Basic Training

Weigh In! Is It Ever Appropriate to Use an Electronic “Shock” Collar?

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Sad Pup
Sad pup

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.

Electronic Collar
electronic collar

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.

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75 Comments

75 Comments

  1. Avatar Of Rita

    Rita

    says:

    I just found this article because it was linked in at the bottom of another one that come out last week and I commented on, hence the late response. Since more comments are unlikely to be posted, I could draw up some interesting statistics, as accurately as I could.
    I disregarded a double post each from Jan and Pia, and 3 off-topic comments (from Mj, Baxter and Rachel).
    Of the remaining 69, I counted 45 against ecollar use, with only 5 (11%) with account(s) of experience, all of which turned out to be witnessing a use of obsolete training method or collar.
    In other words, ALL OPPONENTS WERE WITHOUT ANY EXPERIENCE OF MODERN COLLARS AND/OR THEIR APPROPRIATE USE.
    This explains why they are in majority: it’s quicker and easier to throw in an opinion – usually just repeated after someone else – than to put the work in to find out if it actually has a basis in reality. (Then these very same people go and accuse those who do put the work in of going for lazy quick fixes, never mind many of them have been trying other methods for years.)
    I counted 24 comments in favour of ecollars, 18 of them (75%) mentioning experience, only 2 of which (Julie, Deb M.) were second-hand. The other 16 were first-hand, with ALL-POSITIVE outcomes, described by 12 of them as the dogs’ lives saved, or at least their living standard improved in the form of greater freedom and safety.
    THIS IS WHAT THE BAN LOBBYISTS ARE AGAINST.

  2. Avatar Of Sam Sam says:

    Wonderful post!

  3. Avatar Of Pitch Pocket

    Pitch pocket

    says:

    Excellent tool to snake proof or stop deer chasing by your bird dog. Only had to use once on my dog.

  4. Avatar Of Annette Smith

    Annette Smith

    says:

    2 dogs back, I lost my dog to a car — She never before had gone into the street, the road is a rural road, and for whatever reason, it just happened. My next dog, again a rescue, was dumped as a non producer from a puppy mill where she had been smacked around by the man when the woman wasn’t around. She was terrified of the world, and without being PROPERLY trained with an electronic fence, had she gotten out, she would have been gone. 10 years later, she died from old age (was nearly 16), and we rescued another who had been in a rescue for 3 years. She had never seen anything except dogs on either side of her, so her first reaction to the local deer was to chase. Not expecting miracles, we had the trainer come back, and to our delight, after only one zap with a very minor setting on the collar, Nicky had total respect for that fence, and 3 years later, continues to be able to play safely in the yard.

    I have never used an electronic collar for obedience training, and think it would have to be a very difficult – nearly impossible – situation before I would. I believe that in the wrong hands, an electronic collar can absolutely mess up a dog!

  5. Avatar Of Ronnie Wilcox

    Ronnie Wilcox

    says:

    there is a very good reason why our ancestors used corporeal punishment as the primary way to discipline their children and their “pets”. that reason obviously being because it worked. shock collars are simply another form of this way to discipline pets. everyone can pitch a fit about how pain associated with discipline is abuse, and we all have our own ideal opinions about this. but when common sense shows its head and all u “purists”, get the real, and u remember that u don’t have the right to tell anyone how to raise their pet, if u aren’t going to help pay for said pets shelter and food and vet bills. so yea u don’t use a shock collar to train your pet, good for u, but don’t tell me I shouldn’t, unless your willing to stand in between me and my neighbors when said dog has dug up their tulips cause he wasn’t trained by whatever way to stay in my yard, and outta the neighbors. get my point? think for 2 seconds and u will. respectfully yours petlovers. owner of a 1-1/2 yr old akc registered german shepard, so yea, im not just talking smack. peace out.

  6. Avatar Of Darlene

    Darlene

    says:

    I have been training over 15 years and have worked with thousands of dogs and have not yet had occasion to use shock/bark/ecollar (or even a pinch collar) to resolve a behaviour problem. I have worked with cases where the type of collar caused behaviour issues/worsened a behaviour. Any training tool used incorrectly is dangerous. Any training tool used without considering the personality of the dog (and handler) can be a danger. So far I’ve been able to use other options to help my clients with their dog. Today there is so many choices – find one that works. If what you are trying doesn’t work – don’t use it. Try something else. IMHO

  7. Avatar Of Marly Wexler

    Marly Wexler

    says:

    the only reason to use a shock collar is if you are incompetent as a dog owner or trainer.. so clearly, my answer is a big NO… NEVER!!!!
    these collars may have been used “successfully” by some who have written on this forum, but I say to you.. so , you think it’s a good idea to shock your best friend? the innocent one who depends on you is given a shock so that you can be comfortable? excellent logic (not), cruel behavior.

