Written by Michelle Kretzer
If we saw someone choking, shocking, or
dragging a dog, we would intervene, right? But chances are, we have—and we didn't.
It can be intimidating to tell another dog
guardian that he or she is being cruel, but people who rely on choke, prong, or
shock collars to control their dogs need to know about the harm that they're
inflicting. Dogs who are made to wear these collars experience a fear of pain
that often results in psychological stress, anxiety, and displaced aggression.
And the potential physical injuries are just as serious.
and prong collars can cause dogs to suffer from spinal cord injuries, including intervertebral
disc protrusion or paralysis as well as nerve damage, a crushed trachea or
larynx, and bruising and damage to the esophagus and the skin and tissue in the
Depending on the size of the dog, how hard the dog pulls, and how forcefully the person holding the leash yanks, prong collars can cause serious injuries.iStockphoto.com/cringuette
collars can cause burns, cardiac fibrillation, and changes in heart and respiratory rates,
as well as behavior problems.
"Gentle Leader" or
"Halti" head halters aren't ideal, either, because they wrap around
the dog's muzzle, which most dogs find uncomfortable—it reminds them of the
feeling that they get when another dog bites down on their muzzle in a warning
gesture. And when the dog tries to pull, the halter pulls the dog's head
downward and to the side, which could potentially cause a neck injury if the
dog is pulling hard or moving quickly. A better "no-pull" alternative
is the Sense-ation harness, which has a ring located at the dog's chest, not the neck, for attaching the
leash, allowing you to redirect your dog back toward you when he or she pulls
or lunges without causing pain.
mamamusings|cc by 2.0
We each have a responsibility to explain
as diplomatically as possible to dog owners that positive, reward-based training methods are kinder and more effective than painful choke or shock collars and that having
dogs wear harnesses while out walking is much easier on their necks than using
any kind of collar.
Dogs are safest and most comfortable wearing a nylon harness when outside.© PETA
We can use ourselves and our dogs as
examples. I show people my dog's harness and I explain to them that I trained
my dog by giving her praise and treats when she walked calmly on the leash and
withheld them when she did the opposite, and she soon figured out that good
behavior has its rewards. I also planted my feet and refused to move forward as
long as she was pulling, and that sent a very clear message that she understood
in record time. Now when I walk her, she does really well, and I'm so proud of
No dog deserves to be choked,
shocked, and dragged. Let's make sure dogs are treated better than that.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.