I do not allow gear that I consider to be “tools of punishment” in my classes. Here’s why.
First of all, they are counter-productive. A goal of my approach is to motivate a dog to want to make the correct choices (from the inside-out). Aversive punishments force a dog to make the correct choices (from the outside-in).
Second, they can easily become abusive. If a dog is not responding immediately to the punishment with lasting effects, then the punishment isn’t working. If the “correction” continues then it has turned into abuse.
Third, a compassion-based approach is healthier for the emotional well being of a dog than is a fear-based approach. I work to facilitate stronger relationships between human and canine companions.
Fourth, the posture from which tools of punishment works is that of “power over”. Those who use the tools want power “over” their dogs’ behavior. My approach takes the posture of “power with” the dog, through which human and canine companions learn to communicate and respond to each other.
As a modern, science-based, force-free, compassion-based trainer, it simply makes sense that I would avoid the use of forceful punishers. Thanks to research, we know that they are simply not good for the well being of the dog, and they can create issues (such as aggression) when they are employed. It is for this reason that the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists strongly discourages using any trainers that employ such methods.
Tools of punishment include: choke chains, prong collars, shock collars.
I also do not allow equipment that is counter-productive to training. This includes retractable leashes, since they actually teach a dog to pull.