Petitioners and Facebook fans lobbied Amazon UK to cease the sale of prong or pinch collars, and on April 3rd, the site listened and removed all listings.
Many dog owners claim they work marvels on otherwise unruly big dogs that aren’t well-behaved on walks. They aren’t meant to be work all the time, just during training and walks. Some say their dogs “respond better.” Some dogs “respond better” with a kick to the head, but that hardly makes it right.
Opponents of the medieval torture devices argue that positive reinforcement is the best way to train dogs (credible psychologists and dog trainers will agree), and that prong collars are for lazy or irresponsible owners.
Using positive punishment (positive meaning something is added to the equation – in this case, spikes and pain) is far less effective than positive reinforcement (treats, attention). The punishment only temporarily curbs the unwanted behavior – it does not teach dogs the new, correct behavior you desire them to have.
So perhaps these collars do work for some dogs. However, there are many people out there who don’t understand that some dogs find the benefit of pulling on the leash to far outweigh the risk of being jabbed in the throat, and cause themselves to become injured. Then there are other owners who have no problem keeping their dogs in pain so they will learn.
Dogs who repeatedly pull while wearing the collar and injure themselves clearly aren’t learning, so why should they continue to wear the collar? In addition to superficial injuries, repeated strain on the throat can cause internal damage that affects dogs’ abilities to breathe and swallow as well as damage to the vertebrae.
To the people who say, “My dog has never been hurt on this, and it’s the only way he can learn self-control,” answer this question: would you use a prong collar on your children to teach them self-control? Probably not.
If you would like to sign a petition asking Amazon to stop the sale of prong collars in the US, please click here.
For more information, including alternative training techniques, check out the Facebook page Ban the Use of Prong Collars, Shock Collars and Choke Chains.