There is quite a debate going on regarding electric shock collars for dogs. Dog-training instructors have repeatedly warned against the use of such devices to train pets, as they can cause short-term and long-term damage. Just recently, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Ireland addressed an open letter to the government to ask for a national ban on shock collars.
An impact that is both physical and psychological
Training a dog can be frustrating at times, especially if you don’t have a lot of free time on your hands. But this doesn’t mean that you should go for the quick fix offered by shock collars. When you use such a device, you are causing your dog – without even knowing – a lot of harm.
Training instructors advise against shock collars, due to the potential effects on the short term and the long term. Your dog receives an electric shock in the throat area, which is considered very sensitive in these pets.
Even if you cannot imagine the degree of discomfort your dog experiences, specialists in dog welfare can tell you that it is nothing you would wish your beloved pet to go through. The area of the body where the shock is delivered is considered very vulnerable, and the dog will become anxious in his or her tries to avoid feeling pain.
Specialists say that the effects of the electric shocks delivered in this manner will be both physical and psychological. Your dog will just learn to be afraid, nothing else. Training-wise, you will not gain a thing, and, even more, your dog may start to feel distrustful of you.
And this is not all. Dog-training instructors have seen it plenty of time. Some dogs can become so fearful of getting a shock out of the blue that they become more aggressive and challenging to deal with. This aggression can manifest in various ways and can be directed towards other pets and even their owners.
What do the supporters of shock collars say?
The other side involved in this debate, the supporters of shock collars, claim that the electric shock delivered by the device is too low in intensity to cause any harm. They also try to downplay the effects the repeated shocks have on a dog’s behavior and personality, as well as welfare.
But those against them say that you should not believe that a device like that is nothing but a dog collar with a bit of extra. To start with the first argument claimed by the other party, the electric shock delivered is not that small.
If it were to be of low intensity, it would not affect a dog’s behavior. It needs to be punitive to induce a difference in behavior, and, if that is the case, a shock collar is a tool for punishment and nothing else.
Dog-training instructors ask for a ban on such devices and say that there are other, much more humane, methods to train your dog. The chances are if you are not well taught yourself to use such a device, to cause your pet more harm than good.