This Tuesday noon, in the RTL INFO Welcome, Alix Battard mentioned the different dog collars. Electric, spade or choke collars should soon be banned in Brussels and perhaps also in Wallonia. Is this good news for animal welfare? To answer this question, Julie Willems, ethologist and animal behaviorist, was the guest of the day.
We do not know exactly how many of these bracelets are used in Belgium, but they would be widespread?
“Unfortunately yes. They are very widespread. We see a lot of dogs arriving in our centre. They do not come out, however, because we confiscate them. recommend the use of a choke collar from the start. All Malinois shepherds, German shepherds, etc., as if it were obvious, these dogs automatically have a choke collar, even sometimes spade collars. We sometimes see arriving Labrador puppies, for example 4 or 5 months old, with a choke collar and when we ask the question, we are told that it was at the education center that we told them to put one on. choke or spade collars.”
What about electric collars, are they new?
“No, they’ve been around for at least 10-15 years. And since it’s still sold in a lot of pet stores and on the internet, people think it’s normal. They think it’s normal to educate your dog by giving him electric shocks. It’s dramatic.”
Does this mean that this possible ban on this type of collar is a good thing?
“This is extraordinary news. I have been fighting for at least 10 years for the prohibition of these collars because it is animal abuse. We must not weigh our words. Imagine the choke collar, the dog is strangled as soon as that he pulls a little on his leash. Plus with most choke collars, they’re metal chains.”
What is the damage to these animals? Is there neurological damage?
“There can indeed be neurological damage. There are dogs that are injured by these collars, both the stranglers and the electric ones. And then there is the psychological abuse. The stranglers are obviously , it hurts the dog. And as far as electric shocks are concerned, there are also a lot of psychological consequences in the sense that dogs do not understand where these electric shocks come from and they do not understand why they receive them.
Often we use electric collars to prevent them from leaving a perimeter, to keep them in our garden. Is it effective?
“Effective, yes. It is unfortunately effective and that is why most people use them. But there are other techniques. Why does a dog run away? There are many reasons why a dog leaves its territory.
Precisely, what are the other techniques? How to do without this type of necklaces?
“You have to find the cause. Why does the dog leave its territory? So we have the well-known cause of the male chasing the female in heat, but it is infrequent because we have a lot of sterilized females. We also have dogs that hunt by instinct. Then there will be no other method than to fence with a classic fence. Now the most common cause of runaways that people unfortunately do not know is the lack of walks. The runaway dog , it’s the dog who goes for a walk alone if he doesn’t go for a walk with his master. It’s a way for him to look for new smells or to exert himself physically.”