How far will you go in disciplining your dog?
For this, you might be considering using a shock collar.
It’s a famous training tool for correcting unwanted dog behaviors.
However, it’s also a device that harms our loyal canines.
It’s not too late to rethink using this on your pooch.
Keep reading to know:
- The physical harm shock collar brings to your dogs.
- What animal experts have to say about using shock collars.
- The psychological issues dogs experience with shock collars.
- And many more…
Table of contents
- 7 reasons why shock collars are bad for dogs
- #1: Violates 4 out of 5 freedoms of animal welfare
- #2: Brings discomfort
- #3: Causes pain, injury, and disease
- #4: Induces fear and distress
- #5: Strains communication with our dogs
- #6: Fatal to dogs’ lives
- #7: Experts highly discourage using it
- Conclusion: Are shock collars bad for dogs?
7 reasons why shock collars are bad for dogs
#1: Violates 4 out of 5 freedoms of animal welfare
In 1965, Professor F. W. Rogers Brambell studied the basic standards of raising animals.
The Brambell report discussed that animals must be free to:
- Stand up.
- Lie down.
- Turn around.
- Stretch their limbs.
- Groom themselves.
UK’s Farm Animal Welfare Council based on this to create the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst.
- Freedom from discomfort.
- Freedom from pain, injury, and disease.
- Freedom to express normal and natural behavior.
- Freedom from fear and distress.
These become the golden standards professional animal organizations adapt to craft care protocols.
“So? How do shock collars violate that set of freedom?”
Shock collars or E-Collars work with a remote transmitter and a collar receiver.
When you press the remote control, the metal prongs attached to the collars send a shock signal to your dog’s neck.
Shock collar violates 4 points from the set of animal welfare freedom.
This device is a hot topic in the dog community…
As some still use this harmful method to correct their dog’s behavior.
One of those who took the stand against this behavior-modifying collar is the Kennel Club.
They’re campaigning for a complete ban on using or selling this electronic device.
The club believes it induces unnecessary pain and suffering in dogs.
Instead, they recommend using a reward-based method to raise their fur babies.
Moreover, Chief Vetenirany Officer Dr. Helen Beattie was also against shock collars.
According to her, this method is inhumane and should be banned.
#2: Brings discomfort
We should provide our fur babies with a safe and livable place in which they can freely grow in.
However, using shock collars or E-collars creates an unsafe environment for them.
You’re inflicting physical discomfort each time you press that remote control.
A study revealed that those dogs who received electronic shocks exhibited:
- Low posture.
- Excessive licking.
- High-pitched yelps.
- Turning their heads down.
- Downward tail movement.
These behavioral responses are clear indications of discomfort and anxiety.
#3: Causes pain, injury, and disease
Pain-based training methods compromise our dog’s welfare.
Though you can argue that it stops undesirable behaviors of your dog…
Exposing them to it for too long increases the risk of acquiring various illnesses such as:
- Hair loss.
- Heart disease.
- High blood pressure.
- Gastrointestinal disorders.
“I don’t think it’s that painful. I tried it on my skin.”
Testing the collar on your skin to check if it doesn’t hurt is unfitting.
A dog’s epidermis is thinner than a human’s skin, thus shock can still feel more intense to them causing skin sores.
The metal tongs on the collar press directly on our dog’s neck, allowing electrodes to penetrate the skin.
Let me share this unforgettable shock collar experience of a family from Las Vegas.
The family wanted to give their dog, Oreo, the training he needed…
So they enrolled him in the Sit Means Sit training program under Billy Salcido which cost them around $1,954.
Unfortunately, their beloved dog came home with burns and scars.
For more information, check out this video:
More than the pain it causes Fido…
Using behavior-modifying tools violates their freedom from living a fear-free life.
You may also be interested in: 5 Vital Tips To Treat Shock Collar Wounds (How-To)
#4: Induces fear and distress
Behavior specialists presented a study showing shock collar induced fear and aggression.
Electronic stimulation creates phobia and high-stress levels, which causes helplessness in dogs.
