They have many harmless sounding names …e-collars, remote collars, electronic collars. The truth is …they are shock collars and they are specifically designed to work by causing pain and fear. Unfortunately, there are many "trainers" promoting them as a "fix" for just about every undesirable dog behavior and the general pet owning public is not aware of the potential side effects these products can have on their dog.
There are big profits to be made by the manufacturers of these products and by "trainers" who have very limited scientific knowledge of animal behavior and base much of their training on the simple fact that living creatures will work to avoid pain. They use slick marketing hype to convince dog owners that the collars cause no pain, some actually go as far as to claim the collar is gentle and calming! They will tell you it’s just a "tickle", a "tap", or "stimulation" by demonstrating it on their hand, not on their neck, at a very low setting. The real truth is - it is not a "tickle", a "tap", or "stimulation" - It is an electrical shock!
They fail to mention that this method of training tends to inhibit behavior as opposed to addressing the underlying cause of the behavior …kind of like putting a Band-Aid on cancer. The behavior issue still exists and may actually worsen by being suppressed!
They also don’t tell you that scientific studies have proven that stress causes cortisol levels to rise and shock collar training is extremely stressful to a dog. High cortisol levels can lead to many health issues including impaired cognitive performance, suppressed thyroid function, blood sugar imbalances, high blood pressure, lowered immune response, and more.
If a trainer claims that shock collars don't hurt, ask him or her to explain exactly how the collar works to change the animal's behavior!
The plain and simple truth is …you are hurting your dog! …if it didn’t hurt it wouldn’t work! Your dog is complying in order to avoid pain!
Do shock collars work? They can, but so can hitting, kicking, poking and yelling, but why would anyone choose to treat their dog that way when there are tools and methods available that work without pain and force.
When looking for a trainer, Always ask what tools they use. If they include choke, pinch, or shock collars …do your dog a favor and keep looking.