The two key questions that owners ask themselves before they decide to buy a shock collar are the efficiency of this training method and welfare of the dog. About of efficiency of using of dog training collar, we wrote previously and at this place, we will explain the humanity of using shock collars.
Using vibration or beep mode nobody calls into question the welfare of the dog, but the use of electrical stimulation provokes conflicting opinions. During the dog training using shock collars, a little shock is passed to the dog’s neck through two contact points between the collar and the neck. The collar provides pain to keep a tab on the dog’s actions.
Shock collar or any other name
First, we would like to underline that the name “shock collar” is not adequate and sounds too cruel. In medicine the term “shock” defines the syndrome resulting from a disproportion between blood volume and volume of the circulatory system that needs to be filled, that is, an acute generalized failure of the vascular system. The accompanying cell damage is due to inadequate perfusion of tissue that directly causes hypoxia. Shock is most often due to one of three events: blood loss reduced cardiac output or loss of peripheral vasomotor control. Death may occur at any phase of shock.
From these definitions and explanations, it is clear that the collars do not cause any of the above. Due to this, “dog training collar” or “e-collar” will be the more useful name for this training equipment.
Does using of dog training collar have any physiological or welfare implications?
E-collar is the training method through which a trainer can remotely deliver an electrical stimulation, using pain as a positive punisher in order to suppress a target behavior. These collars are also recommended for use as a negative reinforce i.e. the pain ceases when the dog shows the correct behavior.
There is little doubt that high-intensity electrical stimulation causes a physiological stress response in dogs. Application of initial high-intensity shocks has also been found to elicit behavioral responses associated with fear and distress in the dog, including struggling, biting, freezing, withdrawal, hiding, running to the owner, cowering, trembling, defecation and urination. Whilst the stress response is a normal/adaptive physiological response that allows an animal to cope with changes in its environment, this can be detrimental where the animal cannot predict and control the situation, for example, if the dog is trained is unable to learn how to avoid the shock. Where cortisol levels in dogs exposed to predictable/unpredictable and controllable/uncontrollable exposure to shocks have been measured, they have shown an increased cortisol response in dogs that were unable to avoid the shock.
Justification of use dog training collars
Many models of training collars are capable of setting the level of electric stimulation and delivering very low levels of shock. The amount of pain received by the dog depends on the power, time and frequency of the electric shock passed through it. The resulting pain also depends on the size and skin of the dog.
The intensity and duration of the shock can be varied and some collars, though not all, produce a warning beeping sound, prior to the shock. If the owner decides to use electronic stimulation, modern models are designed to provide a mildly irritating pulsating stimulation.
The shock lasts between 1/1000 of 1 – 30 seconds and the intensity uses a current of a few thousand volts. The shock of this nature carries little energy, on the order of mill joules. At 0.914 joules the electric muscle stimulation and contractions a human receives from an ‘abdominal energizer’ fitness product is exponentially stronger — more than 1,724 times stronger— than the impulse a dog receives from a pet containment collar set at its highest level. Shock collars set a level emits between 5 micro joules and 6 joules. To understand these levels, you can compare it with muscle stimulation machine that emits 2 joules. Responsible and humane use of training collars implies using vibration and sound mode before electronic stimulations.
If electronic stimulation has been used, the shock level must be reasonable and acceptable, depending on the size of the dog. Too much use of the shock mode can cause excessive aggressiveness of the dog towards the human. Without linking the shock with the behavior, the dog may associate the shocking pain with human and environment. The dog becomes stressful and fearful and the relationship with the owner may weaken.
Having in mind these facts, the feasibility of using the necklace there are conflicting opinions. The use of shock collars is controversial and scientific evidence for their safety and efficacy is mixed. Several countries have enacted bans or controls on their use, but in most countries, they are completely unregulated. Animal welfare organizations warn against their use or actively support a ban on their use or sale, but many rescue organizations, police departments, competition trainers and others workers use them. Some want restrictions placed on their sale, but some want them left unrestricted. Any professional dog trainers and their organizations oppose their use, and some support them. Support for their use or calls for bans from the general public is mixed.
If the dog training is not done properly, then relationship bond between the owner and the dog may weaken. The dog may associate pain with human and become stressful. So follow the simple steps and let both you and your dog enjoy the training.