This doesn’t sit well with positive training advocates and animal welfare groups like:
They have started petitions to ban electric shock training collars.
One of the most reputable companies to advocate for stopping the sale of e-collars is PetCo.
This major pet product company supports the advocacy.
It ended the sale of all its shock collars from its 1,500 local stores.
PetCo’s CEO Ron Coughlin said that selling e-collars violates the company’s mission…
Which is to be a health and wellness company for pets.
Different animal welfare organizations and celebrity dog trainer Victoria Stilwell applauded this decision.
#5: Strains communication with our dogs
Sometimes we want our dogs to be the most well-behaved in the neighborhood…
So we resort to different methods to ensure they learn how to act.
As fur parents, we owe them the proper training they need to develop.
However, we should manage our expectations as well.
Unlike us, they don’t have the logical capacity to understand what we follow as humans.
No matter how efficiently we’re teaching them…
Dogs still bark, counter-surf, and have their way of disrespecting us.
These moments aren’t an excuse to put shock collars on them.
Especially for the sole purpose of asserting dominance over dogs.
Further reading: Dominance (Alpha) Theory Debunked: 9 Reasons To Avoid It
Canine researchers revealed that dogs have the mental abilities of a 2 to 3 years old child.
This means they share the same capability to feel, but not identify emotions.
They too experience:
With this said, we must remain gentle in how we treat them.
Since dogs use their body language to express these emotions…
It can be difficult to connect with them.
Sometimes when they bark excessively, it annoys us when don’t know what it means.
It’s easier for fur parents to see it as a form of misbehaving rather than their way of communicating.
Or letting us know that there’s something wrong with their body.
This is where some avail shock collars to control these mishaps.
Using an electronic device to punish our dogs affects our relationship with them.
They will avoid and relate us to the discomfort they are experiencing.
Plus, we violate their freedom to act naturally or express themselves without fear.
#6: Fatal to dogs’ lives
How can inflicting pain save a life?
Keep in mind it gives our fur babies an electric shock…
Which increases their heart rate and sometimes pushes them to act aggressively.
Dr. Bruse Howlett even said this about using a shock collar:
“Unacceptable and inexcusable cruel.”
As a vet, he saw how dogs tremble on the ground after receiving a shock from the device.
This affects our dogs’ well-being, which benefits no one in return.
You will end up paying more to dog experts to help your dogs get over this untoward experience.
#7: Experts highly discourage using it
Some countries have banned the use of shock collars such as:
Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and Germany have also outlawed the use of electronic collars.
Experts and animal behaviorists disagreed with the use of e-collars as training methods.
Here are some of their stances:
Renowned veterinarian Dr. Karen Overall believes that…
There’s no reason for people not to know about shock collar threats in our fur babies.
Since there are credible studies and research available.
Moreover, author and behaviorist James O’Heare discussed that…
Shock can affect a dog’s bite threshold and create frustration.
He cited Dog expert Dr. Richard Polsky’s study explaining…
Shock can elicit aggression in dogs with no aggressive history and can attack people.
Plus, Motor Behavior Laboratory Research Director Dr. Gal Ziv revealed…
There’s no proof that aversive training is more effective than reward-based training.
He argued that “Shock is not training,” but an opening for abuse.
Regardless of how these experts show their dislike about shock collars…
There are still fur parents who continue to buy for their playful dogs because of online ads.
These ads are enticing enough to make you believe it works.
However, researchers suggest that reward-based methods produced more optimistic dogs than harmful methods.
Conclusion: Are shock collars bad for dogs?
Yes, it is bad for your dogs.
Shock collars don’t address the problems we face as fur parents.
Moreover, it burdens us and inflicts irreversible pain on our dog’s well-being.
Remember, there’s no scientific proof justifying aversive training methods to correct dogs’ behavior.
Since it only increases stress and induces fear, I don’t support the use of shock collars.
I share the same concern with fur parents who engage in reward-based training for their pooch.
Shock collars are inhumane, cruel, and prone to abuse.
It’s bad for our dogs and a clear sign of bad dog parenting.