Are shock collars for your dog inhumane?

Dog - Bear, my black lab
@mamashane (1140)
United States
January 27, 2007 8:53pm CST
I've been having this debate with my husband lately. We have a black lab that is 10 months old and behaves like a bologna head. He's seriously just a big boob at times but he's still a pup even though he's very large. He's very gentle and loving but it's like he doesn't know his own strength and can't control himself. For example, he will jump on people when they come in the front door. This drives my husband crazy and he wants to get a shock collar to teach him not to do this. I think this is inhumane. I couldn't imagine shocking my dog. I bought him a choke chain and I hold him when someone comes in the door, if he jumps up then I give his chain a tug and he sits down. He's learning but my hubby thinks he's not getting it fast enough and wants this shock collar. I have a friend who tells me that he used it for his dog and it worked great. I'm disgusted with my friend because of that. Has anyone used a shock collar? What do you think of these collars, are they inhumane? I think they hurt the animal and shouldn't be used.
13 people like this
70 responses
@lpetges (3036)
• United States
28 Jan 07
some dogs are harder to keep under control than others. i don't think its inhumane at all. If you use it on the dog for a while, they will learn not to do certain things. They are animals, not people. There is a huge difference, and if you don't train him, he will not know any better, and will continue to be the way he is.
3 people like this
@mamashane (1140)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I am training him and he's come a long way so far with his behavior and I have not used a shock collar. I think they are cruel, zapping my pooch would make me feel horrible.
1 person likes this
@pr4pyaar (306)
• India
28 Jan 07
Please people not shock collars... tell me if it was your child not able to pick up a math problem or memorize a poem or something like that, would you beat him up, would you put a shock collar on him.... there are various ways to learn and teach things... well all it takes is a bit more time...AND IF YOU THINK YOU DESERVE A PET, THEN YOU SHOULD SPARE THAT TIME FOR HIM... shock collars are utter violence, inhuman...and not something i would suggest....
@mamashane (1140)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Well said. I'm going to have my husband read these posts. Hopefully he'll change his mind.
@kc_159_98 (144)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I know exactly what you are saying! I have a 4 month old black lab. They are extreamly hard headed. I don't have and don't want to get a shock collar for him. It's lazy, it's mean, and it takes away the time I spend with him. I mean, the point in having a dog is to be able to spend time with them and be able to play with them. A shock collar does not really allow the same interaction as a leash does. What about those underground fences? they use an electric shock to keep the dog in the yard. I've (sad to say) been thinking about getting one.
3 people like this
• United States
28 Jan 07
Something to remember about the invisible fences is that it only shocks your dog as he passes over the buried wire. Once the dog knows that he will not be shocked after he passes that point, the shock loses its power over them. Dogs should not be left out unsupervised if you only have an invisible fence to confine them. A good 6' fence will do far more to keep your dog safe and at home.
2 people like this
@mamashane (1140)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I know several people who invested in these invisible fences and they all say they are a waste of money. Once their dogs figured out that the shock is only for a moment at a certain point, they ran right through it.
@kareng (7980)
• United States
28 Jan 07
To me, it depends on how it is used. If it is put on and left on then that is cruel. If you use it as a training aid and teach your dog with verbal commands along with the shock collar, then it is a training aid. You dog will learn to associated the bark with the collar and your command (for instance, NO!). It usually doesn't take them long to catch on...a day, maybe two. Most of the collars are adjustable too, so you can set the amount of shock to minimal.
@mamashane (1140)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Leaving it on all the time would be cruel. The one my husband wants to get has a button control that you push when the dog does something wrong. It seems lazy of the owner.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jan 07
we only had to use ours about 4 times, for 4 seperate things. he hasnt worn it in over 2years now.
1 person likes this
@mamashane (1140)
• United States
28 Jan 07
How strong was the voltage?
• United States
28 Jan 07
I have a chocolate lab who acts the same way... He's just over 1 year old. I've been tempted to use a shock collar, but haven't. I don't think that it is inhumane as long as it is used properly and not excessively. For some reason, my lab puppy seems to need serious negative reinforcement. My other dog was a dream to train, but the lab seems to have more difficulty catching on to things. I haven't decided if I'm going to use one either. For now, I got him one of those training collars with the prongs that pinch his skin. That seems to work well, too.
• United States
28 Jan 07
yes, the training collars are great! We had a chocolate lab who was wild and wooly on the lease, but once we put that training collar on he was mild and well mannered!
1 person likes this
@mamashane (1140)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Isn't the training collar just for barking?
• United States
29 Jan 07
My husband used a shock collar to train his black lab for hunting. It is not by any means inhumane. It is a very small shock. It does not hurt the dog, it just gets their attention. I am going to use the collar on my dog this summer to get him to obey me. Like your dog, mine has no discipline. A shock collar is the most affective way to train a dog without spending tons of money on classes. I really think you should give it a try. Just keep the collar on low at first until he gets used to that, and then gradually increase the strength. Just remember, the collar needs good contact. The instructions with the collar will tell you everything you need to know. Again, it does not hurt the dog, so don't worry about it.
