The BC SPCA has started a campaign that calls on dog owners to take a pledge to stop the use of shock collars as a training tool.
The organization said in a statement that while dog owners may turn to electronic collars as a tool to keep their pets safe, e-collars can pose physical and psychological pain to the animal.
“While these collars can alter behaviour, there is a growing body of evidence from across North America and Europe that their short- or long-term use is associated with high levels of stress, phobias, fear and increased aggression in dogs,” BC SPCA senior manager of behaviour and welfare Dr. Karen van Haaften said in a release.
“In addition, electronic shock collars can cause physical harm, such as an unhealthy increase in heart rate and severe burns to an animal’s neck.”
The SPCA says shock collars deliver an uncomfortable electrostatic shock to the dog’s skin, adding an animal will sometimes associate the pain of the shock with other things in their environment, including their owner.
Van Haaften says there are other reward-based training options available that are just as, if not more, effective in addressing unwanted pet behaviour.
The organization says reward-based training is a win-win for the dog and owner since the pet earns treats and praise while learning good behaviour.
Pet owners are invited to learn more about shock collars and take the online pledge on the BC SPCA website.