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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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QUOTE,

The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) is greatly encouraged by the Scottish Government’s updated Policy on Electronic Training Collars, dated January 24, 2018, which states that under Section 38 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, it will be officially recognized that training methods that incorporate unpleasant stimuli or physical punishment can cause an animal pain, suffering & /or distress, and that using such methods may constitute the offense of causing unnecessary suffering under that Act.
According to the policy, particular methods to avoid include: physical punishment, electronic collars to administer an electric shock, anti-bark collars, & startle devices.

This new move by the Scottish government falls in line with PPG’s recently launched Shock-Free Coalition, a global advocacy campaign which aims to end the practice of using electric shock to train, manage, & care for pets, to build a strong and broad movement committed to eliminating shock devices from the supply chain, & create transparency on the methods used, for consumers seeking professional advice on pet behavior or training issues.
The Shock-Free Coalition believes that pets have an intrinsic right to be treated humanely, to have each of their individual needs met, & to live in a safe, enriched environment, free from force, pain and fear. Supporters of the Shock-Free Coalition consider it to be their responsibility and utmost obligation to be vigilant, to educate, to remain engaged, & work toward eliminating shock as a permissible tool, so that it is never considered a viable option in the training, management, & care of pets.

As stated in PPG’s Open Letter to County Commissioners (2016), in the field of animal training & behavior consulting, there are few professional organizations that hold their members to a strict code of conduct which involves the application of their trade through scientific protocols and the objective to cause no harm.
Unfortunately, given that the pet training industry is entirely unregulated at present, anyone can tout themselves as a trainer or behavior consultant regardless of education, skill, knowledge or experience – or lack thereof. As a result, those who call themselves dog trainers, or the ever-popular term, "dog whisperers", may still be utilizing outdated punitive methods, such as disc throwing, loud correctional 'nos', devices & methods that work through eliciting a 'startle response', and/or an alarm reaction, to prevent, barking, jumping up, growling or any other problematic behavior, &, in some cases, using more extreme tools such as electric shock collars, choke chains, & prong collars.
All of these are, sadly, are still at large. They are training tools that, by design, have one purpose: to reduce or stop behavior through pain & fear. This, as opposed to a modern, constructional approach, where operant behaviors are built, & problematic emotional reactions are changed via positive reinforcement & counterconditioning protocols, based on the science of behavior.

Humane, modern animal training relies on science-based protocols. According to Friedman (2010), punishment does not teach learners 'what to do instead of the problem behavior'. Nor does it 'teach caregivers how to teach alternative behaviors'. (Friedman, 2010).
It is absolutely baffling, then, that professional dog trainers & canine behavior consultants currently have no legal responsibility whatsoever to disclose any information to their clients, or to the general public, regarding the methods they use. At present, the only obligation is an ethical one, which, sadly, some elect not to acknowledge.
This can be and, indeed, is very misleading to unsuspecting pet owners, who have no knowledge of the pet industry’s lack of standards and regulation, or the differences between training methods & equipment. In many cases, pet owners only find out about these differences – and the fallout associated with them – when they find themselves encountering behavior problems, caused by the use of outdated, aversive techniques & equipment.

Open information equates to transparency, which is an enormously important concept in the business of pet training and behavior consulting. This is – or should be – an environment founded on the principles of behavioral science, where practitioners are working with living beings, both human & animal.

In the meantime, there is a growing body of peer-reviewed, scientific research that shows, whether discussing dogs, humans, dolphins or elephants, that electric shock as a form of training to teach or correct a behavior is ineffective at best, & physically and psychologically damaging, at worst.
Renowned board certified animal behaviorist and veterinarian, Dr. Karen Overall, states: "There are now terrific scientific & research data that show the harm that shock collars can do, behaviorally." (Overall, DVM; 2005)

It is PPG’s view that pets need to be well-socialized, & mentally and physically healthy, if a productive & safe relationship for all members of their family and the public at large is to be ensured. As such, PPG urges all parties involved in determining new legislation to focus first on education, operational standards, & modern, humane methods.
Government has a responsibility to implement effective public health measures that increase the information available to the public & to decision makers, protect people from harm, promote health, & create environments that support healthy behaviors (Friedman, 2010).

