Vibration vs Shock Collars: Pros and ConsIzak Van Heerden
Over the last decade, shock collars for dogs have become increasingly unpopular. Many experts and dog owners alike view the devices and unnecessarily cruel, while some people have even gone so far as to attempt to have shock collars made illegal and categorized as a form of animal cruelty.
Aside from an emotional response to the subject, many recent research studies seem to indicate that shock collars create too much stress within dogs, giving rise to anxiety disorders and heart problems as a result of their repeated use. In the article below we’ll delve deep into the issue of shock collars vs vibration collars. By the end of the article, we believe you’ll make the change over to vibration collars if you haven’t done so already.
The Growing List of Negatives Against Shock Collars
Several recent and extensive studies on the negative effects of using shock collars on dogs has garnered a lot of attention. Studies have shown that repeated use of a shock collar on a dog can actually damage a dog’s heart, as the shock sensation triggers a cortisol dump into their bloodstream that throttles their heart rate.
Done repeatedly over years it has been proven to damage the dog’s heart and can even cause a dog to die if they possess a heart defect such as a heart murmur or irregular heartbeat. It is not uncommon for a shock collar to cause a dog to die from a heart attack, even if the device is functioning normally and sending a standard electrical impulse into the dog’s body.
Studies have also shown that long-term use of shock collars can cause a barrage of behavioral disorders in dogs, with the most concerning one being heightened aggression. Anxiety, aggression, excessive barking, and other behavioral disorders are not only extremely unpleasant to deal with by pet owners, but they can cause a dog to become a threat to the people and other animals around them.
One study reported that dogs were 40 percent more likely to bite or show other aggressive behavioral patterns when exposed to repeated shocking from shock collars over a period longer than 2 years.
One fact about shock collars that will probably surprise you is that they are known to frequently malfunction, especially when exposed to harsh weather and wear and tear. There are thousands of reported cases of dogs being electrocuted to death by shock collars that have malfunctioned and continued shocking the dog without the owner’s knowledge or without the device being signaled to do so. Any dog, no matter what its threshold for pain is, will die from a heart attack if exposed to a lasting duration of electrical shock sent into their body from a malfunctioning shock collar.
Why a Vibration Collar is a Better Alternative
Shock collars send a sharp and painful burst of energy into the neck of a dog, whereas vibration collars on the other hand only gets the dog’s attention. A vibration collar is more of a behavioral correction device, rather than a form of strict negative reinforcement like a shock device. Studies continue to show that vibration collars are just as effective training tools for dogs as shock collars are, with none of the lasting negatives.
Vibration collars provide a lightning fast response to a dog when they are engaging in a behavior that runs contrary to proper training. The whole design mechanism behind a vibration collar is to create a pain-free device still capable of sternly and quickly grabbing a dogs attention.
Many dog owners put off by the concept of shock collars have opted for audio collars, clickers, clappers, and other noise-based collars. These collars, however, have not shown the same level of effectiveness as vibration collars.
The reason why a vibration collar is much more effective than the aforementioned devices is that they are quicker right down to the nanosecond. Vibration collars are quicker at delivering a sensation to the brain. The brain picks up a tactile signal on the skin much quicker than its ability to process an audio stimulation. Older dogs are also known to lose their hearing just like human beings, making audio based collars useless for canines that are hearing impaired.