What’s the deal with dog shock collars?

There is a huge controversy about dog shock collars, many people find them useful, helpful and very appropriate while some people think that pet shock collars should be banned and shouldn’t be used at all. There are many pros and cons to these devices and each side has very convincing arguments, too, so let’s look closer at dog shock collars, what they are designed for and should they be used.

The purpose of shock collars

There are many purposes to shock collars, and if used correctly, they can help us train and discipline our pets, set boundaries for them, and teach them to distinguish good from bad. However, if used incorrectly shock collars can cause great stress to the pet and even lead to animal cruelty.

Shock collars are intended to help keep our pets inside our property, so they do not wander off, stop them from barking at every moving object, correct pet’s behavioral problems and even teach them to stay away from dangerous situations and animals.

However, it a misconception that all shock collars keep your pet in line causing pain via an electricity shocks. These gadgets actually have several modes, including a vibrating and beeping mode, which don’t cause any pain to the dog. And, although these modes have proven to be quite ineffective on doggies with behavior problems, they will work great to keep your dog in a certain area. And, since for many owners, the vibrating and beeping methods are more appealing, as they are less cruel it is quite acceptable to use these simulating collars.


But even though there is a lot of controversy regarding shock collars and many pet owners are disagreeing with using shock collars, they do have quite a few benefits.

  1. It is important to deliver just the right amount of stimulation to your pet, as too much or too little of it can cause problems and be ineffective. Too large of a shock can cause our pets to become stressed, fearful and can lead to serious emotional problems. Yet too small of a shock will not teach anything to your pet and won’t be effective. Which is what shock collars are made so that we can control the strength of the shock that is delivered to our pets.
  2. The second pro is that shock corrections can be automatically delivered even when the owner is not around. You can set boundaries and activities which are unacceptable, and set the collar to activate in the appropriate situation. However, automatic shock collars the tendency to over-correct our pets and we have to carefully set the boundaries and safe areas if we are going to be using the automatic mode on the shock collar.
  3. And lastly, when using shock collars pets are not able to detect the source of the pain and do not think of the owners as the ones that deliver the shock impact. However, as our pets don’t clearly see the source of the stimulation, they can also mistake other unrelated objects as the source of the shocks, and therefore it will teach your pet incorrect behavior.


But, as already stated, many pet owners and animal rights activists are against the usage of electric shock collars as they do have some serious disadvantages and can lead to some unpleasant outcomes.

  1. Firstly, shock collars may increase the aggression in some animals. There are cases when dogs might not learn that the pain is associated with their behavior and that the correct behavior will eliminate the pain, but rather associate the pain with the environment. Meaning that the pet might assume the pain is caused by people, other pets and even the surroundings themselves and become aggressive towards owners, other pets or even children.
  2. Secondly, the shock collars can increase the stress level in your pet and reduce the quality of life for your pup. We all want our pets to be healthy and happy, and if the shock collar is causing an unnecessary amount of pain, making your pet sad and depressed, maybe other disciplining methods will be more appropriate for your pet. Shock collars work miracles if they are used correctly and if your pet is actually learning something, otherwise they are not effective and only cause unnecessary stress to your dog.
  3. And lastly, shock collars may weaken the strong bond between the owner and pet. As the dog is subjected to pain, it won’t enjoy everyday activities like playing catch quite as much and can even become afraid of the surroundings. Which in return can make your pet introvert, scared and not as joyful as before.

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