It’s not too surprising, but at least now there is science to support “no electronic shock collar” dog training advocates. The study reveals electronic shock collars stress your Labradors and don’t work anyway.
A number of dog trainers and owners recommend electronic “shock” collars to stop unwanted habits, despite the fact that they are illegal in some countries. Are those collars really harmful to your pooch? New dog study says yes.
The study by researchers at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, published in PLOS ONE, shows that electronic collars, or e-collars, cause dogs to get stressed. The researchers found dogs that were trained with e-collars spent significantly more time tense, yawned more often, and engaged in less “environmental interaction” compared to other dogs.
“It seems that the routine use of e-collars even in accordance with best practice, as suggested by collar manufacturers, presents a risk to the well-being of pet dogs,” said lead author Jonathan Cooper in a press release.
Any localWal-mart sells an array of “dog shock collars” from the “High Tech Pet Bark Terminator” to the “Electric Fence Collar” and remote training e-collars you can operate from afar with the press of a button.
The collars have a device that gives short electric shocks to the dog’s neck. The device has different settings that manage the power and length of these shocks.
One human on YouTube even demonstrated the full range of shock collar intensity levels. He imitates the bark of a dog to find out if he could endure the “electric stimuli” used to train dogs.
Most devices nowadaysalso provide “pre-warning” tipslike auditory or vibration signals that come before the electric shock. Used with verbal commands, this trains dogs to avoid the shocks – and the undesirable behavior.
The study found that trainers often used e-collars without pre-warning cues and at high intensity, despite manufacturer’s instructions. Even when trainers used the e-collar at low settings and with pre-warning clues, the dogs still showed some ofstresscompared to dogs trained through other methods.
The 63 pet dogs that took part inthe research were split into three groups. One group was trained by industry-approved trainers using e-collars, another trained by the same trainers without e-collars, and a third trained by members of the United Kingdom’s Association of Pet Dog Trainers, again without the use of an e-collar.
The dogs were trained for 15 minutes twice a day for 4-5 days. The sessions were recorded on video so researchers could later analyze behavior. Samples of saliva and urine were also gathered to measure cortisol during the training period.
Though the collars are efficient, the study concluded there wasn’t any consistent benefit to using electronic shock collars that would outweigh the negative impact on the welfare of any misbehaving dog.
The authors of the research are Jonathan J. Cooper, Nina Cracknell, Jessica Hardiman, Hannah Wright and Daniel Mills of the School of Life Sciences at the University of Lincoln.
Image: Life of a Dog
Source: Washington Post