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Can A Shock Collar Kill A Dog? 7 Hidden Risks [2023]

Can A Shock Collar Kill A Dog

“The most effective dog training device.”

Shock collar manufacturers often describe their products like so.

It aims to convince fur parents to avail remote-controlled collars.

However, if you’re thinking of using it because it’s advertised to offer faster results…

Did you know that it comes with hidden risks?

Keep reading to know:

  • How shock collars can cause death in dogs. 
  • How e-collar ads mislead fur parents into using their products. 
  • 7 painful truths shock collar manufacturers don’t want to tell you.
  • The horrors fur parents faced after using shock collars on their dogs.
  • And so much more…

Can a shock collar kill a small dog?

Shock collars can kill small dogs.

Especially those weighing less than 8 pounds.  

They can’t withstand the shock it gives because of their small necks and fragile bodies. 

Can a shock collar kill a big dog?

Shock collars can kill big dogs.

They aren’t regulated and have no scientific evidence to prove their effectiveness. 

It inflicts pain and comes with harmful side effects.

Constant use of this device may shorten a dog’s lifespan. 

7 risks when using a shock collar

#1: Deceptive advertising 

Shock collar manufacturers continue to profit from selling these pain-inflicting devices until now. 

Not because of their effectiveness, but how they’re advertised. 

They’re claimed to be safe, convenient, and cheap. 

Such ads are enough to make you believe they’re built for your dog’s welfare. 

And they only want to make your fur parenting life easy. 

Unfortunately, they’re not. 

Shock collars, e-collars, or remote-controlled training collars (RTS) are harmful. 

Don’t you get a little suspicious about why it’s easier to get them online? 

No dog organizations supervise its use.

Thus, anyone without experience can easily avail this device.

However, many have voiced out their dislike towards the harsh training tool.

Author and the UK’s leading gundog charity founder, Pippa Mattinson, argues that…

You must consider these factors when training dogs:

  • Age. 
  • Goals.
  • Dog’s breed.
  • Consistency. 
  • Training methods. 

Not only that, AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Evaluator Kate Naito said…

Routine and relationship are vital for successful training. 

Also, it matters that dogs see the world as a fun and unscary place to learn. 

How shock collars do otherwise poses a concern to me. 

Shock collars inflict pain, fear, and anxiety. 

And sellers of e-collars don’t tell you this. 

Also, if you try to look at the product’s training manuals, you’ll notice it lacks important details. 

To be precise, a study revealed that some fur parents either:

  • Misunderstand the guides.
  • Fail to read the instructions.
  • Disregard the manual’s advice. 

Based on these findings, we can conclude these actions can be harmful to dogs’ welfare. 


If shock collar guides aren’t user-friendly enough, what about the item itself?

#2: Offers no protection and safety

Aside from offering deceptive advertisements of shock collars…

Manufacturers lack scientific evidence to back its effectiveness. 

Thus, this product isn’t safe and humane to use for our furry babies. 

As researchers pointed out, shock collars are less effective training devices. 

Vets reminded us that the main goal of training Fido is…

To teach them desirable behavior and not punish bad ones. 

The reverse happens when using remote training collars. 

Since our dogs don’t communicate like us, they’ll associate each shock with punishment. 

That every time they do something we don’t want, they get electrocuted. 

The jolt that they experience reminds them that they aren’t safe around you or the trainer. 

Fear, anxiety, and stress will start to build inside Fido because of what they’re going through. 

Moreover, using shock collars during training violates Fido’s 4 out of 5 welfare freedoms:

  • Freedom from discomfort.
  • Freedom from fear and distress.
  • Freedom to express natural behavior.
  • Freedom from pain, injury, or disease.

These are the gold standards for raising our furry friends and it matters to be mindful of them. 

You might be interested in: 13 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Punish Your Dog

#3: Abusive 

Aside from violating the previously mentioned welfare standards…

A shock collar is an abusive and ineffective training tool. 

Using physical force in dog training to discipline canines is popular. 

Why? Because of famous TV shows pushing for it. 

For instance, Cesar Millan’s way of dog training. 

His series, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, attempts to correct undesirable behavior. 

For quite some time, the show was a vast success…

Until audiences realized that this self-confessed dog whisperer and expert uses outdated methods. 

Some pointed out it goes against actual canine research and humane training methods.

