There are a lot of controversies surrounding dog shock collars. While there are many trainers who endorse the said product and claim that it is an effective tool for dog training, there are also claims and warnings against its apparent cruelty and the mental and physical damage that it can bring to dogs. Moreover, there are also many dangers reportedly related to the improper use of the said collar.

Types of Dog Shock Collar

Shock collars, or more commonly known as electronic or e-collars, are used along with electric fences in order to keep the dogs within a predetermined boundary. If the collar picks up that the dog’s location is very near or is approaching the boundary, it will emit a warning beep or sound. If the dog then takes one more step forward, the collar gets electrified, shocking the dog in the process.

Another type of shock collar is the remote training collar – perfect in correcting your dog even from a distance. This kind of collar can usually be seen around the necks of hunting hounds as well as K-9 dogs. Another one is the bark collar, which is solely triggered by the vibration coming from your dog’s vocal chords. Much like the first type, it first warns the dog with a beep and then shocks the dog if it continues to bark.

There are different levels of electric shock available with each collar. Some collars give mere vibrations while some give out sudden, strong, and painful jolts.

The Effects of Shock Collars

According to some animal advocacy organizations such as Humane Caroline, shock collars can cause extreme aggression and fear responses on dogs. Moreover, it is possible that your dog will not be able to correctly interpret the source of the shock and wrongly associate it anything it sees or experiences as the shock runs through its body. When we say anything, this really could be anything – you, another dog, a child, or other persons or things it sees within the immediate surroundings. Soon enough, the fears and aggression will build up and you will have for yourself a terribly aggressive and fierce dog.

What is worse is that fear and aggression, when mixed together, will trigger unpredictable responses from your dog. This could even include snarling or biting the first person or thing she sees once threatened or stressed. Some trainers also assert that even the mildest stressor can trigger an aggressive and fearful response from a shock-trained trained dog. In fact, even the slightest beeping sound coming from another (and harmless) electronic device such as your answering machine can trigger stress and fear in your dog.

The Tendency to Malfunction

Shock collars, much like any other electronic device, also have the tendency to malfunction. Imagine accidentally leaving your dog outside in the rain while wearing its shock collar. There are cases where dogs get badly burned or electrocuted when such things happen. Nowadays, there are newer models of shock collars available in the market with mechanisms to prevent its circuits from shorting. There is still, of course, the likelihood that you’ll purchase an old or cheap collar so keep yourself on the lookout for that.


The amount of shock that your dog will experience with its shock collar is not the same as any human will experience if he or she decides to try the collar on his or her body parts. Remember that pain and pain tolerance is very subjective and there are disparities between the tolerance of man and animals.