Petco bans shock collars, hunter reacts

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 6:30 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Dogs may be man’s best friend, but the CEO of Petco says that friendship isn’t always a two-way street during training.

He’s circling a petition to have the industry drastically cut sales of shock collars and is banning them at Petco, saying they increase fear, anxiety and stress in dogs.

But hunters say that collar could be the difference between a successful hunt and coming back empty-handed.

When a hunting dog is in the zone, Jeremy Doan says a little zap gets it back to reality.

“That’s the only effective way, it seems like, to get their attention sometimes when they get too excited out in the field on birds,” said Doan.

Doan runs Rolling Plains Adventures, a hunting excursion company. He says shock collars aren’t just effective for working dogs, but pets as well.

“In a lot of codes within a neighborhood, a barking dog is against ordinance so they need something otherwise they’re going to lose that dog and an effective means would be a vibrating or a shock collar for when they bark. If you don’t have that, they’re going to end up losing their dog or having to move,” said Doan.

Petco Pet Wellness Council leaders disagree, saying in a statement, “Shock collars are misguided, antiquated, harmful equipment.”

“We put them on ourselves to test the shock and what they got so we all know exactly how it feels. Does it hurt the dog? No way,” said Doan.

Doan says when trained correctly, all it takes is one shock, and the dog corrects its behavior for the rest of the day.

As part of its petition, PetCo leaders say shock collars may be used under the direct guidance of a professional dog trainer, they just won’t sell them.

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