Millan supports dominance theory and harmful training methods which some fur parents criticized. 

Thus, after much controversy, lawsuits, and protests…

The series got canceled after 9 seasons. 

Check out: 7 Popular Types Of Dog Training (+The Best One For You)

#4: Canine researchers oppose 

One of the main duties of the scientific community is to dismiss baseless claims. 

Canine researchers should provide accurate and reliable data about dog-related behavior. 

With that said, they’ve come up with strong proof on why we shouldn’t use shock collars.

One of those studies proved that training with shock collars increases stress hormones. 

Since dogs communicate through body language…

It’ll be harder for them to understand why this foreign object electrocutes them. 

Such is enough to change their behavior, according to vets

They’ll start off:

  • Panting.
  • Shaking. 
  • Whining.
  • Escaping.  
  • Shedding. 

If your dogs are always stressed…

The first thing professionals will tell you is to remove the stressors. 

Thus, if using e-collars causes these changes in behaviors, it’s best to stop it. 

Also, ensure to see your vet if you notice these signs. 

Moreover, training with e-collars is a traumatic experience.

Such bad experiences may lead to more health issues.

Researchers compiled pieces of evidence that this harmful device provoked more aggressive behavior. 

Dogs feel unsafe in the hands of whoever administers the shock and become:

  • Sad.
  • Fearful.
  • Anxious. 
  • Depressed.
  • Less playful. 

Constant fear, anxiety, and stress can decrease your dog’s lifespan.

This is according to Penn State University’s vet and science researcher Nancy Dreschel. 

Dreschel’s study focuses on fur parents who lost their dogs.

She identified the relationships between:

  • Fear.
  • Anxiety. 
  • Lifespan. 
  • Specific diseases.

To the following factors:

  • Age. 
  • Training. 
  • Health history.
  • Demographics.
  • Cause of death. 
  • Behavior characteristics. 

The study concluded that a dog’s behavior influences their lifespan. 

This means well-behaved dogs tend to live longer than those exposed to direct fear and stress. 

These two mentioned factors are some of the harmful side effects of shock collars

Moreover, stress hormones can affect our canine’s immune system. 

As some research claims, a compromised immune system is prone to various infections.  

So, if you aren’t ready to face these consequences, think twice before using e-collars. 

Read also: Do Vets Recommend Shock Collars? The Surprising Truth

#5: Pose a threat to dog parent communities

Some fur parents believe that shock collars work wonders for their canine behavior.

While other concerned dog parents question its effectiveness and safety.

Various online resources have proved it’s inhumane and painful to use as a dog training tool. 

However, as long as there are dog trainers that use this kind of method to discipline Fido…

More dog parents might consider using it, especially the new ones. 

I hope before they decide to enroll their lovely dogs in a dog academy that uses shock collars…

They’ve consulted vets and experts about their dog’s behavior. 

Check out this video and see if you agree with their stand:  

#6: Lack of scientific proof

This is one of the many convincing reasons why we shouldn’t use e-collars. 

Many scientists published studies that it causes harmful effects on our dog’s health. 

Contrary to what advertisements tell, shock collars have no long-term benefits. 

They suppress bad behavior and only punish our poor canines. 

For example, your pooch will stop counter surfing after you press the remote and send a shock to them. 

However, after a few minutes, they’ll do it again when you’re not watching them. 

You see, the cycle continues and they don’t learn anything. 

All they know is that they’ll get electrocuted when they do something in your presence. 

#7: Means death for Fido

Like I mentioned, shock collars are unregulated. 

And when no organization is accountable for supervising its quality, it’s prone to being used for abuse. 

Many self-proclaimed behaviorists and trainers will use it to their advantage. 

They’ll post videos claiming shock collars are beneficial.

Some may use ads to convince fur parents to enroll them in their dog academy. 

We’re up for tragedy…

If we entrust Fido’s life to these people who believe in remote training collars.

Reports of fur parents losing their beloved pooch because of shock collars are scary. 

Some mentioned that it almost paralyzed their dogs after receiving shocks. 

One incident even burned Fido’s skin as the remote was left in the hands of a child. 

If these real-life scenarios don’t alarm you, are you willing to lose Fido right before your eyes?

Read next: 17 Shock Collar Alternatives To Train & Bond With Your Dog