Shock collars for dogs: the good and the bad (2023)

The shock collar, remote training collar or e-collar is most commonly used in four areas:

  1. Do you have dogs on our property🇧🇷 Our dog is corrected every time he approaches the fence. This is also known as an invisible fence or underground fence.
  2. Dogs stop barking🇧🇷 The collar automatically corrects every time our dog starts barking. If he keeps barking, the shocks may automatically increase in strength, duration, and frequency.
  3. Train dogs and stop problem dog behavior.🇧🇷 Shock collars are most commonly used for off-leash training. However, some dog trainers and pet owners also use it for behavioral issues such as:food aggression,miDog Aggression.
  4. Teach dogs to stay away from dangerous animals and objects.🇧🇷 A common application is rattlesnake aversion training. A dog receives a strong shock, but very rarely, when approaching a caged rattlesnake. This teaches him not to go near rattlesnakes in the future.

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Shock collars for dogs: the good and the bad.

The use of electric collars on dogs is a very emotional topic. Disputes often degenerate into personal attacks,dog abuse complaints,and other types of insults.

In this article, I'll try to stick to the facts and consider whether I would use it around my dogs. However, remember that facts are not always comfortable and facts are not always balanced between the two sides.

If you have already decided to use e-collars and are looking for validation, this article is not for you.

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This is Shania the Siberian Husky. After reading a lot about these collars I decided not to use them to train my dogs.

E-collars vs. shock collars

Not all electronic collars are used as shock collars. There are three main modes: 1. Beep mode, 2. Vibration mode and 3. Shock mode.

All e-collars have a nudge function, but beep or vibrate functions are optional.

1. Modo de bipe

In this mode, a beep will sound each time the collar control is pressed. This beep can be used as a marker in the same way clickers are used in clicker training.

For the beep to be an effective marker, the dog must first be trained to associate the sound with a positive or negative consequence. For example, if the beep always precedes a desired treat, our dog may stop and wait, knowing something good is coming. Similarly, a dog may freeze or give way when hearing a bleep, knowing that failure to comply will be followed by a painful shock.

The beeping can also cause thisa surprised answersimilar to whistling. This can be used to get our dog's attention or to interrupt their current action. However, for this to work, we only need to use the interrupt signalvery rare opportunities🇧🇷 If it is used too often, our dog will get used to it and just ignore it.

2. Vibrationsmodus

In this mode, the collar will vibrate, similar to how our pager or phone vibrates, to get our attention. Like the Beep mode, this vibration can be used as a marker or interrupt.

Both beep and vibrate modedo not do itelectrocute the dog.

Shock collars for dogs: the good and the bad (3)

Resource control, along with structured training and management, worked best for Sephy, Shania, and Lara.

Shock collars for dogs: the good and the bad (4)

What is shock mode?

(Video) Dog shock collars: How they work & why you may NOT want one

Shock collars for dogs: the good and the bad (5)

How much pain the dog actually feels also depends on the dog's physical characteristics.

3. Shock mode.

In Shock Mode, the E-Collar sends an electrical current to the dog through two contact points on the dog's neck.

This electric current causes pain and physical discomfort in the dog, otherwise it would not be effectivecondition it.

The level of pain inflicted on the dog depends on three main factors:

  • The power/voltage of the electric current,
  • The current duration and
  • The frequency of the current.

The amount of pain thatDog really feels, it will also depend on the dog's physical characteristics (e.g. size, coat and coat) as well as the dog's temperament. Some dogs are more sensitive to pain than others.

sometimes words likeStimulusare used to describe shock collars. I've even seen them described like thatsoft training collars.

Beware of these sales tricks. Accept an e-collar for what it is. If you choose to use it, make an informed decision based on the actual pros and cons of the system, which I'll discuss below. Please note that the following discussion is based solely on the shock feature of the remote training collars (not the beep and vibrate modes).

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Beware of sales tricks!

The good

1. It allows us to control the amount of pain we inflict on our dog and deal with it remotely.

One of the major challenges in implementing pain-based therapyaversive techniqueshow leash pullscap on a bottle,and finger presses put you in control of the force applied to the dog.

  • much powerand our dog may have a breakdown and be extremely stressed or anxious.
  • little strengthand our dog will get used to the corrections and just ignore them.

Aversive master trainers can apply just the right amount of force to keep the dog from repeating bad behavior while not becoming unbalanced or frightened.

Unlike other aversive methods, with remote training collars we can easily adjust the level of pain exerted on a dog and keep that level of pain constant for later corrections. We can also treat pain remotely.

However, it should also be noted that the amount of pain the dog actually "feels" and the resulting response will depend on many different factors, not just the strength of the shock being administered.

While these devices are touted as a highly controllable method of behavior modification through the controlled administration of pain/discomfort (the collars are designed to allow the operator to adjust the duration and intensity of the shock), the experience is one when an individual animal receives a shock applied can be influenced by a number of factors.In addition to individual temperament, the experience is influenced by the dog's past experience, frequency of use, location of the shock, thickness of the coat and moisture content of the skin.(Lindsey, 2005). Because many of these factors cannot be easily determined by the operator, this makes the device much less accurate than suggested.

