Petco Stops Sale of Shockproof Dog Collars, Calls On Pet Industry To Follow

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Petco no longer sells “shock” electronic collars and calls on the pet industry and consumers to “create real change”.

The San Diego-based pet store chain announced on Tuesday that it was ending sales of man-and-bark-activated collars in stores and online and launched a “Stop the Shock” campaign, which includes an online petition.

“Electricity can be essential to power your microwave oven, but it has no role for the average parent of a pet who trains their dog,” said Ron Coughlin, CEO of Petco, in a statement. communicated. Press release. “Shock collars have been shown to increase fear, anxiety and stress in dogs, and we believe there is a better way – positive reinforcement training.”

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The company said its movement was aimed “at creating responsible regulations for the retail sale of shockproof collars to consumers in general.”

Shockproof collars typically use an electric current passing through metal contact points on the collar to give dogs a signal that can range from a slight tickling sensation to a painful shock, the Humane Society explains on its website, which says that “the least humane and controversial use of the shock collar is as a training device”.

Petco claims that a recent survey of 1,000 “dog parents” found that 70% said they believe shock collars have a negative impact on their pet’s emotional or mental well-being and 69% consider impact collars as a cruel training method.

The survey also found that 71% of dog parents believed there “should be restrictions on the retail sale of shock collars to prevent human error or abuse,” Petco said in its statement.

Petco also announced a new look declaring itself “Petco, The Health + Wellness Co.” to reflect the evolution of the business.

“As a health and wellness company, our mission is focused on improving the lives of pets and we believe that selling impact collars does the opposite,” Coughlin said in the release. “It is our responsibility to make sure that we, and others, do not put potentially harmful products in the wrong hands.”

Petco has stopped selling electronic impact collars.

Free online training

Petco said buyers will be “encouraged to try products and services based on positive reinforcement training methods,” including its new online training program and private and in-home training courses.

The company said it is offering a free online introductory training course for pet owners to learn more about positive reinforcement training methods.

“Science shows that animals will learn new behavior faster and more successfully if they are allowed to participate voluntarily in the learning process and are rewarded for preferred behaviors,” said Dr Whitney Miller, head of veterinary medicine at Petco, in a press release. “Punishment is not only less effective in changing unwanted behavior, shock collars are known to reinforce negative behavior and create anxiety in pets.”

Learn more about the campaign and what Petco took away from stores in www.petco.com/stoptheshock.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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