Are Zap Collars Bad For Dogs

Carole Stephens
• Wednesday, 04 November, 2020
• 7 min read

Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose what method works best for you and your pets, so we’ve laid out the facts to help you decide. We suggest NOT using these collars until your dog understands basic commands like sit and stay.

badass dogs collars
(Source: www.purrfectdesign.net)


If you do decide that an e-collar is the right training device for your dog, we recommend the Sporting FieldTrainer SD-425 for its 7 levels of correction, beep-only option, rechargeable battery and 500-yard range. It’s more expensive than some other electronic options out there, and it gives you more control and therefore a more positive training experience for your pup.

It also allows you to train your dog with a much more mild tingle on 7 levels, rather than starting out with an intense shock. It offers 4 training modes: vibration, sound, continuous and convulsive shock.

We also like that this collar’s contact points are made of conductive rubber to prevent skin irritation. It has a vast range (up to 1,000 feet), and the remote has a handy strap for easy portability.

The adjustable collar fits most dogs (10-140 pounds), and the entire device is waterproof (but not remote). These days, shock collars are often used to curb a variety of stubborn and unwanted behaviors in family dogs, from excessive barking to food aggression, as well as to train pups to stay safely within a property line or to stick close by while off leash.

Shock collars are not intended as a punishment but more than a deterrent to negative or unsafe behavior. The theory is that your dog will associate the unwanted behavior with a slightly uncomfortable jolt and stop doing it until they no longer require the reminder.

zap collar
(Source: etsy.com)

Once set to “shock” mode, there are usually varying levels of intensity delivered by a two-pronged device attached to a dog collar. Please be sure to read these carefully, and feel free to ask us any questions you have about the pros and cons of using a shock collar.

You Don’t Need To Be Present Shock collars, when used to control chronic barking, work even while you’re away from home or inside the house. Personally, I would not leave my dog unattended with a shock collar as I would be scared of overcorrecting while I was not there to observe and adjust to the situation, but this is your choice.

Also, we don’t recommend leaving your dog unattended outside for extended periods of time, with or without a shock collar. Affordable A shock collar can be a cheaper alternative to a professional dog trainer or fence.

Many dog trainers choose positive reinforcement (reward) as a means of behavior modification over negative feedback. With shock training, some dogs may learn to fear people, objects, or situations they associate with the collar.

One pet owner we know installed a wireless fence and then their dog refused to go outside after training with it. So while a shock collar may effectively deter negative behaviors like jumping on visitors or running after the mail carrier, it doesn’t reward positive behavior such as sitting patiently or obeying a command to “Stay!”.

prong collar dog bad ugly rescuedogs101 dogs know need things
(Source: www.rescuedogs101.com)

As with any training, you should always reinforce positive behavior with a reward of affection, playtime or a small treat. If you are seeking an alternative to the shock collar, try an ultrasonic bark control device.

No matter what training tools you decide to use, the intended purpose is to help your dog, whether it’s to stop him from barking unnecessarily or to keep him from harm’s way. Check out our handy guide to find the average neck sized based on dog breed.

The information contained in this article and website is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional safety advice; it is provided for educational purposes only. Sometimes known as a remote training collar or zap collar, this tool consists of a wireless remote which the human carries and a wireless receiver that the dog wears close to his neck.

“E- collars work as a form of negative reinforcement, so it means that a behavior is strengthened by removing a negative outcome,” says Blake Rodriguez, dog behavior expert and owner of Dream Come True K9. For example, if you’re driving in your car without a seatbelt, that annoying dinging sound that stops when you put your belt on is a form of negative reinforcement.

So if your dog is pulling, leash pressure might be fine, ” explains Rodriguez. If e- collars are a training tool you want to consider, Rodriguez recommends consulting or working with a professional to incorporate them into your routine.

hemp collar
(Source: gooddogclub.com.au)

“It’s sort of interesting how we use e-collar as a euphemism for a shock collar because it sounds less harsh. “The collar is designed to have your dog make negative associations with undesirable behaviors.

The problem with this type of training, in Shaffer’s opinion, is that the definition of “wrong behavior” is infinite. Another issue with the e-collar, according to Shaffer, is that dogs tend to generalize and don’t always make the associations we want them to.

“What I see a lot is people using e- collars that have no idea how to use them and punish the dog with it,” he explains. When dogs associate pain with humans it can up their stress levels or cause them to act aggressively.

If your dog is exhibiting problem behaviors, he believes there are other safer and effective ways to correct it. The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups.

Shock collars also come with a bit of controversy, so before you start to use a shock collar as a training device, it is important that you fully understand the pros and cons of this tool and the perceptions that some people may have about these handy tools. Additionally, basic obedience is helpful when you start using a shock collar, as a way to bring the focus back to your pup.

Our second bit of advice regarding shock collars is to remember that these tools can be, and often are considered “mean” or “inhumane”. If you find that these basics don’t work well for you or your pup, we recommend consulting with a professional trainer.

Before we start on our tips and process for training your dog using a shock collar, we again want to emphasize the importance of using these tools with kindness. Shock collars can be incredibly useful and SAFE tools for training your dog.

Don’t start training your new puppy, right off the bat with a shock collar. If you expect behavior from your dog, but you don’t tell them what you want, just correcting them with the shock collar isn’t going to do a bit of good.

Use treats, specific words, and the shock collar to reinforce the behavior you want. Make sure you use a variety of training techniques, like positive reinforcement, clickers, negative response training, etcetera, so that if you’re just out with a collar or a harness, your dog still knows what to do when you make a request.

So, when you chose to use a shock collar for training your dog, your eventual goal is to have a dog that is so well-trained, that you can leave the shock collar behind, or use the vibrate setting only. Done correctly, shock collar training can eliminate problem behaviors, or create helpful skills, and eventually eliminate the need for the shock collar altogether.

Before you get frustrated and get tempted to give up, or worse, turn the correction level all the way up, ask for help. Many professional dog trainers are highly skilled in using shock collars.

Yes, you’ll probably have to pay for the help, but professional trainers can give you all sorts of great tips and tricks to make using a shock collar easy and successful for both you and your pup. Unless you’re in a life or death situation (your dog just bolted towards a busy highway) you should never need to use the highest correction level on your shock collar.

Many have a vibrate setting, along with a range of electric shocks that increase in intensity. Shock collars are a great tool to help improve your dog’s mastery of basic obedience skills.

Being an expert in the basics will make it easier for your dog to learn more advanced skills. Using a shock collar later in your dog’s obedience training can help solidify skills they already know, and make them more confident.

This is another good skill to use a shock collar to help your pup learn. Using an electronic collar to help your dog learn voice commands when walking off leash will make them easier to control, while at the same time giving your dog a bit of freedom.

Shock collars for off-leash control are especially handy at busy dog parks, where a leash can become a dangerous “weapon” of sorts. Stuff that makes them less than polite members of our families or social groups.

Over time, after consistent use of a shock collar, your dog may learn that barking about nothing, is a dumb thing to do. Today’s shock collars often come with a variety of signals that you can use to teach a specific response.

Hunters don’t want to be shouting signals to their dog while tracking an animal, so a shock collar can give a silent cue to a well-trained hunting dog about the work their owner wants them to do. Agility Training often requires a handler to send quick signals to a dog and sometimes shouting these commands don’t work as effectively as the handler would like.

Like with hunting training, shock collars can be used to give specific commands to dogs, without yelling, and in a quick manner. However, there are specialty jobs that your dog can train for, at home, and may demand the use of a shock collar.

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