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They go by many names: e-collar, shock collar, electronic collar, vibration collar, static collar, even “collar mounted electronic training aid.”
Based on the idea of operant conditioning (A process of behavior modification in which a subject is encouraged to behave in a desired manner through positive or negative reinforcement, so that the subject comes to associate the pleasure or displeasure of the reinforcement with the behavior), e-collars allow a dog’s handler, owner or trainer to remotely (or automatically, in the case of bark activated or perimeter activated collars) give a “correction” when the dog doesn’t behave in the way that is expected of them.
Proponents of e-collars argue that, when used properly, they can quickly fix problem behaviors resulting in a reliably obedient dog.
Opponents, on the other hand, argue that punishment-based training is no more reliable than reward-based training and that e-collars can be both physically and mentally abusive to the dog.
What do you think? Is it ever appropriate to train a dog using an e-collar?
Should e-collars be outlawed entirely? What about electronic/invisible fencing?
Currently, anyone can walk into a store, purchase an e-collar, strap it to their dog without ever reading an instruction or undergoing any training, and begin using it on their dog.
Should e-collars be available to the general public, or should they only be purchased an operated by someone that has been certified and understands precisely how/when to administer the “shock?”
Weigh in with a comment below!
We know this is a passionate subject for many – please be respectful to those whose opinions may differ from your own.