and saddens me,
and makes me wonder how playing training with your dogs can be fun if it isn’t positive?
I am not naive .. I’ve heard and seen stories about abuse, neglect and violence that I simply don’t share with people who haven’t worked the front lines. Working at the SPCA and a lifetime of teaching have made me somewhat cynical. Maybe that’s why I just can’t imagine working around issues with force anymore.
This week I’m feeling a little shell-shocked though. I am staggered by the notion that there are people who teach contacts using a shock collar as a tool. I’m horrified to realize that people who truly love and appreciate their dogs don’t understand that shocking a dog is destructive to relationships and going to create some issues with trust. I do understand that many people see it as a tool and use it as such but I can’t understand how dogs are expected to find joy when being shocked into compliance.
Other People Agree with Me
I’m not alone in this concern, but doing a little research into these collars is alarming (on youtube there are an awful lot of people laughing wildly as other people take the shocks from a dog collar.) I haven’t read all these links yet – but you may have more time than I do, or want to read more. I’ve met dogs comatose from life in a shock collar, dogs with burns on their skin, I have no real urge to read more. I pass no judgement on those that feel they “have” to use a shock collar but it makes me very very sad.
December 2021 Update
An Instagram follower found this blog recently and asked me what I thought of it now. I reread it and there is nothing in here that I have changed my mind on … if anything I have moved a little more to actually asking people why they use a shock collar if I see one and doing a little light education if they seem interested
If they are interested more in science than my feelings (or their dogs) rather than pointing them here (which has a fair bit of science tucked away – I might even share that followers much newer post on the subject Do Shock Collars Hurt Dogs?
Give it a read when you get a chance!
Here, in words much wiser than mine, are some thoughts about force and violence:
“Violence begins where knowledge ends” ~Abraham Lincoln