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Weekly question: Are shock collars cruel?

Shock collars are good training tools and are not mean or harmful to a dog as long as they are used properly. Ace actually got a shock last weekend when he tried to follow my brother’s car through the Invisible Fence at my parents’ house. Bad boy! The shock made him turn around and run back into the yard where he belonged.

I have never used a shock collar (electronic collar) for training purposes other than to keep a dog in a yard with an electric fence. I don’t think I would ever use a shock collar on a dog to stop a barking or crying habit or anything like that. It would just make a dog more nervous or excited. However, I have considered using one to train Ace to stay close when we are out in a park or backpacking.

Experiencing a small shock is worth it for the dog if it means he will get to experience a lot more freedom in the long run.

What do you think? Are shock collars cruel?

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Thursday 10th of July 2008

I couldn't do it. I'm just not a fan of them. I've never used it and never will.

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Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 8th of July 2008

Thanks everyone, for your input. I don't think any of these collars are cruel as long as they are used properly.


Tuesday 8th of July 2008

I don't consider shock collars cruel as long as they are used for invisible fencing. I HATE shock collars that shock dogs when they bark.

The collar that I find far and above to be the most cruel is the freaking pinch collars.

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Thursday 28th of October 2010

I had to buy one because I was unable to control my hyperactive dog in any other way. I'm only 5'1" 105 lbs. and not strong enough to hurt my 67 lb. chow-lab chow mix.

Mayra Calvani

Tuesday 8th of July 2008

Hmm... I wouldn't use one except in extreme cases, as with an incontrollable dog who doesn't respond to any other type of training and who often puts his life--or that of others-in danger. I would try every possible alternative before considering this one.

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Tuesday 8th of July 2008

I think they are cruel because most users don't have the intelligence to let the dog know exactly why they are being hurt. I think praise is always better than pain in teaching a dog anyway except in extreme cases.

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