The Kennel Club is calling on the government to take notice of new research from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which has suggested electric shock collars cause great harm to dogs.

It found the devices can lead to negative physiological and behavioural changes to a canine, while at the same time offers few positive benefits.

Researchers found that they were not any more effective than positive reinforcement techniques even though that is the primary reason for owners using them.

It is not just Defra’s research that points towards the drawbacks of electric shock collars, a second study involving the Electric Collar Manufacturers Assoication also found they were not more effective than positive reinforcement methods, which includes reward-based training.

The Kennel Club has been campaigning against the use of electric dog collars for some time, helping to get them banned in Wales. And now it is calling on the government to take action in the rest of the UK.

"There is no denying the results of these two surveys - action needs to be taken now to prevent further harm being done to the UK’s dogs," said Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary.

"The first study provided strong evidence on its own, but the second research project which was clearly biased through its involvement with the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association, speaks volumes.

"Even with industry trained professionals, and the project being conducted by an organisation with a clear agenda, it was still found that electric shock collars often had a detrimental effect on dogs and did not prove to be a better alternative than training using positive reinforcement."

She added that the availability of training methods that do not cause harm to dogs should mean that there is no need for owners to inflict pain on their pet.

Written by: Hannah