A friend's puppy has started chewing on everything in sight and my friend wants to use a shock collar to curb this habit.
I think the pup will not associate a shock with chewing. The exercise is useless, but may harm the pup.
I need some new areguments to convince him to get rid of the shock collar idea. I've tried talking with him about alternatives like closing the closet doors and crate training the pup, but I'm running out alternatives.
What would you say to someone insisting on questionable training methods with a puppy?
I would tell him that it is wrong plain and simple. He should be training the dog not to touch and he should provide it with plenty of toys to chew. If you had a toddler in the house you would put things out of reach so that they didn't get broken, and you would teach the child not to touch by saying no, but you wouldn't physically hurt the child for doing what comes naturally - unless you were an abusive parent. The same applies to puppies!
The humane way to solve this problem is to watch the puppy closely. Whenever he puts something inappropriate in his mouth, in a clam voice say "no, no, no, don't chew on this ... here chew on this" as you place an appropriate item in his mouth. The puppy should NOT have a huge number of toys. I suggest 4 toys all of different textures. Maybe a hard object such as a Nylabone. A softer object such as a kong type toy. Something a little softer like a knotted rope. Finally something real soft and fuzzy like a sqeak toy. Having few toys will make it easier on him to determine which are ok to chew and which aren't. Again, IMMEDIATELY take away an inappropriate item and replace it with an appropriate one of a similar texture.
Remember that puppies chew. It's what they do. They have a great psychological need to chew. It's how they explore thier world. They have no concept of value so a $2,000 dining room table has the same value to him as a stick that has fallen out of the tree outside.
Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring-it was peace. - Milan Kundera
STA70219.jpgShock collars are downright cruel, and having over 25 years experience in training dogs and helping other people to do so, I have never come across any dog that should be treated in this way, let alone a young puppy that is doing what every puppy needs to do, and that is chew. Chewing helps aleviate the pain, that's why young babies are given teething rings, or rings that can be frozen, or a gel put on their gums. Giving the puppy chew toys that serve a similar function would be helpful, along with removing things that they would prefer the pup not to touch, or teaching it in a kind way not to touch, and giving it something it can, like it's own chew toy, or a Kong with treats stuffed in it - can be frozen, will help with the teething, as a distraction.
Tell your 'friend' to try a shock collar on themself first, and see if they then think it suitable to use on a young animal that is never going to understand what it is being hurt for, let alone deserve this treatment.
If your 'friend' doesn't see sense, then I would suggest that they are not worth having as a friend, having no compassion or understanding of a young animals needs.
I would tell your friend that puppies need time and attention to teach them the correct way to behave. If you take on a puppy (or any dog) you have to expect that thee will be a few mishaps and an occasion mess. If you can't deal with that and you can't put in the time and effort to teach the dog properly then you shouldn't have dogs at all.
I'm totally against shock collars that give off charges. It's just plain cruel. There are other kinds of collars that are more humane, but I prefer training and patience.
Tell your friend to have more patience and learn how to associate dogs to humans. Animals have feelings too! I guess he forgot about that.
I really worry about my fellow human beings sometimes, What on earth would make anyone think that it was appropriate to use a shock collar on a puppy? I wish people would think through the consequences of their actions.
Well said! I wonder why people like that get a dog in the first place if they can't put in the time to train a puppy.
There are a variety of excellent responses to your question here and your friend needs to read them. I don't mean to sound harsh but from what you've said it seems to me your friend is either totally unaware of what dogs need, in which case he/she shouldn't have a pet or worse still, your friend may be just plain lazy and wants to take the 'easy' way out, for him. Its not the easy way, the compassionate way or the right way for the poor puppy.
Using a shock collar is simply cruel punishment for something the puppy will naturally do. The puppy is probably teething, and just like a human baby it will need something to ease the pain of new teeth trying to push through, but even so, dogs chew no matter what their age, thats just a part of being a dog. DO you think shock collars would be allowed on any other animal? Here in Australia someone using such a collar could be in trouble with the RSPCA.
Perhaps your friend shouldn't own a dog at all, or at least, wait until they acquire some knowledge about dogs. Ask your friend if he would like to be shocked every time he did something HE DIDN'T KNOW WAS WRONG. Ask him if thats a way he would like to learn a new behaviour, and then apply some if not all of that knowledge to how he/she treats the puppy. Shocking an animal is simply appalling and will create serious behavioural problems further down the track. The dog will be frightened of many things, including its owner. Read the posts by RubyRoo and Bill. I sure hope you can convince him/her to listen to the people on the forum here because I feel deeply sorry for that poor puppy.