Thursday, May 2, 2013

Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Shock Collars

A client came in the other day to have me look at wounds on his dog.

Two red, hairless round lesions were on the ventral side (bottom) of his dogs neck. He was very concerned that his dog had been attacked and bitten by something.

I told him that these wounds were old and did not look like the puncture wounds that we see with animal bites.

I asked him if he used a shock collar or invisible fence?

"Why YES!" He blurted. "Could that be it?"

"Do you leave it on his neck?" I asked.

"Why, Yes!" The light bulb illuminated.

"Mystery solved. There is no charge for today's visit." I left the room for the next patient.

I am not opposed to invisible fences or to the use of a shock collar BUT I think it is absolutely imperative that you spend a great deal of time training your pet to these, versus strapping them around your pets neck and making them figure it our on their own.

The manufacturers of all of these products provide a detailed booklet with important information, tips, and an invaluable personal telephone help line. Read the whole booklet before thinking about putting the collar on your pet, ask any questions via the help line, and spend a dedicated number of hours, days, and yes, even weeks, training your pet to understand the concept of boundaries and consequences.

Based on over a decade of personal experience I have only seen my dogs ever get the reminder shock twice. Once to identify the level they needed the collar set to, (Jekyl the beagle, is a two, it ranges from 1 to 6, he is very sensitive and never ever needs to be shocked. That one time was all he ever needed! He gets beeped a lot though!.) and Charleston, the pit bull mix, is a 4. He needs a stronger incentive and is much less sensitive to any degree of discomfort), and the second time a few days later when they were running off and ignoring the precursory warning "beeps."

I used an invisible fence at my old house. Actually, we included our neighbors houses with ours so that all of the dogs could play together. It worked wonderfully!

At our new home we use a remote trainer. I elected this because my dogs are actually very well trained and their are no neighbors around. We are surrounded by hundreds of acres of farm land with no roads. There are however, many, many hunters in the fall. I keep the collars on for safety during hunting season. I am afraid that they will see some visitor roaming in the woods and go running over to welcome them to our house. I am guessing that guys in camos seeing a beagle and a pit bull running at them full tilt might think that they need to defend themselves with their firearm.

If you decide to try an invisible fence, or remote training remember that it should not be left on them 24/7. If you do you will likely see the same prong marks on your pets neck. These occur from the constant chronic abrasion on the skin. Also all collars need to be checked frequently so that they do not become too tight as your pet grows, whether that be growing bigger or heavier.

Lastly, any collar can be lost. A microchip is the best way to permanently identify your pet should they get lost. I recommend placing a microchip as soon as you get your pet, and remember to keep your information current with the microchip company. They need to be able to find you if you can't find your pet.

I have seen ads for invisible fencing for cats. I have no personal experience, nor do I have any clients using it. Anyone out there have any experience? or feedback on this?

No comments:

Post a Comment