Dog collars serve a very valuable purpose. They hold ID tags and vaccination records and can even make a fashion statement! But many people (dog owners and trainers) use collars, such as a shock collar, to prevent unwanted behavior. This dog (in the image above) echoes my sentiment about the use of shock collars. COVER MY EYES because I don’t want to see any dog trained using fear tactics or painful devices that could make a dog’s behavior EVEN WORSE! Shock-collar advocates think that the electric shock doesn’t hurt the dog, that it just ‘shocks,’ or grabs the dog’s attention, so that a behavioral correction can be made. They view the collar as an effective training tool that stops bad behavior. I cannot emphasize how strongly I disagree with this fear-based training method. To me, shock collars are a big No-No!
The Shocking Truth Behind Using Dog Shock Collars for TrainingDespite what some people think, shock collars do inflict both physical and emotional pain. The emotional trauma may be the most damaging because the dog doesn’t understand why you continue to cause harm to them. And it is NOT a long-term training solution. By using a shock collar, you are using fear to suppress unwanted behavior rather than addressing the underlying cause behind your dog’s actions. In effect, the dog is trying to avoid a shock rather than learning how to behave correctly. It should come as no shock to you that training your furry friend in this way comes with repercussions. Some include:
- Increased anxiety because they are worried about an unpredictable shock.
- Unreasonable worry about or fear of everyday sounds (a siren wails or a smoke detector that’s out of batteries beeps, and the dog may think that his collar is about to shock him ).
- Inaccurate behavioral associations due to mistimed shocks (say a dog was looking at a tree and received a shock, she may become fearful of the tree).
- Broken dog-owner relationship, where the dog fears their owner and leads to a lack of trust. This can result in the dog lashing out even more aggressively!
- Poor well-being due to the stress, fear, and pain the dog is experiencing. He may start resisting food and become timid or nervous.