@mamashane (1140)
• United States
29 Jan 07
Hey, maybe you should put the collar around your neck, set it to low until you get used to it and gradually increase the voltage and see how comfortable you are with it.
@hellboi (663)
• Philippines
28 Jan 07
well a shock collar is used for extremely aggressive dog behavior like chasing cars. but with your dog, i guess he is just overly friendly. as long as he is not aggressive then i think he can be trained, the shock collar is a little harsh considering that he is just a puppy, try to read books on puppy training or seek professional help.
2 people like this
@mamashane (1140)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Thanks hellboi. He's not aggressive at all. He's just playful and happy. He doesn't need the collar but I can't seem to get that through my husbands head.
@cheryl07 (54)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I own a shock collar. It is not inhumane to use it as a training device. If you check to see how it feels on yourself first, you know what your dog is feeling. I used the one I got for maybe a month or so at my old house. Now, we lived right beside a main road where traffic is usually never going below 50. Our dogs would just run across the street all the time, and not listen as I stood there yelling no. Many times cars slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting them. Well, one day I put the collar on the one dog and when he went to run, I yelled no twice. He didn't listen, kept heading towards the road. So, I did shock him. That was it, one time and he learned! And no worries of him getting hit on the road afterwards. Collars are training devices, and if used properly, I don't believe there is any harm. Why would they be made if they are so harmful?
2 people like this
@MrNiceGuy (4147)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I think its humane. There are probably other training methods that aren't as painful, but you'd probably need a trainer. I think the shock collars are ok. I've noticed that a lotof dogs learn from the collar and then don't require it anymore.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Jan 07
I think it depends on the user. I have seen many use the shock collar but it is on a very low setting so the dog only feels a vibration of sorts...not an actual shock. I also knew someone who was training a black lab and it would yelp when he used it. I was SO mad at him! I love dogs and hate the thought of hurting them. Right now we have a boxer, 9 months and wow she is head strong. She chases cars when she can and jumps on people. I tried the frequency control that we bought, but it doesnt' affect her...it bugs the cats though! I don't know if she needs to be older for that to work. I considered the shock collar, but I don't want to "break her spirit" either. I guess, I would only use it in extreme situations, not for training unless you are using the vibration mode. But that is just me.
@XxAngelxX (2832)
• Canada
29 Jan 07
I have a shock collar although I was rather disappointed in the fact that it didn't work. I read on the website that some dogs have fur which is really thick around their neck, therefore you need to shave it so the prongs actually touch them, but I couldn't bear to do this, instead I listen to my six year old mutt bark her fool head off at her shadow. The shock collar works in varying degrees. The first shock (that's a silly word cause it's really a vibration) is very slight. If the dog barks again within a five second or so period the vibration gets stronger. And so on for six different levels. If you read up on the internet about the collar, you may not feel so strongly about it being inhumane. It doesn't actually hurt them, it diverts their attention. If you take anything that vibrates and hold it to your neck you will notice it definitely doesn't hurt, but it will certainly distract you and make you stop doing what you're doing.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Jan 07
I never thought about using one until our dog started barking continuously for no reason taht we could find. He wasn't hurting, lonely etc. Just barked at everything. So, we bought one. Used it for 3 days on and off as the directions said and no barking! Ic an honestly say it really helped. Occasionally when he starts again, we put it on and usually after an hour or so, he stops again for weeks. Kind of a reminder. Used properly they are very good in my opinion.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Jan 07
I am sure this has been said but I'll say it again. You don't need a shock collar you need some behavior classes. Even if you buy a collar if you don't use it in the right manner you can accidently teach your dog a bad reaction. For instance using it to stop them from jumping on people could actually teach the dog to be afraid of people coming in the door because when someone does he gets hurt. There are a million dog trainers, books, and even DVDs on the subject. I would suggest doing your homework and getting some guidance for you and your dog.
2 people like this
• Australia
28 Jan 07
I think that shock coloars are good for older dogs even though i have never used one myself, but i know of some people who have. My old next door neighbours dog wouldnt stop barking then they ended up getting a shock collar. So everytime the dog barked it would send a small amount of shock, now the dog only barks when someone is at the front door. The shock collar only sends a minimal smont and do you think whoever made the shock collar would have set out to harm the animals. I prefer teaching pets without all this fancy stuff myself. But its all up to the owner of the pets and what they think would be best and if you have the time to teach them what they can and cant do.
@shywolf (4520)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Ugh. I wouldn't use one of these on a dog no matter how awfully he behaved. I agree with you that it seems rather inhumane. I think that it sounds like your dog is learning quite nicely with the chain you're using now, and your husband should just wait and see the progress that you will make with the dog in time. ^_^ I really hope taht you won't have to resort to the shock collar.
2 people like this
28 Jan 07
Black Labs can be quite stubborn. I had one and she was just a big kid till she was 3 years old. I would not use a shock collar as to me it is no necessary. I don't like choke collars either, unless it is a humane choke, not metal all the way around it. Tara tends to jump on people. We just put her in a sit position and tell her to stay before we open the door. If she tries to jump as the person enters, we have a goofy noise we make and she knows that means no. It takes time, but your pooch will get the hang of it. There are other training aids on the market. You could always ask your vet what they would recommend. At 10 months he should know the down command.
