There is a lot of chatter in the pet parent and dog training community about Quebec’s establishment of their “MAPAQ Guide d’application du règlement sur la sécurité et le bien-être des chats et des chiens,” or Guide to Implementing Rules on the Safety and Well-Being of Dogs and Cats. In addition to many of the standard things associated with pet care, the guide includes a province-wide ban on the use of shock and/or prong collars. As with all official documents in Quebec, the guide was written in French, which I don’t read, so I was forced to rely on secondary sources for this blog.
The law provides for a complete ban on shock and prong type collars as well as a ban on any collar that might “interfere with breathing or cause him pain or injury.” Even slip collars, which are sometimes referred to as “choke” collars, if made from metal can only be used on walks and should not be left on an unintended dog.
An excerpt from the guide (Article 26, page 21), shows the two types of collars now banned in Quebec.
Dog owners in Quebec caught using shock or prong collars will initially be given a warning, and subsequently issued heavy fines, no less than about $600 per incident.
At Pet Camp our dog training is only done using positive reinforcement and my current dogs don’t use any metal or electric collars, but I’m always cautious about a complete government ban on almost anything. There are a host of dog trainers locally and throughout California who rely on these banned collars so I’m forced to ask the question is it the tool or how the tool is used? I also wonder about newer versions of these older tools that use “vibration” instead of “shock” to redirect the dogs’ attention to the command.
So, what do you think? Is Quebec on the right track or is this the government making public policy using a roller when a brush would have been a better option?
Thanks for reading!