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ARTICLES > OBEDIENCE TRAINING
the facts about prong and electronic collars

 

By Joel Monroe & Michael Jen

Please direct any questions or comments to Joel Monroe info@bvdt.net

 

The use of pinch/prong and electronic collars in dog training has become an increasingly controversial issue. With debates on humane treatment, it is important to look at the facts in regards to use of these tools.

It is absolutely essential to realize that dog's physiology is very different than a human's. The first thing to understand is that the strongest muscle group in a human is in the legs. A human's neck is very weak in comparison to all the other muscle groups. Even when you see people lifting weights, you rarely ever see anyone strengthening their neck. In a dog, the strongest muscle group is its jaw. The second strongest muscle group is in the neck.

The second thing to understand is that a dog also has a very different sense of discomfort in comparison to humans. For example, neutering a male is castration and spading a female is a hysterectomy. When a dog gets neutered or spade, you will notice that the very next day it moves around like nothing happened. In fact, dog owners are told to control their dogs and prevent the dog from running and jumping for a week after such a procedure. If a human was to get castrated or a hysterectomy, I guarantee you that person would not walking around normally, much less running and jumping, the very next day. In addition, a dog's pain tolerance increases dramatically when it is "in drive". What a dog finds painful or annoying under normal circumstances will not bother the dog one single bit when, for example, it is chasing a rabbit or cat.

It is extremely important to understand these 2 facts because many people tend to define humane training methods and tools based on human physiology standards. To assume what a human feels is the same as what a dog feels is completely inaccurate. When it even comes to eating, dogs can consume things, like raw meat, that would cause humans to get sick or even die.

Training tools, such as pinch/prong and electronic collars, are not inhumane. As with any training tool, there is a correct method of application. It is the misuse and actions of humans that makes something inhumane. Inhumane treatment by a person can be defined by any one of the following results:

1. An action that requires the dog to need medical attention.

2. An action that damages a dog's body thus not allowing it to function normally.

3. An action that shortens the life span of the dog.

4. An action that causes a dog to be in constant fear of the owner and any other person.

5. An action that causes mental or physical discomfort when the dog has not done anything wrong or does not know it has done anything wrong.

The correct use of a pinch/prong or electronic collar does not fall under any of the 5 categories mention above. Anyone who claims otherwise is not familiar with how to train with those tools and is speaking out of ignorance.

As mentioned earlier, any training tool can be used in an inhumane manner. Food is commonly used in obedience training, however, even that can be misused. In fact, it is probably the most misused. If you look at most people's pets, you will see that at least half are obese. Overfeeding a dog causes obesity, which will inevitably result in numerous health problems. Many of these health problems can be extremely painful and even result in a shorter life span. So, by definition, overfeeding is inhumane.


 

 

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