  8. Avatar Of Christina Naugle

    Christina Naugle

    says:

    I would never use them on my dogs,no one should

  9. Avatar Of Char

    char

    says:

    My dog almost died when he ran into a toxic sugar cane toad when tracking bunnies and squirrels for fun. I had to teach him that toads are fatal and at all costs to avoid them. We could only exercise at night when it was cooler and also all the toxic toads are out, some 2 pound toads everywhere. Have to watch your step or you will trip over them in Florida. They are very dangerous, if they squirt a human or animal in the eye, you can go blind permanently. If you swallow the poison, you may die within 20 minutes if you do not get to an emergency hospital for treatment, and even then, you may still die. He wore the ecollar, and when he headed toward a toxic cane toad, a light shock and voice command. He got the idea in one evening to avoid the toads. And he knows to avoid this particular toad at all costs. He has alerted me to the dangerous baby toxic toads in the grass that i could not see. This was a life or death training and it had to be very clear, avoid toxic sugar cane toads, and with the ecollar it made him understand that the toads would bite him, so to stay away. Unfortunately anything that eats a toxic sugar cane toad will die, they kill off all other reptiles and kills any animals that eat it or crosses its path. Very dangerous.

  10. Avatar Of Dee Dee says:

    If you wouldn’t use it on a child, you shouldn’t THINK of using one on any animal!

  11. Avatar Of Tina

    Tina

    says:

    I don’t think they are an effective training tool and would never put one on my dog. I have known people who have used them. My cousin and his wife have a goldendoodle and several small dogs. They put a shock collar, they call it a “bark collar” on Strawberry, the goldendoodle, because her bark is the loudest. She never barked much and does so even less now, but they have a little dog, I’m not sure what breed, she looks at least part poodle, who has figured out if she stands close enough to Strawberry and barks it will trigger the collar, and Strawberry gets shocked. They think it’s funny, I think it’s cruel.

  12. I certainly would not want to were a electronic collar. I’m sure not going to put one on my sweet dog or better yet my baby.

  13. Avatar Of Mish R

    Mish R

    says:

    I will admit that we used a vibration collar on our rescue dog last year when we first got her but I just couldn’t keep using it on her. The last thing I ever want to do is traumatize my dogs so I will never buy or use any kind of shock or vibration collar again. We stopped our dog’s barking by talking calmly and just showing her love and it has been working. she does not bark nearly as much as she used to and when she does, it is easier to get her to stop.

  14. Avatar Of Sharon

    Sharon

    says:

    I have used a “shock” collar under the instruction of a trainer with nothing but positive results. I have a German shepherd. It is a viable and safe option. To say that someone doesn’t deserve a dog if they can’t control their dog without it is irresponsible and cruel. My girl doesn’t even have to use it anymore. After she started wearing it, her anxiety has gone away to the point she is able to just follow the commands that the trainer taught us without the collar. That is the goal, it’s not a permanent thing in most cases. Even the tension in her skin went away as she was wearing the collar. I appreciate peoples opinion about the collar, but, until someone has done the proper research, maybe the proponents of the collar should give someone struggling with their dog their sage doggie advice rather than harsh unadvised criticisms.

  15. Avatar Of Christine

    Christine

    says:

    Absolutely YES! This is a training tool. There are humane ways to use it. It is not too much different than using un underground electric fence to teach/ train your dog. Remote collars do have the potential to inflict pain, but when the remote collar is used correctly the training is done with “low level stimulation.” These are levels that a lot of people may not even be able to feel, or if they do feel the stimulation it’s more of a tickle. And yes, I have tried it on my self before ever using it on my dog!

  16. Avatar Of Cynthia

    cynthia

    says:

    `I do’t in this type of collar.

  17. Avatar Of Lisa lisa says:

    i trained my dog with positive reinforcement. it works treat for something good you give the right away bad gets 5 minutes in the cage . there is no need for shock collars . if i catch you doing something bad in a firm tone i say stop or cage .she stops . shock collars or for the lazy people that don’t want to spend a lot of time training their dog.

