Sunday, August 26, 2012

I am incensed

I have been to a few pet stores lately since I've accumulated a couple new dogs lately - the ones I went to this week were the Pet's Unlimited in Bayer's Lake and the Pet Valu in Clayton park and when I got up to the cash area at each store - what I saw there was this large display from a local dog trainer.

A dog trainer who I know uses shock collar to train dogs.

I asked each of the girl's at the cash at these stores if this company PAYS the store to have this display at their cash and each store clerk replied - "No" - they were not paid to put that advertisement in such a prime spot in their store - I then asked the clerk's if they knew this dog trainer used shock collars to train the dogs in his care - and they all replied - "YES" - they knew that, and some of the replies I got back were -

- he doesn't use it on all the dogs he trains;
- there are different kinds of training for different dogs;
- shock collars don't actually shock - they just buzz

I told the store clerk's that I was putting down the items that I had planned on buying and was walking out - and wouldn't be shopping there - BECAUSE they had that advertisement in their store. I said that that type of dog training was abusive and they shouldn't have that in their store. One of the store clerks said they would pass it on to the owner - and I hope they do.

It disgusts me. If they are going to give such a prime space to such abusive methods - they should give the same amount of space to positive trainers at the very least - but I don't think they should be giving that much prime space for free anyway.

If there is any positive trainer out there who wants to put the same type of advertisement in a local pet store - please contact me - I will buy the exact same display case that this trainer has - and if you give me material to put in it - I will print it out in quantities sufficient to go into the display case - and take it to the stores that I see this "trainers" materials in - and make sure that it is put right next to his displays - and if they won't let me do it - then I will demand they remove his too.

It is awful that the public is only seeing HIS type of very misleading advertising - how many dogs are being forever damaged because he's advertising in pet stores that present themselves as being positive healthy places to buy things for your dog.

What a bunch of dirty liars they are. They should be ashamed to have that matieral on their counter space.


  1. Good for you! Hopefully they will pass that along to the store owner. (I hope the owner isn't a client of his...) Great offer for positive trainers in the area.

  2. You need to call or write to the managers/franchise owners and the corporate offices if you really want to see a change. Especially the corporate offices: they may be unaware this is happening. I say you need to contact them, because I can tell you from years of experience, that managers find it very easy to dismiss consumer complaints delivered by the store staff. Speaking directly with those who have the authority to affect change makes all the difference.

  3. Thank you for speaking out, Joan - and what a generous offer. I am quite disillusioned that it will make a difference though - Pet Valu seems to value shock collar and Millan approaches. Even before the big display of our local shock collar trainer, there was/is a shock collar display at the door.
    Furthermore, some people belonging to the positive reinforcement and animal welfare circuit have no issues being affiliated with Pet Valu. Perhaps Pet Valu might rethink if more would take a public stand, rather than overlook who and what they are so publicly standing for.
    As for me, I am a vocal supported of Global Pets, and that's were I send all my clients to.

  4. Yea Joan! What a kind and generous offer. The problem is these stores gain from promoting these kinds of trainers because they sell shock/e-collars. There still needs to be a lot of education done around the use of these devices. It bothers me even more to see the trainer in question also be allowed to advertise in varous vet hospitals throughout the city because then people feel it has the vet's endorsement and is safe. I'd like to know why I rarely see any litature from local positive trainers in vet hospitals and pet stores. It's sad, but I see a lot of shock, prong and choke collars being used in our travels.

  5. Maybe what stores like PetValu need to realize is that over the long term people using positive methods will spend more money in their store buying treats, games and toys (positive reinforcers) than someone making a onetime shock collar purchase. I'd bet my bottom dollar that positive reinforcement people spend more $ on their pets than those who use punitive methods and who don't believe in treats.

  6. This post from Dr Sophia Yin lays out pretty much what I think is a good training regimen for dogs - if you're so inclined you can check it out at - I also have a page on my website at - that I wrote back in about 2003 that I still pretty much completely agree with. That, lots of treats and lowered expectations.