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Shock Collars Problems in Dog Training: 7 Things you need to know

Dog Shock Collars Problems during Training

It is not the case that shock collar training is ineffective since it is. The only issue is, at what cost? Some exceptionally good trainers may be able to mitigate some of the negative effects that shock collars can have on dogs.

In contrast, since shock collars are available for purchase at practically every pet store, they are easily accessible to the general public.

If a shock collar is not properly managed by a qualified trainer, it has the potential to cause very serious difficulties.

There is a plethora of other effective training strategies, including obedience, behaviour control, and positive reinforcement, that can be utilized.


Dog Shock Collars Malfunction

It’s possible that the unit itself will malfunction as the first potential issue. Shock collars that do not function properly can produce electrical burns on the dog’s neck, resulting in holes in the dog’s neck and causing considerable physical and mental damage.

Never leave a shock collar on an unattended dog if you want to avoid this situation.

Dog owners who utilize an in-ground shock fence, which uses a border that shocks the dog when it crosses it, have a challenge as a result of this. By design, this particular sort of shock collar is intended to be left on an unattended canine.

Problems with logistics

Anyone who has worked with a clicker trainer will tell you that timing and reward distribution are mechanical skills.

When you’re a clicker trainer, it doesn’t matter whether you click late or fumble to earn your treat because you haven’t done any harm to the animal.

Although the dog’s learning may be delayed, or his behaviour may not be quite what you desired, you have not harmed him in any way.

For shock-collar training to be effective, precise timing is required, which is a talent that even a small number of experienced trainers possess.

Another logistical issue is that, in order to be successful, the collar must be worn by the dog at all times. This means that the dog will become “collar savvy,” that is, they will learn when the collar is worn and when it is not.

In order to avoid coming into contact with other dogs or people, many canines would rather run through the fencing and be shocked.

Underground shock fences are useless against these dogs, and the scenario is potentially deadly for others who are not protected, including people, children, and dogs. Furthermore, users of subterranean shock fences may neglect to replace the batteries, resulting in the shock fencing being ineffective.

Dog Shock collars Abuse

Shock collars are extremely dangerous and can easily be abused. Many people are concerned about hurting their dogs. Because of this, they use a low-level shock, which is often ineffectual at ending the undesirable behaviour.

The next increase the setting, but this proves unsuccessful once more. As a result, the stakes have been elevated once further. Because the dog is gradually exposed to the pain, the surprise effect is diminished, and the shock may be rendered ineffective altogether.

As dog trainers, we must recognize that some people experience a sense of power while disciplining a dog. When a person of this nature is subjected to a shock collar, it has the potential to create a vicious cycle of abuse.

A large number of expert trainers have witnessed dogs being “housetrained” using shock collars. The owner of one particular case reported that a terrier had learnt to avoid urinating in front of people, which is not a good idea when housetraining a dog.

The expert trainer who worked with this dog to rehabilitate him had to put in months of effort to repair the damage that had been done to this small terrier. She housetrained the dog without the use of a shock collar and placed her in a loving household where the owners adore her and are devoted to training her without the use of a shock collar.

Dog shock collars Symptoms and Consequences

The major reason shock collars are successful in reducing undesirable behaviour is that they are painful. The difficulty is that when you practice while in pain, you end up with unintended consequences. Fallout is the term used to describe these adverse effects.

Murray Sidman, a well-known behaviour analyst, produced an entire academic paper on the subject, which those interested in a more in-depth investigation can find here (Coercions and its fallout).

Fallout occurs when we employ a shock that will be connected with both the trainer and the training procedure, causing the animal to become anxious and stressed. That stress can then be linked to the behaviours we are training, to the equipment we are using, to the training field, and, of course, to the trainer himself or herself.

Work that is both slow and frantic

Dogs who are shocked while being trained are stressed out as a result. In a scientific investigation, dogs that had been taught with shocks showed signs of stress when they approached the training location, which was recorded.

In our opinion, as dog sports aficionados, this is the polar opposite of what we want.

Dogs who have been trained with shock are more likely to work slowly and deliberately than other dogs. They are overthinking everything and taking extreme precautions to avoid getting startled.

If the punishment of the collar overcomes the enjoyment of the sport, they will not like their work and will not perform it with speed and delight. A dog can be forced to perform quickly by highly trained shock collar trainers, no doubt about it.

It’s a straightforward process. If the dogs work slowly, they will be shocked; if they work quickly, they will not be stunned. This stands or is referred to as negative reinforcement in the field of behavioral research. Because the dog’s behavior makes a negative thing go away, the dog’s behavior continues to rise.

It is effective, but it does not result in the favourable attitude that training with positive reinforcement produces in participants.


The final line is that shock has the potential to trigger anxiety. Stanley Milgram conducted a well-known experiment, in which he demonstrated that shocking another creature is extremely unpleasant for the majority of humans.

Milgram’s studies on obedience to authority should be recognizable to everyone working in the training industry. Authority carries with it the potential for abuse, and this is something that should be avoided at all costs.

The reality is that if you have credibility, people will follow your training instructions, no matter how nasty they are.

After being shocked by numerous separate acts, a dog may enter a state of shut-down or a condition of complete suppression of behaviour.

Owners of dogs may make the mistake of assuming that their dog has been “trained” because the dog has suddenly become very calm and has stopped doing anything.

In actuality, this dog is apprehensive about everything. Learned helplessness is the final phase in the process of global suppression of behavior suppression. This occurs when the dog is unable to do any action and rolls up into a ball giving up.

Learning helplessness has traumatic and long-lasting consequences, as many people who work with rescue dogs have witnessed.



When a dog has been injured, he or she may become hostile. Using a shock collar on a dog with a history of aggression is especially risky because of the potential for injury.

There should be no repercussions for aggressive behavior (suppressed).

Instead of solving the problem, when you penalize a dog for aggression and do not teach a substitute behavior, you merely mask the issue. You then expose yourself to a much more serious scenario, in which the dog may become hostile without any prior warning.

You may have penalized the barking, lunging, and growling, and the dog may now be prone to biting, which is a very dangerous development.

Prepare to be shocked.

People who wear shock collars frequently try to convince others that the jolt is not painful. As a result of this precise reason, I purchased a shock collar and shocked myself with it.

It’s a real pain. It is usual for subterranean fence providers to set the shock collar to the lowest setting in order to demonstrate the shock sensation to the property owner or tenant. Do not be deceived; a shock collar is effective even if it is painful.


Many supporters of shock collars employ euphemisms for shock collars in order to soften their image. They are referred known as e-collars, training collars, e-touch, stimulation, tingling, and other names. Shock collars are used in this manner to avoid the fact that they shock.

Training that is ideal

The best training strategies are those that prevent unwanted habits from occurring in the first place.

Trainers must be able to understand their dogs’ subtle body language signals in order to minimize the tension that could result in aggression or fear.

In an ideal situation, a trainer would never notice the undesirable habits in the first place.

They engage in playful interactions with their dogs rather than imposing behaviors on them, thereby strengthening their attachment with their canines. They take action rather than reacting, and their dogs adore them for it.

Shock collars are prohibited by the vast majority of internationally recognized organizations.

It should not be necessary for a well-informed trainer to utilize shock collars.

The goal of sports, tricks, and training is to make it pleasurable and reinforcing for both canines and humans on their own merits, rather than via the use of coercion.

Let’s make training and competition enjoyable and free of shocks.

Facts Check:

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