2. It can automatically apply shock correction to the dog even if we are not present.

Another challenge in implementing appropriate aversive fixes is timing. We want to correct our dog as soon as he exhibits unacceptable behavior and stop correcting him as soon as he stops.

E-collars can be linked to a specific trigger event, such as: B. Barking or being near our fence. In this way, the dog is automatically and constantly shocked as soon as it starts barking or stops barkingtry to escape.In fact, invisible sealing systems against bark or bumps are handy because we don't even have to be on site to make the corrections.

Shock collars like this might seem enticing and easy to use, but unfortunately that doesn't necessarily mean constant automatic syncingright time.

Studies show that automatic collars are risky because associating a shock correction with a single triggering event, such as barking or approaching, is too easy and often leads to failuremau momento🇧🇷 Later, this can lead to aggression and other behavioral problems in the dog.

There are some bark collars that use a sonic aversionstop hitting puppies,For example himUltrasonic anti-bark collar🇧🇷 However, the customer reviews were bad because the sound stimulus is often not sufficient to prevent the barking behavior.

(Video) Top 5 Best Dog Shock Collar Review In 2023

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Time is very important in dog training. One of the dangers of electronic collars is that they can cause pain at the wrong time or too often.

3. The source of the aversive stimulus is less clear.

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Aversive training carries a high risk of losing our dog's trust and weakening our bond with them.

Shock collars for dogs: the good and the bad (9)

Resource management and training rewards worked better on Sephy.

When we use other pain-based aversive techniques, it's usually obvious that the pain is coming from us. This can teach our dogs to associate people with physical ailments, which can also make them anxious. When this happens, we can lose some of our dog's trust and compromise our bond with them.

For example, when we use a neck correction, it is clear that the pain originates in the neck and sometimes (if not redirected) in us. So that the dog can decide.leash fight,or worse, with us.

With e-collars, this is less of an issue as the source of the pain is masked and there is no collar to fight. However, since the pain does not seem to come out of nowhere, our dog may mistakenly associate it with something they see in the environment (e.g. another dog), the environment itself, or various unrelated objects and events. This can lead to misdirected stress, anxiety, and aggression towards these objects.

Automatic shock collars also carry a high risk of over-correcting a dog.

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When training a dog, it's important not to over-correct. Overcorrection can erode trust, cause anxiety issues, and teach a dog to associate people with negative events.


1. It can increase aggression in dogs.

In accordance withPolish-Studio,Dogs kept in shock containment systems (i.e. invisible fence or underground fence) may show themselvesextreme aggressiveness towards people,in addition to its normal behavior.

Polsky's findings show that a major danger of electronic collars, especially automatic ones, is that they can lead dogs to make wrong associations and learn wrong things.

Dogs can associate shock pain with the environmentor with objects in the environment (including people, dogs or cats) and not with their fleeing or barking behavior. This can create fear or negative associations with these objects, which can lead to aggression.

Some dogs conditioned in this way may not want to set foot in the yard for fear of pain. They can also start attacking people and other animals who get too close to the perimeter of the fence.

(Video) Cesar Uses An E-Collar To Train Agressive Boxer | Cesar 911

Some dogs can get used to being hit., and learn that if you can take pain near the fence, you can escape. Once they escape, they will not be rewarded with any further downloads. In this way, the dog learns that running away is good, but not staying in the backyard.

Shock collars for dogs: the good and the bad (11)

Dogs may associate shock pain with the environment or objects in the environment (including people, dogs, or cats) rather than with their fleeing or barking behavior.

2. It can increase stress in dogs and reduce their quality of life.

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Remote training collars can increase stress for dogs and affect their quality of life.

Schalke et al. drove aE-Collar Trainingsstudioin fourteen laboratory-bred beagles. Shock collar training was performed for 1.5 hours per day for 7 days. The dogs were then allowed to hunt free for 5 days and hunt on leash for another 5 days. This was shown by the Schalke study

… were able to unequivocally associate the electrical stimulus with their action, i. H. touching prey, and consequently could predict and control the stressor, they showed no significant or persistent signs of stress.


However, the other two groups of dogs that were unable to predict and control shock delivery clearly exhibited elevated levels of stress, with the highest levels of stress occurring in dogs receiving random shocks.

More importantly, the group of dogs that received a shock for disobeying a call (here), were also significantly increased.

Even more troubling, the results stayed the same when the dogs were reintroduced to the testing area.after four weeks🇧🇷 Their stress levels remained high even though they didn't go into shock during this resettlement phase.

The results of the Schalke study indicate that electronic collars are extremely risky, even in the short term. The dogs' stress levels were already high after 7 days and increased once they returned to the shock treatment environment. This is consistent with Polsky's study showing that dogs can relate the shock and stress they receive to their environment.

