Ban the use of prong collars and shock collars in the UK!
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Firstly, I naively thought these collars had some sort of legislation already surrounding them in this country. It wasn't until an experience I had recently that I found they don't. Not even a little. They only have a few 'guidelines' like, get advice and information in the proper use of the collars from a respectable trainer before you use them. I have a degree in animal behaviour and I have lived and worked with troubled dogs for as long as I can remember and any dog trainer that recommends these collars as a solution to a problem is anything but respectable. I have met many dogs with varying degrees of issues and not one of those dogs would I ever believe it necessary to use one. However, some people still believe these collars are humane and cause no pain.
Let me start with prong collars. If you are not familiar with these collars, please look at the picture. A dogs neck is very similar to our own, only with fur which provides none or little protection. Imagine having one around your own neck and you having no idea why. Prong collars can cause serious injury and only provide the dog with an extremely painful punishment that has no long term benefits. Dogs will put up with incredible amounts of discomfort if they have the drive to get somewhere, but the lasting physical and mental damage caused by prong collars is completely disgusting.
Shock collars are pretty self explanatory. They have already been banned in Wales! What does that tell you? Like prong collars, all they do is inflict fear and pain which does not solve anything.
In this day and age, where dogs are more then just dogs, they're members of our families, why do they deserve to be guided by fear. We wouldn't dream of giving our children an electric shock when they do something we don't want them to. Or digging metal spikes into their necks if they run ahead of us. Negative training, like the use of these devices, cause a strong mistrust in the human-dog relationship and makes a negative association with the person inflicting the punishment. Any immediate success that human may feel these methods are getting is just the dogs natural submission to an attack, which has been proven to cause massive stress to the dog. Dogs do not learn when they are under stress, just like us. They will not learn what not to do, they will just learn that humans cause pain when they are already in a reactive state, essentially making them more reactive. This mistrust will resurface at any point towards any human, including children, if the dog is in a situation where they feel threatened.
Prong and shock collars are a prehistoric training method. They are barbaric and provide no long term solutions. Positive training methods have now been proven to work in all situations. They allow a dog to learn what is right in a calm and enjoyable way, making them WANT to repeat desirable behaviours. Not just experience pain and fear for a behaviour they do not understand is wrong and will not learn is wrong.
Please help me ban these atrocities and let's join the many other countries that have already banned them and lets educate the people that use them that dogs feel pain and fear. We as a species, who brought these animals into our homes have a duty to provide them with a pain and stress free environment!
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