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.
Tried your methods and it did not work on my dog.
Tried multiple trainers and that did not work.
Both trainers and vets recommended drugs to calm my dog.
My dog will not focus long enough to train as she is wound so tight she is ready to explode!! And yes I do exercise her, to the point her nails don’t even need clipping anymore as they are wore down.
What would you recommend now if not this type of training??
It can certainly be tough working with a dog who is on edge all the time and finds it hard to focus. We have a topic on my membership website that talks about why dogs display this type of intense behaviour (hyperactivity) and how to help them relax enough to work with them…..and that can take a little time and patience. The most important thing is that we work within the dog’s excitement threshold so they can focus and learn and the best place to start is in your home….where your dog will have less distractions and be able to focus better. As far as the importance of exercise in a well behaved dog, exercise alone does not lead to good behaviour. To solve a dog’s unwanted behaviours effectively, and for the long-term, we need to primarily work with the dog’s mind and change our behaviour first so that our dogs are then able to change theirs. All the Best, Doggy Dan
How would you train an adult Amstaff mastiff cross to stop hunting cats? Although very well behaved on lead and friendly with all other dogs large and small he goes crazy of he spots a cat. His body demeanor changes and he lunges towards cat. Impossible to hold him down as he is determined to kill it
Cats can be a really common trigger for dogs but it’s a behaviour you can work them through, with a little practice and the right approach….and even better, you can do this without the need for shock collars! Exposure to cats is one element of that training but the most important part is the process and information you give the dog when that exposure happens. Rather than detail the entire process here, it’s would be a lengthy post!, we do cover this issue on my website TheOnlineDogTrainer.com …maybe take a quick look…its a $1USD trial for 3 days…All the Best, Doggy Dan
I use a shock boundary collar on my puppy to ensure she doesn’t run onto the busy and fast road bedside our house. We use it in beep mode only so it doesn’t shock her but teaches her to stay away from the road when she hears the beep. I was reluctant to use it even for just the beep but I can’t take the risk of her getting hit by a car. If I thought there was another sure way to guarantee she doesn’t get hit I would do it.
Hi Karen, using an e-collar in ‘beep mode’ is very different from having the collar set to shock. If you have found that your dog responds well to just the beep, and it allow you to keep her safe then that’s great. All the Best, Doggy Dan