Petition Closed
Petitioning CVO

Stop the use of dominance-based techniques in vet practices

According to the AVSAB and numerous other veterinary behaviourists and educated trainers, the use of dominance-based (alpha, positive punishment, intimidation, fear, pain) techniques is unnecessary, outdated, and dangerous.

Letter to
Stop the use of dominance-based techniques in vet practices

I am writing out of great concern about veterinarians here in Ontario. Many veterinarians are still sharing incredibly outdated and dangerous information with clients, using dangerous techniques such as the "Alpha-roll", the "dominance-down" and other punitive tactics to overpower and intimidate dogs.

I am appalled. There is no other word. As trainers, we are not to give out medical advice as we are not trained veterinarians...however, here we have veterinarians with little to no training in animal behaviour, giving out dangerous, inaccurate training and behaviour advice to clients who are trusting them as trained professionals.

I realize that the training industry is not regulated. This is something we are fighting so hard to change, however the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior is where we take our cues from. Is this supported by the CVO?

I am requesting that the CVO releases a position statement regarding dominance-based techniques and the use of punishment and for your support in ensuring that veterinarians are given the proper training in animal behaviour basics if that is something they will be expected to teach clients.

We trainers work so hard to educate the public on safety around dogs; bite prevention. We work so hard to partner with veterinarians to ensure their safety, the safety of their techs, and of course, their clients.

I truly hope that something will change. I am eager to read your response and look forward to discussing this with you further.