My Response to Banning Dog Training Tools
Pets & Animals 

My Response to Banning Dog Training Tools

Recently AVSAB, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, put out a Position Statement on Humane Dog Training – calling for the banning of dog training tools and methods including electric collars, prong/pinch collars, choke chains, and more.

Many YouTube dog trainers including Zak George, and Joel Beckman among others weighed in with their opinions and I was asked to step up. So, here is my take on the issue.

It’s not only unfair, but it’s also downright DEADLY to the dogs that need training the most. For more than 12 years I’ve worked with animal shelters including Los Angeles Animal Services as a consultant on canine behavior. The work I’ve done is responsible for saving thousands of lives. Listen to my opinion in this video and leave your comments below.

Taking away tools like e-collars, prong collars and fair and balanced training will lead to the death of countless thousands of dogs. Our shelters are already overrun with dogs that are positive only trainers can’t train, Europe is facing a huge issue with the loss of balanced training tools – listen to my position.

The link to AVSAB’s position statement is:

#dogtrainingtools #avsab #positionstatementonhumanedogtraining

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131 Thoughts to “My Response to Banning Dog Training Tools”

  1. Mark Ferrasci

    I just reposted this video on my FB page with this message at the top..

    “Thank You Robert for this very important message. Very well said with conviction and experience in the industry that matters.. The bottom line message of why we do what we do as balanced trainers, for me as a trainer. It’s about giving the dog freedom and a life. To give them freedom of life through training methods that work. This is what it’s all about in the end.. To save dogs and give them freedom in life through training. Much respect goes out to you sir.. Said with tears in my eyes.”

  2. Patrick Walsh

    Proverbs 13:24
    He who spares the rod spoils the child, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly

  3. Brandon Allen

    marshmallow rainbows and unicorn farts will fix everything.

  4. snakedoctor416

    I have an 8 month old Malinois puppy, reactive with other dogs. Local trainers are all positive only, experienced with low drive dogs, have been unhelpful. They want me to build engagement and that will solve the problem. The exercises they wanted me to play bored him (and me) and didn’t make a dent in his reactivity. My legs were covered in scratches as he tried to pull toward the other dogs. I watched a video from Robert where he said the prong collar might make the issue worse, so I removed it and saw an improvement. I began taking him to agility training daily and finally got engagement (and we both have fun). His reactivity has improved significantly but is still there. I feel strongly that a e-collar will help my situation, but since I can’t get advice, I can’t tell when or if I’m ready for it. I can’t be sure if I’m using it right, because I’m emotionally involved in the situations too. This negative press has made it more difficult to actually get proper advice! (I have used an e-collar for aggression and recall in my 10yr old Chessie. It worked so well that I rarely put him on a leash over the last 8 years.)

  5. Botis

    The statement around 6:00 about loving dogs vs agenda was so on point.

  6. zarro1010

    Good job Robert!!!!

  7. Susan Lippy

    Positive only doesn’t exist. Reality is some punishment always exists. Withholding of food is aversive. Withholding the chance to meet another is averse. These also cause stress. Long term denial can be cruel and abusive more so than quickly addressing a problem allowing the dog to live a life of freedom over confinement. Prison sucks I don’t care how good the food.

  8. Magnetic Fields

    With some behaviour type dogs we shouldn’t go to the physical contact but just use a specific tools and that way with calm , not emotional « infection « but in most cases we don’t need use the tools . I hava many experiences of peoples who going to the violence with they dog becouse dog are just agressif. In that kind of cases I propose to thinking about- you wil kicking your dog , use the tools or euthanasia. Personally yes for tools for truth professional dog trainer . The truth to day is… that to many people use the prong collar to try educated they dog by them self and fir that that’s tools are not acceptable in Switzerland. Many positive trainers have not they own dogs why they talk about something they haven’t experienced? The other side you have many positive trainer but nod adapted to work with dogs fir example verry energetic and locking like stressed and they stress dogs . I hate locking this on YouTube

  9. Sportys Business

    The UNs Agenda 30 is the planned future our governments have signed us all up to. Under this future, we don’t have pets, so my guess is this is the first step in creating a generation of poorly behaved dogs. Then governments just need to wait for the number of bites and attacks to increases, so they will be justified in banning their ownership. The agenda is well published, go and read it and do everything in your power to advocate for dogs now, before it’s too late. 
    PS. It’s a public control technique called ‘problem, reaction, solution’. Create the problem (because it doesn’t actually exist) to generate the reaction needed to be able to implement the solution you want that the public would normally fight against if you hadn’t generated the reaction. Simplified examples: 
    1. Climate change is caused by CO2 (it isn’t) = fear = ban meat and cars. 
    2. The world is threatened by a dangerous virus (it isn’t) = fear = mandatory jabs and jab passports to control all behaviours.
    3. Children are born into the wrong body (they’re not) = fear a child may commit suicide = mutilating and sterilising a perfectly healthy child.

  10. Henry Lindgren

    God bless you Robert and thank you for saying The truth out loud! Scandinavian countrys have banned all of those tools you mentioned, it is idiotic.. for example, in Finland you can have a electrical fence with your horse but you cant use e collar with your dog.

  11. roxie frox

    Thank you so much for the great content. I have noticed that force free trainers never explain anything, they just get uneducated people to assume that they are right.

  12. Beckman's Dog Training

    Very well said. Enjoyed learning about your background and the Bible verse. I think our videos addressing this will make a difference.

  13. 1234CDAB

    Thank you Robert!

  14. Active Dogzz

    How can we speak up? Is there a way to fight against this?

