We thought it might be interesting to look at Google Trends for the search data of the term “shock collar” vs “dog aggression” and “dog muzzle” by different English-speaking countries from 2004 to 2018.  We thought that potentially they might indicate general interest.

We don’t know why these searches were made. For example, someone might be looking for a shock collar to find out what they do and does not necessarily express an interest in using one.

However we still thought it would be interesting to look to see if there were more interest in one over the other, or whether there might be a difference by country.

Searches for “shock collar” vs “dog aggression”

Are people more interested in a so-called “quick fix’ that the “why”?  The data doesn’t tell us this.  But what is interesting is the difference between countries.

The search volume for shock collar in all countries went up over time and were greater than the search interest in “dog aggression”. However in Australia and in Canada the search volume on average was more or less even with an increase in shock collars and a decrease in dog aggression over the last couple of years.  However in the UK, search volume was greater for dog aggression than shock collars, while the United States the search for shock collars was more than the interest in searching for dog aggression.

Australia: Search data for shock collar vs dog aggression since 2004

 

In Australia we can see that there was a bigger search volume for dog aggression. In 2011 there were several restrictions in Australia around the importation and use of shock collars in many areas of Australia as early as 2008.  Late in 2013 is when the trend toward shock collars starts to average to be greater than the searches for “dog aggression”.

Canada: Search data for shock collar vs dog aggression since 2004

In Canada we see a change around 2012 – 2013 possibly. in 2014 Quebec issues a ban on shock collars.

United Kingdom: Search data for shock collar vs dog aggression since 2004

In the United Kingdom, searches for “dog aggression” are close to searches for”shock collars” with interest in “dog aggression” always being slightly greater but change more or less similarly over time.

 

United States: Search data for shock collar vs dog aggression since 2004

In the United States we see searches potentially starting off more or less the same back in 2004, but with a marked change heavily favouring an interest in search for “shock collars” over “dog aggression” over time.

Searches for “shock collar” vs “dog muzzle”

The difference between searching for shock collars vs dog aggression might be greater than he difference between shock collars vs dog muzzles which may be considered both a quick fix solutions to the problem.  This could be argued however as theoretically using a shock collar may indicate more of a commitment to changing the problem than a dog muzzle might. But it’s still worth having a look.

Again, we don’t know if people are looking for solutions for dog aggression or dog barking.  But what we see if that Australia, the trends are fairly even.  In Canada there is a slight favor of shock collars over dog muzzles. In the United Kingdom, the trend is reversed in a greater degree – more people start searching for muzzles over shock collars.  Wales banned shock collars back in 2010 and it is approximately at this time that the search trend started to change.  One could presume that this decision would have a roll out effect in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England.

However in the United States, the search in clearly in favor of shock collars over dog muzzles in marked contrast to the other three regions, and has been since 2004.

Australia: Search data for shock collar vs dog muzzle since 2004

As with the previous search data, Australia is more even than the rest of the countries.  In regards to these two search terms they are even closer linked.

Canada: Search data for shock collar vs dog aggression since 2004

Canada still favours searching for “shock collars” over dog muzzles, but the difference is not nearly as great as it is for the United States.

United Kingdom: Search data for shock collar vs dog aggression since 2004

The interest in dog muzzles is greater earlier than the date in which wales banned shock collars, bu may reflect and growing uneasiness in using shock collars.

 

United States: Search data for shock collar vs dog aggression since 2004

In the United States, searches have favored “shock collar” over “dog muzzle” since the beginning and again by more than half.