For Wayne Dorman, the owner and founder of Dogzies Pet Services in Kelowna, the issue of ecollar (shock collar) usage on dogs comes down to two basic things—education and regulation.
In his years as a dog trainer, Dorman estimates the handling or training with more than 15,000 dogs in the Okanagan with clients from all over.
He’s seen what ecollars can do with the correct usage, and what they can do when ecollars are not used responsibly.
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“I don’t believe (ecollars) are detrimental, or that they don’t help dogs, people just shouldn’t be able to just buy them,” Dorman said.
“There are products online that people know nothing about, and they stick it on their dog. There needs to be education and training.”
Dorman knows he’s just one trainer who’s had a high success rate of clients keeping their dogs, when those same clients have been told that their dog is untrainable or can’t be helped.
At Dogzies, Dorman works canine clients hard in order to have a balanced and well mannered dog, which at times has Dorman resorting to use of ecollars and vibration-only collars.
“I’m a big advocate of the right usage of any tool: leash, collar, or food. If one doesn’t now how to train a dog, they (should get help), there shouldn’t be any person without training using ecollars or other tools for training,” said Dorman.
“I do believe there are irresponsible trainers and owners out there.”
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The photos that appear online of alleged damage from ecollars can come from a wide array of problems, said Dorman, notably poor products and improper education that leads to the overuse of ecollars.
Dorman sees injuries to dogs from a wide variety of issues, more from leashes than from the correct usage of ecollars, but he says measures adopted in legislation might be needed to stop injuries caused by ecollar abuse.
“The government needs to get involved,” said Dorman. “Not every dog needs a collar, and we can’t have 18 or 19 year-olds setting up ecollars without help.
“The people who use the collars love their dogs, and don’t want to hurt them, but some people want a quick fix.”
Dorman’s Dogzies Pet Services can be found at www.dogzies.com.
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