  15. Wadih sawaya

    It’s a shame to see that in the USA (claiming to be the best country and knows everything) to try and eleminate tools that really helps dogs like a prong or and e to live his life in a good way for example I wanna see a high pray drive dog crossing the street to chase a cat or rabbit and a cookie that makes him come. in my country we always train dogs in a balanced way and we never try to eleminate a dog’s genetics we usually pair the dog with the right owner it’s not fair to ask a kangal to not be territorial neither a Labrador to be a protection dog.
    People should know that dogs are bred for different reasons and are managed in different ways be.
    Be a responsible honor and educate yourself.
    Finally love your videos you are a very knowledgeable person and straight to the point keep up the good work we learn a lot from you

  16. Melissa Vélez Schemankewitz

    Can’t thank you enough for this Robert. Please, speak up, tell your collegues in the USA to speak up!!!

  17. Alexandra Dittmann

    Bless you, Robert Cabral – everyone should listen to what you have to say in this video.

  18. Johan Strøm

    Hey! Can you make a video on frustrated greeting? My 9 month old dog gets super stressed when he cant meet dogs on leash. Starts barking and lunging.

  19. Donna Cochran

    I’ve helped my English Cocker with your training method. I couldn’t have done it without your help. She’s very high drive.

  20. michael b

    I have a 1 1/2 year old malinois German Shepard mix she was trained positive only for basic obedience and tricks, but I started using an e-collar as the least aversive method for keeping my dog from dieing when we are out and still allowing her to be a dog. I don’t have to keep her on a six foot lead and can communicate with her from 1000 feet away. I started with a collar I tested on myself and would never use something that would hurt my girl. She is happy and healthy and safe as even if another dog is aggressive I can keep her away with a simple call and vibration. How this is not better for the dog I don’t understand. Temperament test people to own a dog but don’t limit my ability to care for my little girl and give her the best life possible.

  21. Nicole Henrio

    Thank you so much for reinforcing the need to have balance. My rescue dog would not be as confident and adjusted without using your principles and teaching every single day. If I wasn’t using a prong collar when I deem necessary, he probably would drag me and possibly get himself hurt. Now, one correction is all he needs. Thank you so much for speaking out and sharing your knowledge!!!!

  22. Jonas Black

    I am proud to be a financial contributor to that challenge alongside Jamie and Danny and Larry. No big name has stepped up. They won’t. Even ET has given 10k.


    STOP! Before you do anything like and SHARE this video everywhere you can, little or large following, it doesn’t take much and you may be the one to reach just one other person to make a difference. Don’t be lazy, this isn’t about anyone other then the thing that matters most, “The Dog”!

  24. Nicolas de Ruiter

    Since when did discomfort and stress = wrong? Whatever helps dogs, and helps owners train, support, and KEEP their dogs, is good. Robert is speaking the truth — and common sense. For the love of dogs, listen to what he’s saying.

  25. Anony Moussee

    This is quite possibly the most important podcast you have ever done. We recently fostered and then adopted a beautiful 3 month old dog. Thanks to your training videos, he is already much better behaved than nearly every other dog we meet. I can’t thank you enough for freely giving out this information

  26. bruce peterson

    @robertcabral. At 25mins. The predatory drive is EXACTLY why james penrith/dannys wells set up the £50,000 challange.
    Cause a biscuit wont work against the predatory instinct to chase/kill.

  27. PaPa's Woodshop

    We have 2 lab dogs1 female 1 male. Our female is high drive and wants to go all the time. Our male is so laid-back and easy going. Robert we took the time to listen to you and follow your teaching. Every one the meets our dogs always says how well behaved they are. I refused to put my dogs on meds I took it on myself to put in the hard work to get them where they are today. THANK YOU so much for helping me to have well behaved dogs. I send as many people to your social media as I can you sir have made a lot of happy dogs and owners.

  28. Margaret Fleming

    The use of electric collars and prong collars are banned in the UK for the training of Police dogs, armed forces dogs and assistance dogs and have been since 2010 I believe. I also believe that the use of electric collars on all dogs is banned completely in Wales.

  29. Living Dread Girl

    Thank you so much for this. I have a American Staffordshire terrier Doberman bull terrier mix that I acquired from off the streets. And I immediately found a balance trainer for him and it’s been absolutely amazing. I always get compliments on how my well behaved Pit Bull Type Dog is, which the breed needs good representation. With use of the Dogtra 280c and a slip lead I am able to train him to be my service dog. He started out full of fear but again with the 4 quadrants of operative conditioning he has gained confidence. Even through the pandemic I was always outside so I could social distance and we just went everywhere. Just sit for hours at shopping plazas and placing on everything. But that Dogtra is my long reach arm to say hey pay attention to me please. And yes we corrected him on fence climbing at 5months I witnessed this because we always watch the dogs outside. And yes immediately we set him up for failure. Because that could be him dead in the road because I coddled him? Hell no a moment of discomfort for lifetime of my dog, is worth it, because he lives and learns. So many of us would be lost without subversives. Again thank you for that.

  30. Ed Bradley

    I work at a shelter we just took in a one year old purebred GSD does anyone know how to get in contact with law enforcement or others who would work this dog? I think he’d be great at service work

  31. Sub-K

    Agreed… You can do a lot with positive only training, and I am betting I am with everyone here that positive training should be the baseline. But dogs live short lives – if we have a tool that will allow us to efficiently shape their behaviors faster, so they can live a more fulfilling life. Dogs don’t live very long, I don’t want it to take 1-2 years of their life to be able to live it properly. Our last dog (rescue) I wish I did come across your videos and learn how to use an ecollar – well behaved dog, but her strong prey drive and strong reactions to visitors in an obnoxious manner definitely made her miss out on life and had us leave her at home more often than I would have liked. With our current pup I plan to start e collar training at 6 months – he’s going to spend a large chunk of his life off leash and this is one of the best tools for the job

  32. joda7771

    You are so right. It is an agenda driven by ideological people. It’s almost political. They are screaming loudly about all false evidence they have and they are winning as we are quite. We really have to do something also in Europe.

