The Kennel Club has sent out a press release regarding the ban/sale and use of electric shock collars. Nobody should disagree at all with, this, admittedly emotive, sentence from the release “They train dogs out of fear of further punishment by administering shocks to the dog when they do not perform what is asked of them” but there can be another side to the use of the collar. Quite a while ago one Glen of Imaal Terrier owner decided, as it was recommended by somebody who knew these things, to try a shock collar on their huge prey drive Glen. It’s over twelve years ago now but they were rather surprised to discover they couldn’t “just buy one”. They had to give a reason
Both owner and Glen had to then go on a half day course. The course was to discover if a) the reason was genuine b)would it be of any benefit to the Glen and c) was the owner capable of using a shock collar for the reason wanted? Suffice to say a collar-and it wasn’t cheap-went home with them that afternoon. So why had the collar decision been taken? The Glen in question was always walked on a lead. They were quite good with many dogs also on leads but occasionally they weren’t and there was never, ever indication. One second the Glen would be beside you on the lead but the next you would be laid on your stomach with arm outstretched watching it hurtle towards whatever had offended. A Glen in that mode doesn’t stop for anything much and can be a very efficient killing machines. A “whap” via the collar gave a few seconds chance to prevent a mountain of trouble.
The owner wrote their experience up for a newsletter when it was first mooted that “shocks” could possibly be banned because they wanted to say they had actually made a positive difference for them. It had only been used twice and both times had enabled the Glen to be caught before it wrecked havoc. The Glen, muscles bunched and pumped with adrenaline running high, hadn’t feared the “further punishment” mentioned in the article, they had hardly noticed it but it gave enough of a pause for disaster to be averted. A normal life in daylight had been discovered again, rather than only walking only under the cover of darkness. It never made the newsletter because the owner themselves decided pet folk may not understand that there is always at least two sides to every story and asked for it not to be included. We mention it here, the Glen in question long gone with old age to the happy hunting ground, just to illustrate that you can’t believe everything you read….even from the Kennel Club. Sometimes shock collars were for the good, they certainly prevented one Glen at least leaving this world early.