  18. Avatar Of Sandy Kyte

    Sandy kyte

    says:

    Last two dogs have been terriers one 100 lbs giant schnauzer, latest a 26 lb welsh. Trained both of them in an18 acre park off leash. The beep, beep method. They were both trained not to go through the rail fence since it was a heavy traffic area. During the course of their early years up to age three, they sometimes needed the mild shock for their protection. Just wearing it teaches them not to disobey. Liked to the threat of a punishment for a child. Education is the tool !!!

  19. Avatar Of Rachel

    Rachel

    says:

    There is no reason whatsoever to use a shock collar or any other punitive ‘training’ aid. Yes – the may provide a ‘quick fix’ but your dog is miserable and you’ve not actually gotten to the route of the problem, just applied a, very painful, bandage over the top.
    If you haven’t got the inclination or the patience to give your dog the respect s/he deserves and put some effort and time into reward based training then you shouldn’t have a dog, sorry.

  20. Avatar Of Jennifer

    Jennifer

    says:

    I would never use one. My dogs listen to me because they love and respect me, they want to please me. I have never had a dog obey me because they were afraid of me or I was hurting them.

  21. Avatar Of Cherie1960

    Cherie1960

    says:

    NEVER! An easy rule of thumb to go by is this…would I want that on MY neck? No? Well don’t do it to others. I once was driving on a heavily travelled street when I saw a medium sized dog, obviously in distress, frantically running down the middle of the street and zig zagging back and forth. She almost got killed. I stopped my car and got the dog to come to me and get in the car. She was wearing a collar exactly like the one in the picture. I took it off of her, and she seemed to calm down a lot. I noticed two burn marks where the prongs were digging into her neck. I threw that damn thing into the middle of the street so the cars could run over it and I took the dog to go get a hamburger and then to the local no-kill shelter. I hope they found her a nice home with better people.

  22. Avatar Of Pia

    Pia

    says:

    No, never, negative, OXI ( greek)!

  23. Avatar Of Pia

    Pia

    says:

    Never ever, No, negative, OXI ( greek)

  24. NEVER, EVER, NADA.

  25. Avatar Of Beth Blagg

    Beth Blagg

    says:

    If you can’t find a more humane way to control, contain, train, etc. your dog; you don’t need to have a dog!! These definitely should be outlawed along with the “training” collars with sharp ridges that cut into the dog’s throat & neck if they pull the least bit on a leash. Archaic, cruel & just plain stupid.

  26. Avatar Of Nicolle

    Nicolle

    says:

    Personally I would never use a shock collar. If you wouldn’t use it on a child then you shouldn’t use it on an animal. I think that before any one is allowed to buy one they should be trained in how to use one first. When a friend of mine bought one for her dog I tried it on myself so I would know what it felt like. On the lowest setting it wasn’t bad a little discomfort, but the higher settings were ridiculous. They shouldn’t be allowed to go that high, there no reason for it other than cruelty. My suggestion to people who are considering using one is to put it on yourself first and then decide if its an appropriate training tool.

  27. Avatar Of Neeraja Lockart

    Neeraja Lockart

    says:

    Yes, I have one and use it but I don’t abuse it, you are assuming that everyone uses the shock mechanism but mine has a pager on it which is what I use the most especially when hiking off leash. I hit the pager button and my dog comes right back without my having to holler for him and the pager is often enough to stop bad behavior. I use the shock to train my dogs not to step off the curb of our home, do it once and they never step a paw in the street, also used it to let my dog know that my pet rabbits are off limits, did it once and he left them alone. Reward therapy is slow, if you want instant results the e-collars work!!! Its not for everyone and yes I have seen people abuse them, it should be used only on occasions when nothing else has worked and certainly not as a substitute for training.

  28. Avatar Of Cynthia F

    Cynthia F

    says:

    A very gentle vibrating collar can be effective for getting the attention of a deaf dog. When s/he looks at you or responds correctly, positive reinforcement should be used. It should simply be a marker for positive behavior…NEVER AS PUNISHMENT!

