Why Shock Collars Don’t Work

Victoria Stilwell is a British Dog Trainer who has a show on Animal Planet.

Her training methods are refreshing and POSITIVE.

For her the focus in on positive reinforcement, not negative.

I for one 100% advocate this style of training- see in this video how it completely changed this Bulldog.

Best Wishes,

Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM

P.S. Chet Womach is a friend of mine, and respected dog trainer.

He uses POSITIVE training methods

You can sign up for Chet’s FREE Dog
Training Video by email.

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P.P.S. Chet’s system WORKS. It has made a BIG difference in
having me stop my dog Lewis from JUMPING UP.

Great Dog Training Information that WORKS


13 thoughts on “Why Shock Collars Don’t Work”

  1. Having been a successful dog trainer for over 20 years. It really irks me so see such a bleeding heart approach to E collars. E collars have had a bad rap, but they are far more technologically evolved from the days of “frying” your dog for bad behavior. There is no question that they can have a place in dog training along with positive reinforcement.

  2. Hi Dr. J.
    Had trouhle acessing video on shock collar so un-fortunately missed out. I believe & train on pos. reinforcement; just a note; wasn’t able to distinguish the trg. applied. but I do know that a shock collar was applied in barking corrections only; with good results. Several rescue centers have used this technique.



  3. I believe shock collars should never be used just like pinch collars, it’s a lazy way to train a dog if you must use one put it on the owner as they are the ones responsible for the dogs behaviour. I am sick of being told it is a positive training method in the right hands! They are great tools! That’s the thing “right hands” and right for whom how many numtys get these tools and miss use them they miss use check chains

  4. Pain is pain. Do we want our dogs to submit to us out of fear…or want to do as we ask out of love? I think bullies like to use control over animals (through shock collars and the like) and as Morag said, it’s for lazy trainers. Relationships are the root for any change…human to human, human to animal…if you build a loving trusting relationship, the training gets easier.

  5. I absolutely agree with Morag. I don’t see great trainers like Suzanne Clothier, Pat Miller,Patricia McConnell or Turid Rugaas resorting to this. In the right hands! And who might that be? Joe Smith down the street who gets this advice, but is too clueless or too lazy to take the time to build a relationship eith a dog and train it poeitively.

    I have 2 dogs (poodles of course) who just refused to conform to the softly softly positive approach demonstrated in this video and the shock collar was the ONLY thing that worked to stop both barking and howling (manipulative behaviour the older dog had even as a puppy) and escaping from my property!
    I was at my wits end and the shock collars were the LAST resort and the ONLY thing that worked. what is crueler – tormenting the neighbours or getting 2 obstinate wilful little shits to behave themselves?

  7. I have had really good sucess using shock collars with a couple of dogs in situations where positive reinforcement didnt show any results. I beleive positive reinforcement is the first point of call, but that shock collars and pinch collars certainly have their place when used correctly. Visions of electrocuted dogs are misguided, the stimulation is lower then even a static shock, and most people only use the vibrate function. Most dogs in most situations wont ever need them, but for those that do, its a great tool. I am suprised that so many individuals are against negative reinforcement tools, but are happy to euthanize the dog for bad behaviour. For those that want to abuse their dogs, there are much cheaper ways to inflict abuse.

  8. i never have nor ever will use shock or prong collars. training is a skill you learn. all i’ve ever used is a good 6ft leash with a slip collar or slip leash. suttle tugs to release pressure of pulling. have never injured or hurt a dog nor had to have them vet treated for mental harm ever. it is an art of skill. nor do i use flex lines, gentle leaders, haltis or harnesses other than for specifice jobs.

  9. Dear Anne – animals can be much loved but also need to be trained to be aware of boundaries (like children and people) but some are just plain DETERMINED – it is in their nature it seems!
    “LOVE” is also about ensuring their safety and also the sanity of everyone around you by not allowing one determined little control freak to do whatever it pleases.Both animals get plenty of positive reinforcement AND negative where it had to be applied (see above comment).

  10. This video espousing the clearly uneducated views of Victoria Stillwell, a supposed “Positive Dog Trainer”, on the matter of Remote Training Collars, is another false presentation on what Remote Training Collars are all about and how effective they are, when properly employed.

    The following information from http://www.leerburg.com I believe offers a far better insight on what Remote Training Collars are all about.

