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The Pros and cons of electric shock collars

Posted Dec 09 2010 8:34am

There are two kinds of groups whose company that I would rather do without: vegetarians (not unless it is due to a faith-based restriction) and animal rights activists. Honestly, both these groups have taken this to ridiculous lengths… haven’t they?
At least, the former group is a little better when it comes to not making such a big deal about their ‘vision’ as opposed to the latter that go berserk based on assumptions that scientists have drawn over a period of time. Yes, and they blame it on the delicate “ecological balance” that we, humans, are apparently destroying for so long now.
Their vociferous protests that have taken the world by storm annoy the crap out of me as the idea of killing animals is anything but a practical one. What will happen to normal people if the world is overrun with these idiots who will just shed their clothes at the drop of a hat, if you will!
And they miss out on the smaller aspects of cruelty to animals while they are alive… like for example, the earlier version of shock collars that were used for dogs.
Electric Shock Collars
The word I’m looking is humane… as annoying as it is for humans to be gagged, bound and imprisoned in a cell… or subjected to lobotomies or shock treatments, the initial versions of electric shock collars were designed to mete out punishment to dogs for a particular behavior that indicated direct disobedience to their master’s wishes.
Dog trainers now identify that as ‘negative reinforcement’ as opposed to the more prevalent (and thankfully, accepted) method of ‘positive reinforcement’ used these days. What made matters worse was the fact that these shocks were much stronger and if that wasn’t enough, some owners would resort to just being blatantly cruel at the click of a button.
(Switch places for a second, and then tell me if you would enjoy such treatment.)
Of course, the purpose of use was always limited to prevent dogs from barking and keeping them within a designated perimeter, and even though the shock levels are much lesser these days, this remains the purpose of the use of shock collar.
No matter how weak the shock is, this (and I’m sure you’ll all agree is as good as repeatedly pulling a cat’s tail and that has given rise to the ‘kitty’s got claws’ punch line) is anything but good for the dog at least, in my opinion.
But for the sake of objectivity, let us discuss the pros and cons of the electric shock collar…
Pros/Cons of the Electric Shock Collar
Pro #1: The noise electronic shock collar will ensure that dogs will quiet down immediately, especially those of the aggressive type.
Pro #2: When used correctly, they will help the owner stay in control of their dogs’ movements instead of doing the whole “running with dogs” routine. But still, moderation is the key, as results from the earlier versions showed that dogs were extremely aggressive towards humans after excessive use.
Pro #3: This device comes in handy when it comes to training deaf dogs. (I didn’t even know that there was such a thing!)
Con #1: Most dog trainers believe that this is NOT the way to train dogs to exhibit proper behavior, and they might be right for the most part not unless you have your hands full with dogs that are not necessarily considered passive.
Con #2: There is a fine line between cruelty and control, and almost every dog owner is often guilty of overstepping that line. Thus, it is normally recommended for dogs over six months of age but this will defeat the purpose completely as it is in that window of time that the dog benefits the most from training.
Con #3: Electronic collars are expensive, and might run out of batteries just when the owner needs to control the dog.
In Closing
No matter which side you are on, think about whether you would like to be treated in a similar fashion as that very popular saying goes: “Do unto other as you would have others do unto you.”

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