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Dog Shock Collars, Quick Fix?

There are many types of shock collars present in the market today for use by dog owners as well as trainers. These collars deliver shock to the dog’s neck when activated. The shock will vary in intensity as well as duration.

While some people swear by the results of these collars, they are also those people who think shock collars are inhumane and should not be used on dogs or other animals.

People who use them especially dog owners have used them to discourage behaviour such as to stop barking dogs, or dog chewing problems. Dog bark collars are placed around the neck of the dog. When the dog barks the sound will act as the trigger and this activates the collar, causing the shock to the dog. Modern collars are activated by both sound and vibration of the dog’s vocal chords.

There are also training collars available for use by trainers. These collars are used to curb bad behaviour or to achieve the desired behaviour as a form of negative reinforcement. The dog may be given increasing intensity of shock when he displays undesirable behaviour till this behaviour is modified to a level the trainer deems acceptable.

Some dog owners also have a form of collar that delivers shock if the dog tries to cross a preset boundary. This collar is known as a containment collar and may be used as a form of wireless fencing to contain the dog in the compound. Such type of collars is activated if the dog goes near the line and they deliver shock, this shock will increase in intensity if the dog tries to go past the line.

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Although the benefits of shock collars cannot be ignored, they also pose the question of animal welfare. Though the shock is regulated, it is still electric current nonetheless which is uncomfortable and at times even painful for the dog.

It has been proven that the dogs trained using shock collars will have higher stress responses, severe anxiety and may display unprovoked aggressiveness in dogs. Animal welfare groups in most countries have called for the ban of the sale and use of these devices, citing physical injury and psychological stress as the main reasons. This aside it remains to be seen if dogs trained using shock collars are any better than dogs that have been trained using other means.

The use of shock collars may also make the dog unnecessarily aggressive because he does not understand the ‘shock.’ Bark collars in some case were found to be activated by other external sounds. In cases such as this, the dog would still be shocked even when quiet. This only confuses the dog more, and the dog may display his fear and uncertainty by becoming aggressive.

These devices like many other electrical devices at times may malfunction causing the device to deliver continuous shock to the dog which may cause the dog to get burns or may fail to give any shock at all in which case the desired purpose will not be achieved.

In some countries such as Wales, the use of shock collars has been prohibited.

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