Shock collars or training collars are useful aids in training your dog. Specifically, they help with discouraging negative behaviors such as excessive barking and nibbling on furniture.
However, some pet owners have raised their concerns about these collars. They claim that the way these collars work could only bring harm, stress, and trauma to the poor pups. And that’s why shock collars have always been surrounded by controversy.
But are shock collars as bad as these people claim to be? That’s what we decided to uncover.
So in this article, we will give you a thorough discussion on shock collar side effects – both the good and the bad. We will also include useful information that you can use to ensure your pet’s utmost safety during training.
What is a Shock Collar?
Before we begin, let’s first define what a shock collar is.
Simply stated, a shock collar is a pet training device that emits vibrations or static stimulation to discourage a pet from repeating a negative behavior. These training collars can either be manually operated with a remote or can be automatically triggered via a special sensor.
Most modern shock collars are not limited to releasing static stimulations. They now have multiple correction modes, the most popular being the tone mode which releases an audible beep, and the vibration mode. Both of these methods are effective at discouraging negative behavior while still keeping your pet safe and comfortable.
Also, shock collar manufacturers have developed multiple stimulation levels that allow you to choose between the gradually increasing levels. That assures you that you won’t be using something too strong that could potentially hurt your pet.
Shock Collar Side Effects: The Good
Contrary to popular belief, shock collars have positive effects on your dog. Because of how it operates, a shock collar often delivers fast results – compared to other training methods. Some pet owners even claim that they already notice the results within a few days from the start of training. And that makes it quite impressive.
With that in mind, here are some of the good effects that your dog can develop with a shock collar.
- It helps stop negative behaviors in their tracks. We can all agree that excessive barking can become quite a nuisance – not just within your home but for your neighbors as well. Fortunately, a shock collar can effectively discourage this behavior at its onset. Other behaviors that you can use a shock collar for correction include chewing on furniture, eating random items off of the floor, and it can even help with potty training your dog.
- Shock collars can be used to train puppies to grow into obedient adult dogs. Experts agree that you can use a training collar on a puppy who is at least 6 months old. When you start training them young, the puppy will drop all the mischief when you use a training collar on them. As a result, that allows them to focus their attention on positive behavioral training. But a word of caution, we recommend using the beep or vibration modes only when training young puppies.
- In the case of older dogs and rescues, a training collar can help reduce aggression. Some dogs can be overprotective of their families, and that makes them aggressive towards visitors. A shock collar can give them a little nudge to let them know that not all strangers are there to cause harm. Over time, they will drop all that aggression and become welcoming pups instead. And with the proper training techniques, you can teach them to distinguish between a friendly stranger and one who is a threat.
- And finally, shock collars do not associate the punishment with the dog’s owner. Even if you’re manually controlling the shock collar, the dog has no idea that you’re the one behind the vibrations and stimulations. As a result, they will not become distant from you. With the proper post-training reinforcement, this could even strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Shock Collar Side Effects: The Bad
Now that we know the positive effects of a shock collar, let’s now proceed to the negatives.
- There’s no denying that shock collars release-static stimulation. While modern models allow you to choose between the varying levels of intensity, even the slightest nicks can cause discomfort for your pet. That’s why it’s only recommended to use the static mode in crucial training situations.
- Some collars are prone to accidental static releases. This usually happens with automatic shock collars, which tend to release corrections when it detects excessive barking. Unfortunately, not all collars come with superior technology that can accurately distinguish barking from all other dog sounds. As a result, some dogs tend to stop making any noise altogether – which goes against their very nature. And that’s quite a heartbreaking scenario.
- When used incorrectly, it could lead to fear and trauma. The static mode on these collars should always be used sparingly. Some trainers can be too eager, and they tend to use that feature a little too often. Unfortunately, the constant nicks can lead to fear and trauma. And that could make the training more difficult for both of you.
Useful Tips and Tricks
With all of these in mind, the best thing to do is to train your dogs with caution. Here is some useful advice for you to consider.
- Only buy a shock collar from reputable brands. These brands are known in the industry for a reason – they’re of great quality and are known to be safe to use on our pets.
- When you start training your dog with a shock collar, always opt to use the beeping or the vibrating mode first. We recommend using static stimulation only when voice command and the first two modes can be futile. But even then, start with the lowest intensity so as not to cause any distress to your dog.
- Manually operated shock collars are generally safer than automatic ones. A manually operated collar will give you full control over the training. That allows you to choose the perfect correction modes and intensity to use, so you can be sure that it won’t hurt your beloved canine.
- And finally, do not hesitate to call a professional. If you’re not confident about using a shock collar on your dog, it’s best to hire a professional to train him for you. While it may cost you extra, knowing that your pet will be safe is priceless.