How to Use a Shock Collar for Aggressive Dogs?

Pet Training


September 27, 2022

There are a lot of different training methods when it comes to getting your dog to do what you want it to do. There are those who believe in shock collars as a way to instill in the dog that what they are doing is wrong.

There is a lot to know about shock collars before you decide on which path to follow. For aggressive dogs in particular, it is important to find the right training methods. Knowing the truth about shock collars can help you to make the right decision for training your dog, aggressive or not.

Do Shock Collars Hurt Dogs?


Think about how a shock collar works. It uses a jolt of electricity to the dog’s skin as a response to something that they have done wrong. With electrical shocks can come pain, depending on the level of the shock.

If the intensity is too high on the collar, a shock collar can absolutely hurt the dog. When it comes to using a shock collar for aggressive dogs, you are taking an already aggressive dog and scary/hurting it even further.

Where to Surrender an Aggressive Dog?

Dealing with an aggressive dog can be a difficult thing. Even if you have the best of intentions, it can feel as though the dog will remain aggressive no matter what. In homes with children or other pets, the last thing that you want to happen is to have that aggressive dog do harm.

But where do you take an aggressive dog for surrender? There are a few different options to choose from. For starters, talk to the breeder or shelter where you first adopted your dog. There are usually certain stipulations for the adoption process stating that if they need rehoming, you need to contact them first.

Just be transparent about the aggression. The last thing that you want to do is give this shelter an aggressive dog and have it do harm to another pet or potential pet owner. Some dogs can be trainable while others need some more comprehensive work with a dog specialist to work through the aggression.

There are also no-kill shelters that will take the dog, working with them in an effort to rehab their behavior. The no-kills aren’t a guarantee, though, because if your dog has a history of biting, it can complicate whether or no they are accepted into the shelter.

Finally, consider using a pet specialist. They may have a deeper knowledge as to what triggers that kind of behavior, as well as what can be done to reduce the aggression if not get rid of it entirely.

Shock Collar Injuries

The idea of a shock collar is to implement it in small bursts as a reminder to the dog that they are not doing what they are supposed to. But when using a shock collar for aggressive dogs, or any dog for that matter, there is a concern about whether injuries could occur.

The simple fact of the matter is that, yes, injuries can occur. After all, these are jolts of electricity that we are dealing with. But there is also the matter of the prongs that are used to deliver the shock to your dog.

Shock collars are capable of delivering physical pain to the dog, as well as any number of injuries. They can range from burns to cardiac fibrillation to thyroid dysfunction. There is also the matter of the psychological stress that they can cause, ranging from re-directed aggression to severe anxiety and more.

Dogs will generally associate the shock with whatever it is they are looking at when that shock happens. This can lead to trauma in association with things that might have nothing to do with the intended training. They should be used extremely carefully, if at all.

Can a Shock Collar Kill a Dog?

There are a lot of misconceptions out there when it comes to shock collars that are used in the training of dogs. They can definitely be capable of injuring a dog, especially if they have been used improperly or excessively.

That said, they are not capable of killing a dog. At the very least, there have not been any reports about a dog dying as the result of a shock collar. That is not to say that they cannot be dangerous, but even those who are using them improperly will likely not end up killing their dog.

Still, use caution whenever implementing a shock collar into your training methods. There are a lot of negative consequences that can be seen with the wrong use of these collars.

Do Shock Collars Make Dogs Aggressive?

When a dog has aggression issues, training them because a bit more delicate. The goal is to make them better at following commands and working through their aggression issues to make them safer to be around.

Shock collars, though they can be an effective tool for helping to train dogs, can also be akin to walking a tightrope. Using an electric collar on a dog that has aggression issues can cause a more averse reaction that brings out the aggression rather than suppressing it.

That is partially because aggressive dogs are more than likely to push back, which, in turn, only gets them a further shock. Instead of associating that aggression with the shock they are receiving, they only become more bewildered, upset, and aggressive.

Dogs that experience aggression issues should go through other training methods to temper that aggression. Shock collars can be effective for other kinds of dogs, but those who struggle with aggression will only have that aggression made worse, particularly with prolonged exposure to those shock collars. It is a dangerous path to follow.

Are Shock Collars Good for Dogs?


Let’s face facts and admit that there are a plethora of negative responses out there when it comes to shock collars. This has to do with a few different things, most of which have to do with the fact that some people use them as a vehicle for abuse or misuse them during the training process.

There is no 100% solid answer as to whether or not they are good or bad. The fact of the matter is that it is all too easy to let the negatives of using a shock collar come to the forefront, given that most people are not professional dog trainers.

When used on a low setting, they can be fine for gently reminding the dog when their behavior is incorrect. With enough care and patience, they can be used properly for training dogs of all different training levels and breeds.

Unfortunately, shock collars get the reputation that they do because they are misused. Keeping intensity levels too high, or using it far more frequently than it is meant to be used, can have serious negative impacts.

For dogs that have a higher aggression level prior to training, it may not be the best idea to implement shock collars into the mix. There is always the chance that it could further exacerbate their aggression levels, creating a more complex and complicated situation.

Do Vets Agree with Shock Collars?

Generally speaking, you will not find vets who are in favor of shock collars. Of course, every vet is different, and their underlying beliefs can coincide with medical evidence as to whether the shock collars should be used.

Having said that, the vast majority of them will not recommend shock collars. There are far too many examples of them being used in an abusive manner that have been through their own personal clinics. This is on top of the fact that there are guidelines and institutions about animal welfare that do not recommend using shock collars for the purposes of training.

Not only that, but there are several studies that do not support the use of a shock collar, either. When used by a responsible trainer, they can be effective in helping to train most dogs. But most pet owners are anything but trainers.

It is all too easy for them to become tools of abuse and punishment rather than effective training tools. If you do plan on using a shock collar, it is imperative that it be used safely and correctly. Starting them on the lowest setting will help to prevent any unnecessary shocks along the way.


Whether you believe in shock collars or not, it can help to know whether that remains an option, particularly with an aggressive dog. The last thing that you want to do is utilize this method only to make them more aggressive.

Before choosing to train your aggressive dog, make sure that you know the options. Electric collars work for some dogs but might not be the best for others.