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Electric leashes for dogs

Updated on May 8, 2012

Leash laws are common in most cities and towns around the country but could there be alternatives to ordinary leashes? One man in Puyallup, Washington thinks so. After he received two citations equaling $1026 this past fall for having his dogs on electronic leashes and not on traditional leashes.

The man took his two hunting retrievers to a local park to prepare them for a hunting trip. Both dogs were well trained and controlled by voice commands. Along with their command training the dogs were also fitted with electric collars which he had the control to. The collars allowed him to administer a slight shock to the dogs if they didn't respond to the voice commands. The range on the collars is one mile from the hand held receiver. The electric collars are common with hunting dogs, it allows the dogs to chase birds into bushes and the owner can still have control of the dogs.

The man decided to try and get the leash laws to allow for owners to use the electric collars in place of the traditional leashes. The change would simply include the new technology not replace the old.

Opposing views on the technology

As with any change to a law or ordinance, there is going to be some resistance. However, the only group so far to come forward with issues with the amendment is, of course, Dogsbite.org. This story began with two golden retrievers that are fully trained as hunting dogs, there was no mention of any other dog breed. This case is also just being discussed by the Puyallup city counsel. The group has decided to mention only that Pit Bulls attack and a shock will not assist in control and they commented on the possibility of equipment failure and batteries dying.

The group has decided to take the Pit Bull stance already on the electric leashes, completely ignoring the benefits of using the technology and the basis of the original story. The course of this amendment could pave the way for more dog laws that allow for the use of technology. Again, these changes would not replace the current laws, they would simply include the changing technology as another form of controlling a dog when off personal property.

Only time will tell what will happen in this case but I feel that if a dog is properly trained and the owner has complete control of the dog, that there is nothing wrong with using electric leashes as a precaution.

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    • Dubuquedogtrainer profile image

      Dubuquedogtrainer 6 years ago from Dubuque, Iowa

      I am adamantly opposed to shock collars as leashes because they aren't leashes at all and provide no way of restraining a dog. Additionally, dogs can make unintended associations between shock and objects in their environment, leading to negative emotional responses and aggression. Shock as a means of training is opposed by the American Veterinary Association of Animal Behavior and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. I have had people come to me with aggressive dogs that have turned on their owners after biting another dog or person when shocked. A leash is the only appropriate means of restraining a dog safely in public.

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