  29. Avatar Of Teddy Gingerich

    Teddy Gingerich

    says:

    This is one of those cases where my knee-jerk reaction is to say “Absolutely not!” But I live in a suburban area where all yards are fenced, there are leash laws, and most behavior issues are therefore ones we can deal with using strictly positive reinforcement. I’ve read all the comments, and realize that my feelings might be different if I were on a huge rural property where fencing was impractical or unaffordable. I don’t think they should be used for most training issues; punishment doesn’t yield anything but a frightened dog. But I respect the comments of those who use low-level settings to keep dogs within a specific area, or stop them chasing cars. Bonnie, I was surprised that there are communities where fences are not permitted! You learn something new every day.

    I guess I would prefer that they not be used at all, but there are some comments posted by people whose experiences are vastly different than mine. If the settings are low, and it’s not used constantly (and is always monitored), it could be part of the training tools for someone who is experienced.

  30. Avatar Of Mj Kenney

    MJ Kenney

    says:

    If you need a “shock collar”, you have issues with your dog that you cannot control. Give your dog to someone who can relate and control those issues. Most issues will be eliminated with a glare and a strong will. I am no one – just been the “shelter shepherd” for a no-kill shelter for 10 yrs…

  31. Avatar Of Natasha

    Natasha

    says:

    NO NO NO! Use of an electric shock collar to train a dog is NEVER, EVER acceptable, because it is cruel due to hurting them and will only teach them to fear the trainer. For those who think it’s OK, let’s put a shock collar on them and see how they like it! Also, what if the dog has neurological problems like epilepsy? That could make it worse!

    Also, since many a time dogs usually respond best to positive reinforcement, it’s completely unnecessary!

  32. Avatar Of Jan Jan says:

    No, I don’t believe that it’s ever appropriate to use a shock collar. I think it’s cruel and abusive. Dogs are smart animals and man’s best friend. I suggest spending some time training your companion and not hurting them.

  33. I use anti bark collars on both of my dogs. It is very difficult to reward them into not barking at everything in sight. The collars stop it without difficulty, with minimal intervention, and they rarely activate them. I believe them to be appropriate if properly used.

  34. Only as a very last resort to try and save a dog from euthanasia due to aggression.

  35. Avatar Of Sharon

    sharon

    says:

    NO!

  36. Avatar Of Elaine Elaine says:

    No…no… And no…

  37. Avatar Of Sally Anderson Moore

    Sally Anderson Moore

    says:

    It’s difficult to determine all the other things present while Training with a shock collar. The dog may associate the painful shock with whatever else may be coexisting in the environment. Aversive training can result in fear aggression and possibly seizures. On that point, I’ve a dog with a history of seizures and would never consider using a shock collar. I have seen people on TV trying out the Shock Collar on themselves. Perhaps that should be a prerequisite?

  38. Avatar Of Anita anita says:

    yes! the one i used beeped before it gave a shock. after just one or two shocks, my dog only needed to hear the beeps to back away from the gate. the collar kept him from leaving his yard and maybe getting run over.

  39. Avatar Of Lynn

    Lynn

    says:

    NO WAY! Training and trust do not come easy and it takes hard work and quality time to build that relationship. And it is worth it! I never would want any living creature to live in fear of an electric shock or unpleasant sensation as a means for learning. We are more civilized than that. If you are going to invest in taking care of any animal, you need to know up front that it can be a trying thing at times. But the love, respect and devotion that you get in return is worth it ten folds.

  40. I have been dealing with dogs for well over 30 years. I train & modify behaviors and am certified thru several of the most reliable, reputable organizations that all promote science based methods. Most of my work is with fear and/or aggressive dogs and if you understand the nature of the problem then you understand that shock collars are just about the worse thing you could use to alter the behavior.
    These devices are used by people that don’t know how to train or rehab. We all learn best by rewards. Now that’s not to say you would reward a dog for reacting negatively on leash to another dog, so we teach an alternate behavior – such as walking away, sitting if that doesn’t cause more stress, etc., and reward for the good behavior. Sometimes we have to deal with management – but that is still a better option that physically & emotionally damaging a dog even further by implement such primitive, barbaric methods.

  41. Avatar Of Kat

    Kat

    says:

    OH HELL NO! IMHO the inventor is a person who dislikes animals. Let’s strap it on a child to potty train a two year old and see what people have to say.

