Vetsonline, July 25/13
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The Kennel Club (KC) is urging the Government to ban electric shock collars for dogs after two different research studies found "conclusive proof" they could actually cause more behavioural problems than they solve.
The Kennel Club has long been campaigning for a ban on collars, and has successfully achieved one in Wales.According to the KC, a study funded by Defra found dogs treated with an electric shock collar displayed negative behavioural and physiological changes in comparison to a non-electric shock collar control group. It also, said the club, "provided evidence that some owners even failed to consult the accompanying instruction manual before using the device on their dogs".
The second piece of research, which involved the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association (ECMA), also concluded, said the club, that electric shock collars are not more effective than positive reinforcement methods – such as reward-based training – for recall and chasing, which are often cited as the two main reasons for the use of such devices.
Companion Animal Psychology Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Something puzzles me about the arguments made by shock collar advocates. On the one hand they claim the e-collar doesn't hurt, and on the other they say it's a last resort to prevent 'dead dogs' due to recall and chasing problems. Surely the second justification casts doubt on the first? Two new scientific studies funded by the UK's DEFRA address both arguments, and conclude that e-collars are unnecessary and detrimental to animal welfare.
Shock collars (including invisible fences) are already banned in many countries because of welfare concerns. The DEFRA studies aimed to investigate the welfare of dogs trained using e-collars. The results will surely add to calls for shock collars to be banned in England and Scotland (they have been illegal in Wales since 2010), and elsewhere.
The first study (Defra AW1402) included extensive pilot work, an investigation of the electrical resistance of wet and dry dogs (conclusion: wet dogs get zapped more), and a comparison of the features of several purchased shock collars.
Only a handful of instruction manuals stated that vocalizations indicate the shock is too high. They did not explain all features well, particularly the warning tone or vibration which is meant to precede a shock (not all models had a warning tone). Most manuals suggested use of the continuous shock option that is stopped when the dog does the required behaviour, rather than a momentary stimulus (for quadrant enthusiasts, this is using the collar as R- rather than P+). One of the collars, bought over the internet, turned out to be a counterfeit with no cut-off for the continuous shock, and two of the genuine collars had faults.
Full article HERE.start of page
UK television host Alan Titchmarsh interviews controversial dog trainer Cesar Milan, calling his methods barbaric, including that he punches dogs in the throat and uses spike and shock collars.
There is no need to compromise your dog's welfare when it comes to training
BY REBECCA LEDGER, SPECIAL TO THE SUN NOVEMBER 4, 2013
A minority of dog trainers in B.C. practice "negative reinforcement or punishment-based training." These techniques often involve the use of harsh, painful or forceful methods which aim to correct problem behavior displayed by dogs. These techniques are the antithesis of positive-reinforcement based training...start of page
Augusta County Va.(WVIR) – Virginia’s Albemarle County Police Department is investigating one of its own K-9 officers after the dog allegedly attacked a young colt.
"...The dog ripped a gash in the horse’s hindquarters. Hatton says the officer turned the dog’s shock collar to its highest setting but the K-9 still wouldn’t back off. “He, evidently, attacked to kill. It wasn’t just a warning,” Hatton said….” Full Story Here
Sales Manager, Barkmate, 2012
excerpt...Personally, even when Barkmate stocked and sold Shock Collars, we always recommended starting with other methods of correction before resorting to a static correction product. We frequently turned away business that presented situations we were not comfortable in supplying a product for - including for puppies, toy breed dogs, shelter rescue dogs and even more than a few "I just want to shock the little b**** to shut it up" (I wish I was kidding).... Full Report Here.start of page
10 April 2013
The Welsh government has rejected calls to relax the ban on electric shock collars for cats and dogs so pet owners can use so-called invisible fences.
Ministers say they see no reason to change the law after a petition to the Welsh assembly. Petition organiser Monima O'Connor from Cardigan says invisible fences can protect pets from busy roads. The devices automatically shock animals through their collars if they wander too far from home. Electric shock collars have been illegal in Wales since 2010 and anyone using them can be fined £20,000 or jailed for up six months. They deliver a shock through the pet's collar if it crosses a boundary, such as a wire buried at the edge of a garden.start of page
Reported by: Kelsey Thomas
LAS VEGAS (KSNV My News 3) – A Southern Nevada man wants to warn all pet owners about who they trust to watch their beloved pets after he found his dog wearing a shock collar... Full article herestart of page
Dogs Running Loose Kill a Pet
Natatlia Bledsoe Fredericksburg.com Feb 17th/11
Today on Goodloe Drive, two large dogs attacked and killed a small Shih-Tzu/Chihuahua mix named Sammy who was sunning himself in his own front yard. The two aggressors were a Pit Bull and a Pit Bull/Mastiff mix that got loose from their owner's fenced yard on Twin Lake Drive. The attack on 7-pound Sammy was reported by a neighbor who saw the dogs on the property. Sammy's owner was not at home during the violence. Sammy's yard is surrounded by invisible fencing, which kept him in but unfortunately does not keep other animals out.
