About Shock Collars For Dogs
Table Of Contents
Whenever I hear anyone talking about training a dog and they say something along the lines of “Oh, you want to get a shock collar for your dog. It trains them real quick” my blood runs cold.
Essentially, I feel like I want to argue with them but I generally don’t.
The former Beatle Paul McCartney has been quoted as saying “You know, you can really tell a lot about a person by the way they treat animals” and I am 100% certain he is right.
As a dog owner and a dog lover ( I am going to assume you are hopefully both of these!), you should be wanting to get the very best out of your dog.
If you do this by using positive reinforcement it can take some time, but the rewards are huge and beneficial to you and the dog tenfold at the very least.
Using a shock collar on a dog is cruel. Most experts would never be an advocate for this kind of “training” of a dog.
It is the view of organizations such as these that these pieces of equipment can cause serious physical harm to our dogs, psychological damage and in some case’s heart failure.
At the very least, anxiety levels for our dogs would go up hugely.
I ask you, why on earth would you want to get your dog to do something out of fear of being subjected to an electric shock?
What Is A Shock Collar For Dogs?
It is important therefore for you to know exactly what a shock collar or Zap collar or E-Collar as they are sometimes referred to does.
The collar goes around the dog’s neck and administers an electric shock of variable intensity to the dog in order to get the dog to act in a certain predetermined way or to obey an order.
This is what we would refer to as “Pain Based Training”
The collars can also be fitted to other parts of the dog’s body as well as being fitted with sonic based audible features and sometimes GPS facilities for tracking.
The GPS feature is an extremely good one to have for tracking your dog and I am in favor of that feature for safety reasons only.
The collars are activated via a remote control which the owner would use to control the actions.
These collars came to the forefront in the 1960s as they were originally designed and manufactured for the hunting profession and early models were very powerful which resulted in burns and fatalities in dogs, which is hardly surprising as the poor animals were being given electric shocks.
Thankfully, the later models are much more humane and deliver much lower “belts” of electricity and the collars that we see today are much safer.
Use Of Shock Collars For Service Dogs
Predominately they used to be used in the Military and Police forces throughout the world, and I can see that service dogs need to be much more ferocious in the world that they operate in.
Service dogs are a special exemption from my dislike of these collars as I have had the pleasure to meet several Police and Army Dog handlers over the years and their incredibly impressive German Shepherds and you would be hard-pressed to find people who love their dogs more.
Dogs that would die for their owners and I can fully understand that they operate in a world that thankfully, not many of us would want to feature in.
That said, in recent years the UK Police under the advisement of the RSPCA do not use shock collars or pinch collars for training their dogs and this has been a welcomed act.
Shock Collars For Dog Training
One of the biggest arguments for not using a shock collar on your dog is this one:
THEY DON’T WORK!
There have been many studies in the US and UK that have found there is little evidence supporting the notion that the dog responds in anything other than a negative way.
Making a dog do something out of fear or pain is crazy.
It will have a detrimental effect on them and by using pain to “correct” a dog, all these collars are doing is actually instilling a punishment-based act whilst not actually giving the dog any idea what to do other than stop doing an unwanted act.
By using any kind of pain based training on a dog all you are doing is making them more fearful, raising their anxiety, and actually the proof shows that using pain-based training can actually make your dog MORE aggressive and dangerous.
We have to use reward-based training to get the very best out of our dogs. Dogs are really clever and they respond to reward-based training so well.
There have been controlled studies by a few organizations that will have you believe as a consumer that these things work, but on closer inspection what they don’t tell you is the welfare of the dogs and how they behaved during the tests which are the most vital part of any training.
You WANT your dog to be HAPPY learning. You want them to ENJOY training. Dogs really do want to please us and make us happy and we as owners owe it to them to make sure that they enjoy being with us.
If your dog makes mistakes, ignore the mistakes. They are only a dog and they are not spiteful or malicious. They are not doing things to annoy you. They are not sarcastic and they never judge you.
If you use one of these Shock Collars on your dog they will become fearful of you.
A dog that fears their owner is a troubling thing. It means that they act in a different way, a more stressful way and this is a major cause for concern for their future behavior.
Referring back to my article about What Is The Pack Leader, you want to be inspiring your dog. You want them to look to you as someone they can trust and make them feel safe, protected, and without worry.
So, hopefully from this day forward, you will realize that the only way to treat your dog is with the respect they deserve, the patience they deserve, the calmness of approach they deserve, and most importantly, the consistency and love that they deserve.
I would love to know what you think and welcome any comments too.
Thanks for reading