There are many arguments surrounding the use of the electronic shock collar in dog training. Arguments like they are only used when all else fails, they don’t hurt they only tickle, you don’t have to use the shock as you can pair it with a noise, it works better than treats, you have be seen to be in charge…blah blah..blah. However, I am not interested in arguing pointlessly over whether they work or not or how painful they may or may not be. I am more interested in how the dog is actually feeling whilst being trained this way.
Anyone can easily buy these devices over the net and this was one of the cheaper versions at below £25.00 and came with very poor instructions and didn’t work very well. I had never used one before (and don’t want to) so I simply shocked Isidro when he wasn’t doing what I wanted him to do. I have seen many videos showing owners shocking their dogs when they run away, jump up or even just for fun. So I positively punished him for doing the wrong thing in other words I added something aversive enough to stop the behaviour.
Shock collars are also used to negatively reinforce the dog whereby the shock is continuously used until the dog is doing the right thing and thus open to even more abuse by an unsuspecting owner.
BUT however it is used it is still an AVERSIVE way of training. There are kinder and just as effective ways to train or manage your dog. All you have to do is ask yourself would you teach your children using a shock collar? Or would that be abuse?
No dogs were used in the making of this video and that particular collar has only ever been used on healthy and consenting adult humans. Funnily enough they never wanted to wear one again.
To learn more about clicker training google Karen Pryor.
To learn more about the consequences of aversive training