What’s missing from our Blog posts, training articles, Facebook page and videos?
If you have been a fan of my work, you will likely have watched my videos, read our articles and maybe even trained with me or attended a workshop. If you have a think about it, you will notice the absence of a component you will frequently find in other places.
Before I discuss what that is that we seem to be “lacking”, I might just run through a few articles I have read on the web this week on other sites, Facebook pages etc.
One site has been making pretty big noise over the use of prong collars, he has a picture of a dog that has some puncture marks on its neck form the alleged use of a prong collar.
It sure is a shocking pic isn’t it?
What I don’t get as I grabbed the phone numbers of my lynch party and went out to hunt down people who use prong collars was: –
- How is it that I have used Prong collars in some circumstances on some dogs and have never caused an injury?
- How is it that I have instructed and coached many people on how to use Prong Collars and never seen a picture like this in 30 years of working dogs?
- How is it that I have never seen any of these injuries?
In any case, if a prong collar will cause this then I too think they should be banned, why should some unsuspecting responsible dog owner be faced with their dog having puncture marks on its neck!
Just before I jump aboard this high horse, I thought I might gather some more evidence to arm myself with, as others seem to do.
In no time at all I came across more examples!
I have added some Icons here as some of these pictures are gruesome, don’t click if you may be offended.
This first one is of a dog with quite a severe collar injury around its neck, problem is that the collar wasn’t a prong collar, it was just a piece of chain left on for way too long.
This next one is a much worse collar injury, this one though came from a dog that was wearing a Nylon collar and was chained up with it, the dog grew bigger and the collar became too small, this caused the dogs neck to grow around the collar!
This one is yet another collar injury, as you can see in the picture though, it isn’t a prong collar, it is a check chain, aptly named a “Fursaver”. It didn’t seem to save the fur in this case, but again the description is that the dog was tied up for months on this collar.
This next one is horrific, it is a collar injury but as you can see, the collar in question is a simple rope collar, again left on too long.
Do they use prong collars on cats? Nope but this cat has a collar injury, collar left on young cat, cat grows bigger, collar wont stretch, cats neck is a mess.
The dangerous element here is a human…
You don’t need a prong collar to cause a neck injury and in fact correct use will not cause a single injury. The pic above may have come from a prong collar, but was it left on, how was it used? These are all the more important areas to focus on because as you can see, any collar can cause horrific neck injuries.
Should we ban all collars?
The unsuspecting dog owner will not fit a prong collar and come away with an injured dog, so why focus on peddling this propaganda?
Well if you do find someone who is stupid enough to tie their dog up for months without checking it and end up with a neck injury like is in these pictures, they will likely be guilty of stupidity and freely admit it and apologise, you will get no argument from them like you will get from someone who has made a choice for their dog on a training tool they think will help.
No argument means no feeding of trolls, so it is easier to bait people who are well intended but have a different view, dog and or training methodology than you if you want emotive arguments.
Another story I read highlights the cruelty of using an e collar, the sensationalism in the claims is something to behold. When I read these claims I have to wonder where do these people come from and what are they trying to achieve here?
Again most myths that circulate around electric collars is pure propaganda created by people with a motive, they are big on information but short on facts and or proof.
A client of mine was recently called an abuser as they use a No Reward Marker, a NRM is a verbal cue that the dog missed out on getting a reward due to a choice the dog made in training, in fact I have a client that has her NRM as “missed it“.
A person came to train their Obedience Trial dog and the dog jumped on her, I said tell your dog no and she froze and said “the people I train with would hang you for that, they are purely positive“.
I guess hanging somehow fits into the positive scheme.
If I see a dog suffering at the hands of someone who is being genuinely cruel to it, I will say something and do something, and have. If I wasn’t that type of person I would report it, berating people for the choices they make in training their dog is ludicrous.
When I said we are missing something here at K9PRO, it is the fact that we are absent all the posts, videos and Facebook attacks on people and equipment we choose not to use or agree with, I made and insist on a policy here with my staff that we don’t involve ourselves in the petty political squabbles that circulate around us and our chosen field.
Forums can be a great place for support but they often are a haven for keyboard warriors who have little to no experience dealing with dog behaviour but will be handing out advice day in, day out. They have picked up all the terminology, jargon and theories but take a look at their dog and you will see just what they can do, or rather can’t.
This is a difficult for the novice dog owner seeking help to navigate through and I often find people come here for help after following the advice of the warriors and they have a practically incurable dog. Not because the original problem was so deep seeded, but because they have layered over the top of that problems one, if not more behaviour modification techniques that only exacerbated the original problem.
Were the techniques they used bad or wrong? Probably not but they may have implemented them incorrectly, the technique they chose may not have been right for their dog or they may not have carried it out correctly.
The major problem is that there has been no professional diagnosis carried out and this has meant that a cure was prescribed without knowing the actual problem. It is easy to describe the symptoms, but not so easy to define the root cause of the behaviour.
Imagine if you said you felt sick and I reached into my medicine cabinet and said “here this is medicine, it will make you better, it made me better”. Would you take it?
I see many arguments debates and non factual sermons that I could get myself right into and field facts, experience and results to combat what is being said, but that is not how professionals conduct themselves.
Taking this high ground has its drawbacks, but in the end it is all I have that stands between me and the others that spend their days abusing, intimidating, threatening and berating others.
If you want to focus your attention somewhere, go looking for these people who leave collars on their dogs for months or years, those who dump dogs, fight them and are obviously cruel to animals, I promise you there is enough of these people to go around.
Perhaps we all can be a little more supportive of other dog owners and the methods, tools, dogs and choices they make.
Love to hear your thoughts!