When Animal Control Officer Tom Worthy was dispatched to respond to the incident, he recognized the description of the larger of the two dogs as one whose owner had previously been cited for allowing it to run loose. After seeing Sammy's remains, Tom found the two dogs back at the home of their owner, Celia Ventura, and she voluntarily surrendered the dogs to Officer Worthy for euthanization. Ms. Ventura was also arrested for two counts of allowing dogs to run at large.
Owners of dogs have a legal responsibility to keep their animals under control, for the welfare of the dog itself and for the safety of the general public. Owners of large dogs need to be particularly aware of their dog's potential for causing harm, even unintentionally. I am an animal lover and the owner of an obedient 50-pound dog who is a threat only to the resident City squirrels. I have a 6-foot security fence around my back yard and when Hank leaves the property, he goes on a leash. It's the law.start of page
February 16, 2012 News > Canada > Manitoba
An electric dog collar, meant to keep a canine in line, has sent a Winnipeg woman's pet under the knife for major surgery.
Here is another dog burned badly by an electric shock collar. The owner's claim the manufacturer wasn't surprised about the damage because the collar was left on the dog "too long".start of page
excerpt…Canine Country, Tualatin, Oregon’s owner, Shawn Riley, injured my dog a few years back. Looking for a place to board your dog this holiday season? Full website herestart of page
Posted: 26 February2013. Updated April 2013.
Elephants used for rides are trained with beatings, bullhooks and electric shocks - ADI has exposed the suppliers in Texas and California, and horrific footage has emerged from Asia. Many people think it's harmless fun. It's not. See the evidence and find out how you can help.
Watch the 'No Fun For Elephants' videostart of page
1/15/2013 9:59:00 PM
Yavapai Humane Society
On July 7, 2012, a prominent international group of neuroscientists, biologists and physicists (including the eminent Stephen Hawking) gathered at the Francis Crick Memorial Conference on Consciousness in Human and non-Human Animals and signed the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness; which states:
"We declare the following: the absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviours. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess substrates."start of page
Written by: Irwin Greenstein Published In: Wingshooting
Dog trainer extraordinaire Robert Milner wants to ask sportsmen a personal question: Would you discipline your own children with a shock collar?
The case he makes against canine shock collars is audacious and contrarian in the worlds of American bird hunting and field trials – attracting a contingent of detractors during his five decades as a trainer of dogs for hunting, rescue and explosive detection.
He is supremely confident in his judgment, however, because reams of scientific data conclude that dogs, their owners and trainers benefit more from positive-reinforcement training as adopted by Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Marine Mammal Program developed by the Navy to train dolphins versus widespread compulsion training that implements shock and choke collars to exact pain on a uncooperative dog.
"The sporting culture in this country has a poor concept of a dog's nature and behavior," he explained from the sparse office of his Duckhill Kennels in Somerville, Tennessee. "We owe it to them to learn the most effective and gentle ways to train them. We have a responsibility as their mentors to educate ourselves on how they learn and how to best train them. Quite frankly, culturally, we have an absolutely horrible training model."start of page
Please Don't Let This Happen to Your Dog!
By KP from helpinganimals.com
For two days, John and his wife, who live in Maryland, were in the emergency room with their infant daughter while a dogsitter watched their dogs, gentle Koukla and playful Spunky. The dogsitter, not being very well acquainted with the dogs, didn't notice how drastically Koukla's behavior was changing, so it continued all weekend: The dog stopped eating and refused to go outside. If she was made to go outside, she would do her business and then scratch to come right back in. Instead of playing with her pal Spunky, she would just lie down, completely withdrawn.
It was several days before anyone realized that her "invisible collar" was burning a ¼-inch hole into her neck (see picture, right). The accompanying photo shows exactly how much damage was done by this hideous torture device. She was wearing a "Texas" collar. As "invisible collars" go, this one has got to be the most horrendous. According to John, the prongs are extra long and they poke into the dog's sensitive flesh just behind the ears.start of page
Penny Eims - examiner.com, May 1, 2014.
Excerpt... was wearing a choke collar and she was strangled when the collar cinched tightly around her neck after she became tangled with another dog. Full article herestart of page
The Kennel Club: 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London. W1J 8AB
Electric shock collars cause pain and anxiety:
Studies into the use of electric shock collars have shown that this is a stressful and painful method of controlling a dog's behaviour.1 Electric shock collars produce physiological effects - a dog's body will respond to a shock in the same way that it would to a real injury (increased heart rate and cortisol levels), even if no physical harm has been incurred.2 This leads to visible signs of stress and behavioural responses associated with fear, such as yelping, cowering, defecating and urinating.3 A study conducted by Tsevtkov et al. also suggests that conditioning a dog in this way causes chemical changes that contribute towards intense anxiety disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder.4
Mr John D Tucker reported the following to the Kennel Club:
"I was walking with my Labrador, Snowball, when he was attacked without any provocation or warning by a Doberman, Eli, who was wearing an electric shock collar. During the attack, the owner triggered the collar which simply further enraged the dog. When the owner finally got Eli under control, she took him about 15 yards away, made him sit, and proceeded to give him a prolonged shocking which caused him to howl, whine, yelp and writhe in pain, the whole time telling the dog "It's your own fault Eli, you shouldn't attack other dogs!"