  33. Jonathan Silvera

    I guess nobody got their butt kicked by their parents for doing something bar/wrong.

  34. Dominique Bertrand

    I get the feeling, trainers who see thousands of dogs were not polled on any of this. These conclusions seem more likely to have been obtained from Shitzu and Bichon owners/trainers. People have the image of cruel owners cranking up the e-collar or yanking that prong collar, banning the tool is easier than policing people.

  35. Kevin M

    We have a female Czech working line Shepherd, she is not very big she stands 22 inches at the withers and weighs 60 lbs. we have had 2 professional dog behaviourists. the 2 trainers’ both stated that she has an exceptionally high prey drive and is very determined. that being said, after a total of 2 hours of playing fetch and leash training then 1 hour total on the treadmill, she will go back to dog to dog aggression. so we found a trainer that could show us the possibility of some training tools. we decided on the prong collar as the correction tool and were shown how to use it. the biggest challenge will be the dog to dog aggression.

  36. John Hooten

    Yes dogs are sentient and apparently this article uses this fact to prove that we should only use positive methods. You know who else is sentient? Our fellow men and women. Maybe we should never have consequences for humans because they can perceive and feel emotions. Maybe we should shut down the prison system and let those misunderstood humans live wherever they want because they have feelings. Maybe we should give everyone who wants to practice medicine passing grades and a license to practice because it’s stressful for them to tell them they don’t know what they need to know to do brain surgery.
    Why stop at humans and dogs. Cows have feelings too. I’ve personally observed anger, fear, and joy in cows. Killing them once they are grown and eating them is pretty averse…. maybe we should just eat vegetables. Interestingly enough, science has proven that plants feel being cut, so your romaine lettuce feels when you pull it from the ground and cut off it’s roots. Maybe we should just starve.

    Hard times create good men. Good men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.

    The times have been good for far too long in the western and European world to the point that we are worried about other people’s dogs feelings when working through behavioral problems.

  37. Patricia Simpson

    Extremely well said! 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

  38. JAG JustAGuy

    I applaud your response. Thank you

  39. Nikola Zivkovic

    Robert greeting from Serbia , i’ve started as a positive only trainer , honestly dog training culture is extremely negative here and that probably pushed me that way (i mean teaching a behaviour with just an aversive as i saw it was … well … at the very least cruel , i saw some old trainer hit a dog with a chain that he brought himself for that purpose … enough said ) and i was mostly hired for behaviour issues and while positive only was great for fear , ok for anxiety , somewhat less for stress and resource guarding , and absolute zero for reactivity and agression . I felt like i was failing those dogs , then i started reading a few older books and watched quite a lot of videos of you and other trainers on youtube that were dealing with the same problems i was ( they seemed much more succesful though ) , i slowly became a balanced dog trainer and now im quite confident with dealing with whatever comes my way , i am still a bit careful when using any aversive though . There has been a drive even here for a total ban on prong and e collars , i mean i get it , people get frustrated and just unload on the dog , so i would be in favour for some sort of regulation , or a permit , but a total ban would be a death sentence for a lot of dogs everywhere.

    P.S. i was extremely anti e collar untill about 2.5 years ago , in my defense at that point i saw only one low grade shock collar from 90′-ies that worked like a light switch , at 0 its like an accessory , and then click and the dog is screaming for its life , i did learn eventually , but now every collar i use i put around my neck without hesitation , and put it on the skin on my clients and when people understand how mild it can be if used correctly everyone is fine with it .

    My point is lets show people what it is and how it’s used properly , because just yelling back and forth is not worth much , although when Robert can put it nicely enough so everyone can understand , there is hope.

  40. C Ls

    Like times a thousand

  41. leemp337

    thank you robert. your videos along with others have helped me so much. i am a subscriber and have been for over a year.
    you’re an angel who’s wings can’t be seen.

  42. Valerie Sengupta

    Thank you Robert on your views about the subject of banning training tools for use on dogs. I absolutely enjoyed this video and your strong stand on this issue.

    I am not a professional dog trainer, but I believe in “balance training” as well. Positive training is good for teaching a dog basic commands and other things. However, you used an excellent example about when “prey drive” is activated in a dog NO cookie or treat is going to stop the dog running after a deer. I have two well mannered Siberian Huskies and the breed has a very high prey drive; it’s in their DNA. On walks (I have a foster dog as well) in the beginning leash training would pull and lunge whenever she saw a cat or squirrel running across the street. Also it caused me to get tendinitis in my arm. I purchased a pinch collar after watching several of your videos and now she walks great on leash. Just a minor snap and to remind her to focus on me and not the cat/squirrels. Now on walks she just briefly looks but keeps walking right with me.

  43. ida rahmqvist

    I think all dogs would run after the deer regardless the breed. I know mine would and they are tibetan spaniels/Pekingese 😅😅😅

  44. ida rahmqvist

    I think a huge problem is owners who don’t understand how dogs brains work, how they learn, think and the ethology of dogs in general. Those who try to use treats without setting boundaries, having rules, those who allow dogs to get away with bad choices etc.

