Cotton here with a letter to the editor of Reader's Digest. We recently read something in the magazine which has bothered us. Today we decided we need to politely voice our concerns on the subject. We think it's pretty self-explanatory.
We were astounded to read Ask Laskas' response to Rescue Us about barking dogs in the April 2010 issue. She said, "Bark collar. It's safe and humane and follows the same training principle as the popular invisible fence. When the dog barks, he hears a warning beep. If he continues barking, he gets a small 'correction' in the form of an unpleasant jolt. ...I would never recommend something harmful."
Laskas is giving advice to readers, advice at least some of them will take, so we're curious -- is Laskas giving advice from personal experience? Did she use a a bark collar on her four dogs? More importantly, has she tested a bark collar on herself? Is she aware that using "positive punishment" can have negative results?
Dog Injured by Bark Collar at Dallas Kennel.
Are Shock Collars Safe for Dogs?
There can also be problems with using the citronella spray collars Laskas recommended.
As to "the popular invisible fence," yes, the invisible fence is commonly used today, but the gas chamber was the accepted method of killing shelter animals for decades and still is in many areas. "Popularity" or common usage does not make the gas chamber "humane." Nor does it automatically make bark collars and invisible fencing humane. We recently did a post on Jan's Funny Farm blog on this subject, titled "Merci on Invisible Abuse."
Forgive us if this sounds as if we're trying to berate Laskas, but she casually advised readers to use a bark collar and compared it to using an invisible fence, and in our opinion there is nothing casual about either subject. It is our hope she will do some research on this subject for the sake of both her and her readers' dogs.
The Funny Farmers -
Cotton, Merci, Cyndi, Percy, Cameron, Buddy, Rusty & Sam
Hope you all have a purring and tail wagging day. We're off now to nap. Writing a letter is hard work!