Electric shock collars are an ineffective training method:
K. Overall states that: "The use of shock is not treatment for pets with behavioural concerns" as it fails to address the causes of unwanted behaviour.5 Research indicates that the stress response to electric shock collars actually impedes a dog's ability to learn.6 Studies suggest that unwanted behaviour returns when the collar is removed, as a dog is only conditioned to respond when the shock stimulus is present.7 Anti-bark shock collars are also ineffective because barking is part of a dog's natural behaviour; a dog cannot control the shock because they can never learn to associate their bark with an electric pulse.8 Any changes in behaviour are a result of "learned helplessness" or "immobility" and therefore this method does not alter any of the underlying behavioural issues a dog might have 9.start of page
Before you start reading the following lines, I invite you to do a little test. Open your hands with your thumbs touching each other. Place the thumbs at the base of the throat and with the fingers pointing back and surrounding the neck. Now, take a deep breath, squeeze and pull back with all your force keeping your thumbs connected.
This is how many dogs feel when they are on the leash and they are pulling.
If you are still keen to continue with this experiment, put a choke chain around your neck and attach it to a leash. Ask a friend to grab the end of the leash and pull and jerk on it periodically. Welcome to the dog world! No, I will not make you go on with this experiment and ask you to test a prong collar or electric shock collar. I just want you to become more aware of what is happening dogs and that collars have caused more injuries then you can imagine.start of page
THE ARGUS - Thursday 25 October 2001
Excerpt... The old lady was sitting on the floor crying and her little dog was lying there, wounded but its tail was still wagging. "It was taken to the vet's but they had to put it down. "I was in a right state because they had never harmed anyone or anything before. They grew up around cats and other animals. "I asked for the help of experts and even the Army and it was then I realised it was because of the electric shock collars. "They connected the pain of the electric shock with little dogs because of the first time I used the collar. The day that machine came in this house I regret." ...Full Story Herestart of page
Feb. 1/ 2016 WIVB.com 4
...He went right through the invisible fence surrounding their property.“When he went through the fence, he panicked and just ran,” said Coulter.... full article herestart of page
Wicked Local Cohasset July 18, 2013
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Police were dispatched to the area of Black Rock Road and Jerusalem Road around 5:20 p.m. on Monday (July 1) on a report that a dog had attacked another dog. Police said a 54-year-old Cohasset woman was walking her 10-year-old poodle when a large hound dog ran through an electric fence at its home, attacked her dog and then jumped on her back. The poodle had minor cuts and scratches.
The dog's owner, a 52-year-old Cohasset woman, said her dog was excited by the shock from the electric fence. Both dogs were up-to-date on their shots. The Animal Control Officer filed a report on the incident, police said.
Pet Connection Feb /March Issuestart of page
This is a very disturbing & sad report sent to us by a new supporter . She wants her story posted so no one else will ever have to experience a tragedy like this.
I hope this gets information out there that prevents the same tragedy for someone else with multiple dogs and gets these things banned. I have had complaints about barking from a previous neighbor and because I rent and foster dogs, I didn't want to possibly lose my place to live or my dogs. I had tried several ways of deterring the barking but nothing seemed to work for long. The shock collar was the last resort to solving the problem and seemed to be working. I only put it on the one dog when I have to leave and take it off as soon as I get home. I haven't seen any issues with the collar or her behavior so figured the problem was solved, as best as it could be.
Last week I was just finishing up at work when my neighbor called and said that she had heard a dog fight in my house and that I needed to get home as soon as possible. I was about 20 minutes away, so hurried home as fast as I could. When I pulled up, two of my neighbors said they heard a fight and screaming and the one neighbor said she went in the house and broke it up and covered up the one dog. Thank goodness I don't lock my doors.
When I walked in three of the little dogs were outside and my dog wearing the collar was inside along with the injured dog and a foster I was caring for. Blood covered the whole floor and the bottom cupboard cabinets. There was a carpet askew and covered in blood and my injured dog was laying in a pool of blood on the doggie bed and whimpering. I tried to look at her injuries but she screamed, so I just covered her with another blanket and got her to the vet as soon as I could.
Without going into the grisly details, the vet said it was the worst injuries he'd ever seen. He did surgery and thought she was going to survive, but she succumbed to her injuries by the second night and passed away.