  42. Avatar Of Kay Murphy KAY MURPHY says:

    they are cruel and barbaric and should never be used under any circumstance.if you love dogs why would you want to righten and hurt them

  43. Avatar Of Kathleen Whitaker

    Kathleen Whitaker

    says:

    I used a shock collar on my Rotweiller-shepherd mix do yo continual barking. I was cited. After several classes to correct this behavior – it was suggested I use the collar. It worked. I only had it on my beloved dog a couple of times. Thereafter I took out the batteries and when put on my little girl she immediately stopped barking. I now only put the dismantled collar on her occasionally. I didn’t want her taken away and this was an option that worked. Maybe it’s not for everyone I agree – but when all else fails….

  44. Avatar Of Debra Helton Debra Helton says:

    I have 2 pit bulls…only 1 wears a collar. Would I use it…yes, and I have. If it means the difference in a dead dog and a live one…live one wins every time. We live next to a 4 lane highway. We have a good size yard but unfortunately the zoning does not allow fencing anything but the back yard. Since we live on a corner, our “side yard” is on the same side as our neighbors front and even though a variance was applied for the neighbors fought it and won. So, my girls come out front when I’m working in the yard. Usually no problem, very well behave but dogs chase squirrel, deer, foxes and rabbits. I would much rather hurt her than have her “focus” and follow something into traffic. Those girls are my life and I am not abusive but there are times when you do what you can, the best way you can!

  45. Avatar Of Deanna

    Deanna

    says:

    I do not think these collars should ever be used. The neck is a sensitive area on dogs and shocking with the use of an electrical impulse could be doing damage to the nerves and thyroid gland in a dog’s neck. Just imagine it being used on you. You would have a fit. I won’t do something to a dog I wouldn’t do to myself. There are other methods of training.

  46. Avatar Of Cheryln Kurz

    Cheryln Kurz

    says:

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! I do not agree with shock collars. I think people who use these types of collars are lazy and don’t want to take the time to train their dogs to stay on their property. If you have a dog, TRAIN IT! If you don’t have time to train the dog, then you don’t have time for a dog. I’m a big advocate of fences and treats. Would you want to be punished with an electric shock when you left your property? That shock has got to hurt! I think anyone who uses one should use it on themselves first to see exactly what they are doing to their dog!

  47. Avatar Of Deb &Amp; Don Cooper

    Deb & Don Cooper

    says:

    It is NEVER appropriate to use a Shock Collar. NO more than it is appropriate to use a “stun gun” on your 2 or 3 year old to get them to behave in public. Shock collars are for LAZY owners who don’t want to spend the appropriate time with positive reinforcement training. People who desire to use such methods should NEVER be allowed to own an animal. I have had dogs for over 50 years, both “pure bred” and for the last 25 years, rescue dogs. They ALWAYS responded to POSITIVE reinforcement— This form of training should be outlawed completely.

  48. I’ve seen some traumatic things happen when a shock collar was used. I’ve seen dogs lose trust completely and start to bite and become aggressive from fear. I think a collar that vibrates to regain a dogs attention is fine, but electric shock can really hurt. I’ve heard a lot of dogs yelp when the collar zapped them. I think it’s not a kind or necessary tool to train with.

    • Wow! That is shocking! I have been training with the remote collar for almost 20 years now and have NEVER seen a dog “start” to bite over it! In fact on countless aggressive dogs, we were able to extinguish the aggressive behavior. If someone who knows nothing about training with an electronic collar straps one on a dog and starts pushing buttons with apprehension and fear–bad things will happen! That is why YOU should not buy one or use one! You are emotionally incapable of using one!

  49. Avatar Of Deb M.

    Deb M.

    says:

    I have never used one since I am almost always with my dog (disabled, live in apartment, exercise dog on lead and vacant tennis court). I used to be totally against them until a friend used one on their dog. The dog hears a sound a few seconds before there is a small shock and the dog responds to the sound and once he was trained with that the need for correction has been unnecessary. All of that said I am not sure I would use an e-collar but for some it seems much more humane than the dog being hit by a car.

  50. Avatar Of Janet Campbell

    Janet Campbell

    says:

    NO! NO! NO! Put one on a human and see if they like it! Good behaviour is NOT achieved by this method of so called training, patience and reward are the way to do it, it is inhumane and should be banned! Reward good and ignore bad is the way to do it. Dogs are intelligent creatures, they want to please us and soon learn what we want from them! It is not rocket science, just common sense!

  51. Avatar Of Ambertia

    Ambertia

    says:

    Hate them with a vengeance. Met a woman at the dog park, frazzled with children, who used the collar on high and every time she activated it the dog’s head flung back. If you insist on using them, they should only come with a very low setting.

