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5 differences between shock collars and vibration collars

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Home » Blog » 5 differences between shock collars and vibration collars

Shock collars deliver electric shocks adjustable up to 6000 volts for behavior correction, while vibration collars use gentle, adjustable vibrations akin to a phone’s buzz, suitable for sensitive dogs. Shock collars suit severe behavioral issues; vibration collars are better for basic commands and non-aggressive training. Prices range from $20 to $250.

Stimulation Type

Shock collars are a type of pet training collar that emits an electrical signal. The intensity of this signal can vary, however they usually are between 1000 to 6000 volts, often accompanied by a pulse rate that can range between 2 to 8 times a second. The effects of this type of training are to couple certain negative behaviors to an unpleasant, but relatively safe shock, reducing the animal’s propensity towards those behaviors. This offers users a highly customizable way to train their dog, allowing them to adjust the settings to best accommodate the dog’s size and sensitivity. This can lead to over-correction however, and roughly operates on the principle that behavior that is followed by a stimulus is more likely to be repeated.

Vibration collars, on the other hand, utilize a mechanical vibration to alert or modify dogs’ behavior. This can be especially useful in training deaf or hard-of-hearing dogs, the vibration serving as a tactile signal that can replace sound in giving commands. This technology is far less dangerous to the dog, with the adjustment settings generally providing only a mild vibration and approximately as much force as a phone set on vibrate.

The use of these collars is excellent for beginners, often used in initial training sessions that teach the dog their basic commands. Both of these devices operate using batteries, with the average life span of a collar’s battery ranging from every week to as long as several months or a year, balancing both the pulse frequency and intensity of use. Their prices vary similarly, with shock collars costing between $30 to $250, and vibrations from $20 to $200. This fluctuation not only depends upon the type of technology being utilized but upon branding and additional features like remote control distance, waterproofing and the inclusion of GPS functionality.

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Intensity of Correction

Shock collars deliver a range of electrical shocks, the intensity of which is typically measured in volts. These might range from a mild 100 volts to a more robust 6000 volts, depending on which model and settings are chosen. The notion is that the level of the shock can be attuned to the size, breed of dog and its tolerance. This allows a lot of flexibility for training, from mild reminders to more firm corrections for persistent or dangerous behaviors.

Although Vibration collars enable a different more gentle mode of correction, that does not rely on electric shocks, the intensity of the vibration is far milder than that of a shock and felt that it best describes the feeling as comparable to that of a cell phone vibrating in your hand. However, the vibration collars, though come in handy in training for they do not put the dog under any significant stress to come out of painful shock that a shock collar has proved to be effective in training dogs since the mild vibration does not only corrects the dog but draws the dog’s attention to whatever he is doing.

Dog trainers and pet owners have noted that vibration collars are very effective in correcting the behavior of a dog for they are most suitable for sensitive dogs that would find the shocks distressing. Training sessions that use vibration collars show that dogs become a lot less afraid and show much less signs of stress when compared to the months of training that has seen the use of shock collars. The cost of a shock and vibration collar is determined by the technology. Shock collars are far more expensive because of the need for adjustable voltage controls and safety mechanisms. Vibration collars are far less complex and might cost anywhere from $20 to $200 depending on the brand and any included technology such as remote control and battery life.

Purpose of Use

Shock collars are most commonly used for more intense training and correction of dogs’ behavior. It is usually the first solution to consider for handling the most severe issues, such as aggressiveness, hyper barking, or running away. The collar can be adjusted to trigger automatically every time a dog barks like in Vogel’s case Spacone. On the one hand, the dog is disciplined in such a manner, and, on the other hand, the signal the action is the shock that makes an association with an unpleasant feel. It is usually the most appropriate solution when other types of training do not work and when an owner needs their dog to change behavior as soon as possible.

There are also vibration collars used for much milder purposes. The devices are perfect for very young puppies or timid dogs. The basic purpose and primary application is training elementary commands that help in communication, such as “sit,” “come,” “stay,” and others. The collar sends a mild vibration that is never perceived as a shock and is simply taken as a sign to perform a specific action. However, they are also appropriate for stimulating response in deaf dogs since vibrations can be used instead of auditory signals DeVoss.

