A dog collar is much more than an accessory and has a vital role to play in correcting your dog’s behavior and even communicating with them. It has been used for centuries by owners to control their dogs while walking.
Dogs usually retrace their steps and come back, but familiarizing them with the environment is essential if you have a puppy. A collar, in this case, also acts as a safety device so that your pet doesn’t wander off, especially while walking in a crowded neighborhood.
There are several kinds of dog collars available in the market these days. The pinch collar, pull collar, GPS, or ID collars are common types of collars used. However, there are many more options today. A shock collar is one of the options that has received a lot of criticism. But are shock collars safe for dogs?
What Are Shock Collars?
A shock collar is also known as e-collars. It consists of two metal prongs that rest against the dog’s skin, mainly on the neck. When you press the button on its remote control, the metal prongs send an electric shock. Trainers use it when the dog barks or crosses a boundary line.
Are Shock Collars Safe For Dogs?
A shock collar is an aversive training technique where the dog is punished for changing and modifying its behavior. This kind of training was used on hunting dogs in the 1960s. It is an old method but is now considered an inhumane way of training dogs. Many researchers have suggested that it can do more harm to your dogs than good.
Many countries like Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Germany, and some parts of Australia have even banned shock collars from hurting the dog’s behavior and personality. Using a shock collar can have many side effects and is not safe for your dogs.
Possible Side Effects of Using Shock Collars to Train Your Dog
Hurts your Dog
As you know, these collars are used as punishment whenever the dog behaves in a way you don’t want it to behave. The electric shock can be painful if you are using it on your dog. Your dog is like a baby to you, and this is the last thing you would want to do with it.
Damages Your Bond With The Dog
You must build a relationship that is based on love and trust and not pain and fear. Many researchers have suggested that using a shock collar can have a negative effect on your relationship with your pet. It is an aversive technique of training based on instilling fear and pain.
So, when you use such a technique on your dog, your dog might start avoiding you, relating you to the pain and discomfort it is facing. Even if you are using it for its benefit, it will not help him understand that.
Impairs Your Communication With Your Dog
Dogs have a particular way of expressing themselves, like barking, whining, whimpering, growling, wagging their tail, and jumping on you. This is how they usually communicate. But if you use an aversive technique on your dog, it will affect the way you communicate with it. A punishment-based communication will be abusive for your dog.
Affects Your Dog’s Health
The electrostatic shock can have short and long-term psychological effects on your dog. It can result in fear, phobias, distress, and aggression. If you use shock collars, it will habituate your dog to pain and promote aggressive and fear-based behavior. Besides the psychological distress, it can also increase heart rate and cause painful burns and injuries.
Can Instill Fear, Anxiety, And Insecurity
If you are constantly using a shock collar to control what your dog does, it can change its instinct and natural behavior. You can think of it as positive punishment, but it is no guarantee that it will help your dog. It will be associated with negative experiences in your dog.
So, if you have used it while your dog barks at a neighbor, it will start associating the neighbor with the pain. This will instill fear for strangers and anxiety in your dog. Slowly, your dog will become confused and insecure.
The above points must have answered your question ‘are shock collars safe for dogs?’. It is understandable that as pet owners, you want to address your dog’s unwelcoming behavior like barking at anyone or lack of recall. But there are many other methods you can do it.
There are many solutions to deal with your dog’s behavioral issues, which you find by looking online or talking to your vet. You can use many positive ways to train your dogs. And there is no need to use negative reinforcements like a shock collar on your pet.