Why Shock is so Dangerous
Beyond the Dog focuses on training that builds positive relationships. In general, we avoid the use of harsh aversive stimuli. In fact, using aversive stimuli such as shock collars, prong collars, or choke chains can be detrimental to the animal’s overall wellbeing, and more effective (and humane) training methods lead to prolonged behavior change.
Although punishment procedures are effective at decreasing behavior, they don’t encourage desirable behavior. Instead, they teach dogs to avoid the punisher. Positive reinforcement can be used to increase the likelihood of a desirable behavior happening in the future. It teaches the dog what to do rather than what to avoid. When shock is used as a punisher it is particularly dangerous because, if used incorrectly, can be tied to a new person, dog, or environment. In such cases, the individual being shocked may make an association between the shock and new people or other experiences. This may create problems or even potentially dangerous situations as the dog may try to avoid any stimulus paired with shock.
Sadly, the vibration setting on a shock collar often produces similar experiences for dogs. Vibrations and shocks aren’t that different – in fact, they are functionally equivalent. That means that neither method teaches your dog how to behave appropriately and they both can create negative associations in the contexts in which the shock is used.
Rather, if you’re interested in using positive reinforcement to train your dog in a fun, rewarding manner Beyond the Dog can help!
Invisible Fence Training
We understand that for some clients, shock is unavoidable in order to keep your dog safely contained in your yard. If you are interested in an electronic fence system to keep your dog in your yard, Beyond the Dog has methods to do so in a reinforcing way!
With a trainer’s help, you can avoid having an inquisitive puppy venturing out to meet a new person and getting shocked. Good candidates for electric fences include dogs that are friendly and well socialized. Dogs should also be around 8 months or older. Introducing a shock to a puppy can create life-time negative associations and loads of problem behaviors, mainly fear or aggression, correlated with such experiences related to shock.
In addition to puppies, any dog that engages in aggressive behavior should not be introduced to any shock, including an electric fence. Treatment for the specific behavior should be addressed rather than trying to prevent the dog from escaping the yard.
Contact Us Today!
If your dog is a good candidate for in-ground training and you are interested in having your dog trained on one, let us know! Our specific protocols are designed to teach your dog behaviors we want to see, rather than just shocking the dog when it crosses a barrier. By embedding socialization and positive reinforcement into training, learning how to maneuver an electric fence does not have to be an aversive experience for your pet.