PPG is an international member association for pet professionals who use force-free training methods only and holds its members to a very high standard in terms of ethics, protocols, & transparency. PPG members are committed to humane, scientific, & effective training, care & management protocols. They never use – indeed, never have any need to use – correction-based training, equipment and/or aversive stimuli for the care, management or training of pets, & the foundation of their work is always to do no harm.

PPG applauds the Scottish Government for taking a stand on this matter.



Resources

Friedman, S. (2010, March).
What’s Wrong with This Picture? Effectiveness Is Not Enough. APDT Journal.

http://behaviorworks.org/files/articles/APDT What's Wrong with this Picture - Dogs.pdf

Overall, K. (2005).
An open letter from Dr. Karen Overall regarding the use of shock collars.
shockcollars

Pet Professional Guild. (2017).
An Open Letter to County Commissioners - Consumer Transparency re: the Methods Used in Animal Training, Care and Management, Will Protect Pets, Their Owners, Local Residents, & the Public at Large.

The Pet Professional Guild - Open Letter To County Commissioners

Pet Professional Guild. (2017).
Position Statement on the Use of Shock in Animal Training.

The Pet Professional Guild Position on Shock

Pet Professional Guild. (2017, September 25).
Pet Professional Guild launches Shock-Free Coalition to end use of electric shock as training tool for pets.

https://www.prlog.org/12666462-pet-...electric-shock-as-training-tool-for-pets.html

Scottish Government. (2018, January 24).
Scottish Government Policy on Electronic Training Collars: Proposed Guidance.

Electronic Training Aids

PPG's statement in PDF or HTML formats, online.
Sign The Shock-Free Coalition Pledge


Sincerely,
- Niki Tudge
President, Pet Professional Guild


____________ END Pasted copy ____________________



I'm thrilled that Scotland, most of western Europe, & parts of Canada & Oz have all banned shock-collars.
I hope the USA soon joins these progressive, humane states, & bans aversive tools in pet training - particularly shock-collars, but I'd also be thrilled to wave good-bye forever to prong collars, choke AKA infinite slip collars, anti-pull harnesses that pinch or constrict, air-horns, & the rest of the lot. :thumbsup:


- terry

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Now they can't wear harnesses???

Anti pull harnesses keep people safe when training and walking large excitable dogs. Young dogs who pull to get to other dogs or people or chase animals can run out into streets and get killed or seriously hurt people pulling and knocking them down.
I understand this is a positive forum but people have to be able to manage young and rescue dogs safely while they are training them. No pull harnesses and in some cases prong collars are necessary for safe management while these dogs are being safely trained.
Making all efforts to safely manage and retrain an adult or adolescent rescue dog can backfire and result in more homeless dogs in shelters.
I'm not advocating for shock collars or choke collars, but I never would have walked any of my dogs on a leash without a no pull harness. I'd either stop owning dogs and would never have given a loving patient home to the shelter dogs I have had, or if I'm going to live in ridiculous fear of criminal prosection for using an effective harness, fine I'll just let them run loose everywhere since I can't use my good judgement to train them effectively.

Corrections are not abusive they're part of true behavior theory, negative reinforcement and punishment are two parts of behavior conditioning as are positive reinforcement.
It's fine and great to be positive as much as possible but when he's bolting out into a busy street in front of a car to go meet a dog he sees across the street or lunging at a child because the kid is wearing a helmet when you're just walking from your car ten feet into your building you have to stop those dangerous behaviors immediately. That's why those tools were developed for immediate results.
Positive training takes time, which is emergency situations is a luxury not everyone has.
Sometimes you need an immediate emergency brake while you work on fine tuning the whole gears and brakes over time.
Studies can always be disproven with the next study over a different time frame and population.
If they just outlaw shock collars, that's one thing. If they start outlawing everything non positive, people are going to not bother to adopt shelter dogs, abandon dogs with behavior issues and only raise purebred puppies until they develop an issue, them dump them since they won't necessarily have the time or patience to wait months or longer for positive methods to work.
Being too excessive and overzealous with any one method of training can be very short sighted and contribute to the much bigger problem of suffering homeless dogs. Ridiculous and sad.
 

