Electric Shock Collars


Key Statistics from Research into Electric Shock Collars

  • 1 in 4 dogs showed signs of stress compared to less than 5% of dogs in the non-electric shock collar control group (Defra commissioned study AW1402, 2013)
  • 1 in 3 dogs yelp at the first use of electric shock collar and 1 in 4 yelp at subsequent uses (Defra commissioned study AW1402, 2013)
  • 73% of the public disapprove of the use of electric shock collars on dogs (Kennel Club commissioned survey, 2014)
  • 79% of the public agree that positive reinforcement training methods can address behavioural issues in dogs without the need for negative training methods (Kennel Club commissioned survey, 2014)
  • 74% of the public would support the government introducing a ban on electric shock collars (Kennel Club commissioned survey, 2014)

The problem

Electric shock collars (ESCs) are worn around a dog's neck and deliver an electric shock either via a remote control or an automatic trigger, for example, a dog's bark.

Electric shock collars train dogs through a fear of further punishment, having received the shock when it does not perform what is asked of it, rather than from a natural willingness to obey.


Existing research has highlighted the detrimental impact ESCs may have on dog welfare. These studies have focused on the physiological effects and the impacts on learning through the use of electric shock collars.

Recent research commissioned by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) showed that there were significant long term negative welfare consequences for a proportion of the dogs that were trained with ESCs. The studies concluded that even when electric shock collars were used by professionals following an industry set standard of training approved by the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association (ECMA), there were still long term negative impacts on dog welfare. Lastly, the studies also demonstrated that positive reinforcement methods were effective in treating livestock chasing, which is the most commonly cited justification of their use.

The KC view

The Kennel Club is against the use of any negative training methods or devices. The Kennel Club believes that there are many positive training tools and methods that can produce dogs that are trained just as quickly and reliably, with absolutely no fear, pain, or potential damage to the relationship between dog and handler.

Moving forward

The Kennel Club is calling for the Westminster Government and the Northern Ireland Assembly to introduce a ban on the sale and use of electric shock collars.

The Scottish Parliament have announced a ban on these devices and the Welsh Assembly introduced a ban in 2010 as part of the Animal Welfare Act, after the Welsh Assembly agreed that there was enough evidence to prove that banning the devices would improve animal welfare.

Electric training collars are already banned in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Germany and in some states in Australia.



More information


Related Topics

Electric Shock Collar Animal Welfare Electric Shock Collars
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