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  • Writer's pictureKari Bastyr, MS, CDBC, CPCN

AVSAB’s Position Statement on Using Punishment for Behavior Modification in Animals

Question: Would you purposely hurt your dog? …….. Many people purposely hurt their dog in the name of ‘training’ and it saddens me. I feel so badly for dogs who are subjected to pain because they bark, jump, or pull. …… Lately I have had several calls from pet parents whose dogs have become aggressive due to shock collar training and want me to help. These dogs are now reactive to other dogs or biting people- behaviors they didn’t have before. ……. Shock collars work because they hurt. Fact. There are also side effects and unintended associations. Fact. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior recommends that shock, prong, and choke collars not be used. Fact. ……… Do you know why people call shock collars ‘e-collars’? Because if they said ‘shock’ people would have a harder time buying in to pain training. The term E-collar is a euphemism for pain. It’s not a stim, pulse, tick, or static… It’s SHOCK. And it hurts. And pain increases cortisol, anxiety and aggression. There are many scientific studies on the effects of shock collar training. Please do your research before hiring a shock collar trainer. You will be handing your dog off to someone who could ruin your dog. …… Check the link below for the AVSAB Position Statement and please listen to the science. Your dog will thank you. ?

“AVSAB’s position is that punishment (e.g. choke chains, pinch collars, and electronic collars) should not be used as a first-line or early-use treatment for behavior problems. This is due to the potential adverse effects which include but are not limited to: inhibition of learning, increased fear-related and aggressive behaviors, and injury to animals and people interacting with animals.”

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