Friendly Shock Collar Debate
Recently, we had a huge reaction to this shock collar blog post, which explains how shock collars are inhumane and painful. Responses varied from support of the article to passionate debates over shock collar use. Unfortunately, many responses were anecdotal, lacking research references to support their case.
We must focus on facts if we will discuss this topic. I challenge everyone to have a friendly shock collar debate discussing facts about shock collar research. It’s time to bring this topic out into the open.
When choosing references to support your position for or against dog shock collars, choose research studies completed by experts (i.e. veterinary behaviorists and individuals with PhDs and master’s degrees in behavior). In a world filled with oodles of opinions, we must stick to science and ignore those stating, “I’m a dog owner, and my dog is fine with a shock collar.” Are dog owners experts in dog body language? It’s something to think about.
When someone states specific dogs, such as working dog lines, need and can tolerate shocks collars, this statement is false. If so, where are the supporting references? A dog trainer’s opinion is not enough. Personally, I’ve shared my home with Rottweilers, Bull Terriers and Bouviers, and they are walked on body harnesses. However, this is my personal opinion, so I don’t have research evidence to prove it.
In my research, I found nothing that supported the use of shock collars on dogs. Interestingly, I found a research article proving that treat dispensing machines work better than bark collars. Overwhelmingly, all of the research I found mentions that using shock collars will not reduce bad dog behavior and that they are harmful to dogs.
Rules for This Debate
Debates are healthy and very informative, and that’s why I’m encouraging it. If someone lists anecdotal responses (based on personal opinion), just ignore the response or ask for facts. When someone lashes out, simply ignore the comment. Hopefully, we can chat through this controversial subject while providing real facts for owners or dog trainers researching shock collars for their dogs.
Provide a place for owners and trainers to gather facts about shock collar dog training. Also, build a list of references to use when needed.