This study provides strong evidence for thisShock collars are not suitable for most types of dog training, since even ordinary memory training leads to high stress levels and a lower quality of life.

Shock collars for dogs: the good and the bad (13)

Crash fixes can weaken our bond with our dog.

3. It can weaken our bond with our dog.

Polsky and Schalke's studies show that dogs generally associate pain from e-collars with their environment and with people, animals, and other objects in that environment. Even when shocks are no longer administered, dogs still attribute something stressful and negative to the environment.

Therefore, use a remote training collar on our dogcouldAsk him to associate our home or yard with stress and pain. Or worse, iscouldget him to associate stress with other dogs, with other people, or with us.

Keep in mind that the Schalke results show that this negative bond forms within 7 days.

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Alternative to crash solutions

(Video) Electric Collar for Dogs - Why Not Use Them?

Alternative to crash solutions

When I first got my Shiba Inu I had a lot of problems with him. I was under the wrong impression at the time that reward methods wouldn't work with my dominant, stubborn, and aggressive Shiba Inu. So I used aversive training and briefly considered using e-collars because the other aversive methods didn't work well.

However, after much reading, I decided to give itReward dog trainingan opportunity.

Reward training is not a miracle cureand it will still take a lot of work, perseverance and patience to train our dog. reward techniques, howeveryou can workin dominant, stubborn and aggressive dogs. It worked well to train my Shiba. In fact, he stopped being aggressive towards me and others after I stopped using pain-based methods.

Common reasons for shock collars

1. Save a dog's life.

Proponents of electronic collars sometimes argue that they are used to save a dog's life by preventing it from entering traffic.

It is important to note that no matter what equipment or training method we use, Neckless Recall is never 100% reliable.

That's why there are collar laws in most parts of the city. For this reason, dogs must be kept on a leash in outdoor parks in the parking lot or in areas near roads and traffic.

I use a non-slip leash and secure leash to walk my neighborhood dogs. I also regularly check the collar and leash to make sure they are in good condition. Off-leash exercises can be done in fully enclosed spaces or large parks where we are far enough away from traffic that a failed retrieve does not result in an accident. do not playRussian roulettewith the life of our dog.

2. It doesn't cause much pain, just a tingling sensation.

Some people try remote training collars and report that they only tingle, so not really causing our dog much pain.

However, to experience shock collar conditioning first-hand from my dog's perspective, I would have to place the collar around his neck and hand the controller to a handler. I will not know why, when or where the downloads will take place.

As I go about my day, I may feel the urge to smoke. I reach out to pick it up and my neck tingles. It's just a tickle, so I keep going.

At this point, the tingling not only stops, but increases in intensity. I'm stubborn so I keep going. After all, that's exactly why he needed the shock collar in the first place.

The intensity keeps building until I finally fallthe evilObject. My hand is shaking. The experience was uncomfortable and now more than ever I wish for relief. unfortunately I don't have itcorrection, all I got is this leash I can't get off. My eyes wander and my hands reach out again...

E-collars areNOharmless, nor are they just a little tingly. If they were, they wouldn't work.Its use is illegal for children.and adults who disagree.Here's another case in Utah.Testing the collar on ourselves and delivering a single expected short, low-intensity shock is *not* the way the collar is used on our dogs. It's just a trick to convince us that the collars are harmless. If only they were really that harmless...

  • Why its use is forbidden for children and adults who do not agree with it.
  • Why is there so much scientific data showing how risky it can be?
  • Why are they on the "do not use" lists of so many reputable canine organizations?
  • Why would they "work" on our stubborn dog when other pain-based collars like needle collars or choke collars no longer work?

Logic tells us that this is a false statement.

3. Everyone is biased and dishonest.

Another common argument is that those who point out the risks of remote training collars are biased and dishonest. personal attacks orFor menArguments like these are not only useless, but discourage rational discourse and the exchange of ideas.More on prejudice.

In this article, I'll outline what led me to consider e-collars as a possible training tool for my Shiba Inu, as well as some of the risks of concern. Based on the studies and articles I found, I also add counter-arguments (if any) for each of these points. In general, I have found very little scientific evidence to recommend its use, while there are many studies showing the risks involved.

After reading the Polsky and Schalke results, I'm having a hard time finding instances where the collar is appropriate for dog training. Perhaps the only case is animal aversion training, like teaching our dogs to fear and stay away from rattlesnakes.

If you are aware of any supporting scientific studies or proven data that highlight the benefits of remote training collars it would certainly add a lot to the discussion so please share them with us.

However, based on current reliable data, shock collars are not something I would use on my own dogs or recommend to others in general. It is also worth noting that the ASPCA,AVSAB, RSPCA, kennel club,miblue cross,They are all against the use of electric collars for service dogs.

Shock collars for dogs: the good and the bad (15)

Would you still use a shock collar on your dog?


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