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The debate over shock collars for dogs

Posted at 7:52 AM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 08:52:02-05

We're taking a closer look at shock collars, as they're a hot topic for dog owners.

Some find them to be cruel, while others find it to be an easier way to let dogs roam.

We posed the question on the 2 Works for You Facebook page: "Would you use a shock dollar on your dog?"

Here are the results:

32 percent said, Yes.

68 percent said No.

This morning, we're talking to animal trainers about what you need to know about shock collars.

"I would always start at the lowest level initially until I was able to see a behavioral change"

Erich Laubert used a shock collar to train his dog Abby for hunting purposes and to change some behavioral issues.

He says he found it a quick way to correct bad behavior.

And says he rarely uses it anymore.

Laubert says, "Most people will actually find a lot of results initially with the collar and then decide they don't need to use them in the long term or all the time."

But experts warn the outcome might not be as positive.

"I think shock collars should be used very sparingly and only by experts."

Theresa Sumpter runs a dog rescue.

She warns using a shock collar can have a negative reaction, especially while at a dog park.

The shock or even vibration of the collar could startle the dog into a defensive mode.

Sumpter says, "If your dog has to have a shock collar on, I don't think that probably your dog should go to a dog park."

Sumpter recommends positive reinforcement first.

Reward your dog with a treat when they do something good.

She also does not recommend using the shock as an invisible fence.

"The problem is, it still allows other animals into your yard so if you have coyotes, foxes; you know any other type of animal get into the yard and your dog is not able to get away," says Sumpter.

Sumpter recommends creating a fenced in area instead.

While some don't mind shock collars others, like Melinda Slagel, prefer not to use one.

Slagel says, "I've never had a dog that really needed to use on it seems like it can be at time a little hash for the dog."

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