Among dog guardians, shock collars have become a popular device for pet training. These collars, which are placed around a dogâ€™s neck and deliver an electric shock when the trainer presses a button, are often used to discourageÂ undesirable behaviors like unnecessary barking.
Given how normalized this training method has become, many think that shock collars are humane and unproblematic. In reality, though, these devices arenâ€™t quite as innocent as they may seem. For instance, one recent study revealed that shock collars can have the undesirable side effect of causing distress in canines. Whatâ€™s more, according to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), there is a chance that dogs may begin to associate being shocked with certain experiences or people rather than their own actions, potentially resulting in aggressive or fearful behavior.
Then, thereâ€™s the fact that shock collars open up the door for animal abuse to occur. Whether itâ€™s done intentionally or by accident, these devices can be used to inflict unwarranted pain on a dog, either at the wrong time or in excess. For small-to-medium dogs, in particular, even the mildest shocks can be extremely painful, and people may not even realize how much they are hurting their beloved pets by using one of these collars.
As the serious issues with shock collars have been exposed in recent years, many countries have moved to ban the devices, including Scotland and Wales. Most recently, the government of England announced that it will be joining these nations in prohibiting citizens from using shock collars on dogs and cats, thus officially making the devices illegal throughout the entire United Kingdom.
While this is a major victory for pets and animal lovers everywhere, thereâ€™s still work to be done to end the inhumane use of shocking devices on living creatures. After all, electric fences, which work in a similar manner as shock collars, are still perfectly legal in England and many other nations around the globe. Plus, there is still a long list of countries, including the U.S., which have yet to ban shock collars.
As aÂ spokeswoman from theÂ Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) reportedly put it: â€śIn modern day society there is no excuse or need for the use of devices which can compromise cat and dog welfare, especially when humane and viable alternatives to training and containing dogs and cats are available.â€ťÂ We couldnâ€™t have said it better ourselves!
So how can you help end the use of cruel devices on precious pets? First of all, you should never use a shock collar or electric fence on your dog or cat.Â Instead, opt forÂ positive reinforcement training techniques, such as toys or treats, which are just as (if not more) effective and donâ€™t involve any pain! Furthermore, be sure to spread the word that shock collars and electric fences are bad newsÂ to all the animal guardians you know!
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