In assessing her injuries, I could tell it was the dog wearing the collar because she is the biggest one I have and she was covered in blood when I walked in. This is a dog that was best buddies with the dog she killed. After cleaning up the mess and assessing her slight injuries, I figure that the dog that was killed, my alpha Italian Greyhound, gave a warning to another dog and the bigger female that was wearing the collar, she is the peace keeper, probably tried to intervene and got shocked when she growled. This probably triggered her becoming aggressive toward her buddy and with the growling and barking only increased the shock and escalated the fight to having fatal consequences.
I work with dogs and am not a fan of pinch collars or ecollar training, but was desperate to get the barking issue under control. I have since started crating the dogs while I am gone. Had I known the risks to my babies, I never would have used the shock collar. Even when talking to the pet store employees about my options, the risk of a shock collar never came up. I went down there yesterday and talked to them and they never were told that during the recent training they had from the manufacturer.
Now I have lost my precious Ruka and Joy doesn't understand what she did. The pack is hurting and my ability to foster dogs is under question. This was such a senseless tragedy. I hope somehow my story helps. Let me know if I can help in any other way.
Ms. S, California, USAstart of page
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Mission Statement: We, the faculty and staff of the College of Veterinary Medicine, are a community of scholars committed to:Caring about animals and people; curing and preventing animal disease; creating new knowledge, new therapies, and new learning opportunities; and communicating with students, veterinarians, scientists, and the public.
Risks of Shock Collars and Fences
There are many options available for new pet owners when it comes to training the new member of the family. The most controversial method of training is the use of shock collars or shock fences. Many stories and photos have surfaced in the media recently showing animals who have been harmed by these devices.
The main reason some pet owners have chosen to use shock collars is to stop their dog from barking. There are two types of shock collars commercially available. One type is remotely controlled by the owner and the other is activated by a bark. Shock fences are a little more technical and are used to keep the dog inside a designated boundary. The pet owner buries wires in the yard that mark the boundary the pet can encompass. If the pet crosses this boundary, the collar located on its neck will deliver a shock.
According to Dr. Bonnie Beaver, veterinarian at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, "In theory, they provide an instant punishment for a bark (the bark activated shock collars) or for a wrong move (remote controlled ones) when training a dog." However, the potential for over use and abuse of these devices far outweighs the benefit.
There are many instances where shock collars and fences do not work. Beaver offers this example in reference to shock fences, "Strong instincts to chase (a running deer, a jogger, a stray dog) may cause a trained dog to chase through the boundary. Some dogs do not respect the shock and will run through the 'boundary' suffering the shock as they do." This has been found in many cases, rendering the shock to be unsuccessful.
Many people have found shock collars and fences to be not only ineffective but also inhumane. "These devices [shock collars and fences] can provide an excessive punishment to the point that the dog is terrorized," said Beaver. "They can be ineffective because the amount of shock is too little (poor contact, too much hair, weak battery). They can be used out of context (remote control) because the owner is mad at the dog and 'zaps' at an inappropriate time out of anger. It can also do significant psychological damage to a dog that does not connect the shock with the reason for the shock. The shock is generally considered to be inhumane."
There are many more humane methods for training that have been found to be more effective. Beaver suggests, "collars for barking dogs that squirt a citrus smell and make a hissing sound that have actually been proven to be more effective than the shock collars. And of course there are real fences for yards that are safer and more effective than the shock fences."start of page
It is that time of year for the Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska. So why is banshockcollars.ca talking about the Iditarod? The use of shock collars are just one of the abuses sled dogs are forced to suffer during training for this race. Dogs are kicked, beaten, whipped, shocked, forced to run sick and injured and in some cases dragged to their deaths. The people that support and participate in the brutalizing of these dogs meet the definition of 'evil'. Evil has no boundaries so it is likely that sled dogs will not be the only casualties. The Sled Dog Coalition is fighting hard to stop this cruelty. HOW YOU CAN HELP.
Electric collars used on dogs:
"Due to my heavy involvement in this "sport," I've been able to witness atrocities that many will never hear of or see - nor would they want to. These include: Dogs shocked with electric collars to prevent them from fighting while running in harness."
Ashley Keith, former musher and Iditarod kennel employee who now rescues and rehabilitates abused sled dogs. Email to the Sled Dog Action Coalition, April 30, 2008
Electric shock to terrorize dogs is very detrimental:
"The use of electrical shock to terrorize a dog is very detrimental on many levels. It will force a dog to exceed his reasonable physical limitations and predispose him to painful injuries. And psychologically it creates fear and apprehension which degrades his quality of life. The shock stimulus itself, if inaccurately calibrated, can cause localized burns or sudden cardiac arrest."
Dr. Paula Kislak, President of the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, September 7, 2004. Email to the Sled Dog Action Coalitionstart of page
WORLD UNION OF GERMAN SHEPHERD CLUBS (WUSV) BACKS KENNEL CLUB CAMPAIGN FOR A COMPLETE BAN ON ELECTRIC SHOCK COLLARS!
