There are two groups of people, those who use electric shock collars or training collars on their dogs and swear by them and those who do not use them and think that anyone who does use shock collars is irresponsible and cruel. Both sides are correct to some extent but it all depends on how and when you use the shock collar.
Electric shock collars can be a very useful tool in training a dog if used properly. You may say, why shock the dog when there are more humane ways to train a dog and teach him what he can do and cannot do? One reason some people prefer using electric shock collars because they tried all of the other methods and were unsuccessful. Depending on the dog, some dogs can be harder to train and will not always listen on command. As a result, the owner does not have complete confidence in the dog and the most effective way they find to train their dog and have full control over him is to use a shock collar.
Are electric shock collars painful and can they hurt my dog? Yes, they can be painful but most modern shock collars have different levels or settings so that you can adjust the level of electronic stimulation that the collar produces so that they are safe to use on any size dog. Most of them even come with a hand-held remote control so that you can train your dog from a distance. Make sure that you have read the instructions before putting a shock collar on your dog because you can hurt your dog if you do not use it properly.
After a few times of experiencing the electric stimulation, the dog will learn what he is allowed to do and what the undesirable behavior is. Afterward, you do not even have to use the electronic stimulation as many new collars can also emit sounds such as "Good" or "Bad" or specific tone for good and bad behavior. That way, when your dog does something desirable, you press the button that will make the collar say "Good" or emit the tone for good. You can then proceed to praise your dog and/or give him a treat. If your dog does something undesirable, you press the button that will make the collar say "Bad" or emit the tone for bad but will not electronically stimulate the dog. Usually after a few times of electronic stimulation, the dog will learn what he is not supposed to do and further stimulation will not be necessary.
Whatever your position is on electric shock collars, you have to understand the advantages and disadvantages of such collars. For someone who does not have a fenced yard or cannot build a fence, electric shock collars are be a great way to let your dog safely run free around your property. It will stop your dog from getting hit by a car which happens way too often. I would not use an electric shock collar as the main training tool. If the dog can be trained by a professional trainer, then shock collars are unnecessary. If you have a hard case where you tried training your dog by hiring a professional trainer and were unsuccessful, then I can understand the need for such tools.
When used properly, shock collars can be a great training aid, but they should not be your primary training method nor should they replace all of the other traditional training methods. Before considering using an electric shock collar on your dog, I would consult with a professional trainer and a veterinarian first to make sure that the method you chose to use to train your dog is the appropriate one to correct your dog's behavior.
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