Does A Shock Collar Hurt My Dog?
Electronic remote training collars (or shock collars) have been about for close to 50 years. The technology is not only effective but also fully safe. Millions of dog lovers world-wide have employed these collars to train and contain their companions. Popularity of the tools is constantly on the increase because of tremendous advancements in the technologies. A growing number of pet owners are studying the value of utilizing these invisible leashes to communicate with their dog in a very non-stressful way. No more tugging on leash, jumping on folks or bolting through your neighborhood.
But even with all of the knowledge and excellent technology offered, the phrase shock collar still resides in many people’s minds once they hear mention of electronic training equipment.
When the shock collar was first introduced in the mid 60’s it was a tool of last resort. One that was utilized to stop a hunting dog from running off in the field or to stop him from chasing unwanted game. For probably the most part it had one level and that level was Ouch. The stimulation was strong and absolutely a shock to the dog. The goal was to teach the dog there was a substantial consequence to not listening to his owner’s commands. The phrase shock collar was accurate at that time.
But like all technology things have changed. These days remote collars are tools of tremendous versatility. They include a number of features that allow the user to communicate with the dog through vibration or tone functions. And the intensity levels are highly variable, the lowest levels are barely perceptible pulses that many label a tickle sensation. At the highest levels the sensation is sharp, but the key is that the trainer can select what exactly is proper for the dog rather than being limited to only 1 selection.
The larger question that continues to be is doesn’t the shock collar have to hurt in order to function? The reply to that question is, no, it only needs to be distracting or annoying to divert the dog’s attention from undesirable behavior. The main reason for this is that physical sensations are harder to ignore than sounds or sights.
The tickle of a stray hair brushing against your nose doesn’t hurt, however it is annoying enough that it makes you do something to make it go away. The idea works the very same way when low level stimulation is employed to teach a dog to come when called. It doesn’t need to hurt, it only needs to be felt and be just annoying enough that the dog will act to make it stop.
When we pair positive rewards together with this type of training the dog learns that the shock collar isn’t genuinely a shock at all. It can be a communication device that pages the dog to return and works as a amazing off leash guidance system.