Alberta Force Free Alliance
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The purpose of the Alberta Force Free Alliance is to provide a one-stop resource for dog owners who are passionate about ensuring all dogs are handled in a loving and force free manner in all areas of their lives, be it training, veterinary services, grooming, doggy daycare, rescues, breeders, kennels and boarding, animal events or retailers. Everyone listed in the resources has signed a pledge promising that dogs entrusted to their care or under their instruction are handled without intentional intimidation, flooding, force or pain, and with as little restraint as is safe for the dog and humans involved and without intent to cause harm. The retailers listed will not sell or promote any training accessories that work based on the principle of scaring or inflicting pain such as citronella collars, ultrasonic bark deterrents, pet correctors, choke collars, prong collars or shock/bark/e-collars.
To create a business directory for Alberta dog owners of dog related businesses that adhere to force free and humane training and handling of dogs with everything they do and to educate and spread the knowledge of scientifically researched and recommended methods of force free and humane training and handling of dogs.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT:
To provide a resource for dog owners wanting to make force free and humane choices for their dog's needs and to provide education to participating businesses and the general public in helping them understand the benefits of force free humane methods.
* A word on martingale collars...these collars were designed to use with dogs whose heads are narrower than their bodies and can easily slip out of a regular collar while on leash. That said, these collars are, in most cases, not fitted correctly which causes them to tighten no differently than a choke chain or slip lead and can easily lead to physical damage (trachea and thyroid) and psychological/emotional damage. Many aversive trainers recommend use of these collars specifically to be used as a correction tool. The Alberta Force Free Alliance does not support the use of martingale collars as a training tool and advises extreme caution even when using them as they were intended. Ideally, a leash should only be attached to a body harness or a head collar such as the Newtrix or Halti and collars should be used for holding ID only since even a flat collar can inflict trachea or thyroid damage on a dog that pulls. In order for a martingale collar to be fitted properly, the two rings that attach on either side of the flat portion of the collar should be able to meet so that when the dog pulls and the collar tightens, you can still slip a finger underneath the collar and it is not tight around your dog's neck. See pictures below.
Properly fitted martingale collar
Improperly fitted (and most often used fitting of) martingale collar
* A word on Pet Corrector - this product was specifically designed and marketed as an aversive startle training tool to stop unwanted behaviour such as barking and jumping. Scientific research shows that this type of approach can cause fear and anxiety to escalate in dogs and inhibit learning and while they may suppress unwanted behaviour in the short term, in the long run, the dog's emotional state suffers and as such, more unwanted behaviours will appear. In addition, since dogs are always learning through classical conditioning (Pavlov) a dog can quickly start to believe that the things they are being "corrected" around, predict scary things and can become fearful of and in many cases aggressive towards them. True behaviour modification works to determine the underlying root cause of the behaviour and helps to eliminate the root cause and teach the dog new acceptable replacement behaviours (ie:four feet on the floor versus jumping on guests). The one and only exception where the AFFA will allow the use of Pet Corrector is that it can be used by a professional or dog daycare as a least aversive emergency startle method to break up a dog fight.