Shock collars, also known as electronic collars, have long been controversial because of how they function.
These devices work by administering an electric pulse through a handheld remote control device or an automatic sensor in the collar itself. The sensation emitted by the device is designed to train dogs and discourage or stop a certain behavior that their owners deem undesirable. They are also used as a pet containment system, with collars to administer a static shock when the dog leaves a designated area or crosses the boundary.
While the adverse effects of shock collars prompt many countries to ban their use, they remain legal in the United States.
Which Countries Have Banned Dog Shock Collars?
The countries that have outlawed the use of shock collars include Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales, some states in Australia, and the province of Quebec in Canada. And while Scotland has published guidance against their use in 2018, electronic shock collars are still legal.
Why Do People Want Electronic Dog Shock Collars to Be Banned?
There are some serious concerns about using shock collars, with people believing that electric shocks delivered can inflict pain and are potentially dangerous and cruel to dogs.
In addition to the risk of physical harm, there is also the problem of abusing, misusing or mishandling a shock collar, which can traumatize dogs. This could mean giving a canine an unnecessary shock, using the wrong intensity, or being used to punish or retaliate in anger.
Many also believe the practice of using electronic collars for training dogs is unacceptable because these are outdated techniques based on coercion, which can only suppress behavior without addressing the underlying cause. Such suppression could result in fear, anxiety, stress-related behavior, aggression issues, and whatnot.
Some also argue that these collars are unnecessary as they can damage the relationship between dogs and their owners. Plus, there are more humane ways to train dogs, like modern training methods involving the use of positive reinforcement, for instance, clicker training or marker-based training.
Why Do People Still Use Dog Shock Collars?
Even though shock collars are highly controversial, many dog trainers and owners continue to use electronic dog training collars, citing their effectiveness in stopping or curtailing a wide range of undesired behavior.
And those who support the use of shock collars believe these collars are safe when used appropriately. Also, they assert that many of the incidents reported involving electric collars resulted from misuse or abuse by people who weren’t properly trained on using these devices or resort to punishment techniques to train their canines without understanding the actual principles or intentions behind these tools.
Another argument in favor involves training dogs to follow commands at greater distances, allowing owners to reliably recall pooches who might otherwise run into dangerous situations, keep them out of off-limit areas to ensure safety, as well as prevent them from escaping.
Additionally, professional dog trainers and educated pet owners utilize e-collars to communicate with their dogs and reinforce basic obedience commands instead of punishing bad behavior.
Shock collars are legal in every state in the US despite being banned in many other countries.
People who believe electronic dog training collars should be outlawed argue that they can inflict pain and are cruel, while those in favor of their use say they are safe and effective when used appropriately.
So what do you think? Should shock collars be banned and made illegal in the United States?