All dogs need collars. Collars protect our furry companions by providing a convenient place to attach ID tags, municipal licenses and vaccination records. But some people use necklaces for try to control bad behavior like barking and hopping. One type of collar commonly used in an attempt to correct bad behavior in a dog is the shock collar. A shock collar works by sending a Electric power by metal contact points inside the collar. When a dog engages in an unwanted behavior, these metal contact points send an electric shock through the dog’s neck to discourage it from resuming the behavior.
Proponents of impact collars claim that they are effective training tools and do not hurt. However, several studies have shown that shock collars are unnecessary and can be very dangerous.
Suppress behaviors instead of addressing underlying causes
People generally use shock collars to prevent their dogs from engaging in certain behaviors, such as excessive barking. The problem with a shock collar is that it delete behavior – it does not actually address the underlying reasons for the bad behavior.
So while the electric shock might prevent your dog from barking at this time, the problem itself has not been addressed. Dogs cannot explain to us how they are feeling, so they use behaviors such as barking and jumping towards communicate. By barking excessively, your dog may be trying to tell you something important. Maybe he’s been alone for too long and bored, or maybe he’s feeling anxious. By simply shocking him to silence, you have ignored these underlying issues.
Shock collars are supposed to correct behavior problems. In fact, they tend to cause more problems than they solve. Various studies have shown that the use of shock collars can cause stress, fear and anxiety in dogs. Aggression is also a concern, as many breeds respond to painful shock by lashing out at those around them. Confusion is another common reaction to shock collars because many dogs don’t understand why they are shocked.
Finally, there is a very real risk that a dog will begin to associate shock with the presence of its owner, who is usually the person controlling the shock collar. This negative association can have a bad effect on your relationship with your dog.
Malfunction and injury
Shockproof collars are not regulated and can cause serious injury to your dog. Shockproof collars studies show that they hurt!
Dogs have been seen reacting to shock yelp, struggle, hide, curl up, tremble, urinate and defecate. There have been several cases of shock collars dysfunction and causing repeated shock, skin irritation and even severe electrical burns to the necks of dogs. One country, Wales, outlaw Shockproof collars due to the high risk of misuse and injury.
A better way
Shock collars have been shown to cause serious behavioral problems in dogs, ranging from anxiety to aggression, and can actually lead to physical injury. Worse yet, they’re typically used to stop behaviors your dog may be using to try and communicate with you.
Much respected veterinarians and canine organizations denounced the use of shock collars, calling them inhuman and unnecessary. With alternatives such as positive reinforcement training available, there is simply no excuse to use pain to discipline or train your dog.
Instead of silencing your dog through shock, use positive reinforcement to address underlying issues and teach him the right behaviors. You will change their behavior for the better without jeopardizing their health, well-being or your relationship.
Image source: Franklin/ Wikimedia Commons