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Shock collars are harmful and don’t work, BC SPCA says

The collars place metal prongs in dog’s neck and allow owner to deliver painful electrostatic shock

The BC SPCA wants dog owners to stop using shock collars because not only are they detrimental, they are often not effective.

Also known as electronic or e-collars, shock collars place metal prongs in the dog’s neck and allow the owner to give the animal an electrostatic shock.

“We know some trainers out there say this is the only option,” said spokesperson Lorie Chortyk. “[But] you’re not teaching your dog what you want it to do. You’re creating fear.”

Veterinary groups and humane organizations, as well as plenty of research, have long said punishment-based training causes high levels of stress, phobias, fear and increased aggression in dogs.

”In addition, shock collars can cause physical harm, such as an unhealthy increase in heart rate and severe burns to an animal’s neck,” said Dr. Karen van Haaften, senior manager of behaviour and welfare for the BC SPCA and a certified veterinary specialist in behaviour.

READ MORE: New BC SPCA program helps dog owners find the right trainer

One of the worst things that can also happen is that the collars hurt the bond between the owner and their pet, as the animal starts to associate the pain of the shock with them.

“We urge people to seek out one of the many effective, reward-based training options available and to take a stand against harmful tools like shock collars,” van Haaften said.

The society is asking owners to take a pledge on its website here.

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