A local dog trainer is not happy with some of the PEI Humane Society’s opinions on certain dog collars.
The Humane Society calls certain necklaces, such as electronic or shock necklaces, inhuman.
Dog trainer Duke Ferguson said these collars have helped him train thousands of dogs.
He said they are a good tool.
Ferguson isn’t happy that the PEI Humane Society and other groups don’t see necklaces the same way he does.
Ferguson said he heard from clients across Canada and Prince Edward Island who had not been allowed to adopt dogs because they were using collars.
“Not just one, not just two, but many, many, many. Weekly, monthly, I hear it,” Ferguson said.
Local Humane Society officials told CBC News they didn’t want a taped interview at this time.
However, two staff members said the PEI Humane Society does not support the use of pinch collars, strangled chains or electronic collars. And they said it was their policy if people used these collars, they couldn’t adopt an animal.
They wouldn’t say if this has happened before.
People are divided on training.
Other humanitarian companies have similar policies, and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has said collars can cause fear and anxiety in animals.
Ferguson doesn’t like the word shock. It causes people to hold the electronic collar in their hands to feel the stimulus.
“It’s a physical tactile communicator so that I can draw the dog’s attention to me, so the dog can feel stimulation and associate the attention with the owner,” he said.
Veterinarian Dr Alice Crook of the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Center at Atlantic Veterinary College said trainers with advanced skills might be able to use these collars, but they can cause aggression in dogs.
“The potential for problems with owners who are not as qualified is greater than the potential for positive impact,” she said.
Crook said the PEI Humane Society has the right to monitor the training methods people use.
Crook said that positive reinforcement, like giving a dog food, praise, and attention, works best.
Ferguson also uses these methods, but said the necklaces add to that.
He said he had turned away dogs that needed to be euthanized due to behavioral issues.
Ferguson has an open invitation to the PEI Humane Society to show them his training techniques, he said.