The Kennel Club is delighted that the two member clubs of the WUSV in the UK, the British Association for German Shepherd Dogs (BAGSD) and the German Shepherd Dog League of Great Britain (GSDL), are supporting its campaign to completely ban electric shock collars.
The endorsement of the largest German Shepherd clubs in the country will add tremendous clout to the Kennel Club's argument that it is not necessary to use an electric shock collar to train any breed of dog – even those bred as working dogs or police, military or security dogs...
Full report here. This page was printed from The Kennel Club.
Please visit http://www.thekennelclub.org.ukstart of page
Submitted by KATU.com Staff
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011, 11:37am
A Portland dog-boarder is under fire for using a shock collar on this dog without its owner's consent. The dog's owner says the dog was wearing the collar when she came home from "Safe Journey Dog Boarding" in Southeast Portland after Christmas.
The dog's owner says he noticed something was wrong when he asked Bubba "What time is it?" - a question that normally makes her howl. Instead, he says she yelped, put her tail between her legs and fell down to the floor.
And there, underneath her fur, was the collar. This finding was even more unexpected given that the dog boardinghouse, which is in a Victorian home, advertises itself as crate-free -- where dogs have the freedom to roam around just like they would at home.
"I expect they would contact the people on the contact list and say, 'Oh, your dog seems really anxious, really out of control, really x-y-z," said Kyle Gilmore, Bubba's owner. "'Is there something you do to calm her down? Or is it OK if we do this?'"
It turns out that a man named Craig Capley bought "Safe Journey Dog Boarding" this past April and says their "home style" approach usually works well. However, Capley tells us that because Bubba is a dominant, alpha female a more tightly controlled method was the only way to calm her down and avoid fights.
Gilmore had boarded Bubba at the Safe Journey Dog Boarding house in Southeast Portland for years prior to Capley's purchase of the shop. However, under Capley's ownership this past Christmas, Gilmore boarded Bubba once more. And when Bubba came home she was wearing that surprise: a "shock collar" around her neck.
Gilmore says he can't believe employees would ever do this, especially without his consent. However, Capley says the collars are only used in emergency situations. He also says the collars are not abusive -- saying the shock is more like static electricity than an actual "shock."start of page
Karen L. Overall is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behavior (ACVB) and is certified by the Animal Behavior Society (ABS) as an Applied Animal Behaviorist.
An open letter from Dr Karen Overall Regarding the use of shock collars.
Tue Dec 6, 2005
No, I have not changed my opinion and it is that there is never any reason for pets to be shocked as a part of therapy or treatment. If anything, I have strengthened this opinion. There are now terrific scientific and research data that show the harm that shock collars can do behaviorally. At the July 2005 International Veterinary Behavior Meeting, held in conjunction with the AVSAB and ACVB research meetings, data were presented by E. Schalke, J. Stichnoth, and R. Jones-Baade that documented these damaging effects (Stress symptoms caused by the use of electric training collars on dogs (Canis familiaris) in everyday life situations. Current Issues and Research in Veterinary Behavioral Medicine, Papers presented at the 5th Int'l IVBM. Purdue University Press, 2005:139-145. [ISBN 987-1-55752-409-5; 1-558753-409- 8]).
This follows on the excellent work done by Dutch researchers, in cooperation with their working dog groups and trainers, that showed that working / patrol dogs were adversely affected by their 'training' with shock, long after the shock occurred (Schilder MBH, van der Borg JAM. Training dogs with the help of the shock collar: short and long term behavioural effects. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2003;85:319-334).
Research meetings can be attended by anyone paying the fee, and most published work is available either in the public domain, from an organization, or from someone with a university library connection.
There is no longer a reason for people to remain misinformed. Let me make my opinion perfectly clear: Shock is not training - in the vast majority of cases it meets the criteria for abuse. In my patient population, dogs who have been 'treated' with shock have a much higher risk of an undesirable outcome (e.g., euthanasia) than dogs not subjected to shock, and I never recommend euthanasia. In all situations where shock has been used there is some damage done, even if we cannot easily see it. No pet owner needs to use this technique to achieve their goal. Dogs who cease to exhibit a problem behavior usually also cease to exhibit normal behaviors. The only data available support the idea that shock is neither an effective nor suitable training tool.
That said, it's time we replaced everyone's personal mythologies and opinions with data and scientific thinking. Such opportunities are now available, but are often not exploited.
For example, the statement: " Major veterinary universities have tested E- collars since the mid 60's when they were invented. No evidence of any damage, Physiological or psychological has ever been found." is patently and wholly false. For the evidence re: data - see above. As for the initial statement - it's WRONG. It's a MYTH. The specialty college (ACVB) even conducted a census a few years ago to see if we could find ANY truth to this and there was NONE. We couldn't get anyone to say that they had - or knew someone who had - participated in such tests and studies. This pattern of behavioral repetition is representative of the danger of myth, and also of the power of the scientific method. Science tells you when you are wrong. Myth allows you to steal credibility where none is earned. That particular myth has damaged universities too long, and it has traded on the reputations of people who neither endorsed that decision, nor supported the finding, and it must stop.
