July 1st, 2018. The prong ban was finally here and large crowds of people cheered in joy at the evil tool of Satan from medieval times being sent to its rightful new home, the trash can!
After years of having to endure the screams and yelps of dogs, being drug down the street by their evil and most vicious owners, finally, the gallons of blood could be washed away from the sidewalks. People were ecstatic! A sigh of relief was expelled at the knowledge that finally people did not have to witness the blood covered dogs, with necks covered in large gaping festering holes oozing puss. Dogs that could not walk normally from shaking so hard in fear and pain that it broke people’s hearts. A great bonus was the earplugs that had been an absolute necessity could now be relegated to the past. An added bonus to that was the environment could now finally heal from years of having to deal with billions of earplugs being dumped in landfills. Hooray for the ozone layer! It could finally start healing again! Only the veterinarians are having a harder time now. That is the only area that will not do well with the prong ban. As feared, after only this short time of the prong being banned the vets have seen a most drastic lowering of income. They no longer have full waiting areas filled with broken and damaged dogs to take care of. No more stitching and cleaning out wounds every day, no more meds to clean out the infections… The prong may have been an evil tool but boy did it make up for that in veterinarian income! It is expected that a majority of vets will have to close shop after the 90% drop in income because let’s be honest here, their veterinarian practices were overflowing with poor abused prong wound riddled dogs day and night and now that the prong was history… The abuse was gone…
Right? Or maybe…..?
So now the prong ban is here. Many people are dancing in the streets, filled with joy, as others sit back and raise a brow in disbelief and wonder where we are headed as a society. A lot of prong users do not understand why this has come to pass. Why the ban? Why did the government decide to listen to the large group, that has never used a prong in its life, and decided to ignore the voice of the small group, who have in fact used the prong and has learned how to use the tool to benefit a dog? Why is a tool being labelled as a torture device when it is no such thing? The prong is nothing else than a tool to correct a dog. But this is where you get a new problem. By using that single word… CORRECTION. Correction is BAD! Correction is PAIN! Correction is using fear, pain and discomfort. Damaging the dog and this, in turn, creates more blood on the sidewalks so….
The government is hiding behind political correctness. It has to look pretty and neat because the large group has demanded and well…. You know! Elections and all that… And let’s be honest here… Those votes sure are tasty!
And then there is the screaming majority that proclaims that the rules should be based on what THEY want and think to know about dogs. What do they even really know about tools? They refuse to educate themselves and let their heart speak over their head. They heard the bells toll, they just ain’t sure who they are tolling for tho… But hey, that doesn’t matter! Just scream at the top of your lungs and hope it looks politically correct because that is what matters… How it looks to others…
And that is when questions start to surface in my head. Let me throw a few down here…
- Have prong haters ever used a prong?
- If prong haters have in fact used a prong, was this under professional supervision. Or did they simply buy one at the nearest PetSmart and slap it on the dog?
- Have the prong and tool haters ever had to deal with a strong dog? And with strong, I don’t just mean a physical strong dog, but a mentally strong dog that will get pushy and or even aggressive.
- What sort of dog background, knowledge of dogs and or training do these prong haters have that makes them feel entitled to place judgement on the prong, or any other training tool for that matter? I am not talking book smarts but actual hands-on deal with an angry or strong-willed dog knowledge.
- Do the prong haters realise that not every dog is the same and that some dogs need more correction than others?
- Do the prong haters realise that dog training is not a one size fits all and that each individual dog needs a tailor-made training plan? All to ensure that the dog can live in our society and not be dangerous, or a nuisance.
- Do the prong haters realise that these tools are not being used to abuse dogs, but to raise them to fit into our world?
- Do the prong haters realise that a large amount of those hard to handle dogs are in fact created by their form of training, and not by us, the users of the tools?
- Do the prong haters realise that not all dogs are the same? Each needs its own approach and training.
- Do the prong haters realise that this new prong ban will most likely end up in more dogs in the shelter and being put to sleep due to it being unmanageable as using the tools to train that dog are no longer allowed and banned under the law?
And I could keep going like this for a while, the list is endless.
I can already hear the angry mob screaming their “You are lazy!” or the “Use better training!” and even the “If I can do it, so can you!” and best of all the infamous “Just takes more time so maybe you should be more patient!”
