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.
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