I hope this helps. I have never thought we could get via electricity what we couldn't get by advanced training and hard work.
Karen L. Overall, MA,VMD, PhD
ABS Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
Center for Neurobiology and Behavior
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Shock Collars - the Shocking Truth
From an APBC press release
The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors condemns the widespread use of devices which deliver electric shocks to dogs for the purpose of training or curing behaviour problems. Their potential for accidental misuse is high and they could easily cause considerable and unnecessary pain and distress to the animal.
A dog experiencing an unpleasant shock to the neck 'out of the blue' will associate the sensation with whatever the dog happens to be focusing on at the time. Used incorrectly, this could be an area, object, another dog, the owner or even a child. Unwanted side effects could easily occur when the dog being shocked becomes afraid of being in that area, or it could become afraid of, and as a result, potentially aggressive towards owners, children, other dogs or strangers.
In inexperienced hands, it may take many repetitions of administrations of the shock before the punishment is finally associated with the unwanted behaviour, and several more before the dog learns how to avoid the shock by performing the 'correct' action. Not only is this inhumane, but can set up a series of fears which can cause associated behaviour problems in future.
In addition, it is possible that the device may be triggered by external influences, or malfunction, which may result in delivery of repeated shocks, particularly in those devices which are designed to be triggered by barking and are put onto dogs left alone for long periods.
Sophisticated methods of punishing dogs are not necessary in order to train them to behave appropriately. Such methods are often used as a quick fix by the inexperienced. Humane methods which rely on a sound understanding of the dog's mind are more effective for training or bringing about a lasting cure for behaviour problems. Results may take slightly longer to achieve, but the process benefits from being less stressful for the dog, free from the risk of side effects, and improves rather than spoils the relationship between dog and owner. In the long run, they will result in a happy, confident dog and satisfied owner.
Only in a handful of cases, where all else has been tried and failed, and when the condition is potentially life-threatening, can the use of such devices ever be justified, and, only then, in the hands of an experienced behavioural specialist who is capable of accurate timing.
Owners of problem pets need to be made aware that the unwanted behaviour can be altered with understanding and advice and that a 'quick fix' approach which involves inhumane methods of punishment can do more harm than good.
© APBC 2004start of page
How to Choose A Dog Trainer – Steve Dale
Orlando, FL. Never, under any circumstances, choose a dog trainer who uses an electronic collar (shock collar). "You wouldn't send your kid off to a school where they use shock," says veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall. "So, why would you send your dog there?"
After falling out of favor, the electronic collars are making a comeback. "We're so concerned about keeping sharp knives or anything that may be poisonous away from our pets because we love them so much; yet, it's acceptable to give our best friends a jolt," says Dr. Kersti Seksel, who is a board certified veterinary behaviorist in both Australia and in the United States. "It's appalling!" … full story herestart of page
By FIONA MACRAE 6th March 2010
A dog trainer to Hollywood stars begins a UK tour tonight amid warnings from animal welfare groups that his techniques can cause unnecessary pain and suffering.
Cesar Millan, also known as the Dog Whisperer, is credited with turning tens of thousands of disobedient and aggressive animals into perfect pets.
He has a string of bestselling books and a successful TV show to his name and satisfied clients include Oprah Winfrey, Nicolas Cage and Scarlett Johansson.
His philosophy is that the owner, not the pampered pooch, is 'leader of the pack'. But the RSPCA claims he has advocated using electric shock collars and restricting dogs' air supply with nooses and leads, as well as pinning them down to the floor. Mr Millan, who denies the electric shock claims, teaches that dogs should be treated as dogs, not substitute children. He believes that if the owner shows he is a strong, calm leader, the dog will become passive, loyal and obedient. Read full article herestart of page
In this news report Cesar shocks and chokes dogs and then states, "My way is not the only way - it's just a way."
Cesar Milan sued by TV Producer claiming his dog sustained serious injuries and distress during training at Milan's Dog Psychology facility. The story published by USA TODAY HERE.start of page
Denver (September 6, 2006)
The training tactics featured on Cesar Millan's "Dog Whisperer" program are inhumane, outdated and improper, according to a letter sent yesterday to the National Geographic Channel by American Humane, the oldest national organization protecting children and animals.
In the letter, American Humane, which works to raise public awareness about responsible pet ownership and reduce the euthanasia of unwanted pets, expressed dismay over the "numerous inhumane training techniques" advocated by Cesar Millan on "Dog Whisperer."
Several instances of cruel and dangerous treatment -- promoted by Millan as acceptable training methods -- were documented by American Humane, including one in which a dog was partially asphyxiated in an episode. In this instance, the fractious dog was pinned to the ground by its neck after first being "hung" by a collar incrementally tightened by Millan. Millan's goal -- of subduing a fractious animal -- was accomplished by partially cutting off the blood supply to its brain.
