Developing a new shock-collar design for safe and efficient use on wild wolves

Jason E. Hawley, Shawn T. Rossler, Thomas M. Gehring, Ronald N. Schultz, Peggy A. Callahan, Raymond Clark, J. E.R.R.Y. Cade, Adrian P. Wydeven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Electronic training collars, or shock collars, have received relatively little application as a nonlethal management tool for reducing livestock losses caused by gray wolves (Canis lupus). One of the major obstacles to using shock collars on wolves has been the lack of a safe and efficient collar design.We developed a new shock-collar design and tested it for safety and efficacy on captive wolves. Our design used a radiocollar with a shock unit mounted on the back. Shock units were fitted with rounded probes that contact the back of a wolf's shaved neck and with externally mounted batteries to increase battery life. We tested our design in 5 different captive trials conducted during 2003-2005 at the Wildlife Science Center, Minnesota, USA, and eliminated neck damage shown in previous shock-collar research, while retaining the ability to effectively deliver a shock. We extended battery life to 80 days.We believe this new shock-collar design could be used as a safe and efficient alternative to lethal control in certain situations for wild wolves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-422
Number of pages7
JournalWildlife Society Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Behavior
  • Canis lupus
  • Depredation
  • Gray wolf
  • Non-lethal management
  • Shock collars
  • Site-aversive conditioning


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