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 on
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
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
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 MP 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."
*Research from University of Lincoln - http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2012/09/561.asp