Cruel Shock Collars are Now Banned in Scotland, But Still Not in the US

For as long as 11 seconds, shock collars can send up to 6,000 painful volts of electricity to a dog’s neck. Even when a dog’s not being zapped, the contact points in these collars can cause skin irritation and inflammation.

Shock collars are usually used to train dogs, or they’re used in conjunction with containment systems like invisible fences. Most dog trainers do not recommend this training method, known as negative reinforcement. Along with being cruel, zapping dogs as punishment for unwanted behavior is much less effective than praising and rewarding them for good behavior.

Fortunately, these cruel devices have just been banned in Scotland. Scotland’s Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said she will be working with authorities to ensure that “anyone found causing pain to dogs through the use of collars or other devices can be prosecuted as they deserve.”

Shock collars have been banned in Wales since 2010, and animal welfare groups like Dogs Trust are now advocating for†them to be banned everywhere else in the UK. According to the nonprofit’s #ShockinglyLegal campaign, the majority (83 percent) of over 2,000 UK residents surveyed earlier this year said they would never use one of these collars on their dogs. Almost one-third of those polled believed the collars were already illegal in the UK.

“This type of device is not only painful for a dog, it can have a serious negative impact on their mental and physical wellbeing,” stated Rachel Casey, Dogs Trust’s director of canine behavior and research. “A dog canít understand when or why itís being shocked and this can cause it immense distress, with many dogs exhibiting signs of anxiety and worsened behavior as a result.Ē

What about the United States?

Do you think these torture devices are illegal in all 50 states? Think again. There are currently no laws banning shock collars in the U.S.

Animal welfare groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are opposed to shock collars as well as other “aversive” collars like choke chains and pinch collars. “They suppress the unwanted behavior, but they don’t teach the dog what the proper behavior is,” the HSUS notes. “At best, they are unpleasant for your dog, and at worst, they may cause your dog to act aggressively and even bite you.”

Since the trainer typically shocks the dog from a distance by using a remote control, the HSUS points out that there’s “a greater chance for abuse (delivery of shocks as punishment) or misuse (poor timing of shocks). Your dog also may associate the painful shock with people or other experiences, leading to fearful or aggressive behavior.”

To demonstrate the effects of shock collars, dog trainer David Pitbladdo wore one and zapped himself in a video. It’s not pretty, and there’s some strong language:

Take Action!

Nearly 174,000 Care2 members have†signed a petition urging the UK to ban shock collars. These cruel devices should be banned in the United States as well. Please sign and share this petition urging Congress members to end the sale of these cruel devices.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


Marie W
Marie W6 months ago

Thank you for sharing

michelle t
jennifer t8 months ago

BAN SHOCK COLLARS INTERNATIONALLY IMMEDIATELY. They are cruel .barbaric and highly dangerous.

Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemonsabout a year ago

Need a version for keeping teenage kids from sneaking out at night. Just kidding.

Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemonsabout a year ago

I don't need them I have cats. But I do know people who did use them mostly just to keep their dogs from getting out and getting killed. I know one person who used it on them-self before they would allow it used on their dog.

Lesa D
Past Member about a year ago

#3006 petition signed...

thank you Laura...

Carole R
Carole Rabout a year ago

They need to be banned everywhere.

Janis K
Janis Kabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

Nicolas Nasrallah
Nicolas Nasrallahabout a year ago

all we care about in North America is making money, if a product sells them we buy it , no matter the consequences. If you cannot handle a dogs barking and playing around then don't get one and don't electicute it .

Kalliope M
Past Member about a year ago

I really would like to wrapp this collars around the neck of everyone who uses it towards an animal to let them feel, what they are doing to the animals every time they don't behave correctly...

Veronica D
Veronica Danieabout a year ago

Thank you so very much.