Strict guidance has been published by the Scottish government which provides advice on training methods and training aids for dogs, with particular focus on the welfare issues that may arise from the use of aversive methods including e-collars. It highlights the potential consequences of the misuse of aversive training aids, including possible legal issues.
The Kennel Club and Scottish Kennel Club assisted the Scottish government in drafting the guidance which now states: “Particular training devices that the Scottish Government does not condone are: electronic shock (static pulse) collars, electronic anti-bark collars, electronic containment systems, or any other method to inflict physical punishment or negative reinforcement.
“These techniques compromise dog welfare, as they may lead to aggressive responses and worsen the problems that they aim to address by masking or aggravating underlying behavioural issues.”
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary said: “The Kennel Club and Scottish Kennel Club have long been campaigning for a ban on electric shock training devices in Scotland.
“The campaign led to the government issuing several consultations on the matter over a number of years and last year culminated at an event organised by the Kennel Club and attended by all the leading animal welfare, veterinary and training organisations who called on the Scottish Government to introduce a ban sooner rather than later due to the increase in e-collar training days taking place across Scotland, encouraging and offering assistance to dog owners considering the use of e-collars.
“We are of the view that training with shock stimulus is unnecessary, outdated and simply masks behavioural problems as opposed to solving them, by inflicting painful electric shocks. This can often lead to further behavioural problems. We are relieved that a year later, such devices have been effectively banned in Scotland.”