    Leerburg’s Remote Collar Training for the Pet Owner

    -2008201-0 — 2 Hours, 37 Minutes, 59 Seconds

    There are only 4 kinds of training collars:

    1- Flat Collars
    2- Prong Collars
    3- Dominant Dog Collars
    4- Remote Collars or Electric Collar

    In my opinion the remote collar is the most effective dog training tool that has been developed in the past 100 years.

    Without a doubt our low level stimulation training is 100 times more humane and more effective than using “CHOKE COLLAR or PRONG COLLAR.” In fact our remote collar training program eliminates the need for these other training tools.

    In our home we start our 16 to 20 week old puppies on our remote collar program. The levels of stimulation used in our training program are often times not even felt by many humans.

    With all this said, unfortunately the electric collars are the most misused, abused and misunderstood dog training tool every developed. Methods used by many hunting dog trainers are archaic at best.

    What our Remote Collar DVD will teach you:

    This DVD is 2 hours 45 minutes and teaches pet owners how to safely and effectively train their dogs with low level stimulation from a remote trainer.

    The video is not brand specific. In other words, it does not matter what brand or model of electric collar you own. I will show you how to determine the level of stimulation fits your dogs temperament with the collar that you have chosen to train with.

    Until now there has never been a training DVD that makes sense which teaches pet owners the concepts of remote collar training. The electric collar DVDs that manufacturer ship with their remote collars videos are useless. These manufacturers DVDs are based on old school training techniques that use “escape training methods.”

    Our DVD fills the void that has existed in the electric collar training business.

    When used properly, remote collars are one of the most humane training tools available to dog trainers. I call it training with an invisible leash.

    There is a myth that stimulation from an electric collar always involves pain. This is simply not true. We will show how to train using very very low levels of stimulation (using the nick button) found on almost all remote collars. I compare these levels of stimulation to lightly patting your dog on the shoulder with your hand. These levels are so low that the average person may not even feel if the collar was placed on their arm.

    25 years ago, trainers were told to put a collar on a dog and make it wear the collar for two weeks before using it. The theory was that the dog would become conditioned to the collar by wearing it all the time. This theory has since proven to be the wrong approach.

    Our DVD explains in detail how to condition your dog to a collar so that the act of putting the remote collar on the dogs neck does not become the trigger for the dog to think “OK the remote collar is on so NOW I MUST MIND.” Our goal is to teach our dogs to follow a voice command all time and not just when it has it’s remote collar on. Proper conditioning and introducing the remote collar the correct way goes a long way towards accomplishing this.

    There is a segment in the video on the training equipment you will need for this work. In this segment I go over the various features different collar companies offer. I don’t accept sponsors for my training DVDs so the information in my videos is based on experience and not any loyalty to a company paying for commercials.

    There are a number of different theories of how to train with an electric collar. I explain the different methods various trainers use and then tell you why the methods I am offering are the best I have seen in almost 30 years of remote collar training.

    The goal of all dog training is to teach a dog to follow a voice command. The training methods in this DVD teach a dog that the stimulation from an remote collar comes from the owner. Back in the day (so to speak) trainers took a different approach. They would bush the button on the electric collar and stimulate a dog while giving a command. They then teach the dog how to turn off the stimulation by following the command. This is called “ESCAPE TRAINING.”

    In my opinion this is backward training and does nothing to improve the bond between handler and dog. I compare this to spanking a child and teaching them that you will stop spanking when they do what’s told. I always thought that was just stupid dog training.

    The training sections in our REMOTE COLLAR DVD:

    1- Conditioning the dog to the electric collar.

    The simple fact that the collar is put on cannot be a trigger for the dog to mind. When you learn how to condition or desensitize the dog to the collar you are a long way down the road to success.

    2- Determining the level of stimulation to use on your dog.

    No two dogs are alike – just like no two people are alike. There are hard dogs and soft dogs. A hard dog gets a correction and looks at you like “IS THAT THE BEST YOU CAN DO?” A soft dog gets a correction and acts like you just killed it. They tuck their tail and drop to the floor and roll on their side.

    To be an effective trainer you have to figure out the correct level of stimulation to use on your dog. We need a level that gets the dog’s attention without dampening his spirit. Anyone can brow beat or force a dog to do what they want – that’s easy. It takes knowledge to figure out how to give the right level of correction while maintaining the dog’s spirit and temperament. We will show you how to do this.

