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9 Real Reasons Why Shock Collars Should Be Illegal (2023)

Are Shock Collars Illegal

Shock collars are illegal in some countries. 

Despite petitions to ban these devices…

There are still places that allow fur parents to use it. 

While some believe it’s helpful to train Fido…

Others argue they’re harmful and cruel. 

Keep reading to know…

  • Why shock collars should definitely be banned.
  • The countries banning the use and sale of shock collars.
  • The first reported case under the shock collar regulations.
  • 7 scientific facts on why you should avoid using e-collars now.
  • And a lot more…

Are shock collars illegal?

In some countries, the use and sale of shock collars are illegal. 

This device uses electronic shock to punish our dogs for every misbehavior. 

Such a jolt is enough to cause damage to their mental and physical being. 

Canine researchers, behaviorists, vets, and animal welfare organizations support banning it. 

7 reasons why shock collars should be illegal

#1: It’s a negative reinforcement

Negative reinforcement is one of the 4 conditioning methods to train dogs. 

As behaviorists put it, this type of dog training uses harmful methods. 

For instance, the use of shock collars

When fur parents and dog trainers agree to put an electric collar on Fido’s neck…

Their goal is to correct the dog’s unwanted behavior by giving them a shock. 

Once their pooch follows whatever they’re told to do, they won’t receive a jolt on their body. 

One notable figure that supports negative reinforcement is Cesar Millan

He believed that some dogs need to go through such training to learn.

However, there’s no scientific evidence to back his claims. 

Plus, other dog behaviorists have proven that negative reinforcement is less effective. 

They agree that positive reinforcement works better and isn’t cruel to dogs. 

Read also: 7 Popular Types Of Dog Training (+The Best One For You)

#2: Inflicts pain

Shock collars hurt our dogs. 

With how manufacturers advertise e-collars, it’s easier to believe they’re safe until…

You see your dog tremble and shake because of the electric current their body is receiving. 

A vet even saw how a shock could knock a dog off their feet.

Dr. Bruce Howlett believes some dog handlers might misuse electric training collars.

A remote-controlled collar comes with varying electric shock levels. 

If left in the hands of inexperienced fur parents, they can hurt their dogs. 

“What do you mean by inexperienced?”

You can buy e-collars online. Which means anyone who can afford it could have it right away. 

Also, it’s unregulated.

As a result, anyone can have it because there are no laws specifying who can only use it. 

You see, not all fur parents read manuals or guides. 

Others rely on what online ads instruct them for ease of use. 

And some of these tend to show only the good side of shock collars. 

A study proved that manuals don’t provide complete information on how to use the device.  

When researchers asked several e-collars supporters…

They failed to explain how to properly use them during training. 

This is what bothers reward-based advocates like RSPCA Queensland spokesperson Michael Beatty.

For Beatty, these gadgets are too painful to use as a disciplinary tool for our dogs.

Their organization is pushing for positive reinforcement rather than pain-based training. 

In fact, he would have wanted Queensland to outlaw the said pain-inflicting device. 

Like some parts of Australia, where shock collars are banned. 

For instance, in South Australia, you’ll face 12 months in jail and/or pay a large fine once caught using this training device. 

#3: Causes injury

Shock collars cause life-threatening injury to Fido. 

Vets shared that electrocuting dogs can result in:

  • Death.
  • Brain damage.
  • Sudden death.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Damage to respiratory organs ( such as the throat, voice box, and lungs).

Here’s an interesting demonstration of how shock collars work by Victoria Stilwell:  

Shock collars use an electric current that passes through two metal prongs to give a dog a sudden jolt.

The electric current that runs through our dog’s neck can range from a tickling sensation to a painful shock. 

What’s worse, others can use shock collars to abuse their pooch. 

Whoever holds the remote, holds the safety of Fido. 

For example, if you forget to turn it off, it might continue administering shocks to your poor dog. 

This may cause skin burns and bad injury.  

A dog’s skin is different from ours, so testing the shock on yourself will not guarantee the same effect.

Humans’ skin cells are 10-15 times thicker than dogs.

Not only that, VCA hospitals revealed that the canine’s skin plays a vital role in their health. 

These are the basic functions of the skin:

  • Immunity.
  • Hydration. 
  • Protection.
  • Nutrient storage.
  • Thermoregulation (a process of maintaining dogs’ normal body temperature).

This only proves that anything that damages their skin affects their being too. 

And long periods of using shock collars may cause irreversible skin issues. 

Further reading: 5 Vital Tips To Treat Shock Collar Wounds (How-To)

#4: Instills fear, anxiety, and stress

There are many online resources available to know about e-collars side effects

One study revealed that it instills fear, anxiety, and stress in canines wearing it.

If it were to stop unwanted behaviors, why does it lead to more alarming results?

Because shock collars don’t guarantee long-term benefits. 

