5.08.2017

Blogger "AwesomeDogs" posted a fantastic piece on prong collars. Her theory is pretty global and works in a lot of areas, not just dog training. Her theory was, "You don't know until you try, right?" She took a prong collar and wore it around her neck to see what it was like to wear one. This wasn't for BDSM (which is totally fine if that's your jam - this wasn't that). This wasn't to show that positive reinforcement is better, or that prong collars are better. She was curious, so she did the thing that we should all do before using a tool that uses pain in order to get a behavior.

She used it on herself. 

I would caution to stay away from the comments section as it predictably goes down some pretty insulting roads.

I used a shock collar on myself once to see how it felt. It was a former dog walking student's device. The collar went up to 100 and I set the device to 20, 1/5 the maximum shock. Even at that volume, my arm instantly shot out from my side the millisecond I depressed the button with my right hand.  My left hand, the hand holding the collar, clenched tighter around the device (not what I wanted) and as soon as I ceased depressing the button, my left hand opened up, shooting the shock collar away from my body. My arm hurt for a few days after that from the sudden and involuntary convulsion brought on by the shock. I felt ill from the inside from where the electricity tore through my body, trying to escape through the floor where my feet were touching the linoleum (as electricity is want to do).

I have a lot of feelings about these tools, but I believe fully in this statement as it relates to shock, prong collars, choke chains, and more.


We get a lot more out of understanding instead of controlling. The dog does, too. I think in 2017, we should all do a better job of trying to understand one another instead of trying to control others. We'd get a lot more done and be more effective.

Sure, it might be harder in the long run to use a more humane tool or your dog might be big and strong, or there was something you read years ago that said you had to be pack leader but the truth of the matter is that the physical and emotional fallout of using tools that cause pain to get behavior have far more dire consequences. There are better tools out there, and (luckily) a far better understanding of dog behavior using science, observation and learning theory that will allow for a much happier dog and a much better experience for everyone.