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Now they can't wear harnesses???

Anti pull harnesses keep people safe when training and walking large excitable dogs. Young dogs who pull to get to other dogs or people or chase animals can run out into streets and get killed or seriously hurt people pulling and knocking them down.
I understand this is a positive forum but people have to be able to manage young and rescue dogs safely while they are training them. No pull harnesses and in some cases prong collars are necessary for safe management while these dogs are being safely trained.
Making all efforts to safely manage and retrain an adult or adolescent rescue dog can backfire and result in more homeless dogs in shelters.
I'm not advocating for shock collars or choke collars, but I never would have walked any of my dogs on a leash without a no pull harness. I'd either stop owning dogs and would never have given a loving patient home to the shelter dogs I have had, or if I'm going to live in ridiculous fear of criminal prosection for using an effective harness, fine I'll just let them run loose everywhere since I can't use my good judgement to train them effectively.

Corrections are not abusive they're part of true behavior theory, negative reinforcement and punishment are two parts of behavior conditioning as are positive reinforcement.
It's fine and great to be positive as much as possible but when he's bolting out into a busy street in front of a car to go meet a dog he sees across the street or lunging at a child because the kid is wearing a helmet when you're just walking from your car ten feet into your building you have to stop those dangerous behaviors immediately. That's why those tools were developed for immediate results.
Positive training takes time, which is emergency situations is a luxury not everyone has.
Sometimes you need an immediate emergency brake while you work on fine tuning the whole gears and brakes over time.
Studies can always be disproven with the next study over a different time frame and population.
If they just outlaw shock collars, that's one thing. If they start outlawing everything non positive, people are going to not bother to adopt shelter dogs, abandon dogs with behavior issues and only raise purebred puppies until they develop an issue, them dump them since they won't necessarily have the time or patience to wait months or longer for positive methods to work.
Being too excessive and overzealous with any one method of training can be very short sighted and contribute to the much bigger problem of suffering homeless dogs. Ridiculous and sad.
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Unless I'm mistaken LFL meant the anti pull harnesses that work my squeezing the go, I've seen those type around, they are not the typical ones that are front clip and work by pulling a dog around but the work by squeezing or pinching the dog when the dog or owner pulls on the leash. Here's one that always comes to mind when I think of that type of harness https://www.amazon.com/ThunderLeash...r&reviewerType=all_reviews#reviews-filter-bar

My problem with all of the gear that's designed to teach dogs to nicely walk on leash is that people often put them on and when the dog stops pulling the dog is considered trained, but the owner never did any work to reinforce the good behavior so when the prong, easy walk, front clip, etc is taken off the dog still pulls because the dog is not trained, or the dog decides to pull through the gear and then the owner moves on to an even more aversive device.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
got it in one!

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Unless I'm mistaken LFL meant the anti pull harnesses that work my squeezing the [dog], I've seen those type around, they are not the typical ones that are front clip and work by pulling a dog around but the work by squeezing or pinching the dog when the dog or owner pulls on the leash. ...

My problem with all of the gear that's designed to teach dogs to nicely walk on leash is that people often put them on and when the dog stops pulling the dog is considered trained, but the owner never did any work to reinforce the good behavior so when the prong, easy walk, front clip, etc is taken off the dog still pulls because the dog is not trained, or the dog decides to pull through the gear and then the owner moves on to an even more aversive device.
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Yes, @Rain - exactly.
Anti-pull harnesses that cause pain or discomfort are no different from "anti-bark" collars that cause pain or discomfort - e-g, bark = shock.

