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One of Canada’s largest pet product retailers is ending the sale of aversive collars.
Quebec-based Mondou pet stores announced Monday it will no longer sell the pet collars – including choke, electric, vibration, citronella and ultrasonic designs – designed to punish dogs for bad behaviour.
Aversive collars are banned in several Quebec cities, including Montreal, Quebec City, Laval, Beauharnois and Sherbrooke, but they were still sold in stores.
In business since 1938, knowledge about animal training and behaviour has come a long way since then, Mondou said.
“Sometimes dogs bark because they’re afraid or because they’re excited and it’s absurd to think that a choke chain or a shock collar is going to make the problem go away. We have to understand how the dog feels to help him,” explained Mondou’s dog behaviour consultant Isabelle Borremans.
Some dog trainers say training techniques that punish a dog are as outdated as spanking a child.
“Dogs were punished for doing bad behaviour,” said dog trainer Gaby Dufresne-Cyr. “They were never taught what to do in its place, so focusing on the good behaviours now is what we’re after.”
The SPCA applauded Mondou’s decision, saying aversive collars aren’t just inhumane, said Sophie Gaillard, director of animal advocacy at the SPCA, they’re ineffective.
“Aversive training techniques including actually increase the likelihood of aggressive behaviours developing in dogs,” she said.
Mondou suggests anyone needed help with challenging pet behaviour can seek free advice in store, and should consider interactive toys to relieve dogs of boredom, as well as natural products designed to reduce stress and reinforce positive teaching of appropriate behaviour.