Never Shock a Puppy Mindset

From the outset, we want to be clear on a few things. Never Shock a Puppy takes root in the belief that it shouldn’t hurt to learn. That’s true for people. That’s true for dogs.

voodoo doll imageDog Training: The Heart of It
You can read our Never Shock a Puppy Manifesto, but essentially we believe that when dogs learn to love learning, they become willing, happy partners in dog training success. And, the process of dog training builds — rather than breaks down — the human-animal bond.

We believe that rewarding dogs for doing things “right” not only works better than punishing them for doing things wrong, but we also believe it’s more humane.

Dog Training Euphemisms
Call them “remote training collars” or “e-collars,” if you’d like. It’s just shorthand for “electronic collar,” but understand that’s that’s a techno-buzzword meant to gloss over the reality that an electric shock gets delivered into the dog’s neck. The purpose is to startle, interrupt, and/or provide a “negative stimuli” to the dog.

In other words, it’s meant to cause pain. Call it a zap or a tingle or akin to a static shock, but it still hurts.

And, that’s truly what choke collars, shock collars, pinch/prong collars do … they punish dogs (through pain … make no mistake about that). Some believe it easily crosses over into abuse.

We’re big fans of the bumper sticker that says: “If you think shock collars don’t hurt, you put it on, and give me the remote.”

Seriously, you’ve seen this video … right?

Dog Training Tools, Timing, Temperament
One of the early criticisms we heard about our Never Shock a Puppy concept was that we were focusing on the tools instead of how the tools are used.

We’ve been asked, “Would you rant about shoes just because someone wore shoes while kicking a dog?”

Probably not, but here is the difference. Shoes have another purpose. Dog collars designed to cause pain do not.

Plus, here is the thing … the vast majority of people have none of the following things required to use such a tool properly (if there is such a thing):

  • Dog training knowledge
  • Split second timing
  • Temperament

Let’s face it. The main reasons most people turn to pain-causing dog collars — like shock collars, pinch/prong collars, choke collars — is because their dogs have habits they find VERY annoying.

Dog training while frustrated and wielding a remote that can cause deliberate (and sustained) pain is a recipe for nothing good.

Dog Training Disagreements
We are well aware that others do NOT object to the use of these kinds of dog training tools, either in general or in certain situations. We know the ways disagreement over these issues typically play out — especially online.

So, in the words of one of our Never Shock a Puppy Coalition members (Debbie Jacobs from

It’s not that we don’t understand your methods. We simply disagree with them.

A Humane Training Analogy
Think of it like this … Would you stay in any other relationship if the other person occasionally caused you physical pain “to teach you a lesson”?

Our Partners: Humane Society of Boulder Valley
So, welcome to the initial 8-week Never Shock a Puppy blog campaign, where we hope to raise awareness about humane dog training alternatives.

We’ll give away some prizes.

And, we’ll raise (at least) $2,500 for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley‘s upcoming No-Choke Challenge (slated to begin November 2010), a like-minded and worthy cause.

Essentially, the money raised will buy 165 or so replacement dog collars or dog harnesses.

That’s 165 dogs who will no longer HURT in the process of learning.

Simply put, they have the resources and the staff do what we cannot, and that’s give MANY people (in Boulder, Colorado) new humane dog training tools in exchange for their pain-based collars.

We’re proud to partner with them on this effort because indeed there are other “humane societies” and animal rescue organizations that use shock collars and other punitive training tools/methods on dogs in their care.

How You Can Help!

1. Make a donation (no matter how small, every $1, $5, $10, $20 counts) toward our fund-raising goal. Check out the donation widget in the sidebar to your right.

2. Post our Never Shock a Puppy badge on your site.

3. Post our Never Shock a Puppy donation widget on your site.

4. Blog about our efforts and encourage people to visit the site (and donate).

5. Share links to our Never Shock a Puppy posts on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

6. Join the conversation via comments on the Never Shock a Puppy Blog.

How Your Donations Help!
Do you want to help spread the word about pain-free dog training? As our service project, we’re raising money for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley‘s upcoming No-Choke Challenge. (More details on how our efforts dovetail on our About Page and on the No-Choke Challenge page.)

Just click the donation button on this handy-dandy donation widget to get started!

If for some reason you cannot see or use the donation widget below, please visit the Never Shock a Puppy Donation Site instead.

Read More!
Never Shock a Puppy coalition members (and others, we hope) are blogging from their own sites on this and related topics. Check out this blog hop to learn more.

This entry was posted in Dog Training, Humane Dog Training, Never Shock a Puppy News, Pain-Free Dog Training, Positive Reinforcement Dog Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Never Shock a Puppy Mindset

  1. Pingback: Champion of My Heart » Blog Archive » Day 1: Never Shock a Puppy

  2. Edie says:

    This is a great explanation for the campaign, very direct, clear and to the point. I particularly admire how you avoid what (I’d assumed) were inevitable disputes with other trainers, i.e., Debbie Jacob’s statement: “It’s not that we don’t understand your methods. We simply disagree with them.”


  3. Theresa says:

    Great cause! I blogged about it on my blog to help spread out the word 😀

  4. Pingback: Champion of My Heart » Blog Archive » Day 2: Never Shock a Puppy