Will Shock Collar (Electronic Collar) Hurt My Dog Or Affect Their Personality?


People ask us all of the time, “Will shock collar training hurt my dog?” Or, “Will shock collar training ruin my dog’s personality and turn him into a robot?”  

All of these statements and questions could not be further from the truth.

Anytime I hear the term, “Shock Collar, ” it literally sends chills down my spine.  The term comes from the very old collars which essentially had 3 settings, “High,” Very High,” and “Insanely High.”  Those type of collars are outdated, inhumane, and no longer produced.  However, modern electronic collars do not “shock” at all, they provide a very subtle stimulation that many people equate to “stim” pads that physical therapists use.  Additionally, modern collars have a very wide pattern of stimulation that is safe, humane, and effective for dogs as small as 5lbs.   If you visit on YouTube Channel, you will see everything from Yorkies to Great Danes that we have trained using our electronic collar training system.

When electronic collar training is properly done, it is used to achieve amazing obedience, build confidence, and create more happiness with the owner and more importantly, the dog.  For example, check out this video of this 5-month old very shy/skittish Doberman “Doris” that we just recently trained using e-collar training. Ask yourself, which dog looks more happy, confident, and have more personality, the Doris before or after?

My business, Off-Leash K9 Training, we are the official trainers for ABC’s the Pet Show, on Board of Directors for Prince William County Humane Society, Official Trainers for Southeast German Shepherd Rescue, Official Trainers for Fort Hunt Animal Hospital and many many more.

Why? Simply because all of these organizations have seen first-hand the work we have done changing problematic, aggressive, and low confidence dogs into highly confident, obedient, and problem-free dogs.

Think about it, the top special forces military and law enforcement agencies in the world use electronic collar training, and that’s why they have the most obedient and confident dogs in the world.

Many people ask, “Will My Dog Hate the Electronic Collar?” 

No! Almost everyone is VERY surprised that they receive quite the OPPOSITE reaction from their dog. Because the dog knows the e-collar means that they are going outside (to run, play ball, be free, etc) AND they know they are going to do training! A bored dog is a destructive dog; a trained/exercised dog is a HAPPY dog. They look forward to their training sessions because it stimulates them and gives them something to do. Imagine being at work on a slow day, the day drags and you feel sluggish. When you are busy, it goes by fast and you are energized! Now imagine a dog with no friends, no Facebook, no television, and no internet. Their only REAL stimulation is the training you give them and their time outside to run, play, and bond with you!  As you will see in all of our videos, when we release the dogs the jump up excitedly and come over for their praise.

What does the ASPCA say about electronic training collars?

Randall Lockwood PhD, Senior Vice President, Anti-cruelty Initiatives and Legislative Services, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was quoted in a 2007 White Paper titled “The Facts About Modern Electronic Training Devices,” produced by Radio Systems, a manufacturer of electronic collars, “We recognize that older products were often unreliable and difficult to use humanely. But we feel that new technology employed by responsible manufacturers has led to products that can be and are being used safely and effectively to preserve the safety and well-being of many dogs and strengthen the bond with their human companions.

What if I have a small dog?

Modern electronic collars, have such a wide variety of range, they can literally be used on just about any size of dog.  Check out this 6lb AGGRESSIVE Chihuahua that we just recently finished training with the electronic collar.  Again, ask yourself which dog appears to be happier, more confident, and more stable: the dog before or the dog after?

Ignorance on electronic collar training:

I have seen a lot of ignorance on electronic collar training, myths, and things that are just completely untrue.  When I read these, it’s immediately apparent that these individuals have no knowledge whatsoever in the practical application of ecollars nor any practical knowledge of dog training.  Recently, I saw someone say, “There is never a good reason to use one, I do not know any real trainers that use electronic collars.”  I literally laughed to myself, did this person mean a “real trainer” as in a college kid who went to a Pet Smart training course on giving dogs hot dogs?

Because almost every REAL trainer I know DO use electronic collars.  Many are my personal friends and who are widely considered some of the top dog trainers in the world (Trainer Michael Ellis, Andrew Ramsey (former Lead Trainer at Lackland AFB), Bob Solimini (Most Accomplished French Ring Decoy in the US), my good friends at Vohne Liche Kennels (show “Alpha Dogs” and official training hub for the majority of the military and law enforcement agencies, in the United States), Las Vegas PD, US Secret Service, US Navy Seals, and the list goes on and on.

**So, I would love to see who the “REAL” trainers are that do not use them!** 🙂

Let’s think about that for a minute, we have already discussed that the most confident, obedient, and well trained dogs in the world are who? Military Special Forces Dogs, Police Dogs, and Ring Sport Dogs (Mondio, ScH, French Ring, etc), almost ALL of them use electronic collars for their training and not one of them solely use positive reinforcment.  Literally, not one. Amazing, right? The most obedient, confident, and well trained dogs in the world do NOT use the methods they are preaching, but all of them use the training methods they are speaking out against.

Dogs are much like children, you need a “balanced” approach of training.  I have never seen a dog (or a child) that completely amazed me in listening (outside, off leash, distractions, etc) that did it “solely” through a positive reinforcement.

Additionally, we fix and train dogs every single day that “other trainers” could not fix (like Izzy and Doris in the videos above).  Where would these dogs be now (and many others) if it were not for electronic collar training?  We have been many dogs (and owners) last hope, where other trainers told them they couldn’t be fixed, behaviorists told them to euthanize them, etc.  All because of these individuals ignorance, they almost ruined a dog’s (and their families) life.

In summary, if you want to build a closer bond, give your dog off-leash obedience (freedom) in any environment, and build your dog’s confidence to a high-level, I would recommend training with an electronic collar.  The key is to seek out professional guidance from a certified trainer in this specific training system.  Unfortunately, when it comes to using a training collar, there is no “trying,” you are either an expert and will make your dog amazing, or you have no idea what you are doing and will probably cause many problems with your dogs.

Anyone who has gone through our training knows that most of electronic collar training is teaching the owner how to PROPERLY use it, how to properly train the dog, and knows there are many “ins and outs” to the system.  It is MUCH more than simply pressing a button and giving a command.

So please seek professional help before using an electronic collar to train your dog.

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