Can A Shock Collar Kill A Dog? Vet Answered

Can A Shock Collar Kill A Dog

About the Author: Introducing Dr. Adriana Luis, our Senior Content Editor at MyPetDoggie and also Veterinarian (MVZ). Kerry devotes most of her time to penning enlightening pieces about pet health, providing invaluable knowledge to pet owners globally. As the director of our Veterinary Content Team, she ensures the accuracy and comprehensiveness of our content, thereby making pet care accessible and understandable for everyone.

Many people love dogs including me. And some of them surely own a dog at home. Owning a dog is a big responsibility and you have to fulfill that with honesty. If you have a dog you need to train him so that he can understand what you want from him.

Every dog has a different nature. Some are easy going and some of them are stubborn and they can’t be handled easily. And they are not easy to train without using any proper tool that can control their behavior.

To train a big size dog or a stubborn dog you need a shock collar. This device can control your dog’s bad behavior and you can quickly train them at home. And these collars are good for outdoor activities as well.

But you have to choose a collar that fits your dog and is also made for that specific breed. Because there are different shocking collars for every breed.   

Can A Shock Collar Kill A Dog?

No, shock collars do not kill a dog if you use them properly. Shock collar is made to train dogs and control their unwanted and bad behavior hence it only comes with 0.01 amp to be exact, means it can’t burn dog’s skin; so no shock collar is far behind killing a dog as it’s totally safe to use.

If you use it correctly, you can train your dog what you want him to learn and he won’t get annoyed. Whenever you wear a shock collar to your dog you can give him a treat. So, he can find this a good thing. 

You might be interested in: Explore whether police dogs are trained with shock collars and the methods used in their training.

How Does A Shock Collar Work?

Dog Training Collars commonly require 2 main components to work: the remote and the receiver. Generally, remote dog training collars work as you set the remote to send a radio signal to your dog’s collar receiver. This activates the stimulation such as tone, vibration, and static pulse to correct unwanted behaviors or reward positive behaviors.

How Does A Shock Collar Work
Dog sits on a sofa after wearing a shock collar

You can choose the kind of stimulation for your dog, especially the level of the static pulse as needed. The stimulation is delivered from the two small prongs, attached to the collar, that touch your dog’s skin. That’s why you choose the proper fit shock collar for your dog. 

8 Dangers of Shock Collars

Besides the benefits, there are some negative aspects of shock collars that we cannot ignore. Let’s discuss those points which may be harmful to your dog. 

Physical Discomfort and Pain

Mostly the users are concerned while using a shocking collar because some of them experience that it causes physical pain to dogs. But it happens only in some rare cases. It occurs when you use the collar for a longer time or at a high intensity.

Physical Discomfort and Pain
Dog and Cat are sleeps together on a bed

This may be harmful to your dog. Now there are remotes of collars where you can control the intensity and save your dog from physical pain. 

Risk of Physical Injuries

There is a risk of physical injuries if you tighten the collar too much. Moreover, if your dog has sensitive skin then he gets injured quickly with a tight collar. Make sure you can adjust the collar properly and do not tighten it much. 

The dog try to lying on his owners hand

Negative Psychological Effects

The shock collar can cause psychological distress to your pet which includes phobias and high levels of stress. Moreover, symptoms like anxiety, palpitations, and sleep disturbances can occur as a result of the overuse of shock stimulations on dogs.

Negative Psychological Effects
The dog is playing with his owner

Misinterpretation of Training

There are some misinterpretations of training a dog with a collar and they are as follows:

  • Shock collars confuse dogs.
  • Shock collars are used to punish the dogs.
  • You cannot use shock collars on small dogs. 
  • These collars make your dog afraid of you.
Misinterpretation of Training
The dog is lying on a bed peacefully

These are some common myths or misinterpretations that are related to the use of shock collars on dogs. But you must not believe these things and train your dog with shock collars without any tension.

Ineffective Training

Training becomes ineffective when you do not follow the proper steps of training. While training your dog with a shock collar you can make sure that the collar is a proper fit for your dog.

Ineffective Training
Owner tries to grab his little dog mouth

He must feel comfortable in it and that collar does not irritate him. If you follow this, your training will never become ineffective. 

Risk of Overcorrection

Some risks may cause overcorrection. Like without you there to control when a shock is administered, the shock collars may deliver shocks unintentionally or too often. This unnecessary shock could confuse your dog by “correcting” a problem that was not even there.

Risk of Overcorrection
The dog sits on a wooden floor while wearing a bark collar

Reinforces Fear

Fear in dogs can be dangerous, so you never train a dog with fear. With shock training, some dogs may learn to fear people, objects, or situations they associate with the collar. So, try to eliminate the fear and not reinforce it. 

Reinforces Fear
Dog shows a Reinforces Fear

Lack of Positive Reinforcement

There is a lack of positive reinforcement while training a dog with a shock collar and that makes a dog uncomfortable with a collar. So, try to build Positive reinforcement as this training is reward-based and involves giving your dog praise, a toy, or a treat for exhibiting good behavior.

