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the 5 side effects of e collar for dog

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The five side effects of using an e-collar on dogs include increased stress and anxiety, physical pain, fear and distrust, behavioral problems, and over-dependence on the collar for obedience.

Physical Pain and Injury

An e-collar, used on a dog, is an electrical device, whose intensity can vary but never reaches zero. While the purpose of it is to grab the animal’s attention or prevent some behavior, like all other electrodes, it is inevitably a painful experience to the dog. It is usually enough to cause the physical and psychological conditions that are extremely uncomfortable for the dog, for example, it might yelp, shake off the collar or cower. In more serious case accidents, especially if the collar is used for too long or on default relatively high intensity settings, e-collars can cause burns on the dog’s skin and in extreme cases, necrosis – tissue death. Electrodes have loose current shutoffs, which happen in the e-collar’s remote not the animal’s scalp, thus making any electricity passing through the animal’s body a leak or a shock.

In a more specific instance, when electric collars were tested, their effects were measured through an in-depth study of the stress markers who were negative (i.e. bad for the body and the mental state) for dogs who were taught to do tricks using both and nothing but e-collars, compared with the dogs who were taught to do the same tricks with “positive reinforcement” methods. Those dogs had their cortisol, a stress hormone levels, indicating a slightly pronounced stress and physical pain. Prolonged ultra stress or even medium stress on the dog’s body can cause their immune systems to fail after a given period.

Therefore, trainers and caring dog owners strongly promote positive reinforcement, which is safe, ethical, harmless and strengthens the bond between the dog and its master. The method lies in applying rewards for good behavior to a dog – in most cases, these are treats or playtime, but praise can also prove an excellent motivator for the dog.

Stress and Anxiety

The use of an e-collar is very stressful and anxiety-inducing for the dog. When a dog is shocked for their behavior, their heart rate is increased and so is the production of stress hormones. If the dog does not link its behavior with the punishment inflicted on it, the dog will be confused. This confusion can lead to anxiety, fear, and/or unpredictable behavior. Indeed, dog that are submitted to numerous shocks can develop a conditioned fear response towards a precise environment. Hence, if for example, the dog wears an e-collar only when it goes on a walk, it will develop a fearful reaction against not only the walking harness, but possibly the outdoors as a whole. Unpredictable obstructive behavior such as refusing to move or aggressiveness when attempting to force the dog outside might ensue.

In real life, dog trained with shock-collars often pace around, hide or start crying. These behaviors are particularly common in situation where the e-collar is not applied after each shock. Indeed, frequent shocks that occur at clear and predictable time increase the dog’s chances to understand and link the punishment inputs to the outside stimulus. Nevertheless, when the dog is shocked completely at random, it doesn’t understand by which type of behavior it is threatened. The dog becomes encumbered by fear and stress and behaves in a distraught manner.

One study recorded the number of stress-related behaviors in dogs that were trained with a shock-collar. The number of observable stress-related behaviors in dogs was numbingly higher in the group of dogs that were trained with the e-collar than in the one that received rewards. Their body language and other stress indicators such as an increase in salivation and panting, both telltale sign of nervousness, were also noted. On the contrary, by using a rewards system to motivate the dog to comply instead of punishing it for being uncooperative, it avoids the problem of stress and anxiety and generally the emotional agreeableness of the link between the handler with the handled.


Fear and Distrust

E-collar usage may lead to inappropriate responses of a dog such as fear and distrust of its surrounding environment. When a dog is receiving punishment, it may tend to associate the shocks that it receives based on where it is or what it is doing at the time it is being shocked and not necessarily to the shocks to their action. Due to such a wrong, the association is the dog may become fearful of where it is or with whom it is when the pain was being administered. For example, if a dog is shocked when it meets with your guests, then an association may form between strange people with some uncomfortable feeling about the strangers. The dog may not now be able to socialize well with strangers or instead start fearing new faces. A dog may start having negative thoughts towards the owner and the owner as the one who shocks it and as the events that evils occur to it. Hence the dog may develop a behavior of not resisting it to the training and other occasions. It cannot be free to interact, as it will always expect some shocks to it. When positive measures are taken, a dog is likely to feel comfortable with what an individual does using the collar. Positive reinforcement may be used by promising a dog of a reward for obedience and good behavior. The rewards can be in terms of dogs treat, praise by the owner, and playing with the dog.

Behavioral Problems

The use of an e-collar causes many canine undesired behaviors. The impact of shocks may also make these behaviors into something worse. In fact, when a stressful event is applied, a dog that experiences it in a continuous regularway and even when it is not matched to a certain issue, may develop reactive behaviors that will include but not limited to barking needlessly, chewing unacceptable items, and even assaulting others. If an e-collar is relayed to a dog while it is interacting with other dogs, the shocked dog might end up associating its pain with the neighboring dog. For that reason, it may possibly respond in every other encounter in an aggressive way or towards other animals including humans.

In most cases, the results of shock trainingscan be seen while a dog is still being trained or after that training is stopped. A shocked dog may be overlyexcited but afraid. It may also become aggressive. Thesebehavioral diseases are pretty poison because they are very hard to undo. Theeffected measures are the most likely occurring other symtoms due to the stress and very severe panic that are produced due to the training. The dogs have no communication means of communicating with the people or other animals in the surroundings about the scenarios stressing or hurting them most. To treat or avoid these undesired behaviors, it is efficient and secure to apply other forms of procedures. Proper training procedures should be depending on enforcing of undesired bahavior through rewards. All possible undesired behavior should be enforceable through either plays, treats, or praise. These types of enforcement enforce the proper behavior-taking, but they are not accompanied by any other negativeness. This form of training process is supposed to turn out a relationshipwhere the dog does not worry about you but rthather does everything for satisfaction.

Over-Dependence on the Collar

One of the problems associated with the heavy reliance of a dog owner on an e-collar is that the obedient behavior of the dog only manifests when the collar is on. This issue is significant for dogs because relying on the device too much can lead to its inability to learn properly. In other words, the use of e-collars tends to prevent the dog from being conditioned to positive behavior carefully but teach it to associate it with the shock. For example, a dog will choose to stop barking or leave the yard only upon feeling that the device is on its neck, which suggests a lack of proper alternation of behavior during training, although it is successfully suppressed for some time.

While shock training may prevent undesirable behavior to some extent, the chances are that the results are not achieved during its course. Many dog owners find that their training results are not maintained once they take the device off the dog. This means that although the discomfort and application of shock through the collar are mitigated over time, the pet was not conditioned to obey behavior, but was scared to do so under certain conditions. In particular, the use of an aversive method elevates training through positive reinforcement, which shows the dog what is expected of it humanely. The approach benefits dogs and helps them to learn better and develop better habits. The dog becomes happier and more willing to do something because it associates a pleasant experience or something it wants with good behavior. With consistent rewards, dogs get used to following a particular pattern, which they will be tempted to do on their own.

To achieve the best results, it is logical to use a method of positive encouragement based on rewards. Some money will have to be spent on the rewards and possibly the engagement of a professional dog trainer who understands the specific method better. However, it eventually pays off because relying on positive training tools fosters a better and more sound understanding of behavior on behalf of the pet.

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