The letter requests that National Geographic stop airing the program immediately and issue a statement explaining that the tactics featured on the program are inhumane, and it encourages National Geographic to begin developing programming that sets a positive example by featuring proper, humane animal training. In its letter, American Humane said: "We believe that achieving the goal of improving the way people interact with their pets would be far more successful and beneficial for the National Geographic Channel if it ceased sending the contradictory message that violent treatment of animals is acceptable."
"As a forerunner in the movement towards humane dog training, we find the excessively rough handling of animals on the show and inhumane training methods to be potentially harmful for the animals and the people on the show," said the letter's author, Bill Torgerson, DVM, MBA, who is vice president of Animal Protection Services for American Humane. "It also does a disservice to all the show's viewers by espousing an inaccurate message about what constitutes effective training and appropriate treatment of animals."
Torgerson noted that the safety of a woman and her German shepherd were jeopardized in one episode by the use of an electric shock collar, which forced the tormented dog to redirect its aggression at its owner, biting her arm. "Furthermore, the television audience was never told that Mr. Millan was attempting to modify the dog's behavior by causing pain with the shock collar," he said.
For more information about humane training techniques, please click here.
Founded in 1877, the American Humane Association is the only national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals.
Visit www.americanhumane.org to learn more.start of page
How do we protect our pets and ourselves from those willing to harm us for profit? In a world always looking for the quick fix, we have to be diligent. It takes fortitude and a strong ethical foundation to resist the temptation quick fixes offer. Otherwise, we are deceived into believing in false miracles. Electric shock collars are a perfect example.
Shock collars have two protruding electrodes that penetrate an animal's fur under the neck where it's sensitive. The trainer delivers a shock of varying intensities and duration via remote control. For decades, it was mostly hunting dogs that have had to endure electric shocks but now shock collars and electronic containment systems are available in most pet stores for anyone to purchase.
Why would trainers use electric shock to train? Simply put it produces immediate behaviour changes, without ever addressing the reason for the behaviour, enabling a higher turnover and more income. Many pet owners buy into the authority figure of the trainer and don't ask 'at what cost to the dog?' Studies show that dogs who suffer shocks often develop deep-seated behavioural problems and are more prone to attacking people and other animals. Shocked dogs often take on submissive behaviours in an attempt to stop being hurt, withdraw, or shut down altogether. This new subdued behaviour is construed as well behaved enabling the trainer to claim success. The damage can be severe, both physical and psychological. Many positive based trainers have a list of 'ruined' dogs they've tried to rehabilitate, their spirit battered by a trainer using shock collars.
Trading on our desire for quick results, profit motivated trainers will use a number of ruses to hide the fact they are using shock collars or use semantics to mask the truth. Insisting they need to work with the dog alone for a few days is a sure sign you wouldn't approve the methods used. Claiming they use training collars that 'tap', 'tingle' or 'just get the dogs attention' are electric shocks rebranded. The most popular trick is to have you try it on yourself, at a low setting on the arm knowing what's about to happen. This in no way replicates the pain, fear and anxiety the dog experiences. Sadly, many pet owners fall for the trainer's propaganda that this is a safe and humane way to teach their dog.
There is no need to use pain to train as there are countless professional trainers who have the skills to successfully train your dog in a humane and respectful manner.
Renowned animal organizations including; SPCA's, Humane Societies, Veterinary Associations, The Kennel Club, The Association Of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, WSPA Canada and many others are opposed to the use of shock collars.
Please sign the petitions to ban the sale and use of shock devices on all animals.
Ban Shock Collars Advocate
Pat Miller - Dog Trainer
Rufus is a typical adolescent Labrador Retriever: Large, full of energy, and eager to explore beyond the boundaries of his Richmond , Utah , yard when released from the confinement of his pen. The Ashbys, his owners, are a typical Lab family: Dad, mom, and several kids, all of whom possess a strong desire to be responsible pet owners.
As often happens, Rufus' energy was a bit too much for the younger children. Despite several attempts to train him not to jump up, he was still knocking the little Ashbys flat. And despite the family's best intentions, Rufus was not cooperating with their efforts to keep him within the limits of his own unfenced yard.
Imagine the Ashbys' delight one day when, shopping at their local "big box" pet supply store, they came across a product that promised to solve both problems with the push of a button. The product combines an underground electronic containment system with an additional remote control unit for use with supervised training. In other words, a shock collar. The family bought the unit, took it home, and started training Rufus.
They used the product for a few days and were quite pleased. Their dog was quickly learning not to jump on the kids, and life with Rufus was already becoming easier. The Ashbys made plans to lay the underground wire for the containment system over the upcoming weekend. Meanwhile, Rufus was confined to his pen, wearing his collar, while the family was gone all day.