Lack of Positive Reinforcement
Dog gives a sign of Lack of Positive Reinforcement

You might be interested in: Learn when a dog is old enough for a shock collar and how to use it responsibly.

How To Use A Shock Collar Properly?

How To Use A Shock Collar Properly
Dog do running while wearing a shock collar on his neck

There are some important steps to follow. So, you can learn how to train how to use a shock collar on your dog properly.  

Consult a professional

While training your dog you can consult a professional for some good advice for your dog. Dog trainers work with dogs to teach them basic obedience, and in some cases, advanced performance activities. Some dog trainers may work primarily with dogs to correct behavior, and others may work with dogs to prepare them for shows or competitions.

Choose the Right Collar

For training the dog with a shock collar you need to choose the right collar for them. If you choose the right collar that is a proper fit for your dog and he feels comfortable in it. Then it causes no harm to your dog.

Understand the Settings

When you start training your dog with a shock collar. First, you have to understand the settings of the collar. And try to train your dog at a low setting. If you start with a high setting at the start it may be harmful for your dog. Because some dogs have sensitive skin and they may get injured. 

Start with Low Intensity

Start at your lowest intensity setting. Use no commands. While your dog explores his surroundings, tap and increase the intensity setting until he notices the shock collar. Repeat a few times at this setting to make sure he has noticed the stimulation.

Clear Communication

Pair verbal commands with the use of the shock collar to establish clear communication with your dog. Consistency and clarity will aid in faster learning and better results. To maximize the effectiveness of shock collar training, timing is crucial.

Avoid Overuse

You need to avoid the overuse of shock collars. Shock collars wouldn’t be worn for long hours as they may damage the skin of your dog. Overuse of anything will be dangerous. You cannot make your dog wear the collar 24/7 as it may cause damage to his skin. 

Regular Breaks

Break is important in training and when you are training your dog with a shock collar you must take regular breaks. Otherwise, he gets annoyed by the training and won’t learn things properly. So, a break is necessary for good training.

Monitor Stress Levels

While training your dog with a shock collar all you can do is monitor the stress level too. You can monitor if he behaves correctly or is going through some kind of stress. These collars may cause depression or stress to the dogs. So you can monitor it daily.

Do professional dog trainers use shock collars?

Yes, professional dog trainers use shock collars but as a last option. They are professional in training dogs and they know how to train any kind of dog. They use various tools to train normal and stubborn dogs and these tools include collars too. Collars are of different types like simple collars, shock collars, and e-collars.

Do professional dog trainers use shock collars
A close look of a dog while wearing a shock collar on his neck

All these collars are used to train dogs. Not all professionals use these shock collars but some of them use them. As they are professional they use collars properly so that it won’t hurt the dog. 

How tight should a dog collar be?

The two-finger rule is the best way to test if your dog’s collar has the right tightness. Place two fingers between the dog’s neck and the collar while lightly pulling back on it. If you can fit two fingers comfortably under the collar, then the collar is likely a good fit.

Can an e-collar choke my dog
A dog wearing a neck and shock collar

A collar should not be too tight nor too loose for a dog. If it is too tight it may hurt your dog and damage his skin. On the other hand, if it is too loose the dog may easily escape from the collar. So, you can make sure that the collar is a good fit for your dog and feels comfortable in it. 

Can an e-collar choke my dog?

The myth of can the e-collar chokes my dog can be debunked through a proper understanding of e-collar design, function, and correct usage. By following manufacturer guidelines and using a reputable product, dog owners can effectively train their dogs without causing harm or discomfort.

How tight should a dog collar be
Dog shows a Can an e-collar choke his neck

If you use an e-collar properly then it won’t damage the dog’s skin or give any harm to his neck. The proper use of an e-collar helps you to give your dog good training. And he obeyed all your orders and followed all the commands given by you. 

Do shock collar burns?

Shock collar burns are rare occurrences that can result from the misuse of a shock collar or the use of a low-quality product. Many experts argue that when used correctly and according to the manufacturer’s guidelines the shock collars should not cause burns or any other harm to a dog.

Do shock collar burns
A shock collar burn a dog neck hairs

However, burns are commonly caused by bacterial infection through intense rubbing and other improper ways of using these shock collars.


Shock collars are not meant to provide harm to your dog. They are made to train the dogs and control their unwanted behaviors. Shock collars help you to train your dog so that it can follow all your commands.

You can teach them obedience, discipline, and good manners in training with a shock collar. Some dogs are easy to train but some are stubborn. For them, these shock collars are best and you can easily control them.

However, as far as the injury or pain is concerned by these collars. So, it happens only in some rare cases and that happens because of the misuse of the collars or using a cheap product. At last, you can choose the best shock collar for your dog to save him from any harm.

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