I just read a scientific study on “Training dogs with help of the shock collar: short and long term behavioural effects” and it brought up a bunch of great points, some of which I would like to cover here.
1. Confuses your dog: Say you use the shock collar every time your dog jumps up on someone. The dog is probably not going to associate the pain of the shock with jumping on the person, but the dog will associate the pain with meeting new people. This could cause your dog to be aggressive toward strangers.
2. A shock is a shock: Many trainers claim they use these remote collars to just get the dogs attention, they do not cause any discomfort to the dog. Then they are saying the shock is pleasurable to the dog, and that gets their attention?
In the study they shocked 32 dogs a total of 107 times, out of those dogs 17 of them emitted a “high sounding yelp” when being shocked, 13 of them let out a squeel, 7 of them a high sounding barck, and 4 of them even snapped at their owners.
3. Could hurt your dog: I would never recommend using a electronic dog collar to anyone, but most people that use these collars are uneducated about training and just want a quick fix. Most collars have a “stimulation setting” of 1-10. If the user is uneducated about training in general, do you think they will be educated on how much “stimulation” to set the collar to? The shock could cause serious damage to your dog.
The conclusion of their study:
We concluded that shocks received during training are not only unpleasant but also painful and frightening. Furthermore, we found that shocked dogs are more stressful on the training grounds than controls, but also in a park. This implies, that whenever the handler is around, the dog seems to expect an aversive event to occur.