SPCA New Zealand
Animal Advocacy

Position Statements

Training Methods and Devices

SPCA advocates for the use of low-stress, force-free training methods, which focus on positive reinforcement.

SPCA supports the use of low-stress, force-free training methods and equipment that apply reward-based learning and effectively accomplish the training objective without causing distress or pain to the animal.

SPCA opposes the use of training methods or devices that cause animals to experience physical discomfort or distress.

Our organisation opposes the use of aversive training techniques or equipment that punishes animals. This includes the various types of electronic, ultrasonic, and citronella spray training aids, pinch and prong collars, and choke chains. Aversive training or control techniques are based on the principle of directly and deliberately applying an unpleasant stimulus to the animal to stop or prevent unwanted behaviour.

Extensive research shows that training dogs using punishment is associated with an increased likelihood of aggression from the dog towards people and other animals. The use of punishment as a training method is also linked to an increased incidence of problematic behaviours, and is detrimental to the human-animal bond.

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