Victoria Blasts Shock Collars in the Chicago Tribune

chicago_tribune_logoVictoria was featured in the Chicago Tribune, where she was interviewed by Pet World's Steve Dale. In the article, she discusses how to choose a good dog trainer and the details of her new book, but especially delves into the dangers of electronic collars. Although the collars have been popularized recently in Hollywood, Victoria explained the physical and emotional dangers of electronic collar training.

Read the article here. 


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  • Carla

    Thank you for speaking out against these horrific devices. I detest them too and hope to see them banned along with those vile squirting collars and the ones with horrid prongs! Wish people would learn to train with patience for good results and happy, non-fearful dogs!
    Bless you, you are my hero.
    Warm regards
    Carla

  • http://www.4positivepaws.com TONI STOLTZ

    I LOVE VICTORIA!!!! I MODEL MY TRAINING AFTER HERS AND IT REALLY UPSETS ME TO SEE BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS WITH SHOCK, PINCH OR CHOKE COLLARS ON. AS A TRAINER, I OBVIOUSLY DON'T USE OR RECOMMEND THEM AND I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHAT TO DO WHEN I SEE SOMEONE USING THEM ON A WALK OR AT A PARK--WHAT IS THE BEST APPROACH TO USE TO GET TO THESE PEOPLE?

    LOVE YOU VICTORIA!!!

  • Katie Smith

    Wonderfully said Victoria. I hate the idea of putting something that could such harm, around my dogs neck. I am training to become a dog trainer for dogs with behavioural problems and never would I suggest using a choke chain, prong collar or shock collar. There are so many other things to train a dog with - I have used a halti harness on an American bulldog that couldn't walk on a lead and am currently using a head leader for my Border collie who hasn't been taught to walk properly by her previous owners. I have seen many shows with trainers using choke collars and such but I adore the beautiful work I've seen you do on 'It's Me or the Dog'. Well done for standing up for the dogs :)

  • Jan

    I work with a Great Dane and Irish Wolfhound rescue group. We get in adult dogs that weigh 120 to 180 pounds that have never been taught to walk properly on a leash. When they first come in, these dogs will pull, tug, and basically drag you wherever they want to go. Yet, we never use choke collars, prong collars, or electronic collars. Instead, we rely on Gentle Leaders during the training process, transitioning to a "regular" collar as the dog begins to understand that staying close to the trainer gets him or her the good stuff (lots of attention in the form of talking and petting, yummy treats, as well as permission to greet other friendly dogs and people). Pulling results in no attention, no treats, and no greeting of the friendly dog or person. It's that simple. Victoria is correct. There is no need to inflict pain to teach our companion animals to behave in a manner that we find "polite" in human society. In addition, those painful techniques would be particularly detrimental to many rescued dogs. For example, we had a rather large number of Danes come in that were confiscated from a horrible puppy mill situation. Most of these poor dogs were scared to death of people to begin with. Use a painful stimulus on these dogs??? Dogs like this are already afraid of people and using such a painful training procedure will only serve to reinforce their fear (not overcome it and teach them that people are a "good thing").

  • http://www.auf-den-hund-gekommen.net Leonard Cecil

    Do shock collars actually hurt? the manufacturers and trainers use neither the term shock nor pain. They sow videos of people "testing" them on their hands or arms.

    Here is an experiment in which 7 people tested a normal off-the-rack shock collar system:
    1) laying in the palm of their hand.
    2) strapped to the palm of their hand.
    3) strapped to their forearm.
    4) strapped according to manufacturer's directions to their throat.

    They then took the remote and gave themselves a shock when they were ready (as opposed to a dog, who doesn't do this) and going as high through the different shock levels (1-10, with 1 being lowest level). they could quit at any time, when it became too painful (also something a dog cannot do).

    Here the link to the data collected and the video material, where one can see their reactions to the shock: http://www.auf-den-hund-gekommen.net/-/experiment1.html.

    Experiment 2 was done wit the same people. We took as the so-called "working" level <50% of their tolerated level of shock which turned out to be level 2 out of 10 (10 being the stringest shock level). Each was trained with the collar on their throat for a set of behaviors within a max. time period of 10 minutes - in a language they didn't understand (Turkish). After all, dogs don't understand English.

    During training, positive reinforcement (praise), positive punishment (single shocks to stop unwanted behavior) as well as negative reinforcement (serial shocks to decrease latency and increase performance speed - so-called escape/avoidance training).

    This experiment shows that how and when shock is applied is not clear, even to these people who are trainers themselves and know the Learning Theory. In fact, in most cases, the serial shocks applied only after the behavior had be learned (as is done by shock trainers) tended to slow or even stop response, rather than decrease latency or increase speed. And all remarked on the cumulative effect of the shocks as well as most would not have been willing to have continued longer if called upon to do so.

    Data and videos here:
    http://www.auf-den-hund-gekommen.net/-/experiment2.html

  • Nicola

    Great article.

    Unfortunately Eva Mendes contradicted herself spectacularly in that quote about her dog. Her dog really doesn't have the cognitive ability to even THINK about proving his love for her. What a silly and unrealistic expectation. And if she is so concerned about creatures such as squirrels suffering from attacks by her dog why on earth put an e collar on your own dog? Is that not suffering needlessly too? Do his feelings and emotions not matter to her? What flawed and unreasonable logic!

    It never fails to astound me that misinformed and uneducated celebrities, such as this woman, are granted a platform to actually speak about the 'welfare' of animals in such a spectacularly flawed fashion. But if it provokes a bit of outrage, then perhaps it may have a good effect on providing the enlightenment that she and these people who insist on continuing to use such a cruel device on their dogs clearly need.

    I'm certainly never going to pay to watch a movie that she happens to be in again. I'm voting with my feet.

    http://www.cesarsway.com/magazine/Hollywood-Hounds/Eva-Mendes-My-Dog-was-in-My-Bed

    The above link unfortunately explains a lot.......*sigh*

    Keep up the great work Victoria.

  • http://unadvisedideal672.sosblogs.com/The-first-blog-b1/Springer-Spaniel-b1-p7.htm springer spaniels

    Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?

    There's a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

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