It’s a temporary solution to alter your dog’s behavior. 

Your pooch will follow what you want them to do…

Not because they know it’s good, but because of fear of receiving a shock. 

Dr. Sophia Yin shared in her article that shock collars are unethical and unsafe to use. 

Based on the research she collected, she found out that shock collars affect body posture, too. 

Dogs that receive shocks:

  • Squealed.
  • Crouched.
  • Dropped their tail.
  • Showed avoidance.
  • Gave high-pitched yelps. 

These are clear signs of fear, pain, anxiety, and stress.

Moreover, dogs use body language to communicate with us. 

This is why it’s important to know our dogs first before assuming they’re misbehaving. 

For example, when dogs are being hyper

Fido can have a random burst of energy and get too excited, which can annoy you. 

It could actually be the lack of:

  • Brain games.
  • Socialization.
  • Physical activities.
  • Obedience training.

Instead of immediately punishing them, find out what’s causing this behavior first. 

You might be interested in: 101 Proven Ways To Calm Down A Dog (How-To Guide)

#5: Suppresses bad behavior

Suppresses Bad Behavior

As I have mentioned, a shock collar doesn’t guarantee long-term benefits. 

Rather, it only creates a cycle of abuse and more behavioral issues

Science proves it does more harm than good. 

Researchers agreed that it compromises welfare and increases problematic behavior. 

Shock collars can suppress undesirable behavior. 

When Fido receives shock for every undesirable behavior, they’ll stop for a while and not do anything. 

You’ll think that they have learned already…

But the truth is, they are afraid to move around you. 

Thus, many organizations have passed petitions and policies to ban e-collars.

The Kennel Club released a statement supporting the banning of electric collars. 

What’s more, other organizations followed:

These groups advocate for positive reinforcement as an effective tool to train Fido. 

#6: Vets disapprove

As fur parents, vets are one of our partners in raising our fur babies. 

Though there are times that our pooch dislikes them

We can agree they help us ensure Fido’s healthy. 

More than keeping them well, vets are our source of advice.

Especially for fur parents with dog behavior issues. 

Both physical and behavioral health are vital to a canine’s welfare. 

And it matters that we listen to their stand against training dogs with shock collars.

Some vets don’t recommend e-collars. 

That includes Dr. Sheridan Lathe

She explained that as a vet, she had seen the worst cases involving RTC.

One of which is when a dog parent allowed a child to play with an e-collar remote.

It caused burns and injury to the dog’s skin enough to traumatize the poor pooch. 

This and many more cases of abusive use of shock collars alarmed Dr. Lathe. 

Besides burn and injury, it can also cause death. 

Alarming news about e-collars shocked San Francisco. 

A fur parent shared the cause of death of his fur baby. 

He said that after sending his dog to a training camp…

His dog vomited and experienced diarrhea after a dog trainer used a shock collar on his dog.

His helpless pooch then appeared motionless and later on died. 

As the Australian Veterinary Association puts it, using RTC is out of the line, thus supporting its ban. 

#7: Lacks scientific evidence 

Some countries were successful in outlawing it, but others are still debating over it. 

In countries like:

It’s illegal to use shock collars as a training tool to discipline dogs. 

Lawmakers from these countries banned them because no evidence proves e-collars effectiveness

They have gathered several reports of abuse involving the misuse of these devices. 

Back in 2011, the first reported prosecution for this happened in Wales.

A resident of Ogmore faced a trial after using an illegal shock collar on his border collie.

He argued he only meant to stop his dog from jumping over his property’s high wall. 

The dog parent faced a £2,000 (USD 2,410)  fine for violating Wales law on RTC. 

Plus, during the hearing, the court ordered him to pay an additional £1,000 (USD 1,205) in costs. 

Wales is one of the first countries to ban the use of these harmful devices back in March 2010. 

Violators will face 51 weeks of imprisonment and /or be charged with fines. 

#8: Damages your bond

Shock collars damage your relationship with dogs. 

Fido will associate the device around their neck as your punishment…

Not a tool for discipline. 

You’re creating an unsafe environment for your dogs because of the trauma e-collars give. 

Moreover, your pooch will no longer trust you.

They’ll see you as someone they have to avoid.

This means shock collars aren’t a wise method to show you love your dog. 

Let’s be kind and gentle while training them. 

#9: There are other ways

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to disciplining our fur babies. 

In the fur parenting community, the use of shock collars has been controversial. 

If your dog trainer tells you that your canine will quickly behave using e-collars…

Think again. 

Training Fido shouldn’t be painful, forced, and cruel. 

There are many ways we can teach Fido to behave. 

This means electric training collars shouldn’t be part of your options. 

You can use positive reinforcement. 

Many researchers, vets, behaviorists, and trainers claimed that this is more effective.

Not only that, this type of dog training is humane. 

Further reading: 17 Shock Collar Alternatives To Train & Bond With Your Dog