Animal experts back charity's call to ban shock collars
Animal protection charity OneKind is urging the Scottish public to express their views on the use of training aids which give pets electric shocks.
A consultation on the so-called shock collars ends this week, after which MSPs may ban them.
OneKind, which supports an outright ban, said its position on the devices, also called e-collars, is widely supported by professional dog trainers who are largely opposed to their use in training.
OneKind director Harry Huyton said: "E-collars have the potential to inflict a huge amount of suffering and stress on animals. It's shocking that these devices can be freely bought and used with minimal regulation. Our survey shows that professionals agree that there is no place for shock collars in a modern society.
“Positive, reward based training is a far more effective training method and this view is largely supported by the majority of dog trainers."
Shock collars have the potential to inflict a huge amount of suffering and stress on animals
In a survey of dog trainers, carried out by OneKind, 91% of the 23 respondents supported a ban on the use of shock collars.
Dog trainer Adrianne Beattie from Paw Management said: “My work in behaviour often sees dogs that have had such devices used on them. It takes a long time, patience and commitment, not to mention costs to the owner, to put right what is often destroyed by one push of the button.”
Evidence suggests that aversive training can result in increased stress compared to positive reinforcement methods, making an aggressive dog more aggressive while unintentionally creating negative associations with a particular event.
Kirsty MacQueen from Puppy School added: "Shock collars are unnecessary and we can't control what the dog associates with the aversive training. We can try to make the correct association but can never be totally sure that we aren't accidentally going to create a dog that is aggressive."