Anti-bark and remote training collars
Use of electronic collars is regulated under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (POCTA) Regulations 2019. These regulations specify the types of collars that can be used and the conditions of use. If you are intending to use electronic collars you must ensure you are meeting the legal requirements.
- You must not use an electronic collar on an animal that is not a dog or cat.
- You can only use electronic collars on livestock as part of a scientific procedure approved under Part 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA Act).
About anti-bark and remote training collars
An electronic collar is an animal collar that is designed to impart an electric shock to an animal. This does not include citronella collars where only a scented spray is emitted. The definition also does not apply to GPS dog and cat tracking/location collars that do not impart an electric shock.
- An anti-bark collar means an electronic collar designed to modify barking behaviour in dogs, and that is activated by a dog's bark.
- A remote training collar means an electronic collar that is designed to be worn by a dog to assist in modification of the animal's behaviour, and that is activated by a person through a transmitter.
Authorised electronic collars
Technical standards for authorised electronic collars are approved under the POCTA Regulations 2019. The current approvals mean you must only use collars that meet the standards set as Technical Requirements for Electronic Pet Training and Containment Collars by the Electronic Collar Manufacturer’s Association. In Victoria electronic collars used on dogs and cats may emit an automatic audible emission, or vibratory warning signal, prior to delivery of the impending electronic stimulus.
Using anti-bark and remote training collars
You must not use a remote training collar or anti-bark collar on a dog unless you are:
- a veterinary practitioner or a qualified dog trainer or
- acting under the supervision and written instructions of a veterinary practitioner or a qualified dog trainer.
Under the POCTA Regulations 2019, a 'qualified dog trainer' is defined as a person holding a qualification obtained on satisfactory completion of a course that meets the prescribed requirements for a dog obedience trainer assessment program under Regulation 5G of the Domestic Animals Regulations 2015, or a qualification obtained on completion of the National Dog Trainers Federation Certificate III in Dog Behaviour and Training course.
If you are acting under the supervision and written instructions of a veterinary practitioner or a qualified dog trainer, those supervisors must review the use of the collar:
- within 6 months of the initial physical health and temperament examination of the dog, (i.e. the assessment that was done to confirm the suitability of using an electronic collar on the animal, as required to comply with the Victorian Code of Practice for Training Dogs and Cats to Wear Electronic Collars, made under the POCTA Act, and
- at least every 12 months after the first review.
Other conditions of use
You must not use an anti-bark or remote training collar on a dog unless:
- a veterinary practitioner has examined the physical health and temperament of the dog and reasonably believes that the dog is suitable to have an authorised electronic collar used on it, and
- the dog is over 6 months of age, and
- a collar is not left on the dog for more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period, and
- the use is in accordance with any instructions for use of the collar provided by the manufacturer, and
- the dog is introduced to the use of the collar in accordance with a training program that complies with the Code of Practice for Training Dogs and Cats to Wear Electronic Collars, made under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.