Dog shock collars a good tool, says trainer
Electronic collars aren't inhumane: Duke Ferguson
A local dog trainer isn't happy with some of the P.E.I. Humane Society's views on certain dog collars.
The Humane Society calls some collars — such as electronic or shock collars — inhumane.
Dog trainer Duke Ferguson said these collars have helped him train thousands of dogs.
He said they're a good tool.
Ferguson isn't pleased the P.E.I. Humane Society and other groups don't see the collars the same way he does.
Ferguson said he's heard from clients throughout Canada and in P.E.I. who have not been allowed to adopt dogs because they use the collars.
"Not just one, not just two, but numerous, numerous, numerous. Weekly, monthly, I hear it," said Ferguson.
Local Humane Society officials told CBC News they did not want to do a taped interview at this time.
However, two staff members said the P.E.I. Humane Society doesn't support the use of pinch collars, choke chains or electronic collars. And they said it's their policy if people use these collars, they couldn't adopt an animal.
They would not say if that's ever happened.
People are divided on the training.
Other humane societies have similar policies and the Canadian Veterinary Medical association said the collars can cause fear and anxiety in animals.
Ferguson doesn't like the word shock. He gets people to hold the electronic collar in their hands to feel the stimulus.
"It's a physical touch communicator so I can get the dogs attention on me, so the dog can feel stimulation and associate paying attention to the owner," he said.
Veterinarian Dr. Alice Crook of the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre at the Atlantic Veterinary College said trainers with advanced skills may be able to use these collars, but they can cause aggression in dogs.
"The potential for problems with owners who are not so skilled is greater than the potential for a positive impact," she said.
Crook said the P.E.I. Humane Society is in the right to monitor what training methods people use.
Crook said positive reinforcement like giving a dog food, praise and attention works best.
Ferguson uses those methods too, but said the collars add to that.
He said he's turned dogs around that were set to be euthanized because of behavioural problems.
Ferguson has an open invitation to the P.E.I. Humane Society to show them his training techniques, he said.