  45. ida rahmqvist

    Animal welfare? What about other sentient animals? A tiny bit of stress to the dog to learn hugely important lessons to learn to live in our society? When did that become bad? Pressure should be put on using tools correctly. Those surveys, who answered them? Owners who used tools in the wrong way no doubt. Like people who use a shock collar to correct something they haven’t even taught in the first place. 🤦‍♀️

  46. Yahui Wei

    This is eye opening for me. Positive only training really worked on my pure breed Aussie. He’s well trained, lives a very happy life. For the longest time, I was against any negative reinforcement. But I understand there are lots of other dogs that have more serious behavior issues, that requires tools to help them and keep others safe.

  47. George W

    I wonder if people in AVSAB are brought up by positive trainings as children who listen to clickers or, parents that make them feel abused (unbalanced training) that they are over correcting everything in their lives to feel in controlled which means…. they need more balanced training in life? I don’t think any kids need a good beating to learn everything in life; however, proper consequences and corrections sometimes are required to show the severity of a lesson. If a kid keep trying to put a fork into a electric socket with every positive correction given…. what would people at AVSAB do next if this is their own kid?? Put the kid down??!!

  48. Jackiegoal

    I fully agree with you, Robert. The Netherlands has banned tools like prong collars and electric collars a few years back (most of it is in effect now). We’ve mostly adhered to it because we also train dogs professionally and are expected to. We are honest to clients about our personal views on positive-only training and why we don’t do it, especially since most dogs we work with are working line dogs. I must admit though, that I’ve also seen the abusive side of these tools. Not only do most people not know how to use them, I’ve seen people electrocuting dogs to near death with cattle prods (and I’ve helped to take away dogs from people doing it). What the people coming up with these regulations/laws fail to see is that it’s the handler doing the abuse, not the tool. If they can’t get their hands on tools that are actually meant for dog training, they will eventually grab other things like metal rods, sticks, barbed wire, etc. You won’t stop real dog abuse like this.

  49. Don Letendre

    This will kill off so many dog trainer that can not do training right.!

  50. Reflex Dog Training

    Ideology of under 50 years vs 15000+ years of partnership with dogs… wake up.

  51. william velasco

    Sad to see that AVSAB has release this.. I have 2 Malinois and have learned to use these valuable training tools, with Robert’s online principles. I’m proud to see my dog’s behavior when exposed to other dogs in public. Other dog owners are impressed with the calm reaction as their dogs can’t even breathe as they pull on their collar. This is sad. Humans are becoming weaker as they try to create a positive environment with no checks and balances. Thank you for sharing this today!

  52. Don Letendre

    You can’t spank kids and now they are coming after your dogs 🐕 it’s so wrong wrong I agree with you. What can we do!!!

  53. True Dog Obedience Training

    Well said. Most if not all of my clients call me because they tried positive methods for months or years with no success and they are about to get rid of the dog.

  54. Hannah Greene

    I’ve worked as an EMT for 6 years. The process to become an EMT consisted of a 6 month course with a randomized practical in person scenario test along with a 70-120 question multiple choice written test at the end of the course to become certified.

    I’m so confused as to how there isn’t a national registry of dog trainers and a SET BALANCED CURRICULUM to follow with protocol varying from state to state just like EMS.
    The course provided initial STEPS to take when ASSESSING the patient(dog/owners)
    when and whether or not to call for backup and additional resources(dog is in rough shape and needs boarding for results)
    I feel like those are good examples of how dog training can be standardized into a single curriculum, with veteran trainers with 10+years of experience overseeing the practical in person scenario tests and judging the performance of the student.

    Before you can become an EMT, you can be a certified first responder (basic obedience), and continue your education onto emt-B(basic obedience, stupid owners, reactivity) and then onto paramedic (basic,complicated owners, reactive, ability to call it when the dog is just wired wrong and too risky to keep in a home environment)
    Why isn’t this a thing???

    These people that think treats can modify a dog’s behavior during prey drive are assholes and they’re BAD FOR DOGS. Without the E collar as my backup, my malinois would have zero freedom out here on the farm with all this stock that he initially wanted to chase and kill.
    I need to see the evidence where reward only training curbs prey drive. That’s all there is. It’s all bullshit. Hopefully a set national curriculum for dog training and modification comes out of this mess.

  55. Sabine Bachinger

    A very well timed video just as e-collars are due to be banned in the UK. You gave me some good advice in your last live. Thank you! I truly wish that I could find a trainer near me who could teach me.

  56. Allan Jones

    Well Said Robert….more knowledge like yours we need for our dogs.

  57. J Beats

    AVSAB as an academic and scholarly community should be able to read those research articles on the effectiveness of e-collars versus positive only and pick them apart for methodological errors that negate the findings of it. I took 10 minutes 1 day to read it and the bias is in everything from the introduction to the methods and left out of the limitations section, too. Sorry, but there are 4 quadrants in learning theory for a reason, and we are subject to the other 3 quandrants daily as humans and don’t crumble. As long as we communicate clearly with the animals and are fair, then the dogs won’t crumble either, and we will give them freedom and joy!

  58. Truthisfreedom

    Here in the Netherlands we are not allowed to use prongs and ecollars anymore..even dogs for cops too! Although we are aloud to purchase them but you can not use use them..also sports like weightpulling is forbidden..we are going downhill big time!!

  59. Martin Spuij

    I can only say, thank you.

  60. ElainesDomain

    If not for Mr. Cabral’s free videos my 230 lb Mastiff would have become a ”death row” dog. Dangerous beyond belief. A dog that would require me to put down.

