It’s been less than a month since the Toronto bylaw banned pet owners from using pronged collars, choke chains and similar devices (see original post here). This decision rapidly became a source of tension within the animal community, triggering a chorus of opposing opinions from citizens and animal professionals.
Those against the ban claim these types of collars are often required to keep dogs under control. Supporters of the bylaw believe that if a dog is properly trained and socialized using positive, reward-based methods, these devices shouldn’t be necessary in the first place. In the wrong hands, they can even cause harm, including damage to the dog’s trachea and surrounding neck tissues.
In the face of these public concerns, Toronto city councillor and chair of the Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee, Cesar Palacio, put forward a motion to revoke the new law on March 29. He added that licensing staff needs to consult veterinarians, trainers, groomers and other professionals on the use of choke and prong collars, and report back to the licensing committee meeting on September 18. In the meantime, people will continue to be allowed to use these collars.
But whatever the outcome of the meeting, there are a number of alternatives to pronged and choke collars that are more humane, and just as effective. Here’s a few options:
- Martingale Collars
- Head Halters
- Front or Back-Clip Harnesses
Remember, positive, reward-based training is the best way to teach a dog to walk properly on a leash. If all else fails, find a positive dog trainer who can help.