Two like-minded SF dog trainers—Ren Volpe (GoDogPro.com founder and CEO) and LT Taylor (SFACC Behavior & Training Div.)—are on a mission to help enact a city-wide ordinance banning the sale and use of shock collars/e-collars in San Francisco. The ordinance aims to improve the health, safety, and welfare of dogs in San Francisco and would be the first of its kind in the nation.
Top veterinary doctors and behaviorists agree that using aversive methods like electronic shock collars leads dogs to suppress or mask their outward signs of fear, often causing them to act suddenly with heightened aggression and with fewer warning signs when they feel threatened. In addition, after being repeatedly shocked, the dog may begin to feel unsafe, which can cause them to live in a constant state of fear. As a result, shock collar/e-collar training can make aggressive dogs more dangerous and put the public at risk.
Electronic shock collars are an outdated and inhumane method of animal training and are currently banned in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Germany, the Netherlands, Wales, Quebec, and parts of Australia. New York State is currently considering legislation banning the sale of shock collars. Research shows that it is more effective to train and handle dogs without punishment and aversive techniques.
Pet-related equipment terminology can be confusing. For the purposes of this legislation, a “training e-collar” (also known as a “shock collar) refers to any device affixed to a dog that produces an electric current designed to decrease or change behavior, including electrical stimulation collars and anti-bark collars. This legislation does not apply to GPS collars and attachments (such as Whistle, Fi, or Apple AirTags) used for tracking. Vibrating-only collars (with no shock or stim option) are excluded from the ban and may be used in the training of deaf dogs. If you are confused about the difference between a shock collar and an e-collar, read this article.
In October 2022, the SF Animal Welfare Commission voted to support a proposed shock collar ban and the next step is for an SF Supervisor to sponsor the bill and vote to enact the legislation. To read the draft legislation text and peer-reviewed scientific studies, visit SF-ShockFree.org
Here’s how you can get involved:
- Pledge Your Support: If you are in the dog services industry in SF (trainer, pet store, walker, groomer, etc.), add your name to our growing list of supporters.
- Call or Email Your Supervisor: Call or write and tell them you support this legislation. Find your supervisor’s phone number and email here.
- Lend a Paw: Send us a message if you want to join us in making this a reality.
- Sign this petition and spread the word. Share with your dog-loving friends.
- Print, make copies, and share this handout.