  61. Great Dogs

    Thank you for standing up for dogs. They need us to speak for them so they can thrive in our society. Keep up the good work.

  62. BJ Bumblebee

    AVSAB obviously knows squat about behavior modification. It is purely political. I have a Masters degree in Psychology and behavior. I have found that you use the tool that works best for the learning style, psyche, ability to concentrate and focus. You never abuse; you correct. You start with positive training and like humans sometimes consequences are given so they learn social rules to be successful in a community.

  63. Catherine Evans

    Well said Robert. My GSD developed reactivity to other dogs at nine months. The positive trainer I had wouldn’t allow me to use the martingale collar and had me standing at end of the field away from the other dogs in the class getting me to reward her for looking at me. We left the class and I went to an ex police dog handler’s class . Martingale, slip lead and corrections brought in and now she in agility class each week and obedience with no issues in class with those dogs. She still doesn’t like dogs in the street but working on that.

  64. Beth Foor

    I was so hoping you would address this! Thank you for your honest, compassionate, and well-spoken response.

  65. Raphael T. Trevisan

    People that come up with these ideas don’t understand that LIMA isn’t for all dogs. There are dogs too intense for LIMA.
    A choker, a prong, an e-collar aren’t “humane” enough, but when the dog loses control and start biting, euthanasia becomes a VERY HUMANE solution. Hypocrites.

  66. Prochargedmopar


  67. turbo sam

    Thanks Robert for speaking out about this. I have been screaming for yrs about the same thing this has done to our children. #stopthemaddnessnow. This is why we see such chaos in the world.

  68. Edgar Froes

    You should pick a dog for Zak George to train and he should pick one for you, give a timespan and at the end compare both dogs.

  69. Angie & Axel

    I live in Europe, I’m German. Ecollars have been forbidden for many years and the prong collar will follow probably this year. But when you look around and watch people train/educate their dogs in Germany, it’s far far away from “purely positive”. What the “purely positive” mantra does is that handlers think they are not allowed to react in a natural fashion to the behaviour of their dog. That they always have to be nice and give treats. They don’t know a thing about effective positive training and create unwanted behaviour all the time. And then there are the others who jerk on the leashes even of little puppies, who shout and punish without even noticing and with an unbelievably wrong timing. But I have to say, at least they don’t have access to more severe tools. I think an ecollar and a prong shouldn’t be accessible to everyone. People should have to proof they have experience and knowledge to handle those tools savely. Great channel! Thank you for sharing so much valuable knowledge!

  70. isabel lopez

    Vets rx meds.. pharm companies, nor vets wnt make money not prescribing medications for behavior

  71. Arbi

    This is important. I’m lucky to live in an European country that has no ban on training tools. I have one of these dogs that just won’t thrive on R+ training only. Since he was a puppy we went to training classes, went through countless of hours of professional training only for my dog to end up worse than before. To this day I remember not being allowed to even use a simple slip lead while my dog was pulling so hard on a flat collar that his tongue was blue and eyes red. He was literally almost choking himself to death. We had 10h of group classes with a trainer. I worked my ass off at home, putting countless of hours into training him and doing what the trainer told me to do. My dog made ZERO progress, none at all.

    That’s when the aversives come in. I was fed up, angry and pretty much hating my dog at this point. I wanted to bring him back to the shelter or give him away. And yes, I still hate myself for thinking that way. I started looking for videos to find something, anything at all to help me. That’s when I came across your video on prong collars. I looked for more videos from many different trainers and all I saw were happy dogs, not screaming in pain, no spikes stuck in their skin, no bleeding. I didn’t see shut down dogs or dogs literally peeing themselves. I did a few more weeks of research and then bought a nice HS 2.25 prong collar. Now before I even got the collar I already got started on basic leash pressure and teaching heel on a slip lead but the prong collar was a game changer. After a few weeks of training with it I could take my dog to high distraction areas and have him sitting next to me or heeling on a nice loose leash. Yes he wasn’t perfect and yes he made a few mistakes, but the corrections I had to give were extremely small and gentle. These days I’m just using an e collar and a flat collar. My dog is thriving. For the first time in his life he is allowed to be a dog and still be under control
    Aversive tools, including head halters and front clip harnesses, are just there to help the dog understand. I NEVER want to see another dog choking themselves to death on a flat collar. They talk about humane this and humane that but fail to address the fact that many of the dogs in shelters are a failure of “force free” trainers. I see nothing but happy dogs that were well trained on prong collars, e collars, etc. Idk, personally for me, that’s better proof than a shitty research they did that a 5 year old can throw together.

  72. sallyostling

    Beckmann also has a great video. Thanks for addressing this. The studies are so ridiculously flawed. Agenda. Period.

  73. Diane Smith

    I love this. You are so right. I have a 22 month old Golden Retriever who has been over aroused (friendly) by other dogs. Positive only trainers basically told me to stay on the outskirts and go to private only classes. I just didn’t get the logic. In fact, things were getting way worse. At the rate we were going, he’d be ready to be around other dogs and out in the world when he’s eight years old. lol

    My breeder suggested a pinch collar. I also found some excellent balanced trainers who do very well with competition obedience and they have helped me so much. I’m driving an hour and 40 minutes for classes and it is so worth it. We’ve been with them for 13 weeks night and my dog’s progress has been wonderful. He is in a room full of dogs, often off leash, practicing obedience skills.

    I recently had him conditioned to an e-collar at our obedience school and then was trained on it myself. We have a place in Western North Carolina and love to hike and I want him to be able to run freely in the meadows. There are bears, deer, and various other creatures — I figure better safe than sorry. I’m also interested in hunt trials, so that’s our next adventure. Oh, and he also takes agility and loves it. We are going to keep moving forward and avoid people who close off opportunities or want to keep us in a labeled box.

