Animal Welfare and training tools, ideologies, and tin foil hats…

If we mention a training collar such as a Prong Collar or an Electric collar, there are always people out there that feel these should not be used, with the main reason being “they cause fear and pain.”

These comments come from one of two groups.

Group One…

You may be in this group and want what is best for dogs and their welfare and therefore feel that anything that was designed to inflict pain, injuries or fear should not be used.

Well, guess what? I am in that same group.

That does not mean I don’t approve of these training tools though, it just means I know they are not designed to, or cause pain, fear, or injury.

No really, they are not.

How do I know?

Well for one I have spoken directly to Herm Sprenger who designed and made the prong collar and e collar manufacturers as well.

Secondly, I have extensive experience using these training aids in a number of continents around the world and can use them without causing any harm, injury, fear or pain.

Does that mean they CANNOT cause fear, pain, harm, or injury?

Well not on their own they can’t.

Just like a shovel can’t dig a hole.

Now, can a person who has evil intent hurt a dog with these tools, yes and when I say these tools, I am referring to Prong Collars, E collars and…  Shovels.

Would you argue with me if I said that people could hurt a dog with a shovel and probably have?

My guess is no.

Would you argue with me if I said, “and because they can, shovels should be banned?

Well, I think you would be ordering me my very own, Tin Foil hat.

So, the main reason why we would not ban them is that they are useful, needed, and harmless.

This is where Group 2 comes in.

These people who have: –

Never used a prong collar

Never seen one used

Never seen one in real life

Never rehabilitated a dog or dogs

Never been trained to use a prong collar

Never completed any open-minded research

BUT will go off like a lunatic who lost their tin foil hat on social media about how cruel the shovel, sorry, collar is.

They will (mis) quote science, but when asked if they have actually read the study, they disappear.

They will tell you of all the horror they have seen, but there are no cruelty charges ever laid by the RSPCA.

They will have you believe they are an expert on the subject matter because they have “read” things and “spoken” to people.

I have watched surgeons on TV complete a heart transplant, therefore, I’m sort of a surgeon now, aren’t I?

They cannot produce a single piece of evidence to support any of the outrageous claims they make.

And they will keep pushing the emotive propaganda lies of pain – fear – intimidation-injury, because, Group 1, your silly enough to believe them, because you love dogs.

And they are exploiting you because you love dogs.

When we are rehabilitating a dog, some of the goals we are aiming at commonly are:-

  • Confidence Building in fearful and nervous dogs and OWNERS.
  • Anxiety reduction in dogs and owners
  • Teaching and reinforcing Impulse control and the ability to regulate their emotions.
  • Higher levels of engagement and reliability around competing motivators and stressors.
  • Teaching behaviours that will allow the dog and owner to live a normal life again with freedom and off leash access where possible.

How might you think that using fear, intimidation, pain, or inflicting injury to a dog that lacks those things would achieve those things?

Simply, it won’t.

And when tens of thousands of people watch our training videos, or train in person with us, or have watched me use tools in many dog training seminars and workshops, they have seen results without pain, fear, intimidation, or injury.

This means…

Group 2 are inexperienced, extremists who serve to gain control and get their way heard, regardless of what is best for the dog, owner and public.

Here is a great example, in Wales (UK) they in their wisdom and for animal WELFARE chose to ban the electric collar in 2010.

In rural areas around the world, including Wales, there is an ongoing problem with dogs attacking sheep and at times people.

Look how the welfare of animals has improved since the ban in late 2010.

Well done Welsh Government, you must be very proud of your work.

Strangely enough, in 2011 through to 2016, the option of rewarding your dog for not attacking was still permitted.

Knowing how well this type of training works for every dog, can someone explain how they went from 7 attacks to 231 in 5 years?

Does this result actually show that the welfare of people, livestock, farmers with dead sheep and dogs was improved in any way?

Who is happy with this result, I dare you to try and justify this outcome.

Explain it to the above girl, she had her face torn off by dogs because we don’t want dogs to feel any discomfort from an e collar in Wales…

It is incredibly important that people who are tasked with re training, rehabilitating, and managing dogs like this and have experience with these tools are THE people who are consulted on these matters.

Can people hurt dogs with prong collars, e collars and shovels, of course they can. There are laws that can charge and prosecute those that do.

So, we are now talking about people who either: –

Intentionally hurt their dogs


May not know how to use these tools in the right manner

The Professional Dog Trainers of Australia organisation have begun forming a training and certification course to correctly educate people on how to use training aids and tools.

They have offered FREE access to this course to the Governments of Australia so that we can certify people to use specialist tools, or, the tools are not available to them legally.

What a win that is for everyone right?

Queensland and Tasmanian Governments have turned down this offer, they would rather stick with the “other” ways to train dogs as supported by the RSPCA.

And as you will see below, 7 out of 10 dogs failed to survive and were killed by RSPCA when those other ways, didn’t work

About SteveK9Pro

Steve Courtney is a Nationally Accredited Canine Behaviour Specialist, Obedience Trainer, Law Enforcement Dog Trainer and ANKC Breeder. Steve has been training dogs all his life and in these articles he shares with you his experience...

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