People have used punishment and negative reinforcement to get dogs to do what humans want them to do for many thousands of years. But it’s only in the last few generations that we’ve been training using electricity.
Exactly how long people have been using shock collars on dogs is hard to say. Although use of shock collars in dog training didn’t become widespread until the 1960s, they were in existence long before that. Randolph Hicks Carter filed the first patent for an electronic dog collar in 1934. The device, pictured above, required the dog’s walker to carry a generator. In the 1940s, T.D. Burger Jr of The Spokesman-Review wrote several instructional articles on how farmers could make their own electronic shock collars to keep dogs away from chickens. Of course, this method is still not superior to an even earlier dog/chicken coop deterrent: fences.