The difference between shock and vibration collars is rather apparent, but both types are very popular and widely used. Shock devices are more intense and have quicker results but are quite difficult to adjust appropriately. If the level is too high, it might correct a dog more than needed, which triggers a nervous feeling or a shock of something that one ought to be afraid of. In turn, this reaction is not needed since it should concentrate on the unwelcome behavior. The vibration device is more supportive and fosters a pleasant experience. However, it works less rapidly, takes more time to reach the results, but is safe for reshaping behavior with an owner in control of the degree of intensity. Moreover, financial opportunities quite heavily impact the choice and, generally speaking, vibration devices are less expensive since they are made simpler.

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Controversial Nature

Shock collars are one of the most controversial points of the vast ethical debate revolving around animal welfare. Numerous animal right organizations and individual pet owners believe that they pose the risk of causing both physical harm and psychological distress. According to several studies and reports, misuse of shock collars can lead to behavior problems such as anxiety, fear, or aggression in dogs. The controversy is significant, with some countries, including parts of Australia and all of Denmark, having banned the use of shock collars due to their impact on the welfare of animals. At the same time, the defenders of these devices consider them best to both ensure the safety of animals and people and avoid more drastic measures, such as assigning the dog to a new home, or sometimes even euthanasia.

Shock collars have successfully corrected behaviors dangerous to the dog itself or other animals quickly, such as fighting with other animals or chasing cars. By comparison, the perception of vibration collars is almost universally more positive. Many people see these devices as a humane alternative to shock collars, as well as suitable for more dogs, including those that are more sensitive or prone to developing stress-related behavior problems. The general view is that vibration collars are less likely to cause long-lasting psychological problems and are more than sufficient for most animals’ training needs without raising questions of ethics.

In the pep-owning community, an increasing number of owners will use a vibration collar as their primary training device, reserving the ad-hoc use of shock collars for challenging cases with animals that have exhausted alternative means. This is in line with the current trend towards more humane training methods and an increased focus on animal rights. The differences in their price also play a minor role in the heightened controversy of the two collars. Both types of collars can range in price from 20 to 250 dollars, although the elevated price of shock collars is more likely to be due to the complexity of their design and the need to follow all applicable standards and regulations in the (few) countries where they are still legal.

Suitability for Sensitive Dogs

The strident noise and physical sensation of an electric shock produced by shock collars can be problematic for many sensitive dogs. As opposed to the slight startle effect these stimuli can have on a firm-willed dog, anxious or fearful dogs might have stronger reactions causing counterproductive outcomes. Seeking to build the confidence and obedience of the trained dog, the stress caused by the physical shock does not only make the training uncomfortable and distressing for the animal but also ultimately works against the goal of training by associating the training procedures themselves with harm.

As a result, the continued use of this training tool leads to setbacks in behavior for these shy, timid dogs. In this sensitive cohort of pets, the use of a vibration collar is indicated by the relatively low level of mental discomfort resulting from the use of these tools. Though enough to capture the dog’s attention, the sensation is mild enough not to have a negative effect on the pet and is therefore used for both initial training sessions and for later use to punitively reinforce the essential learned commands. In teaching these commands, dog owners also report significant improvement with the use of vibration collars in transmitting instructions as simple as ‘sit’ to basic response training for sensitive breeds or younger pets.

Involving ethical considerations that are positivistically based due to their direct impact on the application, the health of the dog such as the probability of burns from long-term use of the shocks or electrode placement also weigh in favor of using a vibration collar as opposed to a shock collar. The stakes of the dog being able to learn new commands and retain skills learned with both tools are also inherently in a vibration collar’s favor due to the stress reduction provided by their use, which additionally may reduce long-term costs in other training areas and potentially even in veterinary services if the dog is permitted to train in a way healthy for their physical and emotional health. Both devices are subject to a wide range of pricing, but the relative expense for the sake of the pet’s comfort and safety is ultimately minimal to the cost of behavioral recovery or medical treatments stemming from stress induced by improper training.

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