Basic Laws Regarding the Use of a Dog Training Shock Collar

Dog training shock collar, also known as bark collar or e-collar in brief, has been used in the training of both dogs and cats since the late 1960s. They typically consist of 2 parts: a remote control with dial for intensity regulation and the actual collar, which is strapped around the animal’s neck. Whenever the pet misbehaves, its owner can send a short electric current to the animal’s skin that will serve as a punishment and warning against future offenses. While many dog training schools, including police academies, have been and still are employing shock collars to instill proper behavior in their four-legged students, there are presently many animal rights organizations all over the world which call for their banning due to the suffering, aggression and possible infections they cause. Below you will find the latest developments in the legislation on bark collars in the major English-speaking countries. 


As of 24 March 2010, Wales is the first country in the United Kingdom to prohibit the use of electric shock collars in the entire country. Passing the ban as part of the Animal Welfare Act, the Welsh government outlawed the utilization of e-collars in animal training, treatment and misconduct prevention, citing as grounds for this decision the inhumanity and cruelty involved in the use of these devices. 

United Kingdom 

In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the other members of the UK, studies have been commissioned by the respective governments to determine the extent of the harm that shock collars cause to dogs and cats. Regulatory legislation based on the results from these studies will be passed by the end of this year or early next year at the latest. Due to the increasing public concern voiced at present in these countries, experts believe that the new laws will either considerably restrict or completely ban the use of bark collars at private households and state institutions alike. 


In the land down under, legislation on shock collars varies from state to state. For example, their application is entirely prohibited in Australia's Capital Territory, but perfectly legal in New South Wales. States like Victoria, South Australia and Northern Territory take the middle ground, limiting the utilization of e-collars to therapies prescribed by licensed specialists, but refraining from banning them completely. In all parts of the country, however, the import of shock collars is illegal and subject to penalty under the respective national laws. 


Keeping true to its sobriquet, the land of opportunity poses absolutely no limitations, either federal or state, on the utilization of bark collars. Pet owners are allowed to use any collar brand available whenever and as long as they want. And regardless of the recent attempts of PETA and other similar organizations, the situation is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. The only hope for champions of animal rights is that people who resort to using shock collars will eventually realize that they are inflicting intolerable pain to their pets and will begin to employ other, positive means in the education of their furry family members.