Dogs Trust believes that the use of all aversive training aids is detrimental to the welfare of dogs.

Scientific research has shown that the application of an electric shock can cause a physiological stress response in dogs. Furthermore, research funded by Defra concluded that the immediate effects of training with a remote electronic training collar gives rise to behavioural signs of distress in dogs. This research concluded that the routine use of e-collars even in accordance with best practice (as suggested by collar manufacturers) presents a risk to the well-being of pet dogs.

Our concerns are not restricted to electric shock collars though, as other training aids also use the principle of being aversive to dogs and so have the potential to negatively impact dog welfare. Research has shown that aversive stimuli that cannot be anticipated by the dog tend to induce a physiological stress response as well as behaviours indicative of stress.

Dogs Trust would like to see a full ban on the sale and use of aversive training aids. Under no circumstances do we condone the use of equipment or techniques that use punishment, pain or fear to train a dog.

We are deeply concerned by suggestions that guidance or a Code of Practice which provided instruction on the use of aversive training aids would tackle the inappropriate use of these devices and question how it could be assessed whether users were using aversive training aids in accordance with the guidance/Code of Practice and how compliance could be enforced.