Are prong collars and e-collars cruel?

Posted by Linda Wiegmann on

Are prong collars and e-collars cruel or why it may look like your dog enjoy wearing their e- or prong collar

These two tools are talked about in the dog world regularly. Today we will speak about what a prong collar is as well as what an e-collar is and how these two collars work.

What is a prong collar?

Metal Prong collars function similarly to choke chains and tighten when the dog pulls forward or if you put pressure on the collar through the lead. They contain metal spikes on the inside of the collar that dig into your dog’s neck. 

What is an e-collar?

An e-collar is another training tool available in most states of Australia. It works with electricity and is sending a stimulus/shock through the unit of the collar to correct your dog's behaviour.

How do these two tools work?

Aversive dog trainers (also called balanced dog trainers) will often use choke chains, prong collars and e-collars to correct dogs for "bad" behaviour through these training tools. The pressure or shock is causing the dog discomfort at the very least as well as severe pain. Through these corrections the dogs learn to show the unwanted behaviour less as they have to fear being corrected. This however doesn't take their emotional wellbeing into account and doesn't address the root of the behaviour. It simply suppresses the behaviour and creates and anxious and stressed dog. 

Are these training tools safe to use?

Choke, e- and prong collars should be avoided in all cases. There is no need for these training tools and they will create more problems for the dogs and their guardians than they solve.

All of them can cause injuries and are not safe for your dogs emotional wellbeing and welfare.

But my dog is getting excited about wearing their prong/e-collar

If your dog gets excited when you bring out their e-collar or prong collar this has little to do with them enjoying the tool but everything with what will follow: spending time with you.

Dogs don't necessarily make the connection between the tool and the painful and uncomfortable correction that it is used for.

Tools like these work because they cause discomfort and pain. If you want to protect your dogs neck - choose a well fitted harness for them. If you are afraid your dog won't come back when you call - use a long line & practice recall.

They are marketed well as "communication tools" but really, what kind of communication would you like to have with your dog? In the end we love them more than anything & causing them unnecessary harm and stress just can't be in anyones best interest.

No one wants to be pinched in the neck or shocked out of nowhere. If you wouldn't want to be treated like this, don't do it to others.

What other ways are there to train my dog?

Looking for a trainer that works ethically with you and your dog?

If you are in Perth, contact Canine Conversations. Lauren is a qualified behaviourist and dog trainer and has been working with dogs for over 10 years.

If you are looking for a trainer in other places, please use the IMDT directory to find a qualified force free trainer in your area.

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