Naturally, we regard shock collars as absolutely unnecessary and inappropriate in any training program, but particularly so in training puppies and young dogs. Given the potential for an exceptionally strong fear response during the early fear period – as well as during the secondary fear period – it pains us greatly to see trainers who market their shock collar training even for very young puppies. Of course they mask the aversive nature of shock collars by calling them “electronic” or “e” collars and “electronic fences.” Some even go so far as to ride on the popularity and reputation of the well-known gentle handling technique of “TTouch” by calling their shock training “E-Touch.”
Our preference would be to see shock collars outlawed, as they are in several European countries, or at least restricted to the hands of a few very skilled professionals who must demonstrate the need for shock on those very rare occasions that all other more positive efforts have been exhausted, including referral to a veterinary behaviorist. But until that happy day arrives, we implore you to resist anyone’s attempt to buckle a shock collar on your pup for training or confinement purposes. Your pup shouldn’t have to live in fear of his own collar and his own backyard while you’re working to convince him that the world is a safe and happy place.