Petco ends the sale of shock collars, calls on stores to do the same and encourages positive training

“Shock collars” have long been a divisive issue in the pet community.

While they have been used to train dogs by deterring unwanted behavior like excessive barking, they have also been decried as inhumane for the pain they cause from an electric pulse.

Walter Cicchetti /

Now, one major pet supplier has taken a decisive stand on the issue, ending the sale of these collars and encouraging others to do the same.

Petco, one of the biggest pet supply companies in the US, announced Tuesday their pledge to “Stop the Shock” by ending the sales of “shock collars operated by a person with a remote in hand.”

Instead, they will for now on encourage “positive training” instead: “We say goodbye to remote controls that cause pain, and hello to expert trainers who mentor pets and pet parents with positivity, patience and compassion,” they wrote in a press release.

Walter Cicchetti /

Ending the sale of shock collars was no small decision for the company: according to CNN Business, these electric collars amounted to $10 million of their 2019 sales.

But the decision was not just a response to the controversy over these collars, but also as part of the company’s new emphasis on wellness, rebranding next year as “The Health + Wellness Co.”

“Shock collars are not consistent with our mission of improving lives,” Petco CEO Ron Coughlin told CNN Business.

“As a health and wellness company dedicated to improving pet lives, they have no business in our business,” the press release reads.


Petco was also the first pet supplier to ban dog and cat food with artificial ingredients.

And not only did they end the sale of shock collars in their stores, they’ve taken further steps to enact a real significant change.

For one, the company is offering a free positive training class to customers as an alternative to the shock collars: “We encourage anyone using or looking for shock collars to consider training with treats instead of electricity and partnership instead of pain,” the company wrote.

They also put out a petition, calling on other companies to join them in a ban on shock collars and an emphasis on positive training. So far over 32,000 supporters have signed, nearly reaching their 35,000 person goal.

Good job, Petco! You are doing the right thing by taking a stand against shock collars and promoting ethical alternatives instead. We hope more stores follow their example.

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