Because choke, pinch and prong dog collars really don't help improve a dog's behavior, and can actually make bad behavior worse, Tori Ganino, owner of Calling All Dogs, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, is offering a discount on training to owners who leave those collars with her so they can be destroyed.
Leave one of those types of collars and get $12 off a group class or $12 off an in-home training visit, or leave an electric collar and get $15 off.
"These collars create all kinds of negative associations and don't help build a relationship with your dog," Ganino said. "They create bad associations, so if a person is walking by and a dog is already a little bit nervous and then they see the person and they get pinched or they get choked, that just validated the feelings that the person is bad because they got hurt when they saw the person. It can make behaviors worse."
If a dog learns that pain will be associated with pre-bite warnings, such as barking or lunging, the dogs will learn to suppress those warnings and instead just bite, Ganino said, which makes them very hard to work with later when tryng to unlearn that behavior.
And even in a good-natured dog, the pain hurts the dog's relationship with its owner, she said, because they see the owner as the one inflicting the pain.
Ganino wants owner to bring punishment collars in and learn the kind of behavioral techniques, build around rewards and learning alternative behaviors, for the sake of the dogs, the owners and anyone they might encounter.
"I want to be able to show people is that they can change their dog's emotional response so things are not nearly so scary," Ganino said.
The phone number for Calling All Dogs is (585) 455-5387.
NOTE: Rocky update: Tori helped us a lot with Rocky and we continue to work with him. His behavior has improved; he's lost a lot of his fear and demonstrates a lot more happy and loving behavior.