to have in it’s life.

How Long Do I Have My Dog Wear A Training Collar?

Personally, I make it a habit to put on an training collar only when I train my dog. I mostly use vibrate mode but if that doesn’t work, I level up to shock mode.

When training is over,  I simply take it off, clean it, and then charge it.

The total wearing time for my dog is about an hour day. However, I like to mention that these days, my dog barely wears a training collar because she has matured to the point where she doesn’t need it at all. Thanks to a high quality training collar.


Don’t be a fool and leave a training collar on your dog’s neck for days. It will cause pressure necrosis on your dog’s neck. Worst case scenario is it could cause a serious infection resulting in death! If you use an e-collar without fully understanding how to use it, you certainly increase the chances of abusing your dog without even realizing it.

I have used a variety of training tools and a remote training collar is one of the most effective tools I have in my arsenal. It allows me to correct my dog’s behavior and unwanted actions without me using any physical force.

Finally, if you really need a training collar, don’t go cheap. Buy a high quality training  collar like a Garmin Delta Sport. The Garmin Delta Sport is the one I use and recommend here on!

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