A black lab puppy was recently dropped off at my home for a few hour dog sit with a choke spike collar that was too tight and when I inquired with the owners they said that they forget to take the spiked collar off after a training session several days prior with Balanced Obedience Trainer. I tried in vain to remove the collar which was stressful for the lab puppy; there was no way to remove the collar.
I contacted Sabrina to get her views on the spike collar training:
‘Sabrina, Yes, we do differ on training approach. I was able to train my dog without force or pain and he is probably the best dog you will ever know. I met one of your clients whose puppy had a pinch collar that was too tight and I could not remove it. The dog was uncomfortable and submissive to the point where it bordered abuse. The puppy would cower and take a submissive stance. How can anyone do that to a sweet puppy? It makes me wonder about their ability to guide their own animal. This was a timid puppy and the use of the pinch collar shocked me. I asked the owner to remove the collar and they said they forgot to take it off after training with you.’
Liz, "As with other training devices, when used under supervision and in combination with proper behavioral training, these collars can be quite effective. However, these collars should not be left on an unattended animal (such as one tethered in the yard) or to train by negative reinforcement/inflicting pain You definitely don't want to use prong collars on dogs with aggression or fear issues or puppies -- who can easily develop such issues. Dr. Alix Partnow, a neurologist at VCA Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle." “One negligent client can give a bad impression.”
Sabrina added: " I am not dogmatic about any kind of dog training equipment. Being a horse trainer for most of my young life, I appreciate how the right equipment will let you communicate your needs to an animal and keep you and them safe from harm. At the ideal end of the spectrum all horses are ridden with no saddle or bridle and dogs are walked with no leash or collar. Some horses need firm equipment and so do some dogs, so I will use a pinch collar if it is appropriate but I prefer a flat collar. The focus behind training every animal is that it will listen to verbal and non-verbal cues and no physicality is needed."
I shared with her how I feel about spike collars and that they were cruel to use on animals, especially a puppy and added I would never use a pinch collar on my dog. I consider it inhumane and do not think pain should be incorporated in my dogs training. Pain will damage my animals trust. Peta says choke and prong collars can physically damage a dog by fracturing neck bones or bruising esophagus. (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals)
“Hello Liz, I hope you and your dog find a trainer that fits your ideology. I support PETA, as human dominion over animals and mother nature is a complex problem. I am wishing you and your dog the very best. Thank you, Sabrina”
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