    FWIW, I have seen “positive only” trainers give pretty strong leash corrections and use halti leads. I think some are rather hypocritical. Plus, as you’ve said — it depends on the dog. If you have a dog who responds fantastic to positive only training — great. Not all dogs do. I don’t see the logic in constantly putting a dog in a situation where it is going to fail and I also don’t think it’s fair to a dog to keep it isolated for the most part.

  74. Jimmy 6547

    Well said. Your passion for dogs well-being is admirable.

  75. Riggan

    Thank you, Robert, for bringing this travesty to our attention. A fabulous dog trainer that I used to work with taught me the concept of “Try / No Try.” If the dog was trying (making an effort), then no aversive should be used even when the behavior is not correct. If the dog is trying and unsuccessful, then he is confused about what I want and I need to clarify, whether through luring, reduction of distractions, additional repetitions at an easier level, etc. However, if I am certain the dog understands what I am asking him to do and is simply not trying, then it is time for an aversive. Whether the aversive is as simple as a sharp “No” or is a bump on an e-collar depends on the dog. This concept has stood me in good stead for many years although I have made one minor modification due to my current rescue dog. If the “no try” is because a dog is completely shutting down due to past abusive training, then aversives would only exacerbate the problem. So I did have to go pure positive until he began to trust that I would not hurt him. Even now, a calm “No!” is the harshest aversive needed for him, and it is rare. But that is due to his personality. We MUST have all the tools possible in our tool box. And especially for working dogs (military, police, assistance dogs, guide dogs, etc), understanding that there are sometimes negative consequences to their actions can be crucial to their well-being (negatives happen in the real world even if they don’t necessarily come from the handler) as well as the safety of their handler / partner. I pray these tools are not taken away from us. But like you, I detest and condemn those who use them in an abusive fashion. But that means it is even more imperative for people to be able to have resources like you to teach them to use them appropriately.

  76. David Cornett

    Awesome defense of proper training. Thank you for being an advocate for us who want to train and have an excellent companion for life, that are both happy and structured.

  77. Stephen Dane

    Taking away the balance is sentencing dogs to euthanasia.
    So true . Benefits of knowing your trade and tools makes an ingredient for everything .

  78. Charese Bradley

    Well said, thank you for educating me and others❤💪🏾. I will never give up on my BOY.

  79. Jo Jo

    Thank you so much for speaking the truth. I’m a huge fan/follower of your training 🙌
    In my own opinion, there are far too many hypocrites in the Dog Training world, and many of ones who are giving “guidance” on legislation & banning of tools, use the tools themselves..the others to watch are whomever is funding all the nonsense..i feel they have bigger agenda’s,not all about banning the tools .

  80. sally turkmen

    Legend mate … 🙌 🇦🇺💜

  81. Brad Ratcliffe

    Cording to the research we should all stop working going to school because it causes stress and anxiety does that make sense. I guess common sense is not so common anymore.

  82. PeacefulMadre

    Im a prong collar using service dog handler.

  83. Rico4you

    Owners and their Dogs are lucky to have someone like Robert Cabral with such an intelligent, dedicated, giving, loving passion for Dogs. Thank you.

  84. Pat Munro

    Stress in the dog, what do you see. Trembling, lip licking, wining, front leg lifting, etc. I am driving to my dog’s favourite beach. My dog is displaying ALL the signs. That’s OK , because it’s good. How do you know it’s not anticipation for something good?? She’s OK going anywhere else.

  85. damir insanic

    I would like to see at least e-collars to be sold only through professional trainers. I use e-collar for years( 13 years) and have no issues. However, issues that I see is that people buy them online, stores and they go home and use them. Without proper training on how to use them, can cause big issues with dog. I always say that when you get a new dog you should always start with professional trainer if using e-collar. Owners should be responsible 100%.

  86. That Man

    I would love to see a military dog trained with out such tools. Lol and there goes SGT Socks chasing after a mountain goat instead of looking for IEDs


