How a Shock Collar Works

One of the most intriguing method for disciplining your dog is the shock collar. Although it is widely touted for its effectiveness, many pet owners and veterinarians alike discourage the use of this item in training programs for the effect that it has on your pet. The shock collar, which startles your pet by giving him a mild shock when he completes a misdeed, is seen by some people as being somewhat inhumane. Before you consider whether or not to use the shock collar for your pet, however, it's a good idea to keep in mind exactly what this collar does and how it works.

Shock Collar Overview

The basic mechanism of the shock collar is a small device that delivers a minor shock to your pet. This shock is designed not to hurt your dog at all, but rather to surprise him as he's misbehaving. By surprising him, the collar distracts him from what he's doing and makes it possible for you to discipline your dog, thereby decreasing the chances that he'll complete the same misbehavior again.

Shock Collar Mechanisms

Most shock collars are battery powered. The collar itself is similar in size to a standard dog collar, but it has a small box or section on it that contains the battery pack and shock generator. You'll likely have to remove the collar periodically in order to outfit it with new batteries so that you can be sure that it will continue to work properly.

Many shock collars also have a remote control to help operate them. The remote control portion of the shock collar will activate the shocking mechanism within the collar itself. This is important because it allows you to activate the shock part of the collar from a distance; one of the benefits of the shock collar is that it can provide your pet with a disciplinary measure even when you're not right with your dog. The shock collar remote activates a very brief shock in the collar itself and responds very quickly, so that you can deliver the shock to your pet as he's misbehaving.

Benefits and Risks of a Shock Collar

The shock collar has a number of benefits over other training mechanisms. First, it's been shown that dogs require immediate disciplinary action when they're misbehaving in order to properly recognize the link between their behavior and the response. If you wait until your pet is done misbehaving to discipline him, he may not be able to make the connection between the two. Because of the shock collar's quick response time, this is an ideal method of discipline.

The major concern about shock collars is that they are inhumane. In reality, shock collars are not designed to hurt your pet in the slightest. By delivering a small electrical charge, they startle your pet. Still, collars that are improperly sized for your pet may actually be able to do some harm, so it's important to consult with your vet for more info.