TRACY JESSIMAN: The “cruel and painful” shock collars for dogs

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Janet Chernin, co-founder of Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network, recently sent me two links.

The first link was from Petco, a large pet supply store, which says, “We have ended the sale of specific electronic shock collars, a move that reinforces our commitment to do the right thing. better for pets. As a health and wellness company, we believe impact collars have no reason to be part of our business. As of October 6, 2020, we have removed all Man-Activated Bark Activated Electronic Pet Collars, commonly known as Shock Collars, from our assortment in store and online. Parents of pets looking for alternatives to these products are encouraged to try products and services rooted in proven positive reinforcement training methods. “

The second was a direct link with the Canadian Veterinarians website showing their humane dog training methods from October 2015.

I am not a dog trainer; therefore, I contacted three educated trainers to share their thoughts on what is called an adverse dog collar. Here are their comments:

Tristan Flynn, certified dog trainer and co-owner of Happy Tails, points out that “While many people wish their pets could talk, I’m sure if they couldn’t, only one would ask to be trained with a shock collar. These tools are dangerous because they create anxiety, stress and even aggression in our dogs – who fail to understand where the shock is coming from, why it is happening, or sometimes how to stop it. This can usually result in trauma to the dog even long after the tool is not in use.

Jane Smith, professional dog trainer and owner of Dog learning center Idem, states that “Claw and shock collars and electric (invisible) fences are not a way to train a dog.” They only rely on pain and fear to get the dog to do something or avoid something. These methods are cruel and painful; they fail the trust and relationship with the dog. Why would we want to cause pain and fear to our dogs? Training should be fun and good communication between man and dog, and not forced into fear. Someday I know we will ban all of these horrible tools, and in so many places they are already banned. We wouldn’t do this to our children, why would we do this to our dogs, our best friends? “

Silvia Jay, Canine Behavior Consultant, explains that “Shock collars are designed to induce desired behavior or stop unwanted behavior. This happens via a stimulus that the dog wants to stop either way because he feels very uncomfortable or painful. This is the purpose of the collar, and whether you call it a shock collar or an electronic collar, it makes no difference – it is the same because the function is the same. “

Jay says that “All collars are designed to adjust the intensity of the electrical stimulus, but when put on a dog collar it is set to a level where the person gets the behavior. By the way, the tone warning elicits the same distress in a biochemical and neurochemical realm as shock itself.

The tone is a warning, she says.

“This is how we study threat conditioning in laboratory animals. The dog, of course, has no choice. If forced to learn new behaviors via a stimulus, the dog wants to escape from it and learns that he can avoid being shocked if he changes the dog’s momentary action. For many dogs, this is a life sentence. Shockproof collars are banned in several countries for a reason, and I’m delighted Petco has decided to remove them from its shelves. I hope other major pet store chains will follow. “

Please be kind to animals.


Tracy Jessiman writes the weekly Recycled Love column and prides herself on being a “voice for those with no choice”. She supports various animal rescues. Reach her at [email protected].

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