Just like that… You, as a user of training tools and someone who will advocate for these tools, gets burned to the ground by someone who doesn’t even have a comprehension of what it takes to train a dog. What the hell do you know about training dogs? You use tools! You are an abuser of dogs! You get called the most inventive names, labelled an abuser and you had better deal with it because the prong hater is all knowing. They have after all trained Fifi with cookies and she now knows how to sit on command when she feels like it. You had better shut up because you are nothing more than a sadistic bastard that gets off on hurting dogs. And this is being told to you by people who have never had to deal with strong dogs. Dogs that give absolutely no fucks whatsoever! Dogs that would just as soon do their own thing as they would come up the leash at you for shits and giggles…. And yes, make no mistake here, these dogs exist! They were often previously owned by the prong and tool haters but they can now no longer deal with them so they are en route to the shelter for a date with the pink juice… Guess what? We deal with those dogs and train them, give them a place where they fit and they live long productive lives after that… Doesn’t matter tho. We like our tools, this makes us abusers and that’s that!
Here’s the kicker tho… If we are that lazy then how come we can be found on the training field at least 3 times a week and often much more? What’s wrong with our training style and use of tools? We adjust our training to the dog we have in front of us. We do not force a dog to adjust to our prefered training style, we look at the dog and determines what it needs based on what the dog shows us. Not all dogs are suited to adjust to one training style. There are plenty of breeds that are bred for a purpose. Breeds like the ones I own for example. I train with Dutch Shepherds and Belgian Malinois crosses. They come from KNPV lines and are specifically bred for protection and bite work. There is a reason we do not grab a labrador or doodle for this training. It’s called genetics. That’s why you have to adjust the training you apply to the individual dog and breed in front of you. Deviate from that path and force them into a prefered training style and things will not go well for the owner, and ultimately the dog. By forcing the dog into a training style that doesn’t suit it you are ignoring all the things the dog is telling you and eventually it has a very high chance of either ending up in the shelter or on the veterinarian’s table, getting the pink juice applied. And all this because you refused to see what the dog needed. You thought with your heart, refused to use your head. Because in your eyes a tool is cruel and abuse… Bet you the dog would have disagreed with you tho! But hey, that doesn’t matter if he’s no longer there to be a bother. I mean, you have principles, right? No abusing dogs with nasty tools. Better toss them aside to a shelter or have them killed because…. Yep, principles!
And then there is the whole patience and take your time excuse. Ehm… Excuse me? Not everyone has 3 years to teach a dog to be obedient or to follow commands. Some people need to teach a dog something short term because their dog might have behaviours that need to be fixed quickly or it might cost his life. Or maybe the neighbours complain…. Or the dog becomes a menace. Patience is a great thing but taking months to teach one simple behaviour to a dog is not the way to go. Let me also tell you that we, the abusers of dogs, the sadists that use tools are not the people that take dogs to the shelter, or have them put to sleep… We work with our dogs. We train them. We do the best we can to get a happy, healthy and well-adjusted dog that fights into our society. And YES we deal with a lot of aggressive dogs that have been ruined or damaged by forcing the wrong training upon them. Shelters are overflowing with aggressive dogs and dogs with behavioural problems but I can tell you this, they are not dogs that we sent there… We do any and everything we can to ensure that this does not happen. We have a very strong sense of responsibility when it comes to our dogs.
A small example: Yesterday I was reading a post on FaceBook by the Dutch animal police that read the Dutch prong ban was in effect. The reactions I read on that post were shocking and I do not shock easy. They ranged from “Finally – Torture device – Medieval – Never needed one “ to “Don’t need one, a boot up the ass does the trick just as well.” And “ I just hang my dogs until they stop struggling. They listen eventually.”
Great, right? I can put a load more of replies like that but they are all in the same range. This tells you something tho. Tools do not abuse dogs. People do tho! So taking away our tools will not change anything for the dogs. I actually fear it will get worse for them. Because now that tools are being banned left and right frustration will start to take over and that is never a good thing. A frustrated trainer/owner makes for an unhappy dog! And who will pay for that frustration setting in? Yep, that’s right! THE DOG! And if he is out of luck he will pay the highest price of all…
So congratulations to all you happy people that are so pleased to see the prong banned. You did it! The prong has been banned and you got what you wanted! But let me say this… Be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it and it might not be as great as you imagined it to be…
Alice MacKenzie – Verhagen.