Downeast Dog News

What’s Shocking about Shock? – What science tells us about the use of shock in dog training

By Don Hanson | Jul 29, 2019

If you are considering using a shock collar with your dog, please read this article first. The use of electric shock for training, containing, and caring for dogs is extremely controversial, and is opposed by experts in the science of animal behavior and training. An electric shock is not a benign “tap” or “stim” as shock proponents would have you believe. If it didn’t hurt, it wouldn’t work.

In this blog post, I examine and discuss what peer-reviewed scientific studies indicate about the use of electric shock for training and containing dogs. I also and answer four common questions; Does electric shock hurt?, Is electric shock more efficient for training dogs than reward-based training?, Is electric shock necessary for training behaviors like snake aversion?, and Does electric shock save dogs lives? Additionally, I review the positions taken on the use of shock by several organizations of pet care professionals from around the globe.

If you believe that pets have an intrinsic right to be treated humanely, to have their individual needs met, and to live in a safe, enriched environment free from force, pain, and fear, please read this article, sign the Shock-Free pledge, and share this article with as many people as you can. Dogs need our support.

This article first appeared in the July 2019 issue of BARKS from the Guild, the publication of the Pet Professional Guild. Thank you to BARKS editor-in-chief- Susan Nilson for her valuable role in bringing this article to fruition.

You will also find a link to a podcast on this topic in the article.