Are Shock Collars For Dogs Safe Or Inhumane?

Shock Collars For Dogs

Shock collars are electronic bands placed on a dog’s neck to control its actions and behavior. There is a huge debate amongst dog owners over whether shock collars are productive or just plain cruel.

Two types of shock collars are currently in use. A distance control collar sends an electric shock through a dog when it leaves the vicinity of a central monitoring device. (similar to the concept of house arrest) The other type of collar relies on an owner using a remote control to manually trigger the electrical current. This type is used to get a dog’s attention when it is behaving inappropriately, such as barking excessively. The goal is to teach a dog what isn’t allowed.


Opponents of shock collars claim that they are cruel, painful, and harmful to animals. Furthermore, they argue that the electrical currents only disorient and confuse a dog, thereby not actually teaching the dog anything.

For instance, suppose you call out your dog’s name and it doesn’t come to you. You proceed by giving it a quick zap. Certainly your dog will relate the pain with being called. But therein lies the problem. Every time that you call your dog, it may become nervous and aggressive because it is expecting to be shocked. Especially if your down is naturally aggressive (e.g. pitbull), it may proceed to attack you out of fear and frustration. The gist of shock collar criticism states that shock collars will only make a dog aggressive, nervous, and more ‘antisocial’.


Defenders of shock collars note that sometimes there is no other option than to ‘punish’ a dog. They cite instances where a dog engages in very risky behavior such as chasing after cars or overwhelming elderly street walkers. If they don’t shock their dogs into obedience, the life of the dog and the lives of others may be jeopardized.

Dog owners also point to the unwarranted barking that many dogs engage in. Back in college, I lived with a guy who had a collie. Every single time he took the collie out to poop or pee, it barked at every student that walked by the house. While he was gone for Christmas vacation, he entrusted me to watch over his collie. I became sick and tired of chastising his dog and eventually (sadly too) resorted to hitting it. But no matter what I tried, it would not stop barking. Those who use shock collars claim it works because dogs absolutely detest the pain wrought from the electrical current.


Two new ‘shock’ collars have recently come on the market. One releases a spray and the other emits a high-pitched frequency that only dogs can hear.

–>The Nano-Spray Control Anti-Barking Collar

This collar sprays a film of all-natural citrus into your dog’s nose. It is a harmless light yellow liquid whose smell dogs very much detest. It is safe, nontoxic, and effective.

–>Sonic Bark Control Collar

This collar deters a dog from barking by emitting a high-pitched noise that only they can hear. It will not hurt their ears, but it will irritate them enough that they stop their improper behavior.


The best way to stop a dog’s improper behavior is by taking the time to train him or her to act accordingly. Unfortunately, some people just don’t have the time or patience to do this. Plus some dogs are just stubborn and refuse to learn. If your situation fits these scenarios, then by all means try out a shock collar. Just be aware of the risks and make a wise decision. But please, at least try training your dog the old fashioned way first before you resort to such a questionable method.