  52. Avatar Of Bonnie Bonnie says:

    I used the Invisible Fence with both of my dogs. Both were rescues and in our community, fences are not allowed. I keep their collars at the lowest point and it is just a reminder to them that they have a limit as to how far they can go and that the street is NOT allowed. They both love to bark at the mailman, the UPS guy and the FedEx lady, but the collars remind them that they can’t go far enough to actually touch them. Both of them (a mostly Golden and a 13- inch beagle) enjoy being out in the yard and they play and play. I would rather have them lightly shocked, than to worry about them being hit by a car. They seem to be very happy being able to run around in the front yard AND the back yard and just have a great time chasing squirrels, etc. I don’t think they have missed out on anything except injury or death.

  53. Avatar Of Linda R

    Linda R

    says:

    I think there are better training methods out there – the shock collar is a lazy method.
    I do not want to create psychological insecurities in my dog by causing him pain. Think of the dog that cowers when a newspaper is raised because he’s been hit with one.
    I am against shock collars. These are my personal feelings. I don’t know enough about them to say that they should be outlawed. Definitely, they should not be made to allow more than discomfort. It is interesting to see what people think is OK for pets but not for people. A good rule of thumb might be if you wouldn’t use it on your child ….

  54. Avatar Of Sue Sue says:

    I am strongly against the use of any training method that ultimately hurts an animal.

    We stated a few times it’s a negative vs positive reinforcement.

  55. Electronic collars are the most gentle, effective and elegant way to train a dog! The technology is exactly the same as what we humans use for so many uses. TENS units, dentistry, pain management and e-stim technology such as what Dr. Terry Whals used on herself to reverse her physical decline from MS. When we humans use the technology, we NEVER refer to it as “shock.” It is use of a static-like sensation to stimulate and cramp muscles. When training a dog, we should always be using the lowest level of stimulation to get the dog to respond, which is often lower than we humans can feel. At the lowest levels, the feeling is just like your arm or leg just barely starting to fall asleep, with that little tingly sensation. People who call them shock collars and get all emotionally freaked out be the idea of using them are assuming they “know” what it feels like, are afraid to try it, and are ignorant about how to use them on a dog. If you don’t know what you are doing with them, are emotional and worried about using them you will communicate your fear or lack of confidence to the dog. The dog will have a negative experience because his handler is communicating the wrong things to the dog. Electronic collars beat choke collars, pinch collars–or my favorite for stopping unwanted behavior from the positive only folk–throwing a plastic bottle full of pebbles at the dog. Those methods create conflict with the dog. Knowing how to use the electronic collar effectively puts the handler on the side of the dog. You are able to be your dog’s advocate, teacher, trainer and coach. You always want what’s best for him and he always knows it!

    • Avatar Of Zuzie Zuzie says:

      EXCELLENT points!

    • Avatar Of Neeraja Lockart

      Neeraja Lockart

      says:

      I agree, it is to be used less than more and if used correctly sometimes it only takes one time and the dog gets it immediately.

    • Avatar Of Beth Blagg

      Beth Blagg

      says:

      So glad you & your dogs enjoy “elegant” things. I have to use a TENS unit daily & I don’t find it comfortable at all. I can’t imagine it around my neck or my precious dogs. Do you know how many idiots buy these, set them on high & just have “fun” with them. They need to be outlawed. If you can’t contain your dogs in a less cruel way, you don’t need to have dogs.

    • Avatar Of Rachel

      Rachel

      says:

      “–or my favorite for stopping unwanted behavior from the positive only folk–throwing a plastic bottle full of pebbles at the dog.”
      I’m a positive reward only trainer and have NEVER, EVER thrown a bottle of pebbles at a dog. That’s madness. This statement is about as inaccurate as the rest of your comment.

  56. Avatar Of Melanie

    Melanie

    says:

    I have had many dogs in my life. My father brought home every stray he could find. He even had one that at the start we could not touch him. He was so traumatized that my father set up an a/c in a HUGE hand built dog house and we had to lower the dog’s food and water to him through a window till dad could get to the point that he could be touched. He would bark out of loneliness so my father built a tent outside and slept next to the dog’s run that he had built. There are always alternatives you can use. For those that use shock collars for barking… bark training is better… for those that use it to prevent a dog running away… have you ever heard of a dog run or fencing in your yard or leashing up the dog just during the time he goes to the bathroom? Dogs should never be left outside longer than potty and relaxing with the family. They need human contact. A shock collar or pinch collar should never be needed.

