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Amazon UK pulls prong collars after e-petition gets support

P8010053_thumb By Tamara | April 09, 2014 | Comments (11)


A petition by dog lovers on Facebook succeeded in getting Amazon UK to stop the sale of prong collars. The online retailer stopped selling the aversive dog collars on their website on April 3, 2014.

Now a similar petition is underway to have prong collars banned by Amazon in the United States as well.

Prong or pinch collars are used by some trainers or dog owners to train difficult dogs with correction rather than through positive reinforcement training.

The collars are made up a metal chain. The control loop is made of a chain that has a series of "fang-shaped" metal links, or prongs, with blunted points. When the control loop is pulled by the leash, the prongs pinch the loose skin around the dog's neck.

A prong collar must be properly fitted, and be placed around a dog's neck in proper fashion to be used effectively. Unfortunately, ill-fitted prong collars which are misused or handled improperly can cause a number of injuries to a dog.

As such, Animal organizations such as the Mayhew Animal Home in England would like to see the outright ban of the use of aversive training collars.

They wrote on their website, "Prong and shock collars are often used as a training method by means of inflicting pain on the dog to modify behaviour. The collars can cause serious physical injuries, especially when misused, such as sprained necks, oesophageal damage, vertebrae damage and even death by strangulation."

Many other animal welfare organizations agree that the use of collars of this type are often counterproductive in reducing aggression and unwanted behavior.

The Humane Society of the United States cautions the use of prong or pinch collars, writing, "These collars rely on physical discomfort or even pain to teach the dog what not to do. They suppress the unwanted behavior, but they don't teach him what the proper behavior is. At best, they are unpleasant for your dog, and at worst, they may cause your dog to act aggressively and even bite you."

They add, "More humane collars and good obedience training should make it unnecessary to resort to this aversive collar."

And a recent scientific study is backing up this advice. The study revealed that dogs exposed to aversive training are 15 times more likely to be stressed and show signs of mental trauma compared to dogs trained with positive reinforcement.

Click here for the petition to encourage Amazon to stop selling prong collars in North America.

Click here for the petition in the UK to encourage the government to ban prong collars.

There are also various groups on Facebook and online advocating for positive-reinforcement training. Here is one Facebook Group out of the UK advocating for the ban of aversive collars.

View more articles in: Advocacy and Animal Welfare

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Comments on this Article

Horrible Collars, you don't have to use such harsh methods to control a large or disobedient dog. I would know considering my Dalmatian loves to chase squirrels. I use the Gencon All in 1 head collar, gives effective control without hurting my dog, its based on when a mother pulls its scruff, so the dog isn't hurt. I will be signing the petition and sharing!
They sell these at the Wal-Mart in Bakersfield, CA. I was very annoyed when I saw this "collar".
This whole issue is really ridiculous. Does anyone realize the force that would have had to have been used to cause this kind of damage? This is not what typically happens when these collars are used. If used correctly, they can be life savers for people who own strong dogs that could pull them over or get away from them when walking. Yes, there are other far more positive ways to train a dog not to pull, but it takes time and commitment and consistency, which a lot of people are not willing to do. This collar had to have been left on the dog while the dog got hung up on something and it might have not been fit properly. It is almost impossible to cause that kind of damage from just pulling or even yanking on the collar. You would NEVER leave one of these collars on a dog unattended. Whoever did this, if they intentionally hurt the dog, would have found another way to do it if pinch collars were banned. In my opinion, they are far safer than choke chains, which can easily damage the esophagus if used incorrectly. Choke chains should definitely be banned before these. Just like with anything, the naysayers are usually the ones that have never used the product. And just like with anything, the user has to understand how it works and how to properly use it!
I have also used this type of collar - which I wore before agreeing to use it - to simulate dog-to-dog corrective behavior (and no, adult dogs do not demonstrate for younger dogs what to do). Used properly and with appropriate training they are effective in working with your four-legged family. They are also short-term trainers and should never, ever be left on a dog without a human around.
I don't necessarily think these collars should be banned. I taught my dog not to run away with a shock collar and weaned him off of it shortly after. In some cases, shock collars/pinch collars can be effective when combining positive and negative reinforcement but sadly, these collars are often misused and abuse dogs. People so easily label them as evil if they have had 'personal experience' with successfully training a dog with just positive reinforcement. However, people must consider that there are a variety of dog temperaments and some of them do, believe it or not, positively benefit from the proper use of these collars. My dog was a rescue dog and if I had him as a puppy, his behavior of not running away would have come more naturally than the use of a shock collar. Had I not used a shock collar to effectively train my dog from running away, it is very likely that he would have gotten hit by a car by now. Shock collars can help for training at a distance, which is a must for herding dogs--but I don't advertise using these collars. I tried a lot of positive reinforcement and other various techniques for correcting his behavior of running away before using the shock collar. I used positive reinforcement during, and he is a very happy dog and we have a great relationship without the existence of fear. He understands his place and the need for him to obey me when I say 'come' because it is for his own safety. I am sad to see people so widely label shock collars as 'evil.' I no longer need to use the shock collar now that he has learned this and he is living a happy, healthy dog life.
we have used these collars for years and have NEVER had an issue with them. I think instead you should go after people like the owner of this dog that must have left this collar on his dog while tied up to a pole that would have caused this to happen. This DOES NOT happen when using them correctly such as going for a walk and people that use them for other uses are NOT using them correctly. We have 2 large dogs that when we take them for walks we have to use these collars as they are very strong and without them if they were to decide to take off they would without them. All of you peole that have 5 lb dogs can talk about how disgusting this is but you wouldn't know as you can carry your mini dogs.
If you need to use a collar like this or a trainer has told you to use one both of you dont have a clue how to train a dog Maurice Gilbert you best find some new (so called ) experts cuz yours dont have a clue
This is not something I would ever use on a dog. I've owned dogs many years before these collars ever existed and we always managed to train dogs over time with obedience problems. The problem with this is the unpredictability of human nature when something like this is sold to the masses. I was coming back from a walk with my dog once many moons ago when I saw a dog hanging over a fence. The dog was on a leash line in a backyard and had jumped onto his doghouse against the fence and then over the fence. The leash didn't reach all the way to the ground so the dog was being choked to death by his collar. I got the dog off the leash and luckily the dog quickly recovered. The dog was owned by by a teenager who convinced his parents to get him a dog. It was his first dog and he obviously didn't know the danger he was putting his dog into with the leash line. If this young man had his dog in one of these collars it would have killed the dog. I also think that these collars have cool look factor about them that appeals to some people, and this is what leads to the collars being used more than it should in untrained hands. It's my opinion that these collars should be banned for use by the general public.
I've been told by "experts", that if PROPERLY used, these collars don't damage the dog, but I still wouldn't use one!!
What is going on here! I am annoyed- I wrote a post and so did others and our comments are not hete
This is disgusting. I signed the petition to ban them in the USA. Hope every who sees this will sign. I have been told several times that they don't hurt the dog, they just push on their neck. Never believed it then and now here's proof and that guy used that collar on this poor dog for a very long time to penetrate so deeply into its neck. CRUEL AND INHUMANE. Please sign the petition.
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