Owner of dog-walking service defends use of shock collars
THE use of electric-shock dog collars are the ‘best disciplinary tools available’ and should not be banned, according to a professional dog walker who uses them on his and his clients' pets.
Self-professed dog lover Robbie Carré, who runs a local dog-walking service called Hounds of Love, has spoken out against a potential move to ban the use of electric-shock dog collars as a disciplinary aid in Jersey.
Mr Carré, who has been a professional dog walker in Jersey for over a year, said he believes that a recent call to ban the training devices by a local group of animal experts is part of a wider problem concerning dog discipline as a whole in the Island.
He said: ‘I don’t believe in abusing dogs but if they misbehave they need to be met with a negative response to promote good behaviour.
‘Any time I use it on my dogs, I put the collar on myself to check it first. I wouldn’t do something to the dogs that I wouldn’t do to myself. If it is put onto a low frequency, it just feels like minor static.’
Mr Carré added that he had also used the training device on four of his clients’ dogs with behavioural issues.
‘I would never use it without the client’s permission, but out of the five clients I have suggested it to, four agreed after I explained the benefits to them.’
Mr Carré’s comments follow a recent JEP article which featured a group of local animal experts calling for the banning of the training devices – two years after the Environment Department promised to look into the issue.
They have already been banned in Wales and are about to be outlawed in Scotland. Authorities in the UK have said that they are also looking at banning the devices.
Mr Carré owns two dogs – an English bull terrier called Gus and an English bulldog called Odge – that he described as well behaved, despite saying that both breeds have a reputation for being aggressive.
‘This positive-reinforcement phase is a trend and, by not giving a negative response to a negative action, it is actually producing dangerous dogs.
‘Dogs need love, affection, discipline and direction. I don’t believe you need to use the collar forever but it is far less barbaric than cutting off your dog’s genitalia and stuffing a sweet in its mouth when it’s good while ignoring bad behaviour.
‘The idea of positive reinforcement is good but I don’t think it works in practice.
‘You’re only half training the dog by rewarding them with a sweet filled with rubbish when they are good and doing nothing when they misbehave.’
Mr Carré added that the training devices were the best way to discipline a dog.
‘Yes, I believe it works best. With just three shocks in an hour you can completely change a dog’s behaviour.’