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7 Alarming Shock Collar Side Effects (This Hurts Your Dog)

Shock Collars Side Effects

Despite what online ads tell you…

Shock collars are inhumane and hurt our dogs. 

This isn’t an issue we should take lightly as fur parents. 

Experts, vets, and even other dog trainers discourage using this harmful device. 

Keep reading to discover…

  • Why e-collars affect a dog’s personality.
  • How it harms our relationship with our pooch.  
  • 3 emotional side effects of e-collars on their welfare.
  • And that’s just the beginning…

7 shock collar side effects

#1: It causes health problems

Shock collars can damage dogs’ sensitive neck tissues and nerves.

Dr. Dodds is the founder of a non-profit national animal blood bank, Hemopet.

She shared on her blog

That the jolt from metal prongs causes trauma.

Plus, injury to the dog’s thyroid and salivary glands.

The former is the upper part of the neck, and the latter is located below the ears. 

This harmful training is often frowned upon by animal organizations and vets. 

For renowned vet and author Dr. Karen Becker

Training your dog using these tools causes laryngeal paralysis.

This happens when the muscle’s nerves weaken and collapse. 

You may argue that many factors cause this condition.

However, vets believe that pressure on the neck is one leading reason.

Plus, a professional dog trainer, Melissa Dailler, agrees with these claims.

Dailler said that it causes more behavioral problems like:

  • Aggression. 
  • Fearfulness. 
  • Learned helplessness. 

I know many people believe shock collars are useful training devices… 

Unfortunately, as experts suggest, it causes more harm than good. 

Is it enough to risk our pooch’s safety over a practice with no credible scientific evidence?

Another thing scary about utilizing shock collars is that they can malfunction. 

If this happens, it causes electrical burns and blisters on your dog’s neck. 

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

Examples of shock collar malfunctions are: 

  • The batteries stop working. 
  • Straps or clasps have broken down. 
  • Collars and transmitters were incorrectly synched. 

Remember that manufacturers won’t disclose such things as they’re unregulated.

Meaning there is no set of guidelines that exist to test these items. 

Continue reading: 7 Painful Reasons Why Shock Collars Are Bad For Dogs

This system lets people take advantage of the use and sale of these products.

Many can claim themselves as dog trainers…

And create a website that poses remote-controlled collars as effective and unharmful. 

So, as a fur parent, it’s necessary to be cautious when looking for credible websites for dogs.

#2: Stops motivation to train

Each time doggos don’t feel like training, some see it as a way of being stubborn. 

Thus, pressing that remote-controlled collar is a way to get them back on track. 

Unfortunately, the reverse happens. 

Inflicting pain makes fearful, anxious, and stressed dogs. 

They’ll see training as a punishment and hide from people. 

Instead of that technique, here are some tips to get Fido motivated during training. 

  • Be present.
  • Remember to pet them.
  • Make time to play with them.
  • Praise them for every good job. 
  • Occasionally reward them with food.

#3: Develops apathy and sadness

Shock collars are band-aid solutions to your dog’s unwanted behaviors. 

Researchers revealed that it brings long-term behavioral issues and harms their well-being. 

Training with e-collars causes the following irreversible health issues according to a study:  

  • Tongue flicking.
  • High-pitched yelps.
  • Lowered body posture.
  • Excessive barking and squeals.

Another terrifying side effect it causes our fur babies is apathy and sadness. 

Apathy is when you have little or no reaction to the things around you. 

When our dogs develop an apathetic personality, they’ll learn helplessness. 

This behavior modification device sends shock that can confuse dogs.

Especially if it malfunctions during training. 

This is the downside of shock collars as automatic devices. 

E-collars may deliver shock even if your pooch isn’t doing anything. 

That’s why without you controlling it, it can give them continuous painful jolts. 

Fido will think that even though they’re doing nothing, they still get punished

Oftentimes pain is one of the causes of apathy for dogs. 

Aside from this, there are common signs that show they feel apathetic. 

  • Ignoring you.  
  • Staring at you. 
  • Sniffing their food
  • Refusing to do routines.
  • No intention or too weak to move. 

However, it’s still best to consult your vet if you notice this body language

Further reading: Do Dogs Understand Human Language? 7 Mind-blowing Facts

Receiving shock from collars causes stress to them. 

Canine imaging expert Dr. Gregory Berns shared that dogs feel what we can feel. 

