The Problem With Shock

By Angelica Steinker, M.Ed., PDBC, CDBC, NADOI Endorsed, CAP2

Excerpt from the article: The Problem With Shock

It isn’t that shock collar training doesn’t work, because it does. The question is at what price? Some extremely skilled trainers may be able to offset some of the problems shock collars can cause. However, shock collars are for sale at almost every pet store making them readily accessible to the general public. A shock collar can potentially lead to very serious problems if not managed by a skilled trainer. There are a multitude of other powerful training options including obedience, behavior management, and positive reinforcement.

The first potential problem is that the unit itself may malfunction. Malfunctioning shock collars can cause electrical burns, creating holes in the affected dog’s neck and causing serious physical and emotional damage. To prevent this from happening never leave a shock collar on an unsupervised dog. This presents a problem for owners who use in ground shock fencing which makes use of a boundary that shocks the dog if they cross it. By design this particular type of shock collar is left on an unsupervised dog.

Ideal training
The ideal training methods prevent unwanted behaviors before they ever occur. Trainers read their dogs subtle body language signals to avoid stress which may lead to aggression or fear. Ideally a trainer never sees the unwanted behaviors in the first place. They play with their dogs instead of forcing behaviors, thus deepening their bond with their dogs. They act instead of react and their dogs love them for it. Most widely recognized associations in the world forbid the use of shock collars. A well informed trainer should not need to use shock. Sports, tricks, and training are supposed to be enjoyable and reinforcing for canines and humans on their own merit without the use of force. Let me make training and competition fun, and shock free.

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Angelica Steinker owns and operates Courteous Canine, Inc. in the Tampa Bay area, Florida. She is the author of Agility Success and Click and Play Agility. She owns a Yahoo Group called Animals Learning Concepts which welcomes new list members. For more information on Angelica visit her website