Risks of Shock Collars and How They Affect Dog Behavior

Are shock collars bad for dogs? A shock collar may look like a standard collar, but you can never be sure if your dog likes it because it passes between 1500 and 4500 volts when activated. So if you ask, “does shock collars work“? The answer is they do, though they are not one of the best options.  

are shock collars bad for dogs
are shock collars bad for dogs

No dog lover will want to have their pet trained with painful electric shocks. As you never know the exact voltage capacity of the collars, you may burn your dog’s skin and hurt it severely using a shock collar. 

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Research indicates that training dogs with shock collars are a controversial subject and that alternative training methods need to be explored. 

There are three types of collars to choose from: remote training collars, non-visible fence containment collars, and anti-bark collars. Each collar has a unique way of being activated. 

Remote Training Collars 

They feature a transmitter held by the dog owner. A mere push on the transmitter button delivers a nasty shock to a dog from a remote location. Although the device emits a warning beep, the dog never escapes from the shock. The shock is a positive punishment to prevent the dog from doing something (like pooping inside the house). The shock is also delivered when a dog disobeys a command.

Non-visible Fence Containment Collars

Also known as underground fence containment collars, they deliver a shock only when the dog crosses an invisible boundary line. These collars also emit warning beeps as the dog nears the line. Anticipating the painful surprise, it stops. However, most dogs cross the line during training and end up receiving painful shocks. 

Anti-Bark Collars 

As the name suggests, they deliver shocks whenever your dog starts barking. Your pet is supposed to take this as a positive warning to stop barking. When used regularly, dogs may understand that barking can deliver an electric shock. However, there are other painless ways of training your dog to remain quiet. 

Risks of a Shock-based Containment System

While using a shock-based containment system to control your dog, you may get a sense of security as a dog owner. However, each time you shock your pets when they cross the boundary line you’ve marked causes a sense of insecurity brought on by anxiety and fear. 

For all you know, your dog may have smelled something just beyond the invisible boundary line and maybe intently heading towards it. At that moment, your dog forgets the invisible line, and does not hear the warning beep, and crosses the line. Now, to get back where it was, your dog needs to cross the invisible line again and suffer another shock, causing further confusion. 

Pet owners need to stop to ponder that while a shock collar keeps their dogs from straying, it never keeps out the neighbors’ dogs, which can have a free run of their property. This intrusion could well endanger the safety of your dog, and a nasty dog fight cannot be ruled out. 

are shock collars bad for dogs? Do Shock Collars Cause Pain?

Scientific evidence points to the fact that shock collars can be very painful for dogs. Research indicates that reward-based training methods are as good as shock collars; hence why cause unnecessary pain to your pets? 

Even guard dogs, specially bred to withstand pain and display toughness, have undergone long-term stress, as evidenced by their behavior, showing aversion to the trainers. In addition, fear and anxiety were evident in them, as receiving a shock is a harrowing experience.

Pain Can Cause Aggressive Behavior

Another significant reason pet owners need to reconsider using shock collars is that their pets can turn aggressive. Hence, despite knowing the answer to the question, “do shock collars work?” it is better to desist from using them on your pets. 

Whether you use shock collars or prong collars, they can cause aggressive behavior in your pets. The anxiety and pain the dogs undergo due to the shock can be associated with whatever they are doing at that instant. If they are interacting with other people, they may display aggressive behavior towards them. 

Expert Opinions on Shock Collars

Specific studies were made on five dogs under shock collar containment but started biting people, leading to a lawsuit against their owners. These pets, which never displayed any aggressive behavior before containment, did so after receiving the shocks. In addition, the people who these dogs had bitten did not show any threatening actions to aggravate these dogs. But the dogs bit them repeatedly, causing severe injuries. 

Summing it Up

Shock collars don’t help dog owners control their dogs without affecting their behavior. It is better to seek other painless training methods to ensure the dogs’ safety and that of the owners and neighbors.

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