I presently do not use a bark collar or one of the wireless fences that requires the use of a collar that can shock or zap a dog if he or she barks or gets too close to the fence. Prior to owning a dog I thought they were cruel and inhumane. I would never have considered owning one. But, now that I am a dog owner the thought has crossed my mind for several reasons.
Let’s first discuss the bark collar. I know many people that have successfully used the bark collar on the lowest setting to stop unwanted barking. They only used the collar active a few times. When the dog returns to the bad habit of barking the owner will put back on the collar but not activated and the dog will stop the unwanted behavior. Through the use of conditioning and association the unwanted behavior is stopped. When a dog stops barking everyone in the household and the neighborhood are happy. Teaching a dog manners and curtailing nuisance barking is a social responsibility. I would rather not hear a dog bark and see him or her wearing the bark collar than to see the dog in a shelter or homeless because the pet owner and the neighbors could not stop the barking using other behavior modification methods.
Now the invisible fence also at first seemed a bit harsh. But, now that I am a pet owner the price of installing a fence is not in my budget. The invisible fences are not cheap either. However, they are an alternative to keeping the dog indoors all day. Dogs need fresh air and exercise. They enjoy lying in the sun soaking up the rays. I think a dog’s quality of life improves when given the opportunity to run outside and enjoy the fresh air without having to be on a leash all the time.
Dog owners need to be responsible. If that means that the behavior modification technique used to invoke the appropriate or desired behavior is through the administration of shock then I vote it in its favor. I would rather see a disciplined dog wearing a shock collar than a dog sitting unwanted in a shelter or running loose as a stray or worse being beat or kicked in an attempt to discipline the dog. Used in moderation the shock collar can be a beneficial tool to training a dog and allowing it to roam outside within limits without having to be on a leash.