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