KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (November 13, 2014) – Shock collars, referred to more appropriately by the industry of electronic collar manufacturers as static stimulation collars, have changed significantly over the last 60 years, yet understanding of the value of the product has remained the same. Using a static correction collar with your dog has been portrayed as a painful device at the worst and as an absolute last resort for pet owners at best. While there are strong and opposing views about the use of static stimulation products within the pet professional community, a recent study conducted by Wakefield Research for Radio Systems® Corporation, the maker of the PetSafe®, Invisible Fence® and SportDOG™ brands, reveals that unfamiliarity and misconceptions of static training products among pet owners are also wide-spread.
The survey of more than 1,000 pet owners reveals 86 percent of pet owners who use static stimulation collars have used them for a pet life-saving purpose including safely keeping their pet in the yard. One pet owner, Tami Kolinsky, said, “We thought about getting [an electronic dog] fence but had mixed feelings about the idea of electric shock collars.” After Daisy, their Jack Russell Terrier, was tragically killed by a speeding car, Kolinsky said, “We were heart broken and promised to not let our other three pups get hurt.” Kolinsky used static stimulation products to give the young dogs freedom while keeping them under control and out of traffic. This grateful pet owner has happily reported the dogs are celebrating more birthdays thanks to electronic collars.
Static stimulation is also being used to save pet lives by keeping pets in happy homes. The survey revealed that more than 60 percent of pets are not fully trained and 30 percent are consistently exhibiting an undesirable behavior (such as running away, property damage and/or excessive barking). Undesirable behavior, often a result of lack of training, is the second most common reason that pets are surrendered to shelters. The survey revealed that pet owners using static collars are effectively training pets to reduce behaviors that might otherwise be unmanageable for the owner and could result in a surrendered or lost pet.
The survey responses reveal a number of facts about how well pets are trained, how static stimulation products are viewed and surprising misconceptions about both topics. Among the key findings:
How Well Trained is Your Pet?
Our pets are like children to most of us in more ways than one – we love them and, to be their best care-takers, we need to communicate expectations and boundaries. Yet, many pet owners don’t make training a priority in the care of their pet. 60 percent of pet owners say that their pet is not completely trained. According to Jim Tedford, Director of Animal Welfare Initiatives at PetSafe brand, “Pet owners often joke about our pets training us, but there is a sad truth to the statement. We train ourselves to expect behaviors from our pets. Given the fact that behavior problems result in a large percentage of animals being relinquished to shelters, proactive training can result in lives being saved.”
Resolving Behavior Problems
Using static stimulation to reinforce a recall, stop jumping or barking could free up owners to take their pets more places which would, in turn, provide exercise and socialization that ultimately leads to a more relaxed and well-adjusted pet. These pets also tend to remain in happy homes. The survey also revealed that pet owners would be more likely to take their pets more places if there were better training available to them. Specifically, 92 percent of survey respondents named something they’d be more likely to do with their pet if they were better behaved, such as take their pet to a park (44 percent) or bring their pet to a friend’s house (40 percent).
Static Stimulation Misconceptions
So why aren’t more pet owners turning to static stimulation products to help train their pets? The survey reveals that tolerance of undesirable behavior, as well as unfamiliarity and misconceptions of static stimulation products, may be primarily to blame. Despite the high percentage of untrained pets, 67 percent of owners claimed their pet doesn’t need static stimulation as a training aid to more effectively train their pet.
When asked a series of seven questions about static stimulation products, 69 percent of respondents got three or more facts wrong about the products, and an astounding 97 percent got at least one fact wrong. Unfortunately, these misconceptions have led many pet owners to write off the use of static stimulation collars, and in many cases, training their pets in any form before doing even a little research. 52 percent of pet owners who got at least one fact wrong about static stimulation say that they would only use static stimulation products as a last resort.
In addition to the various misconceptions revealed during the survey, 86 percent of pet owners admitted to just not being familiar with static collars. “These findings reveal that the majority of pet owners are simply unfamiliar or misinformed when it comes to static stimulation products,” said Randy Boyd, President and CEO of Radio Systems Corporation. “We see that while we’ve been developing innovative products that give owners a safe way to use static stimulation to train their dogs effectively and keep dogs in happy homes, misunderstanding and misinformation about static stimulation has not moved forward with the technology. This survey shows many pet owners—and their pets—could benefit from the use of certain static products, thus improving their relationship and potentially saving their pet’s life.”
According to Professional Animal Trainer Robin MacFarlane of That’s My Dog!, “The challenge we face is helping pet owners understand that the days of old technology ‘shock’ are behind us. The modern remote trainer helps dogs learn faster, earn their freedom and provides owners with great peace of mind. I believe remote training collars are one of the most gentle, yet effective training tools we can use to communicate with our dogs.”
Not-for-profit organizations such as The Partnership for Electronic Training Technology (PETT) are committed to consumer education and advocate for the safe use of modern electronic training collars. For more facts about static stimulation products, please visit www.pettpartnership.com.
About Radio Systems® Corporation
Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., Radio Systems® Corporation (RSC) is the maker of the PetSafe®, Invisible Fence® and SportDOG™ brands. This brand portfolio makes RSC an industry leader in the management of pet behavior, pet training solutions, containment systems, safety and lifestyle product solutions. You’ll also find the pet-loving hearts at RSC and its brands giving back to the community by sponsoring dog parks, rescue missions, adoption facilities and dozens of other philanthropic ventures.
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