& yes, i, too, have seen the use of aversive anti-pull devices, they seem to work, they are taken off or even thrown away, the dog returns to pulling, & now the owner looks for "something stronger" to stop the pulling, rather than TRAIN THE DOG to walk on a loose leash.
Escalating the punishment is not an answer. :(

- terry

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My younger dog has a martingale collar and a front clip harness. I'm wondering what category those fall into.

He is good on walks, even better when we go running (I taught him to turn left and turn right on command).... but he's still young and seems to think that squirrels were put on this earth specifically for him. We had the martingale collar since day 1, the front clip harness we just picked up as a precaution for when other people are walking him, or because I'm pregnant and unbalanced at the moment. I can't risk a 70 lb dog dragging me because of a squirrel.

Other than I completely agree, training is always best.
 
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My younger dog has a martingale collar and a front clip harness. I'm wondering what category those fall into.

He is good on walks, even better when we go running (I taught him to turn left and turn right on command).... but he's still young and seems to think that squirrels were put on this earth specifically for him. We had the martingale collar since day 1, the front clip harness we just picked up as a precaution for when other people are walking him, or because I'm pregnant and unbalanced at the moment. I can't risk a 70 lb dog dragging me because of a squirrel.

Other than I completely agree, training is always best.

When fitted correctly Martingales should never choke or hurt a dog, they simply tighten up snugly around the throat so that the dog cannot slip the collar over his or her head. They are not like a choke or prong collar. Same with the front clip harness, it's not supposed to hurt or discomfort the dog, but to gently turn the dog when it's trying to pull. Kind of like when we teach LLW and use the go in the opposite direction that the dog is pulling method. The dog learns that if it pulls it's not going to so in the direction it's trying to go.
 
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Ok that's good to know. The shelter had a martingale on him when we got him, and told us that it was so that the pups didn't escape easily because they don't pull over their heads. When we had to get a bigger size, we just had our vet double check it was on correctly during a visit for vaccines.

The front clip harness we have is padded and fits him snugly. It doesn't stay on him, but I worried about if that was going to screw up long term training while we had it. It's been a nice thing to have though because even my father in law was shocked at how strong my dog is. It makes me worry less when my daughter goes to take him out too because it provides a little more control.

When we take him running or hiking though, he wears his Kurgo Baxter backpack filled with all his accessories. He loves that thing, and he looks cute.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
martingales & front-clip harnesses are very safe Mgmt tools & training aids

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Martingale collars AKA 'limited slip' collars are very safe, & definitely not an aversive tool - for sighthounds, with their narrow back-skulls, they're often the only collars that will stay on.
However, folks who adjust them "for comfort" so that they dangle loosely down near the dog's shoulders, defeat the martingale's purpose - such silly rules as "there should always be 3-fingers width of slack in a collar" are ludicrous, even FINGERS come in different sizes, just like dogs! :p
Whose fingers do we use as standard measure? A 6-ft 4" adult man's, a 5-ft 6" adult woman's, a petite pre-teen's, a child's?

I adjust my martingales so they lie flat & smooth, close to the jaw - with no slack in the closing-loop; it lies closed, folded in half.

Front-clip harnesses are also not aversive tools -
unlike "anti-pull" harnesses that pinch, or contract & tighten, a Y-harness clipped at the chest does not change size to become uncomfortably tight when the dog [or handler!] pulls on the leash.
It merely redirects the dog's momentum from a straight line, to an arc around the handler; if U want the dog to U-turn, take one step BACK with Ur off foot [the foot on the side away from the dog], then move both hands across below Ur waist, with wrists & elbows straight, toward the POCKET of Ur pants on that same side, ending with Ur fists approx on the side-seam of the pants.
About now, the dog should be facing U, wondering what happened, LOL - all with minimum force exerted on the dog, & also minimum muscular effort exerted by U.

Front-clip harnesses help reduce the dog's physical advantages [4 on the floor, greater strength pound for pound than humans, better leverage, faster reflexes...] by improving the handler's body mechanics. Unless they're badly designed or improperly fitted, they certainly don't cause pain.

- terry

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