I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
Sun Tzu, the master of strategy and war, was born in ancient China, roughly 544 BC. He has been the messiah of many a general and businessman, as his tactics and philosophies are still in use today. He was described as a very genial and merciful man…off the field. On the battlefield, however, he had only one objective: win.
There is a story about him that goes something like this:
Sun Tzu was tested by the King Helü of Wu, and ordered him to train a harem of 200 concubines, turning them into soldiers. Sun Tzu put them in two groups, naming the king’s favorites as the company commanders. Sun Tzu then commanded the concubines to face right – but they just giggled. In response, Sun Tzu said that a general, (himself) was responsible for ensuring that soldiers understood the commands given to them. Then, he reiterated the command, and again the concubines giggled. Sun Tzu then ordered the execution of the king’s two favored concubines, to the king’s protests. He explained that if the general’s soldiers understood their commands but did not obey, it was the fault of the officers. Sun Tzu also said that, once a general was appointed, it was his duty to carry out his mission, even if the king protested. After both concubines were killed, new officers were chosen to replace them. Afterwards, both companies, now well aware of the costs of further frivolity, performed their maneuvers flawlessly.(1)
Apparently the ends justified the means. Or maybe not.
There is no argument that shock collars work. Of course it works. You are causing an animal intense pain to keep them from a behavior. Whether or not it works has never been the question. Whether or not we should use such extreme measures has been the real question.
I found this video below on Your Good Dog’s Facebook page.
Owner Shannon Duffy’s comment perfectly sums up exactly how I feel about it as well.
Although I do not agree with the method I do understand why some of my friends use shock collars to help dogs exist in situations where failure would most likely cost their lives.
What is 100% unacceptable is using these collars for basic obedience training. Please watch this video. Every time this PUPPY (they start at 4 months) shakes his head he is being delivered a shock. Watch when he lies down and rubs his face trying to either ease the pain from the shocks of remove the collar. This is unacceptable for training a dog to do what amounts to circus tricks.
To my friends (there are quite a few) that are now using this method to train I beg of you to see that this is inhumane. If you do not feel that it is then put a collar around your neck and you take the same level shock every time that you shock the dog. And not just the one time “I held it in my hand and it’s not so bad” shock but every time, same level. I guarantee you learn better training methods.
What do you think?
I had a very difficult time getting through the video, and I hope you did, too. Here at Darwin Dogs, we firmly believe in balance. Not every question your dog asks can be answered with a treat. However, I feel that only a very, very small number of questions can be answered with pain, but I still can’t think of a legitimate one. If pain is your first response, to a puppy’s questions, then perhaps you need to rethink your tactics. If you’re looking for devotion through pain, well…wrong movie.
So I urge you, if someone suggests using an instrument of pain, such as a shock collar or a prong collar on your dog, tell them you already know how that ends. Shockingly.
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio
- Bradford 2000, pp. 134–135.