PIF response to Scottish Government consultation on the use of electronic training aids

The Pet Industry Federation (PIF) is calling for tighter regulations around the use of electronic training aids in its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the potential controls or prohibition of electronic training aids in Scotland (6 Nov 2015 - 29 Jan 2016).

Such training aids are sometimes used by owners to correct unwanted behaviours in dogs. PIF’s view is that reward based training, using positive reinforcement to change a dog’s behaviour, should be the preferred method for animal owners and trainers.

However, PIF believes that there is a small number of dogs that, for whatever reason, do not respond to reward based training.  This is usually seen in dogs with a primitive, in-bred desire to chase livestock and wildlife, and as a result, their behaviour may pose a risk to other animals, humans and themselves. PIF believes that the use of electronic shock collars should only be permissible by trained individuals in exceptional circumstances and as a last resort, where the alternative option would be the dog’s destruction due to its unwanted behaviour. 

In addition, PIF believes that other devices such as ultrasonic devices, anti-bark spray collars and electric fencings should be more tightly controlled and only sold to owners under guidance from a veterinary surgeon, an accredited dog behaviourist or a retailer who has been trained by the manufacturer.

None of these products should be available online, as adequate directions for their correct usage cannot be provided by a person who has been suitably trained.


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