B.C. dog attack has SPCA warning shock collars can lead to aggression | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. dog attack has SPCA warning shock collars can lead to aggression

A dog wearing a shock collar is pictured in this undated photo submitted by the B.C. SPCA.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / B.C SPCA

The B.C. SPCA is warning pet owners about the use of shock collars following a recent dog attack in Coquitlam.

A small dog was attacked in Coquitlam by a group of off-leash dogs wearing shock collars, according to a CTV report, and a SPCA veterinary behaviour specialist says these types of attacks are often motivated by predatory behaviour. 

“Advocates of shock collar training often attempt to justify the use of painful training tools by claiming they protect wildlife and other animals. But as this case proves, shock collars are not effective in deterring a motivated attack,” Dr. Karen van Haaften said in a B.C. SPCA media release. "Furthermore, studies show an association between aversive training methods, in which pain and fear is used to change a dog’s behaviour, and aggressive behaviour in dogs."

READ MORE: New puppy? SPCA offers up 5 elements of humane dog training 

Training with a shock collar may have directly contributed to their aggressive behaviour, she said. They can also cause both physical and psychological pain for the animal.

Dr. van Haaften stressed there are other humane, reward-based training options available that are just as effective, if not more so.

“If a dog has aggressive behaviour, they need to be restrained using a physical tool, such as a leash and/or a basket muzzle,” she said. “Relying on a shock collar as the sole management tool for a dog with aggressive behaviours is not fair to the dog, and puts members of the community at risk.”

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