Electronic Collars Just Stress Dogs Out

Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for the American Kennel Club

Training pet dogs using electronic collars may cause behavioural signs of distress when compared to positive, reward-based training, according to a study.

The collars, also known as e-collars or shock collars, deliver an electric shock to the pets.

The authors of the study noticed that e-collars appeared to elevate cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress, in dogs.

And dogs trained with e-collars showed behavioural changes consistent with a negative response, including more signs of tension, more yawning and less time engaged in environmental interaction.

Jonathan Cooper, Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences, says e-collar training did not result in a substantially superior response to training.

The research is publishd in the journal journal PLOS ONE.

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