    Last week, Mars, the company best known for brands like Snickers, Skittles, and Wrigley’s gum, purchased AniCura, a network of 200 animal hospitals spanning seven European countries.
    On its face, Mars’ acquisition of AniCura might not seem to make business sense. What synergies could possibly exist between making candy bars and taking care of sick dogs and cats? Yet, it turns out the deal is part of a much larger trend in which Big Food companies are cornering the business of both feeding and caring for pets.
    Americans are shelling out more for their furry friends, and processed food companies want in on this growing pet care market to make up for stagnating sales of processed people foods. Last year, Americans spent $29 billion on pet foods, double what pet owners spent in 2000, and in the past five years alone, American spending per pet increased 25 percent. Since 2015, companies like Smuckers and General Mills have acquired popular pet brands including Milk-Bone, Meow Mix, and Blue Buffalo. Altogether, just five companies, Nestle, Mars, Smuckers, Colgate, and General Mills, represent 70 percent of retail pet food sales.
    Unlike other food companies, Mars has been in the pet business for over 75 years, and more of their revenue comes from pet products than candy. They are the largest global pet food company, with popular brands of dry and wet foods, like Pedigree, Iams, Whiskas, and Cesar, as well as snacks and therapeutic blends, such as Greenies dental chews and veterinary-prescribed Royal Canin.
    Over the past decade, Mars has looked to capture more of the pet-spending boom by expanding into pet health care. Today they are America’s largest single veterinary provider. Since 2007, the privately-held corporation has bought animal hospital and laboratory networks including Banfield, Blue Pearl, Pet Partners, VCA, and now, AniCura. In total, Mars employs over 9 percent of all U.S. veterinarians who serve pets.
    Mars’ move also raises questions about potential conflicts of interest and uncompetitive advantages when it comes to Mars-employed vets recommending their products, including pet foods, dental chews, and DNA tests.
    “Mars’ buying up this veterinary hospital chain, it’s essentially the good, the bad, and the ugly,” argued veterinarian Dr. Michael Fox, author of the syndicated column, Animal Doctor. The good is that corporatized veterinary medicine can provide some standardized best practices, but the bad is that it runs the risk of constraining vets with too many required protocols.
    “I am concerned that they will set up protocols that are financially driven, and not in the best interest of animals themselves or the clients,” says Dr. Fox, “I would include in that list the probability that they’re pushing special prescription diets, especially Mars products.”
    Prescription diets, or therapeutic blends, can treat anything from pet obesity and diabetes to kidney stones and skin disease. But these foods can only be purchased with a veterinarian’s recommendation and they come at a high premium. Mars’ acquisition of animal hospitals makes them both a maker and a gatekeeper for these particular products.
    Banfield and VCA executives have said they do not require or encourage doctors to stock or recommend Mars brands, but by owning the hospitals Mars has a strong incentive to engage in just that kind of promotion. Even if Mars-employed vets make independent and informed decisions to recommend Mars products, the mere existence of this incentive creates room for clients to mistrust veterinarians’ motives.
    There is also evidence that VCA, in particular, has pressured vets to increase service and product sales before. An investigation by Bloomberg found that VCA sent some veterinarians records of the number of products they sold, like heartworm tests, with suggested monthly sales targets. VCA has also clearly stated their motives to increase profits by pushing more services. In an annual financial statement, the company that said their business strategy was “to leverage our existing customer base by increasing the number and intensity of the services received during each visit.”
    Ultimately, healthcare systems should make it easy for veterinarians, and all medical professionals, to make the choices and recommendations that are best for their patients. But as pet food companies play a larger role in pet health care, it creates conflicts of interest that could potentially influence practices and jeopardize trust

  88. Jon P.

    This agenda is taking over the whole world.

  89. John Carlos

    Uninformed people make bad decisions.

  90. sonny in los angeles

    Why are vets and trainers often in conflict with one another? Both have good intentions and know a lot about dogs

  91. LittleNinjai

    Thank you for speaking out honestly about this “research”. Please keep being the voice of reason for dogs. We appreciate your love of dogs and your great work helping the dog world. I don’t understand how surveying people, people who come with emotions is considered scientific research.

  92. Lois Hansen

    Wonderfully articulated. I will do my part and spread this info.

  93. Obed Evert

    I am from Pakistan. Thanks


    The dogtra 1900s saved my dog, more than once. They won’t tell you that.

  95. Bob Smith

    25:56 – When the prey-drive of the predator trait of a dog kicks in, the prey is almost always going to be more valuable than any reward (treat/toy) so how do you interrupt that drive?

    By the way, this is a rhetorical question.

  96. Raul Delgadillo

    The mantra of R+ only is “it takes years! If you go over threshold just take a few steps back until the dog is desensitized”. Meanwhile you’ll spend years training a dog until they outgrow their drives and with a calm dog, you now call them trained.

    The dog doesn’t have years. I have Zak George an honest try for 6 months until it got us no where.

  97. Diane Robillard Peters

    Well said Robert! The tools needs to be used properly by the owner. Train the owners! I have learned so much from you. Thank you!

  98. vesa

    The most powerful speech i ever heard . Honest and true.

  99. Yelena Planova

    Great! These tools are also banned here in Austria. I worked with “only positive training” for almost a whole year and didn’t get a step further. Anyway I decided to buy and use a prong and to correct my dog for negative behavior and of course to reward it for good. It was the first time I saw improvements.

  100. Rbcaul

    Thankyou for sharing the truth.
    These things are banned here in Melbourne Australia,but I choose them for one of my dogs . I adopted her, Her previous owners didn’t know what to do with her so she was locked outside and became obese. Even the shelter told me she can’t be positive only trained . She is never hurt, never scared, I’ve never raised my voice.
    These tools changed her life and opened my eyes.

  101. Chris DWils

    I adopted my mal from some folks who got in way over their heads. I don’t know what would have come of my boy without a prong collar.

    It let me talk to him and set expectations properly.

  102. Bob Smith

    “Once you have removed a choice…” well…haven’t you in fact made a choice now? Remove the choice of tools and you absolutely will have made choice to make abuse alternatives more accessible to the inexperienced handler…for sure!

  103. Amazing Mazey

    Thank you Robert. I am very dismayed this has come from my US colleagues. In vet school we get very little behaviour theory. I am in the UK so do not know of the AVSAB, but when a dog in the UK has a veterinary behavioural referral – it’s totally hands off. The dog gets examined for physical problems, the owners advised on ‘management’ any meds prescribed, but that vet is not ‘hands on’ with that dog. Probably never meets the dog except for a clinical exam – and in my view, if you are not hands on, really you have book learning that suits the current political agenda (FF, PP etc ) and not much else.

