Alarming Dog Shock Collar Side Effects: Too Costly!

What are shock collar side effects for dogs? I realize with a dog it’s all about keeping him safe, which includes getting him to listen to you. Additionally, if you have an open yard, you may be looking for quick and easy solutions. According to Verified Market Reports, the dog shock collar industry is a huge growing market.

Whether you’re looking for a way to get your dog to listen or a cheaper fencing option, shock collars pop up in your search. Therefore, today, let’s dig in and uncover everything about a shock collar for your dog.

Discover everything you need to know about shock collar side effects.
Budget tip:

You may think that a quick solution for an open yard or a dog behaving badly is a shock collar. It’s actually a very bad purchase. Not only does it punish and hurt your dog in a cruel way it increases your vet bills. Additionally, it can turn a happy dog into an aggressive dog unwilling to trust you or anyone. Thus, treating your dog as you’d like to be treated and not using a shock collar is a huge win-win for your dog’s health and your budget!

What is a shock collar anyhow?

An electric shock collar or e-collar (electronic collar) is a collar a dog wears that can deliver a shock (or jolt of electronic energy) when a dog does something undesirable. The shock is delivered by a remote control device that the dog owner carries. Basically, it’s a form of negative reinforcement to get a dog to yield to a dog parent’s commands. 

Wondering about positive reinforcement training? In this article, I share all the details you need to know.

What does a shock collar feel like for dogs?

Honestly, it’s painful! It’s an electrical shock. It hurts!

However, if you don’t think that an e-collar is that bad, I recommend you put it on your bare skin, set the voltage at a high level, and shock yourself. How does it feel? Painful, huh? That is what your dog would feel when you shock him/her. 

Not sure how to set boundaries with your dog? In this article, I walk you through a very positive way to do it. 

Since some dog trainers use shock collars for training, doesn’t that mean it’s ok?

No! A shock collar is a form of negative reinforcement. An e-collar gets a dog to do what the trainer or dog owner wants out of pain and fear. 

For example, think back to when you were learning to read. If your teacher smacked your knuckles every time you messed up a word, you probably hated and most likely still do hate reading. Not to mention you wouldn’t like or trust that teacher. However, if your teacher encouraged and helped you read when you messed up a word by gently correcting you and showing you how to do better with kind words (positive reinforcement) you most likely learned faster and enjoy reading now. 

This analogy goes for your dog and pets as well as your kid. As proof, a study showed of negative reinforcement with shock collar training slows a dog’s learning ability.

Want to learn about how to train your dog with positive reinforcement methods of training but don’t think you have the time or money to do it? In this article, I share how to train your dog on your schedule and often for free.

What are shock collar side effects for dogs?

There are a multitude of side effects a dog can experience when using a shock collar. These include:

Wondering how to aid your dog’s digestive issues? In this article, I share affordable solutions that I use with Henry.

Why do some people think a dog shock collar is cruel?

Personally, I think applying pain or fear is cruel. Moreover, creating such devastating side effects as listed above is without a doubt cruel. 

However, to verify this thought, there is a study that verifies it.

Specifically, the study showed that training dogs with an e-collar had an increase in bad behaviors. Meanwhile, training a dog without a shock decreased the bad behaviors.

Additionally, many professional organizations state that e-collars are cruel and inhumane. These organizations include: 

  • European Society of Veterinary Clinical Ethology (ESVCE)
  • American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB)
  • Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT)
  • Pet Professionals Guild (PPG)
  • Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
  • Humane Society of the United States

Furthermore, many countries have outlawed the use of shock collars. These include:

  • Austria
  • Australia (parts)
  • Canada – Quebec
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Norway
  • Scotland
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Wales

Want to learn about how to create a dog-friendly yard on a budget? In this article, I go into all the details.

What are the alternatives to a shock collar for dogs?

Knowing about alternatives is critical. For example, my yard isn’t fenced. Yet there are times when my dog, Henry would rather chase a bunny than listen to me. But using a shock collar isn’t in my toolkit. The side effects are just too high for Henry and my wallet.

Thus, there are several alternatives to e-collars that don’t cause fear, pain, or anxiety. The best alternatives include:

This vibrate collar is very similar to the one I use with Henry.

Do you know how a dog harness can save you money? In this article, I break it all down.

What is a vibrating collar for dogs?

I use a vibrating collar for Henry since my two acres aren’t fenced. Basically, a vibrating collar feels like when you have your phone on vibrate in your pocket and someone calls. It vibrates but doesn’t hurt. However, to make sure it wouldn’t hurt Henry, I tested it on myself first. As such, I can personally guarantee that the vibration of these collars doesn’t hurt. However, it will grab attention, much like your phone vibrating in your pocket. 

Not sure how to keep your dog from jumping your fence? In this article, I give you ideas I’m certain you’ve never considered. 

I use a vibrating collar on Henry because I know about shock collar side effects.
Henry with his vibrating collar.

Is a bark collar a shock collar?

It really depends on the bark collar you select. Some do emit an electrical shock when the dog barks. However, there are other anti-barking collars that will emit a spray such as lavender or citronella when the dog barks. 

Honestly, I get that your pup keeping you up at night or day with nuisance barking can get old. But you can put a device in your yard that will keep your dog more quiet without any collar. These devices like this one, emit an ultrasonic sound.

However, the problem with these devices is that they can deter your dog from going into your yard. In turn, you may experience more “accidents” in your home.

Although, I can tell you that a nuisance barking remote device that emits an ultrasonic sound placed in a yard does work. My friend used it to help with her small dog and the neighbors’ dogs barking. 

