So, the crusaders of morality are on the war path again, and I’d like to set the record straight (as I tend to do). Once again these keyboard cowboys are screaming on their soapboxes to “BAN” the sale of a dog training tool that is abusive and inflicts pain. They stand on their soap boxes and reel in unwitting people who wish to do the right thing to help dogs. Who wouldn’t want to help save a dog from abusive, hurtful training methods? I certainly would jump on board looking at this picture. So we have to ask ourselves, how could such a terrible, evil tool even be allowed to exist. A tool that was invented merely to cause pain to dogs and abuse them. What terrible people would invent this tool, use it and let alone allow others to use it?
Well, as it goes, there are two sides to every story and I’d like to inform you who don’t know a little more from a balanced perspective. First of all, this tool was never meant to inflict pain or suffering on a dog. In fact, used properly it allows a dog to receive the “signal” from the handler in a much more humane method than a regular “flat collar.” In fact, watch the video I did demonstrating a pinch collar on my friend Ady Gil:
Needless to say that any tool can be used in an abusive way, but that is not the fault of the tool, nor the fault of any person who uses the tool as it was meant to be used, it is the fault of the abuser. If someone uses a hammer to bash in a persons skull, do we ban the sale of hammers? NO! We prosecute the perpetrator. However in our politically correct world we seek out the most conflicting answer to a question that is not even being asked. The people who seek these bans are in two groups, the mis and uninformed and those who follow blindly.
The primary focus of my work is making the world a better place for dogs. In accepting that mission I am well versed in just about every form of dog training, dog sport, shelter procedures, rescue philosophies, dog behavior and just about anything that relates to dogs. This is my job! I can tell you that much more good comes from tools such as pinch collars, electric collars, choke chains and such. For the small percentage of people who abuse them, we should crack down on them. We should lock them up, and I’ll be the very first person to speak up, find them and prosecute them. For the rest of the people who are helping dogs by using these and other tools, these crusaders of morality should step down. I can assure you that not one of them has ever trained a dog that needed or would benefit from these tools. I know, I know…. I’m gonna get a slew of responses about the incredibly aggressive dog that someone trained using positive only training, treats and a clicker. Well, you know what? It ain’t so. There has never been a positive only trainer that came to one of my classes or workshops that could handle even a higher drive dog, let alone an aggressive one. These dogs are KILLED in shelters every day because positive only trainers profess that the only way to train a dog is without corrections, then they turn their backs on the dogs that don’t respond to their ill-conceived methods. They are wrong. I know plenty of trainers, really good trainers, who don’t stop when the clickers and treat doesn’t work. They go all out to help the dog learn the skills that will keep them away from the needle. These critics have never trained a dog, proofed a dog, titled a dog or worked a dog through conflict beyond the basic level. They stop when the behavior of the dog doesn’t respond to their methods. They want to avoid pressure and will often times torture a dog with mental conflict to avoid a simple correction to which the dog would respond. I have handled countless dogs with just about every behavior and used just about every training method. Yes, I do use treats and toys (it’s my favorite way to train). However my training is balanced with other tools including e-collars, pinch collars, choke collars and more. If you don’t fully understand these tools and methods, you don’t understand dog training. You are merely plugging in the minimal knowledge and seeing if it will work on the dog. And if it doesn’t, you walk away. Good for the trainer – bad for the dog.
Now, lets focus on other abusive things: First off rubber bands. Yes, I said it, rubber bands, we should ban them because they are used to muzzle dog’s mouths shut and cause severe damage. Every shelter has dealt with a dog that was victim to having their mouth’s banded shut to prevent the dog from barking. Take a look at these disturbing images:
Next , lets take a look at another very disturbing set of tools, dog collars, yes collars – any collar. The images below show you the damage that flat collars, chock chains and ropes can do to a dog’s neck.
The bottom line remains that PEOPLE are fault of any abuse that dog’s (or any animal) suffers. Not the tools. Yet, for every critic out there there are many more people doing the right thing, yet they remain silent. You know why they remain silent? Because they’re way to busy doing the hard work that is required to help dogs, not slamming other people. They rescue dogs, train them, transport them and care for and love them. They are the heroes. They do the work with dogs that others threw away or turned away from. These are the heroes. Not those that are constantly petitioning for something, screaming about something or complaining. If you’re one of those people, this goes out to you. If you’re on the other side, you know who you are and I ask you to examine your life, your skill set and your agenda. If you really want to make the world a better place for dogs, stand down, be quiet or get out there and do something. Find the PEOPLE who abuse animals and report them or do something – get off of your computer, your iphone, get off of your ass and save a dog!
Well trained and socialized dogs have a good life. It often takes training to get some dogs to that place. Some need corrections, some need pinch collars or e-collars, some need training methods that people may be uncomfortable with, yet I believe they ALL deserve a chance at life… ALL of them. I will stand by this position and continue to fight for the dogs that have no one and will stand by the side of those that walk against the grain of popularity in order to give these dogs a chance at life.