Letter to Canine Researchers. Linda Michaels, M.A., — Del Mar Dog Training

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Del Mar dog trainer Linda Michaels calls on canine research scientists to lead the way on the ethical treatment of companion animals.
Originally published in the Pet Professional Guild, BARKS from the Guild Magazine. Jan/2015.
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Correction: Neither Canada nor Australia currently ban shock collars, however, Finland currently has a ban. The province of Quebec has fines for collars that cause pain ($600 – $12,000 for the first offence) and the province’s animal safety regulations describe shock and prong collars as unacceptable and recommends against them.

Live Links/References

Associated Press (2014). Skin shocks used at Massachusetts school draw FDA investigation.


Brammeier, S., Brennan, J., Brown, S., Bryant, D., Calnon, D., Cole Stenson, T., …Seksel, K. (2006). Good trainers: How to identify one and why this is important to your practice of veterinary medicine. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 1, 47-52

Breland, K., & Breland, M. (1961). The misbehavior of organisms. American Psychologist, 16, 681-684.

Defra, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (2010). Research Project Final Report.

Kennel Club, London. Electric Shock Collars: Countries supporting a ban.

Overall, K. L., (2007). Why electric shock is not behavior modification. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 2, 1-4.

Overall, K. L., (2007). Considerations for shock and “training” collars: Concerns from and for the working dog community. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 2, 103-107.

Polsky, R. P., (2000). Can aggression in dogs be elicited through the use of electronic pet containment systems. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 3, 345-357.

Seligman, M.E.P., &  Maier, S.F. (1967). “Failure to escape traumatic shock”. Journal of Experimental Psychology 74: 1–9.


Linda Michaels, M.A. Psychology, Del Mar Dog Training, serves clients in Del Mar and San Diego County from La Jolla to Carlsbad, plus Rancho Santa Fe, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. Linda Michaels was recently rated one of the top ten dog trainers in the United States, by Top Ten Magazine. Linda has a master’s degree in Experimental Psychology (Hons), and is the creator of the Hierarchy of Dog Needs™ (HDN). She focuses on the psychological aspects of dog behavior that often mirror human psychological conditions, such as: fear, separation/attachment disorders, and aggression toward humans and other dogs. She also teaches private, customized basic manners/obedience lessons for dogs of all ages and every breed.

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