Out of the UK, the cradle of the animal rights terror movement, comes a study that denigrates the use of electronic collars as a tool for dog training:
“The Welfare Consequences and Efficacy of Training Pet Dogs with Remote Electronic Training Collars in Comparison to Reward Based Training” *
If you read the abstract, there doesn’t seem to be any real downside to using electronic training collars. But the take-home message? E-Collars work, but not any better than positive reinforcement, so why subject your dog to unnecessary stess? And now, we have another biased study to point to in order to justify the ban on E-Collars that animal rights nuts are pushing for in the UK. Talk about researcher bias!
Of course, the group of dogs they studied were PET dogs. And what is the most common use for E collars in pet dogs? It’s for pet containment in areas where fences are not used. I suppose it’s better to have your dog tethered? Maybe these animal rights do-gooders would prefer that your dog roam and be hit by a car?
E collars are also commonly used to avoid surgical debarking for dogs who are noisy. A noisy dog provokes complaints, and may end up at the dog pound unless the owner has options available such as a bark collar or surgical debarking.
E collars are successfully and humanely used to train dogs for off leash work, such as hunting or obedience. A well-trained dog is a happy dog under the charge of a responsible and loving owner.
Now, to add insult to injury we find AKC’s Vice President Gina DiNardo on a TV program discussing use of E Collars. DiNardo states that “we” (presumably the AKC) support only positive reinforcement in dog training.” **
Will corrections with a flat collar and lead soon be out at the AKC? Maybe they should make a rule that dogs can’t be restrained on a lead at a dog show. After all, a snap on the lead! WELL! That is NOT POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT.
This is what it says about electronic collars in the Board Policy Manual:***
Training Collars (July 2001 Board meeting) Special training devices that are used to control and train dogs, including but not limited to, collars with prongs, electronic collars used with transmitters, muzzles and head collars may not be used on dogs at AKC events, except as allowed in the AKC Rules, Regulations, and policies.
The American Kennel Club recognizes that special training collars may be an effective and useful management device, when properly used, for controlling dogs that might be extremely active, difficult to control on a neck collar, or dog aggressive. These collars are also recognized as possibly useful for gaining control at the start of basic obedience training, essential education that dogs deserve and need.
There is a point at which owners should have sufficient control of their dogs to manage them on regular neck collars, without the use of special training collars. This is the point at which dogs are acceptable on the grounds of AKC competitive events and will have the opportunity to participate in those events.
Yes, AKC has the right to ban muzzles, e-collars and prong collars from their shows, but what people do away from the show grounds is none of their business. The AKC does NOT have the right to get on national television and denigrate a very useful, humane and responsible tool for training. Trainers should have the option to choose which training methods work best for them, without the nannies of the world butting in.
And speaking of the nannies of the world, why here’s one now!
|AKC's Vice President Gina DiNardo|
• More than 100 TV/Radio appearances
• NBC’s Today Show – multiple appearances
• iVillage Live – multiple appearances
• TV Commentator – Mohegan Sun AKC Events
• Satellite Media Tours for AKC/Eukanuba National Championship and AKC Meet the Breeds
• NPR and Animal Planet Radio
She’s presented as a media pro and is a top level AKC official, and yet, she spouts notions contrary to the interests of dog owners….the very group that AKC supposedly represents. If AKC has ANY integrity, they will fire this ignorant talking head immediately.
Not only is John Q Public being snowed, but seems as though AKC is being infiltrated by the warm, fuzzy, “they're our fur kids” types. The same type who recoil in horror at the thought of disciplining their child in any meaningful manner. Can you imagine controlling a recalcitrant child using only "positive reinforcement"? It doesn't work for kids and it doesn't work for dogs, either. A stern "NO" would also be banned under the system of positive reinforcement only. Boo Hoo! You might cause STRESS and hurt feelings!
This kind of evolving intrusive and restrictive "Welfare" philosophy is why we should fear the publishing of the upcoming Purdue study on dog husbandry practices.
Let’s see, Sayre to PIJAC, Prager to APHIS . . . . what’s next, Pacelle to AKC?