My friend also used a bark collar very similar to this one. She believes both help keeps quieter in her home and yard.

Is a dog training collar a shock collar?

Again it depends on the training collar you select. Yes, some remote training collars are e-collars. However, others simply track or use a vibration. 

Additionally, some dog training collars are just as cruel as a shock collar. Such as a prong collar or choke collar. Seriously, it’s best to know how the collar will feel when used before subjecting your dog to it. 

What if the dog trainer I use trains with a shock collar?

Now that you know the damage a shock collar can cause to your dog and you know about the alternatives, the answer is simple. Find a new dog trainer! 

Need to learn about affordable temporary dog fencing? In this article, I show you some great options both your dog and your wallet will love.

What are the cost savings from not using a shock collar on my dog?

To illustrate that you can save money, keep your dog safe, and not use an e-collar, let’s look at the possible cost savings you will see. As such consider the following issues and costs of using a shock collar:

Item of concernCost
Shock collar purchase $25 – 170
Treatment of burns$200 – 800+
Seizures and tremors$200 – 500+/ year
Respiratory distress$50 – 150+
Heart issues$1,000 – 3,000+
More behavior issues$30 -100+
Lack of trustDEVASTATING!!!
Shorter lifespanHEARTBREAKING!!!

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All that zaps isn’t a fair godmother. It could be a painful e-collar!

I realize that often life gets in the way and you look for affordable shortcuts. The problem with using a shock collar for your dog is that it does more damage than good. In fact, simply knowing that it’s painful and that so many organizations and countries are firmly against these devices is telling. Truthfully, I’d love to see every electronic collar banned worldwide and the market for these devices dive

Honestly, I have a rule with Henry, “If I wouldn’t do it to myself, no way will I subject him to it.” A dog shock collar definitely falls into this category. For me, it’s an easy decision. Although I use a vibrating collar with Henry on the property, I’ll never, ever use a shock collar. The costs are painfully high.  

what you need to know about shock collar side effects for you pup.

Were you aware of all the dog shock collar side effects? Did you realize how costly an e-collar actually is for your dog and you?

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About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

10 thoughts on “Alarming Dog Shock Collar Side Effects: Too Costly!”

  1. Why??? Is this easier for people than interacting and training your dog? It seems so unfair to the poor dog. You suggest so many positive alternatives that I can’t see why people need to spend money on these horrible things! Your dog is your friend, you don’t torture friends.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Marjorie! I appreciate your kind words. I agree we shouldn’t torture our furry friends. We should treat them as we’d like to be treated. That seems like the best approach to me. I can’t imagine anyone would enjoy being shocked.

      Reply
  2. Thank you for writing such an important article. It’s unbelievable how many people would rather use a shock collar then actually take the time to train a dog. The fact some trainers use it is even more horrifying as I would expect them to know better. I’m sharing it in the hopes of raising awareness about the terrible effects it can cause.

    Reply
    • Isn’t it awful that some trainers will use shock collars and think that’s just fine? I don’t get that mentality. I don’t call those people trainers. They’re hacks. Lazy. Wanna be trainers. Animal abusers. I could go on, but you get the idea. Thanks, Hindy for the support and sharing.

      Reply
  3. I would never use a shock collar on my dogs. I wouldn’t use one on a disruptive child either! Train your dog, leash your dog or maybe if necessary, a vibrating collar. Thank you for this important piece.

    Reply
    • I completely agree with you. Shock collars are awful! That’s the point of this article. I use a vibrating collar on Henry. But it’s set low and honestly it doesn’t even vibrate as much as my phone. He can easily get distracted with a bunny or barking dog. But with coyotes, snakes, bears, mountain lions, and cars, he needs to always pay attention. Even though I’m within grabbing range, he still needs to pay attention. A vibrating collar works great in this situation. Henry is well trained, but even a well trained dog can become distracted with a deer or lizard and not hear a command. I really hope that the purpose of this article to present alternatives to a shock collar was explained well enough.

      Reply
  4. I hate those collars and call them abusive collars as the humans are too lazy to train their dogs and would rather use an easy way out and hurt their dogs. That is my opinion on them.

    Reply
    • I hate them as well. The point of the article was to show that they are awful and their are good alternatives. I hope that came through. I’m with you with people wanting and easy way without thinking it through. Excellent observation!

      Reply
  5. Terri, another excellent article on an important topic. I never (and would never) use a shock collar. My Huskies were trained well, but because they were Huskies and had that “need to run” gene, when I took them out for walks out of the safe confines of our Fort Husky (a very Husky-proofed yard), I always used an Easy Walk harness (where the pressure is a push against their chest, instead of around their neck or across their nose) on my two who were the “pullers” (they believed I was a sled! BOL!) They worked amazingly well. When Bandit lost her hearing, I did do a brief training with a vibrating collar to help teach her hand signals, then eventually, I did not need that at all. I’m with you and Marjorie…why in the world would someone even use a shock collar?! There are so many other training methods that are very effective and non-abusive to the dog.

    Sharing this everywhere in the hopes that if someone is thinking about getting a shock collar, this will help them decide against it.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Dorothy! I couldn’t agree more on shock collars. They truly are torture devices and should be banned. I love the idea of an easy walker. Those are great. I’ve been surprised at how hard Henry can pull. I have a harness that doubles as a regular back latch and front latch easy harness. Boy, does that make all the difference when he thinks he’s hot on the smell of something. I appreciate your kind words and support. It truly means a lot to me!

      Reply

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