  57. Avatar Of Kay Shaw

    Kay Shaw

    says:

    Never! Never appropriate, never necessary, never kind!

  58. Avatar Of Harley Harley says:

    I am a balanced dog trainer.. and have been for the better part of 45 years..I have never used e-collars, prong collars..or any other tool, but that being said..the tool you use does not do the training..the person training does the training.. for the most part I use positive reinforced training to train for obedience.. but when it comes to stopping a behavior like jumping up on people or aggression.. you can’t rehabilitate a dog using purely positive methods.. I can’t imagine trying to teach a dog not to attack other dogs or people by rewarding the behavior.. it’s a fools errand.. very dangerous..and will never work..and anyone who says different is living in a fantasy world.. I have studied e-collars, prong collars..and other tools of the trade.. because I often work with people who use them.. do they work?.. yes they do.. do they cause pain to a dog? … on high levels..definitely.. but when in the hands of someone who knows how to use them properly.. they can save a dogs life.. and to me.. 3 seconds of unpleasantness ..compared to being placed in a black plastic bag.. well if you ask the dog would you rather be dead or be uncomfortable for 3 seconds at a time while you learn not to do bad things.. I think the answer would be obvious.. in my experienced opinion..

    • Avatar Of Baxter D Dog

      Baxter D Dog

      says:

      Have to agree with Harley and others regarding usage. User “trainer” “owner” has to use appropriately. Used to wander out to busy road. Being called back and given treats for coming back was a “good” deal. Soon learned to use to my advantage. One day decided to walk down road and got a sting in neck as I passed huge oak tree on my right. Quickly learned that as long as I didn’t pass oak tree there wasn’t any momentary sting. Has helped keep me alive and away from road for 12+ years. Have also learned that “see this” means that I am misbehaving. Problem is I can’t tell when hand has comb, remote, nothing in it but do realize that I’m probably being talked to for my own protection.
      As Tom T. Hall says “old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes” thats how I feel about my family.

      • Avatar Of Baxter D Dog

        Baxter D Dog

        says:

        By the way I live on a 10+ acre piece of property so dog run, fencing, etc is more than my owner can afford. Don’t believe I want to go to a shelter for adoption at my age. Have heard adopt rate isn’t too good if you aren’t a puppy.

    • Avatar Of Mj Kenney

      MJ Kenney

      says:

      woof

  59. Avatar Of Donna Brown Donna Brown says:

    NO i would never use a shock collar!! Our dogs are like our children and they have feelings and they should never be shocked just because the parents(owners) dont like what they are doing! Is that how you would train your children or want to be trained yourself!! Its cruel!!!!

  60. Absolutely appropriate, as long as it is being used by responsible person and use it sparingly. I unfortunately have to use one for my dog who hates male joggers. With the local government dog rules in my area is very strict I cannot afford to allow her to chaise and harass any human. I definitely rather use the collar than risking her to be reported to the Council and get put down.

  61. Avatar Of Julie H

    Julie H

    says:

    I totally agree with Donna Malone. However I know of a single case where it may have been appropriate. After months of various training routines, a friend had to resort to using one on her Border Collie that chased cars. It was the sole remedy that kept the dog from being hit by a car. She hated using it, but felt it was the lesser of two evils. After just a few lower grade shocks, the dog no longer chases cars, when the collar is on.

  62. Avatar Of Tygin

    Tygin

    says:

    Never, never, never should a shock collar be used to change any behaviour in any dog. It’s negative reinforcement and that in itself is negative in design. I nelieve that building trust and confidence through patience will yield the same and often better results. The effort is in the trainer, always!

  63. Avatar Of Marcia

    Marcia

    says:

    I know a lot of humans that could benefit from a shock collar more…in my opinion, they are cruel just like those prong collars that so many swear by…a better teaching and more patience will get your fur babies to obey your commands or hoe far they can venture…

  64. Avatar Of Donna Malone Donna Malone says:

    It’s real easy. If someone were training you, would you want them to shock you or praise you and give you hundred dollar bills? That is what it comes down to. We can talk about studies, that dogs may or may not respond well, whether or not the collars cause other behavior problems, or whatever else; but, it all boils down to one thing: Would you want to be shocked or rewarded?

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