Shocking Truth About Shock Collars
Baypath Humane Society supports science-based humane training methods that utilize redirection and positive reinforcement to shape desired behaviors in companion animals. Methods of rewards such as food, praise, physical affection, and play that are based on a mutual understanding, kindness, and respect between the pet and the guardian have proven to be successful in improving communication between dogs and humans as well as helping the dog learn what TO DO, rather than what NOT to do. Given the amount of data available regarding the effects of using electric shock as punishment, and the potential for harm, we are opposed to using shock collars for training.
Shock Collars are also known to be called dog training collars, e-collars, or electronic collars and are often used for containment purposes or to physically shock the dog in order to potentially stop an unwanted behavior.
Baypath’s Director of Training & Behavior, Beth MacLeod explains:
“The administration of the shock may be used for training and may in some cases temporarily stop an unwanted behavior, but you are truly playing Russian Roulette with this tool. Besides the fact that our goal is to help dogs thrive in the human world by communicating with them using methods they understand, and setting them up to succeed in training, there is no way to determine in advance the fallout, especially emotionally, from the use of this tool. While some dogs may not be traumatized by the use of an electric shock delivered to their neck, others may suffer immeasurable trauma.
Using an electric shock to attempt to modify behaviors such as reactivity, in no way addresses the underlying problem that is causing the unwanted behavior. Dogs are very quick to make associations regarding what is happening in their environment, and they are sometimes so subtle we would not even notice these factors. For example, if your dog is reacting to a situation out of fear or discomfort (barking/lunging at a passing dog, for instance) and into that situation you add in a painful electric shock, there is every possibility that the dog will become even more fearful of the trigger (the passing dog) and that behavior could escalate to biting the passing dog or redirecting on the person holding the leash.
Fifty years ago we routinely spanked children, but then we recognized the harm that caused and we developed other ways to communicate that were kinder and more effective and did less damage. Now we have the same opportunity with the animals who share our lives. We have a myriad of ways to communicate with our animals that emphasize communication and choice, not pain and force. There is always a learning curve when we are making changes to “how things are done,” but at the end of the day, when we know better, we do better.”
Our goal at Baypath is to provide our adopters and others in our community with the most up to date, science based, information as to how to most effectively and humanely help our dogs not just survive in the human world, but to thrive. We are committed to supporting our adopters and ensuring they have access to trainers and training tools that, like us, follow the standards and guidelines presented in position statement issued by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior on Humane Dog Training.
Vet Voice has opined that “part of responsible pet ownership is caring and protecting your pet from unnecessary pain and suffering.” They go on to explain that with alternative training techniques available it is difficult to justify the use of shock collars.
Please read the following informative article to see which countries have either banned or are discussing banning the of using shock collars.