    Someone else will probably post the study, but I believe there was a study on the stress levels of balanced training v FF/PP and what could be achieved and balanced came out on top. it was measuring blood cortisol levels (stress hormones in the blood). An ‘observational’ approach can be biased – much less bias in a real scientific approach. Perhaps this si what we need – to get a study funded and an expert such as yourself show how a dog can be trained using balanced methods and the blood stress levels before, during and after training – looking at the quality of life that dog now has. Perhaps looking at different problems – fear, anxiety, reactivity in its various forms and different reasons, aggression – you get the idea. Perhaps using shelter dogs – maybe a mix of shelter and ‘owner’ dogs that may be in a shelter soon.

    In the UK we have a pandemic of covid puppies – dogs never off lead, unhappy, reactive with first time owners. It makes me incredibly sad. These dogs have no ‘life’ as a dog. So many people going to PP/FF trainers, dog is no better and they give up. Soon many of these dogs will be in kennels – the small cute ones (the large will be culled behind the scenes). We have in the UK a lot of stafforshire bull terriers in rescues – rescues failing them as these dogs are all labelled problems dogs and almost impossible to rehome – no cats, no children un der 16 etc. All they need is a decent balanced trainer but no – does not suit the political agenda for fundraising.

    Sorry for the rant.

  104. angel escobar

    Keep up the great work Robert, the best dog trainer out there !!!!!

  105. Sara Schneider

    So is this a law now? I’m confused about this whole issue. This is the first I’m hearing about it.

  106. Adventures of Buddha dog training

    I’ve been waiting for you to talk about this. Zak George brought this us and I’m all for pure positive but for clients I need to make sure they have the tools to work their own dogs. They’re not professionals and need assistance from these tools.

  107. Jill Marie

    proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast:
    But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

    Seems fitting. These people making these decisions think they are being merciful, yet its cruel and wicked. Maybe they feel it needs to be done because so many humans use these tools incorrectly and cause harm?

  108. Lee Grass

    Been a pro trainer since 1980, had success in competition with my GSDs through UD tracking, and I 100% agree with Robert!

  109. Bob Smith

    22:04 – “…if you are gonna say that taking away a prong collar…is going to make abuse go away…you’re downright stupid…” I love it!

  110. Trevor Myers

    Worth the wait. If they ban prong collars, guess I’ll be that guy getting dragged around town by my Husky. Future is sad, hope rescuing dogs won’t become a lost art.

  111. Foreverizzy5

    What you said in minute 9:20 👏🏼👏🏼
    100% agree with this video

  112. Bob Smith

    Medications: humans can tell their doctors how the medication is making them feel and describe side-effects…dogs, obviously cannot and they may settle down simply because they feel nauseated or some other pain as a side-effect of the medication and we as humans say “see…the medication works!”

  113. Bob Smith

    We haven’t even been able to prove that “positive only” training methods work for humans and now some association of humans believes we can apply the same strategy to other “sentient” beings? Hmmmm…

  114. Susan Marie Silburn

    Thank you so much for your stance and for speaking out. It is only by expression by professionals like you that we can stop what will prove to be disastrous.

  115. LauraBeeDannon

    My dog doesn’t care about rewards. He’s highly prey driven. If it wasn’t for e collar training he’d have killed a cat by now and been put down. When we got him, at 6 mos old, he was extremely bitey/mouthy from previous owner. He’s part dutch mostly german shepard so he doesn’t exactly have small teeth. Be could have put holes in my children. *He’s the best dog now but that e collar has a tone recall button so if he wanders in the woods he can always “hear” us. Just having the collar on now he’s on his best behavior. This is crazy.

  116. Chad C

    Well said. Thanks Robert.

  117. AlterEagleProduction

    Ask Gage Obrien about taking the positive only challenge.

  118. Maria Henshaw

    Fantastic response 👏

  119. Carolina Cardozo

    More liberal doctrine or as the scriptures say, “ doctrine of devils” . These so called scientist probably don’t have dogs of their own or a very poorly behaved one🙏🏼🇺🇸

  120. peter ejore

    Great experience buddy 👏👏

  121. Ivan

    Imagine this. If an aggressive dog tries to attack and kill you, you don’t protect yourself and fight back, rather you show him the cookie and if that doesn’t work, you wait for him to stop eating your legs and then mark that and give a cookie.

    Like it’s just common sense and logic, jesus, this isn’t some big science, it is science but not on that level like nuclear physics. Jesus. Is it so hard for people like that to wake up and get their sh*t together and start seeing things clearly? Fk sake, honestly. Biggest part I learned in dog training is the breeding process, if only humans do that for themselves we wouldn’t have those zero intelligence animal rights people here, everyone would have basic brain, sounds awkward but think about it, lol.

  122. Terrie Stephens

    I agree 1000 per cent after training in shelters for 9 years . I would love for the people who run these places to hear this . Thank you for putting this out there

  123. waikru71

    That’s like banning me from popping my dog’s flat collar and saying “NO don’t do that” it’s the same fucking thing, no shit is not reward based, it’s not supposed to be, it’s called communication.

  124. papuzka0

    World is going crazy and it’s not only in dog training sphere. We are battling the same in UK, contacting MP’s doesn’t even get you any human reply.

  125. Cheryl Schaeffer

    As a balanced trainer who has trained in a shelter and worked with seriously dangerous dogs, thank you for using your platform to tell the REAL truth. I always start with the least adversive methods. If that is enough, great. Sometimes it’s not.

    More dogs will die if this becomes the standard. I’m appalled.

  126. C. Fletcher

    You are so very right! One thing does not work for all. I really appreciate this video!

  127. Debbie Bart

    Well said as usual Robert. I was totally against e- collar, prong collar UNTIL I found a trainer that taught me how to use these properly. Now I have a well behaved Border Collie.

  128. Brandyn b

    Dang, not the first. Great work, as always, Robert!

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