    The vast majority of my work with remote collars is done with the “NICK BUTTON” (VS the continuous stimulation button). There are only 2 places in this DVD where I use the “CONTINUOUS BUTTON.” While there are extreme cases where the highest level of stimulation is warranted, I never use the “high” setting to stimulate the dog in this DVD. 99% of the time it’s simply not needed.

    3- Training the COME command with a remote collar.

    Nothing is more frustrating than a dog that wants to play keep away. Dogs often go through obedience classes and be 100% leash trained yet the instant the leash comes off and they see something of interest they blow off the handler when he calls. Our training will stop this behavior.

    Dogs live in a very black and white world. We need to make our training very easy for our dogs to understand. The training in this section is 100% clear to the dog. I go through the step by step protocol on how to teach a dog to come when called even in the face of distractions.

    Dog’s must some when called every single time, no matter what’s going on around them. This training can save a dogs life.

    4- Training the Leave-it or OUT with the electric collar.

    There are two things that can get dogs into serious trouble. Not coming when called and not leaving something alone when told to.

    In this section I chose a strong dominant adult male dog that has had been protection trained. This dog could be a dangerous dog if it were not handled properly. He was protective of his toys and prey items. I show how to handle this kind of dog safely and effectively by using a remote collar.

    By the end of the first training session he was consistently releasing the toys when told to do so and doing it in a manner that did not produce a conflict with the handler.

    While very few people have dogs that are this dominant, everyone can learn something from the correct way to train them.

    5- Training the dog to walk on a leash without pulling with a remote collar.

    Small people often have real problems with big dogs that pull on the leash – even if the dog wears a prong collar. Learning to use a remote collar to teach a dog not to pull is not difficult. New handlers can pick this up very quickly.

    This section will teach you how to use the electric collar to do this. It’s an easy effective and humane way to train a dog to relax and be calm while taking a walk. The beauty of this work is that it’s all done in a very humane manner.

    6- Training the dog to ignore other dogs while on a walk.

    Not many things are more annoying to pet owners out for a walk than having their dog acting like a “butt head” and barking like crazy when they see other dogs. Sometimes this can be cured with prong collar corrections. All too often the prong collar correction over stimulates the dog which results in their dog becoming more aggressive not less aggressive. Sometimes this redirected aggression is directed towards the handler.

    This problem can be fixed with electric collar training that is covered in this DVD.

    7- Training the dog not to jump up.

    I have never had a visitor in my home that thought it was cute when one of my adult dogs jumped up to say “HI.”

    There are a number of ways to stop a dog from jumping up: pinching the dogs toes, stepping on the back feet, a knee to the dogs chest, a loud scream etc, etc, etc. I have used them all.

    None of these work as well as “low level stimulation with a remote collar” Jumping up is cured on day one when done properly.

    A point to mention here is that if a novice trainer uses does not have the correct training this work can make a dog aggressive.

    8- How to deal with dog or animal aggression with the electric collar.

    I explain the safety concerns in how to approach dog aggression and how this training is different from normal obedience training. Using a remote trainer at the wrong time or in the wrong scenario on a dog aggressive dog is dangerous. Rather than make the dog less aggressive incorrect use of the remote collar can trigger a dog fight.

    If you have a dog aggressive dog there is a protocol to follow to insure your safety and the safety of others when working with a electric collar. I discuss this in the DVD.

    9- Problem solving.

    Everyone that trains with a remote collar is going to run into problems at some point in their training.

    My father used to say “the sign of a good carpenter was one who knew how to fix this mistakes.” The same saying applies to dog trainers.

    I have a section in the DVD that teaches you how to approach a problem and then form a game plan on solving that problem.

    10- Where to go from here with your training?

    This DVD is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. My DVDs are not movies meant to be watched once and then set on the book shelf. They are meant to be watched again and again. Every time you watch them you will notice subtle things in the work.

    Remote collars are often used as a last resort to correct problems that come up in conventional obedience training. It’s my opinion they should become a normal part of every dog training program. I will never own a dog again without training it with remote collars. We start puppies as young as 16 to 20 weeks of age with low level training and this work never stops.

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