Your News: Choose to be gentle to your dog

Karen Wild column
Karen Wild column
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I was interviewed by Eamonn Holmes on Sky News Sunrise last week regarding a proposed ban on shock collars. MP Matthew Offord is targeting these devices and requesting a complete ban. The devices are already banned in Wales and an owner has already been prosecuted for using one on his dog since the ban.

I see many dogs with severe aggression that has developed from their being confused and frightened by water sprays, so-called ‘corrector sprays’, all in the name of training. If training was properly implemented (and it is a skill, but not that tricky), there would be no need to try and scare a dog into doing things owners want. Why not just show the dog what you want, teaching it gradually and looking after the dog’s welfare instead, as every owner should?

Shock collars, or e-collars as they are also called, do enormous damage to dogs. A painful shock is delivered to the dog’s throat, often controlled by a remote that the owner uses. I cannot understand why any owner would want to cause pain and fear to their dog, and yet, those that sell the devices continue to describe the shock that occurs as ‘mild’, or a ‘tingle’. The important fact here is that any device designed to punish an unwanted behaviour has to hurt for it to work. The choice is either, hurt the dog in an attempt to train it with the risk of it becoming dangerously aggressive, or remove the device and throw it into the nearest bin, then seek out an experienced, registered trainer to help you. I hope we can all choose to be gentle. Kindness is not weakness.