ELECTRIC SHOCK DOG COLLARS MISUSE AND MALFUNCTION
Electric shock dog collars are one of the options available on the
market to try to stop dogs barking, and stop dogs or cats behave in a
way deemed undesirable by owners.
However, if the collars are misused by
children who do not know any better, or by cruel people, they can cause
burns, brain damage, seizures, life long anxiety & or even death to
pets. There is also the chance of pets suffering if the shock dog
collars are, or become, faulty.
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Below: A canine victim of a shock collar with bad burns all over it’s throat, along with the collar itself.
Electric shock collars come with a remote control. The idea behind them
is that whenever the dog barks, or the dog/cat behaves in another way
the owner does not like, an electric shock is administered to discourage
it from behaving in that way.
There are also electric shock
collars that act like an invisible electric fence. When the dog
approaches the set boundary with the shock collar on, it hears a beep.
If the dog crosses the boundary, it receives an electric shock.
Below: Faulty shock collars, or misuse of shock collars can
cause serious and painful burns to dogs’ necks due to continuous
Remote controls of the shock collars can fall in to the hands of
children, who find amusement in shocking pets for no reason because they
are too young to know better.
There is also the danger of the collars
being misused by cruel people who take pleasure in hurting animals. The
collars have been known to cause burns on pets when misused or faulty.
Also, shock dog collars can be misused by being put on other animals.
The smaller the animal, the more pain the collars will cause, and in
small animals which the collars are not suitable for, they can cause
Rufus, an 8 month old Golden Labrador Retriever, had the horrible
experience of finding out what can happen when shock collars go wrong:
owner bought an electric shock collar from a leading pet shop and
carefully read all the instructions. The product was designed to work
outdoors, as it was one of the shock collars that was designed to act
like an invisible electric fence. The owner left Rufus in the back yard
for a few hours, but was alarmed when he returned to find him in pain.
On carefully removing the collar, the owner was horrified to find
horrific burns on Rufus’s neck. The owner saw apparant galvanic
corrosion around the battery cover on the electronic collar, which must
have been caused when it had rained. The device had apparantly shocked
poor Rufus non-stop for several hours. An emergency vet visit
necessitated general anesthetic for suturing the holes in Rufus’ neck
closed. The vet said it was one of the worst electrical burns she’d ever
- Credit: ItsForTheAnimals.com
Below: Rufus is just one pet of many that has had an
experience such as this. There have been numerous cases of brain damage
and life long seizures in pets, which vets have confirmed have been
caused by shock collars.
Wales in the UK has banned shock dog collars, agreeing with the RSPCA
(Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the Kennel
Club that their use is a form of animal cruelty.
Wales are the only part
of the UK to have banned the device so far.
The maximum punishment for anyone caught using a shock collar in Wales
is a fine of £20,000 or 6 months in prison. As with all laws, however,
how seriously people take it and how many people abide by it depends on
how well enforced it is.
If this law is enforced as poorly as the
British anti-fox hunting law, then it will be virtually ineffective.
There are kinder, more humane ways to stop dogs barking, and stop other
behaviour deemed undesirable by owners from cats and dogs, rather than
using shock dog collars.
Alternatives include collars that spray
citronella that dogs detest the smell of, collars that emit a high
pitched noise unpleasant for them to hear, and collars which use a
combination of sound and vibration.
Below: Above left shows a citronella spray anti-bark dog
collar in action. Above right is a a no bark dog collar that uses a high
pitched sound to discourage barking.
Excessive barking is one reason why many people may abandon their dog.
There may be reasons for the dog’s behaviour, such as it being left
alone for periods longer than it can cope with, etc.
Other than barking,
there are many different types of behaviour exhibited by a pet that the
owner may consider undesirable enough for them to get rid of the pet to
The majority of the time, the behaviour can be remedied with
the assistance of training and humane training aids. These are aids
such as ones to keep the dog stimulated and occupied while the owners
are out, and to discourage barking.
Some people suggest the use of shock collars to stop dogs from fighting. This is NOT recommended, as it will actually fuel aggression in a dog. This is because the dog, who is already flooded with adrenaline and in fight mode, will
believe it is the other dog inflicting the pain on them, and will
retaliate harder as a result.
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