Dogs Trust & Kennel Club Join Forces to Support Shock Bill in Parliament

(Kennel Club Press Release) Dog welfare organisations Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club are supporting Matthew Offord, Conservative MP for Hendon, who is calling for a ban on the sale and use of electric shock collars during a Ten Minute Rule Bill presented to the House of Commons today, Wednesday 22nd January.

The Ten Minute Rule Bill follows the publication of two pieces of research, funded by DEFRA and published last summer, which show that electric shock collars can cause negative behavioural and physiological changes in dogs and are open to misuse by users of these devices.

Although banned by the Welsh government in 2010, electric shock collars are used widely in the UK, with over 300,000* reportedly in use in 2012. They are worn around a dog’s neck and work by delivering a short or prolonged electric shock to the dog (either via a remote control or delivered automatically) to ‘correct’ an undesirable behaviour.

Both Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club are against the use of negative training methods or devices and believe the use of electric shock collars is both irresponsible and ineffective.

Every dog should be trained using kind, fair and reward-based methods which are effectively used to train dogs by the police, the army and assistance dog charities, which have some of the best trained dogs in the world.

DEFRA’s research found that positive reinforcement is just as effective in treating behavioural issues in dogs, including livestock chasing, which is often the main justification given for their use.

Matthew Offord and Max

Matthew Offord MP (above pictured with Max) explains: “The reason I am raising this issue is because DEFRA is continuing to ignore its own research.

“In 2013, DEFRA published its two studies which showed that electric shock collars can cause some dogs negative welfare issues even when trained by a professional using “relatively benign training programmes”, so therefore many would deem them unsafe.

Very few people who buy these devices would have the skill set of an experienced training and behaviour advisor, so there would surely be a heightened chance of long-term negative impacts.

“Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club have long campaigned for the sale and use of electric shock collars to be banned as numerous pieces of research, including the most recent DEFRA studies, have shown that they can have a negative effect on dog welfare.

“As a dog will have no idea what has caused the pain, it is far more likely to associate it with something in its immediate environment than to connect it with its own behaviour at the time.

“This is why cases of dogs attacking other dogs, their owner, or another animal close by at the time of the shock are common.

“Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club believe positive training methods have a greater influence over a dog’s behaviour than electric shock collars without ever compromising the dog’s health and well-being or the bond between an owner and their dog.”

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21 replies

  1. yes they should be banned we would not use them to teach our children how to behave so why use them on a dog, if you cant train your dog with kindness so he will willing behave to please you, and if you have to result to these cruel methods of training a dog you should not own a dog.

  2. If anyone needs one of these instruments of torture they don’t know how to train a dog. There are alternatives (citrus collars) for ingrained dangerous problems which need a strong aversive.

  3. DogLost supports this Bill and despite manufacturers assertions that it stops dogs going missing whilst on walks, we can see no evidence of this. It is a cruel and inappropriate way to train dogs.

  4. I am wholeheartedly against the use of these collars. I have rescued Rottweilers for over 25 years and now have French Bulldogs. I have used the citronella spray version of these collars for many years with great success. Along with loving care and thorough training, these have been a huge success for both breeds. There is never, ever a justification for shocking any animal. #barbaric

  5. I absolutely agree that these shock collars are unnecessary and inhumane. How can we not follow Wales’ lead and ban them – along with prong collars and the like?

  6. How can anything as cruel as this possibly have a positive outcome. Its ridiculous and I despair at the lack of common sense. Ban this straight away and step up as a nation to stop the increased amount of neglect and cruelty happening on a daily basis. Increase penalties and increase safeguards for the animals that show us so much love.

  7. The reason Defra are not prepared to listen to their own advice is probably because this use of the electric collar might just lead to more dogs attacks and then the knee jerk DDA law can then be used to kill more dogs, is there a secret agenda by Defra to rid the country of ‘Type’ dogs and justify the stupid over reaction by the government by enforcing DDA rules

  8. Ban shock collars, totally supportive of your efforts along with the KC and Dogs Trust.

    DEFRA really are dragging their feet, they commissioned the study, at tax payer’s expense, and they need to now do the decent thing and look at the evidence. Not just say they will insist on improved manuals. Most people don’t read the manuals and anyway that is beside the point.

    Ban shock collars!

  9. Ban shock collars, totally supportive of your efforts along with the KC and Dogs Trust.

    DEFRA really are dragging their feet, they commissioned the study, at tax payer’s expense, and they need to now do the decent thing and look at the evidence. Not just say they will insist on improved manuals. Most people don’t read the manuals and anyway that is beside the point.

  10. Is there a petition anywhere that we can sign to say we want them banned? They are disgusting and as said in previous comments, anyone who feels they need this to train a dog, clearly doesnt know how to train a dog and they shouldnt be allowed to own a dog. I actually dont think it would be a bad idea to bring back dog owners requiring a lisence.

  11. we have used these collars on the farm to stop dogs getting out through fencing maybe on to roads or other farmland where they could roam miles, they can and do save lives. they give off a sound beep before boundary and dogs go home do not try to go through boundary..happy Labradors and terriers and live ones

  12. I’m against shock collars and they should be banned immediately!
    Anyone using a shock collar on their dog is only after a “quick fix.” If these owners actually spent time and patience training their dog with love and kindness, the award of producing a well trained dog that is so eager to please its owner when it is instructed to do something can be seen.
    Compared that dog to a different dog that has a shock collar fitted and is in fear of receiving yet another shock from its owner because it has done something that the owner doesn’t approve of. That dog will usually trying to keep a low profile during training, especially if there is a group of dogs being trained together and that can be seen in many, so-called dog training videos posted on YouTube.

  13. Perhaps they would also like to oppose the dangerous dogs act and breed specific legislation,many innocent family pets are seized under this unfair and unjust law.onnocet dogs hat have done nothing wrong,

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