I have considered getting an electric collar (or shock collar) for Cassie. I feel that our problems are pretty typical, where she sees something she wants to chase (i.e. a squirrel, bird, or imaginary prey not identifiable to the human eye) and I completely lose her focus. Cassie knows her name and she understands she is supposed to come when I call her. And this works well in the house or in the yard.
But sometimes Cassie just takes off and completely tunes me out because she is clearly on a mission that is way more important than my commands. And while this wouldn’t be a problem if we lived in a rural area (she always returns within a couple of minutes), I have a hard time explaining to Cassie she is not supposed to go into the street, cross the street, or go anywhere near the street. How do you explain to a dog that a sprint of exuberance is perfectly fine in certain areas (within the field where I am riding my horse) but it is BAD behavior in other areas (across the busy road over to the neighbor’s yard). So I thought, maybe I could shock her back into a listening state of mind when she goes on one of her James Bond dashes. I think that an electric collar is perfectly fine when it is used correctly.
So did I get one? No, because I completely balked at the price of one. Also, I realized that I don’t often put Cassie in enough off-the-leash situations near traffic to make the purchase worthwhile. My solution was the magic power of the leash when I took Cassie places I didn’t think would be safe for her to be loose. It’s a hassle at times, but it keeps my doggie out of trouble.
When I asked around about purchasing a shock collar, I got completely mixed reviews. Some people use it and swear by its effectivity….other people hate it and consider it a device of cruelty. It seems like a controversial product in the canine world.
So, what are some of the pros and cons of the electric collar?
1. It can keep dogs within the boundaries of our property through invisible electric fencing.
2. It can stop dogs from barking.
3. It can correct bad or undesirable behaviors in off-the-leash situations, or gain a dog’s attention when they are misbehaving .
4. It can teach dogs to stay away from dangerous objects/animals/areas
5. The handler is able to control the amount of force used with the collar.
1. Depending on the severity of the shock, the collar can be painful to dogs.
2. An electric collar can overcorrect a dog.
3. It can potentially cause aggression, stress, or anxiety in a dog.
4. In the wrong hands, it can be harmful to a dog’s mental and physical health.
5. It can lessen the bond between the handler/dog.
For related articles, check out: http://shibashake.com/dog/dog-shock-collar-good-bad
The alternative I chose: the leash (and a pretty pink one, at that!)