Ban on anti-shock collars: “All dogs have learned is fear and anxiety”

Ban on anti-shock collars: “All dogs have learned is fear and anxiety”

Shock collars should be banned because they can only teach dogs “fear and anxiety”, a leading veterinarian has said.

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue today announced that the devices would be banned in Ireland following public consolation.

Shock collars are controlled with handheld remotes and used by owners to train and discipline their pets.

On Hard shoulder Today, Donal Ryan of CityVet in Limerick said he was “delighted” to hear they would be banned.

“What I don’t like about them is that all the training and teaching of an animal is based on hurting it,” he said.

“Actually, it’s because of fear and that’s not the best way to get the message across.”

“He increases their stressanxiety and fear – and animals don’t learn in these circumstances.

Ban on anti-shock collars

The vet said some people shock their dogs excessively.

“They press the button and shock the dog repeatedly as if the TV station just won’t change,” he said.

“In that sense, they’re inflicting pain on the animal to make it do what you want it to do and it’s a negative experience for the animal.

“I doubt its effectiveness; this can work very well in the hands of a very good trainer when the dog learns to avoid shock.

Ban on anti-shock collars: “all dogs have learned is fear and anxiety” A Golden Retriever looks over a fence. Image: ARCTIC IMAGES / Alamy Stock Photo

Mr Ryan said shock fences to keep dogs within a perimeter, which will remain legal in Ireland, are a different story to collars.

“It’s a useful training tool if people have large properties or gardens that are difficult to secure,” he said.

“If you bring me a dog with a broken leg because he went out and was hit by a car, and he gets a little shock and still has all four legs in one piece – that’s a obviously, a human tool.

“The main goal is to train the animal to understand where the perimeter is and to stay away from the area so it never gets shocked.”

Common sense

Mr Ryan called for greater awareness of the risks dogs can pose to the public.

“The lack of common sense in these areas sometimes amazes me,” he said.

I see a lot of dogs every day and luckily I still have all ten toes, but they can bite you in the blink of an eye and you need to be aware of that.

Ireland’s ban on shock collars, which will be introduced in the coming months, follows similar actions in other EU member states.

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Main image: A dog wearing a shock collar. Image: Brook White / Alamy Stock Photo