Why You Shouldn't Use A Shock Collar With Your Dog

Helping You To Know About Shock Collars For Dogs

These use an electric current passing through metal contact points on the collar. This then gives your dog an electric shock.

Despite being widely used as a training device, they're a harsh way to control your dog. Imagine if you were given an electric shock by someone wanting to control you? Not nice is it?!

Often these shock collars are used with electronic fencing, so if your dog ventures near the boundaries of the fenced areas, your dog gets a shock.

This also means that if your dog does decide to feel the pain and go through a shock fenced area. He or she is unlikely to want to come back. Which means your dog is likely to go missing. And who can blame your dog for not wanting to return to get another shock?!

How Is A Shock Collar For Dogs Different To Equine Electric Fencing?

If you've a horse and are used to electric fencing being used, you may wonder what the difference is? There are two main differences:

  1. The horse doesn't have anything on his/her body to get a shock. It's only if the horse touches the fencing (normally to lean over).
  2. Your horse is free to move about and get quite close to the fencing. Without experiencing any kind of shock. Electric fencing for horses is not believed to cause psychological harm to the horse, whereas shock collars do cause harm to your dog.

Can A Shock Collar Help Train A Dog?

My view is no! Training (for anyone or any animal), should not mean pain. Needing your animal to feel pain "to learn" means your methods need to improve. This may seem harsh, but our animals need love, not fear.

Often people use them to help ensure the dog doesn't leave its garden. But, there are better ways! It's not usually a good idea to let your dog be in the garden by him (or her) self anyway. Not only is there a risk of them being stolen, but they could eat something they shouldn't. They can get bored and fed up if left alone for too long.

So if you want your dog to stay safely in the garden (or your land). It's better to be with your dog.

Are Electric Dog Shock Collars Legal?

Many leading animal care charities and associations are strongly opposed to them. Including, the British Veterinary Association who're clear they do not approve of these either. Please see their website at https://www.bva.co.uk/take-action/our-policies/electric-shock-collars-and-training-aids/

And in the UK in 2018, the UK Government announced it was going to ban their use. They have no use in training of dogs. But it's still possible to legally buy them. Of course, depending on where you are in the world, may mean it's still legal to use them. But it doesn't make it right.

What Alternatives Are There To Train A Dog?

Training your dog takes time. You need to have time and patience. Being calm. Having a plan. Keeping training sessions short. Keeping training fun and using rewards. These can all help.

Training any animal is a big responsibility. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. So if you need some support, seek the advice of a professional and reputable dog behaviourist. The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors have a list you can view online, to find one of their members near you https://www.apbc.org.uk.

But you can also use many complementary therapies to help both you and your dog. Using these can help with emotions. These can be used with people and animals. So is ideal if you also need to be more calm and focused, as well as your dog!

Click each of the list below to find out more in my directory:

Herbs such as Valerian can help promote calming. Zoopharmacognosy like Lavender can help relieve stress. If your dog gets stressed or finds situations overwhelming, See a holistic veterinary surgeon for advice on herbs and other approaches to help calming.

What Else Can You Do To Help With Training Your Dog?

  1. Routine is key. Animals thrive on structure. Being too rigid isn't necessarily a good thing though, doing everything to the same minute (virtually!) can lead to stress. But if you go out for a walk in the morning, then do that all the time. Or else your dog will get stressed.
  2. Diet. You are what you eat. This saying is true for our dogs, as it is for us. Different foods can have massive impact on behaviour. See my advice page on Five Element Theory for more information. Raw food is becoming increasingly popular, and a simple diet as close to nature as possible, really can be life altering. Find a veterinary surgeon who can advise you on raw feeding, at the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society here.
  3. Exercise. Different dogs have differing exercise needs. But all dogs do need exercise of some kind. Some dogs need to go out 2 or 3 times a day, as well as the chance to wander about their garden. If your dog is happy through getting physical and mental stimulation from going out, and spending time with you. Then training will be easier.
  4. Health check. Remember that if your dog is in pain from an illness or injury then his behaviour will be affected. Get your dog checked out by a professional veterinary surgeon, to make sure there are no underlying health issues. Likewise if he's on medication, check with your vet if it's having an unwelcome influence on behaviour. There maybe alternatives you can try (including complementary therapies).
  5. Clicker Training - read more about this in my post here.

In conclusion… shock collars for dogs, are a short term, painful fix. Your dog looks to you as his or her owner for security and leadership. And importantly love!
Allowing him or her to experience pain is inexcusable. Help is available for training your dog - with complementary therapies and other measures as i've outlined here.

I hope this has given you some great tips to help train your dog. And not use shock collars. You may wonder why they've been developed if they're such a bad idea. It's the case with many products, just because you can buy them, doesn't mean you should!

Find more gentle dog training tips in my blog post here.

Please remember that if your horse, dog or other animal is unwell. Or on any kind of medication or other supplement. Then always speak to your Veterinary Surgeon first before using any supplement or therapy. Even natural ones. To avoid any possible issues.

´╗┐And do you know someone who'd find this helpful? Please share, the more we can spread awareness of the benefits of natural therapies the better! :)

Find out more about other natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore!

About the Author

This article has been created by Suzanne Harris, who is founder of this Taranet website at www.taranet.co.uk, and also provides business coaching to horse and dog care and veterinary professionals.