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Petco Stops Selling Shock Collars Used To Train Dogs

SAN DIEGO (CBSLA) — Don't be shocked when you can't find anymore shock collars for sale a Petco.

The pet supply giant announced Tuesday it would stop selling shock collars, which pet owners use to curb unwanted behaviors like excessive barking or to train puppies to stay within a yard.

"Electricity may be critical to powering your microwave, but it has no role for the average pet parent training their dog," Petco CEO Ron Coughlin said in a statement. "Shock collars have been shown to increase fear, anxiety and stress in dogs, and we believe there's a better way – Positive Reinforcement Training."

Orange County Register Archive
LOMITA, CA - APRIL 09: Dogs sit patiently as their owners leave them and stay out of sight for a few minutes in Lomita on Sunday, April 9, 2017. Nearly 120 dogs and their handlers took part in the annual Lomita Obedience Training Club annual obedience, rally and conformation match at Lomita Park. Dogs of all obedience levels participated from beginning dogs to highly trained dogs.(Photo by Scott Varley/Digital First Media/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images)

The decision was made in consultation with the Petco Pet Wellness Council and will include all human- and bark-activated electronic pet collars. Pet owners are instead being urged to try positive reinforcement training products and services.

Petco cited a recent study that found 70% of dog parents believed shock collars have a negative impact on their pet's emotional or mental well-being, while 69% thought they were a cruel training method. The survey also found 59% of dog owners would rather shock themselves than use a shock collar on their dog.

In line with the change, Petco said it is also offering a free, introductory positive training class, where dogs can learn to behave without electric shocks around the neck.

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