The Pet Professional Guild Australia welcomes the move by the Queensland Government to review their animal welfare legislation, in particular their proposed new amendments in relation to the banning of the use of prong collars.
PPGA is a membership organisation representing pet industry professionals who are committed to science-based, force-free training and pet care.
It is the position of the PPGA that effective animal training procedures lay the foundation for an animal’s healthy socialisation and training and helps prevent behaviour problems. The general pet-owning public should be educated by organisations and associations to ensure pet animals live in nurturing and stable environments to better prevent behaviour problems and help ensure the overall wellbeing of the animal.
Consistent with this effort, PPGA holds that the use of collars and leads that are intended to apply constriction, pressure, pain or force around a dog’s neck (such as choke chains and prong collars) should be avoided.
Though data demonstrating the exact damage that can be potentially caused by using choke and prong collars is incomplete, experience has shown that soft tissue injuries are common and, as is the case with any harsh training method, the damage to the animal-human relationship results.
Studies and the experience of the PPGA’s membership finds that training and behaviour problems are consistently and effectively solved without the use of choke or prong collars but with the alternative and positive methods of reinforcing the animal-human bond. Evidence indicates that rather than speeding the learning process, harsh training methods actually slow the training process, add to the animal’s stress and can result in both short-term and long-term psychological damage to animals.
PPGA advises that all training should be conducted in a manner that encourages animals to enjoy training and become more confident and well-adjusted pets. In addition, PPGA members optimise the use of functional analysis to identify and resolve problem behaviours such as leash-pulling and lunging, where choke and prong collars are typically used.
Further, the PPGA and its members actively recommend against the use of choke and prong collars while actively promoting the use of flat buckle collars, head halters, harnesses and other types of control equipment that are safer for the animal.