Petco to stop selling dog shock collars, launches online 'Stop the Shock' campaign

A typical shock collar for a dog with remote control
Photo credit Angeli Wright /

Kansas City, MO – Petco announced Tuesday that it will no longer sell electronic collars, aka shock collars, and is launching a "Stop the Shock" campaign to encourage dog owners to use positive reinforcement instead. It is the first major pet products chain to pull the items from its stores and online.

“Sometimes, some of these devices don't work as intended and can actually burn and injure the dogs physically," says Laura Hills, owner and trainer at the Dogs' Spot training center in North Kansas City, Missouri.

Hills says using shock collars can potentially cause fear or aggression in a dog. She prefers positive reinforcement.

“They could be afraid of the person issuing the punishment. It can affect the relationship. They can make weird associations," says Hills.

She says the positive reinforcement starts with making the bad behavior more difficult for the dog and teaching them to do something else instead is more beneficial.