Effective, humane animal training and pet care methods are the foundation of any animal’s healthy socialisation and training and help prevent behaviour problems. Since a wide variety of equipment and tools are commonly used when training pets, the pet-owning public needs to be aware of the potential problems and dangers some equipment may pose. Specifically, the use of collars and leads that are intended to apply constriction, pressure, pain or force around a dog’s neck (such as ‘choke chains’ and ‘prong collars’) should be avoided. Distinguished veterinarians and behaviorists worldwide are joining the discussion and calling for the elimination of such devices from the training efforts of both pet owners and professionals.
What Do the Experts Say?
Respected veterinarian and thyroid expert, Dr. Jean Dodds, recommends against choke or prong collars
as they can easily injure the delicate butterfly-shaped thyroid gland thatsits just below the larynx and in front of the trachea. These collars can also injure the salivary glands and salivary lymph nodes on the side of the face underneath both ears.
Bestselling author and canine behaviorist, Jean Donaldson, says:
These devices (choke and prong collars), when they work, do so to the degree that they hurt. With the advent of modern methods and tools they are irrelevant.
According to veterinarian and veterinary behaviorist Dr. Soraya V. Juarbe-Diaz:
Using punishment to stop behaviors is not new. Notice I say ‘stop’ rather than ‘teach’ -- I can stop any behavior, but I am more interested in teaching my students, animal or human, to choose the behavior I want them to perform because they can trust me, because I do not hurt them and they are safe with me, and because the outcome is something they enjoy.
PPG thus encourages all pet owners and pet professionals to embrace modern, scientifically based, training techniques and tools, especially the latest generation of no-pull harnesses which are free of the risks posed by traditional collars and offer far more benefits. So swap your gear and help create a kinder world for you and your pet!
To learn more, visit the Pet Professional Guild Australia.