This means they know what happiness and sadness are, too. 

However, it matters to understand that we don’t share the same level or intensity of emotions with them. 

Dogs have smaller brains than us, making their emotions simple and less nuanced.

Plus, dogs react based on their surroundings and experiences. 

Which means they remember events and can recall our actions towards them. 

Let alone the times we inflicted pain using a shock collar to discipline them. 

You might ask, “What causes sadness in dogs?”

It results in the following:

  • Injury.
  • Abuse. 
  • Trauma. 
  • Chronic pain.
  • Environmental changes. 

Dog trainer and behaviorist Carolyn Menteith believes these are signs of a sad dog:

  • Whining.
  • Oversleeping.
  • Restlessness. 
  • Loss of appetite. 
  • Behavioral changes. 

Disclaimer: It’s essential to remember that these signs can be medical-related issues. So, before you panic, consult your vet. 

Vets claimed that persistent sadness leads to depression in our dogs. 

You might be interested: Quiz: Is My Dog Depressed? 19 Symptoms (+Tips To Treat It)

#4: Offers no consistent benefit

E-collars are punishment-based tools. 

And experts have proven that positive training or reward-based is more effective. 

This behavior modification tool suppresses the dog’s unwanted act and is inhumane. 

This only means it doesn’t address the underlying problems. 

It’ll only stop them because of fear but they don’t learn anything.  

Dog trainers encourage positive reinforcement training over the use of shock collars. 

Let me share with you APDT chair Mark Forrest Patrick’s response letter to WSJ’s article. 

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers is an organization that advocates for a dog-friendly training process. 

WSJ made an article about using an aversive collar to discipline a dog. 

With which Patrick and the APDT members disagree. 

As a chair and member of an organization for professional dog trainers…

Patrick said they don’t support using force to train fur babies. 

For them, it matters to increase positive reinforcement and eliminate punishment. 

Check out this video if you’re curious about how it’s done.

#5: Learns avoidance and aggression

Regardless of breed, any dog is capable of being aggressive. 

It’s not solely for larger or those so-called dangerous dog breeds.

Some of these dangerous breeds are banned under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991

  • Fila Brasileiro.
  • Pit Bull Terrier.
  • Japanese Tosa.
  • Dogo Argentino.

Disclaimer: This act is based on subjective assessment without evidence that it’s effective. Keep in mind that all breed types are capable of being aggressive. 

Aggression is one of the destructive side effects of utilizing shock collars, a study claims. 

And one of the many reasons why some fur parents hire dog behaviorists and trainers. 

Canine aggression is an emotional expression that dogs use to cope and communicate. 

This is how they display fear and anxiety towards an undesirable person or animal.

So, how will I know my dogs are starting to be aggressive? 

Signs of aggression include:

  • Snarling.
  • Lunging.
  • Snapping. 
  • Muzzle punching (when your dog pokes you with its closed mouth).  
  • Biting and shaking. 

Some types of canine aggression are:

  • Territorial. 
  • Predatory.
  • Disease-related.
  • Pain-related or irritable.
  • Fear-or anxiety-related.

Aside from aggression, Fido learns avoidance. 

Avoidance behavior is a clear sign that shock collars inflict pain and fear. 

Our pooch will run away and back up into a corner.

Even researchers confirmed that shock training is a harsh method.

And this remote-controlled collar doesn’t have long-term benefits. 

#6: Develop a pessimistic personality

Dogs can be distrustful if their fur parents use at least two harsh training methods. 

This is what researchers from the University of Sydney found out. 

They revealed that dogs that experienced painful approaches are more hopeless…

Compared to those who trained under reward-based methods. 

Optimism and pessimism are ingrained traits of animals. 

Pessimism is attributed to the dog’s need for survival. 

For instance, they would think that someone will always attack them. 

So, they presume the worst and get away. 

This is what shock collars and other negative tools do to them. 

#7: Create tension between you and your canine

Imagine calling them your best buddy, but you hurt them. 

One of the awful things e-collars do is hurt our bond with our pooch. 

We need to build a safe and humane environment for our fur babies.

If we’re the ones causing them much suffering and pain…

How can they trust us? 

We’ll only look like bad dog parents in their eyes. 

So, don’t let a shock rift our relationship with them. 

Let us be Fido’s loyal protector.  

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