Upon arriving home one rainy day afternoon that week, Darren Ashby, an electronic engineer, sent his oldest son out to the pen to take Rufus for a walk. The boy came back in and said Rufus wouldn't let anyone get near him. Dad went out to help, and was horrified by what he found. Read full article herestart of page
Posted: 18 March 2009
A bill has been passed in the state of Connecticut to outlaw the use of elephant hooks and electric shock devices on elephants in circuses and traveling shows.
The move comes as the trial of Ringling Brothers Circus over allegations of elephant abuse nears its conclusion, and a media storm surrounds the resurgence of using performing elephants in circuses in the UK .
Under the new legislation, anyone who works with circus elephants would also be guilty of a criminal offence if found to possess an electric shock device or elephant hook.
Animal Defenders International found a catalogue of elephant abuse in the U.S during investigations for the international "Stop Circus Suffering" campaign.
Among the physical abuse was the universal use of elephant hooks to control and punish elephants, electric shocks given during training sessions and as elephants walked to the big top, bare chains used on elephants' legs, and elephants being beaten and kicked.
Bill HB 6555 ("An act concerning the humane treatment of elephants"), was debated and passed by the Joint Environment Committee of Connecticut's General Assembly. It was introduced by Representative Diana Urban (Dem) with the purpose of prohibiting the inhumane treatment of elephants.
The bill has now been referred to the Judiciary Committee, and will take effect in October.
For further information, contact ADI Public Relations Officer, Ally MacDonald Office Tel: 020 7630 3344. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click to read the Executive Summary of Animals in Traveling Circuses: The Science on Suffering U.Sstart of page
BBC NEWS WALES - April 18, 2011
Excerpt ... Magistrates were also told that the dog, which kept escaping, was known at a local kennels as "the dog with the shock collar". The court was told the collar emitted its electric shock when the dog wearing it went near to a specific fence.start of page
The following are excerpts, quotes and statements taken from advertisements by various manufacturers, retailers and animal trainers promoting and selling shock collars on the internet.
- Your pet will quickly learn to SHUT UP at the mild correction without having to suffer the more intense stimulus.
- Training dogs takes many hours, unwavering patience, and knowledge of what you are doing. xxxxx collars are more effective in less time and require less work...
- ...Voice Recognition feature minimizes false triggering.
- ...We only sell top of the line dog collars.
- ...Mild shock does littl...
- ...Intense shock works but, the trauma caused by an electronic jolt initially confuses the animal making the pet suffer intensely throughout the process.
- The shock level has never any negative influence on your pet.
- ...works faster, more effectively and more humanely than conventional barking collars.
- If your product fails to operate or perform satisfaction for any reason, return it within one year of the date of purchase for free repair.
- One down side to tone as a warning is the high number of products in the world today that beep and buzz.
- ...when you work with multiple dogs, you give dog one a warning and dog two thinks he has done something wrong and is about to get a correction.
- We sell good collars from manufacturers who stand behind their products.
- We like to think of the xxxxx as a kind of Chinese water torture for barking dogs. At first your pet will scarcely notice it. But after about 48 hours it will do anything to turn it off!
- ...you may mistake your pet for a rather large mouse. He'll be that quiet.
- ...bark control without shock or pain.
- We just want it to be uncomfortable for your dog, like when you bump your elbow on the table.
- Myth is that remote training collars can burn a dog's neck not true.....hot spots can develop and create a sore that can be mistaken for a burn.
- Make sure you buy a collar that is waterproof.
- The more forceful, non –electric collar is a pinch collar.... it's important to be trained in the proper usage.... As it can damage the animal's neck.
- ...Improved technology has made them much easier to use
- Far from being inhumane, they can actually shorten the time you spend cleaning up and chasing after your dog.
- Rough play can sometimes set these devices off.
- Shock collars are suitable for any dog over 6 months of age...
- Dogs desire to chase will often override a shock.
- Check daily for signs of rashes and sores
- Don't forget to turn off the collar so you don't accidentally shock.
- Different collars available make for choosing the wrong one likely.
As inflicting pain on animals becomes increasingly difficult to justify, proponents of shock devices steadfastly stand by the ‘last resort’ defense, claiming that shock devices are necessary when an animal cannot be trained in any other way. Questions that beg to be answered include whom makes this call, what standards should be strived for, and at what point are all other methods considered exhausted?start of page
Boxer Mix Escapes Electronic Fence.
KARE11.com Minneapolis | St. Paul.
Excerpt…. Liz didn't worry about keeping that close an eye on the dogs, as they had installed an electric fence that Avery had never dared challenge. Around supper time she walked out back. Their lab was waiting for her: Avery was gone… Full story herestart of page
Border Collie Escapes Electronic Fence.
Tweentribute.com Aug. 13/13.
Excerpt…. A dog in Davenport, Iowa, had a rough weekend. The 7-year-old border collie, Laddy, vanished from his home sometime early Friday. Though his yard contains an Invisible Fence, which is an electronic boundary, the battery in his collar wasn't working.
Laddy evidently saw his chance to escape. Full story here