What's the deal with shock collars anyway? We wanted to get to the truth and two brave members of our team, Zeck and Ryan, volunteered to step up to test shock collars on themselves.
Only one of the two videos made the final cut due to technical issues from recording from a cell phone, but regardless the results are clear:
After going the distance, we asked both Zeck and Ryan a few questions about their experiences.
What were your expectations prior to using the shock collar?
I expected that it would hurt and I wanted to see how much I could take. I wanted to see what a dog would feel.
I had seen videos of people using shock collars on themselves before. I expected it to be uncomfortable, but I had no idea how painful it would really be.
Do you think people underestimate the pain this can cause their dog?
I don't think that people are really thinking about how much it's going to hurt. I think they are wanting something that will stop their dog from barking.
I saw a video of a shock collar putting a huge, burly dude on the ground. After trying this one, I don't have any doubt in my mind that these can cause some serious pain. I really think people are underestimating the pain level they end up enduring.
How would you score the pain? What did it feel like?
I’m not going to lie. It hurt pretty bad. It was like touching a hot fire stove that you use to heat your house.
On a scale of 1–10, I would put it at an 8. You could really feel the shock throughout your whole body, almost like your bones were vibrating. It caused really bad muscle aches afterward.
Would you use this on your dog or recommend someone use it on theirs?
I could not in my right mind put that on mine or any dog, knowing that I am causing them that much pain to them just because they are barking. I think it is a mean way to stop your dog from barking. I will never use them on any dog. Ever.
I would never even consider using this on any animal ever. I don't believe they are humane in any way. I think the use of them is absolutely abhorrent. There are better ways to train animals then by using the fear of pain to alter a pet's behavior.
Not only do shock collars hurt when the shock occurs, they can leave physical marks that won't quickly disappear along with creating other serious issues. (The marks Zeck received from using the collar only 10 times didn't go away for a day or so.)
The majority of evidence points to one prevailing theme, the use of shock collars increases anxiety, fear, and aggression in dogs. For more information, read “Things You Should Know Before You Buy a Shock Collar .”
While electronic dog collars may work, it’s a poor alternative to one-on-one training sessions and using humane training tools/methods, such as positive reinforcement, which teach dogs rather than force them to learn the behaviors we expect.