2 people like this
@quatelmon (955)
• United States
28 Jan 07
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT use a shock collar on your cute little (okay, BIG!) puppy! There are much more humane methods of training your dog. It sounds to me like all your dog needs is an obediance class. It will cost about the same as buying the shock collar! All your dog needs to learn is to redirect his jumping to something exceptable, like sitting. To do this, just make your pup sit for EVERYTHING. Food - sit. Before going outside - sit. Before getting a treat - sit. When you come home - sit. Also, shock collars don't work on all dogs. You need to work with you dog, and by shocking it, you are just teaching him to fear you. Trust me, dogs will work with you, you just have to show them how! Yelling doesn't work, because dogs don't understand english. Just take him to one of the obediance classes where you're in the class teaching him (not where you drop him off and they teach him for you) and I promise, you'll be glad you didn't get a shock collar!
2 people like this
• United States
28 Jan 07
ok, i have a 3yr old black lab who attacked me when i was pregnant with my first daughter because i was out in the back yard playing with him. He's aggressive for some reason if you are out in the yard with him. Anyway, my husband was so upset with him that he bought one of those collars. Luckily we never had to use it on him for being aggressive, BUT we did use on him for digging. he was trying to get under the fence and nothing would work and he was getting cut by the fence. It only took a couple small shocks (i mean very light) to get him to stop and never do it again. He also was running off if he was in the front yard, so he got one SMALL shock and never leaves the yard now. We have one from petsafe and it has a remote that has a dial on it and you can put it on very low. my husband even shocked himself with it to make sure it didnt HURT. its just a weird sensation he said, but its enough to get your attention, but doesnt hurt. It really really really made a difference in my dog. He doesnt dig, leave the yard, jump on people, anything. He's much happier too because he's not getting into trouble all the time and we havent had that collar on him in 2 years now. I would have thought it to be cruel too, but because i watched my hubby shock his own leg and he said it didnt HURT and because we always leave it on the lowest setting, i have a different opinion on it. As long as its not used in an abusive fashion, its a great idea.
2 people like this
@xeminas (127)
• United States
28 Jan 07
There are much better, more humane ways to discipline a dog than a shock collar. A simple spray bottle or a penny can would work just as well, and don't cause pain. You're very right in thinking that they shouldn't be used.
1 person likes this
@mamashane (1140)
• United States
28 Jan 07
A penny? How do you use the penny?
• United States
29 Jan 07
I think Xeminas might be referring to putting a penny or 4 in an empty tin can. Then you shake it at the puppy...lol and the noise startles the puppy. It's kinda cute in a sad way. I used to also take a newspaper that was rolled up and hit it on something nearby like a table or something just to startle the puppy and get his attention.
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I think it depends....my husband is considering getting a bark (shock) collar for one of our dogs and I'm not cool with it at all because even though she has been barking more than usual lately, its somewhat understandable considering where we live (in the country) and all that she sees on a daily basis as of late (the snowmobilers are out now thta we have snow..she barks alot more during hunting season too)...both our dogs have shock collars for the electric fence to keep them on our property and out of the woods etc but I wouldnt get a collar for what you described.....our other dog is a big dork like that too and we have to hold him as well....training takes time...labs are smart dogs and train well but he is still young so of course it wont happen over night ya know....
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Reggie - our big suckie la la muttly LOL
I forgot to ask, how long have you been trying to train him? I would definately be consistant and give it a good few weeks before throwing in the towel so to speak.....Hell we've had our dogs for 3 yrs now and though our female trains VERY well her brother (the dork) is just a meathead...he's still very hyper and puppy like when ppl come over or when we come home from beign out for an hour or two but not as bad as it was....I know that one thing that helps is when someone comes over (especially with kids) we'll hold him, let the person in, let him sniff them (while holding him) then kick his silly butt outside....usually he'll run around with his sister all excited and within 30 mins or so they come in sniff the new person then go lay down..
1 person likes this
@mamashane (1140)
• United States
28 Jan 07
He's only 10 months old & he's grown very fast but I've been training him consistenly and he is getting better. I do the same as you, I hold him when people come in the door. It lets him know that he has to stay put.
@magikrose (5423)
• United States
28 Jan 07
you should ask your husband if he would like to have a choke collar on him and when he does something bad then you will do the shock on him and see how he likes it. the dog is only 10 months old and it will take a lot longer time for him to get the hint not to jump on people. my friend has a minpin dog she is two years old and she just now comned down i had to work on her for a little time like sit, come, down, it will take that poor puppy a little time to learn the commands that you and your husband give him to learn. your husband has to learn to have passients with the dog. he will learn that he can not jump on people when they come in the house. keep the choke collar and work with him on the things that you want to teach him and he will learn i do promise you that. ask your husband if he would put a shock collar on his kids if they would not learn to do something that he wants them to do.
1 person likes this
@mamashane (1140)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I like that idea too....using it on my husband.