By Joel Monroe &
Please direct any questions or comments
to Joel Monroe firstname.lastname@example.org
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