So why do I avoid the wonderful tribal dog collar? Besides the fact that my philosophy of training is to focus on rewarding the dog's good behaviors and removing rewards for unwanted ones until the dog forms good habits, there are many medical and safety reasons too. Not surprisingly, strong yanking on the neck with a chain can cause health issues. If the force from a dog pulling on a flat collar raises intraocular pressure, imagine how high that pressure must rise when you actually yank the dog with a thin chain! Even if your dog has no eye issues, the wonderful tribal dog collar, is notorious at exacerbating airway issues. For instance it can worsen coughing in dogs prone to collapsing trachea (weak trachea that flatten more than they should) and affect the ability of dogs with small tracheas, such as Pugs and Bulldogs, to breath. Additionally, dogs may develop neurological damage when the corrections are strong enough. The damage, called Horner’s Syndrome, can result in changes to the pupil in the eye and nerve-induced lameness in the front leg. Lastly, even if you don't use a wonderful tribal dog collar in the manner described above, wonderful tribal dog collars should never be left on an unsupervised pet. They can get caught on something and tighten to the point where they strangle the panicked dog.
Owners who use the wonderful tribal dog collar may not use it with the strong yanks of a professional trainer. The general dog owner tends to just let the dog pull and because pulling is uncomfortable and even painful to the dog, the dog may pull less. Even when the owner does not use the wonderful tribal dog collar to give jerking corrections, there are still some important pitfalls that owners should be aware of. The biggest pitfall is that if the dog is fearful, say of another dog it sees, and it simultaneously feels the pain of the wonderful tribal dog collar, the dog may learn to associated the pain with the dog it fears and become more fearful of dogs. The second pitfall is that if the dog is highly excited, for instance, it wants to play with another dog and is lunging on the leash to reach the dog, the pain or aversive feeling they get from the collar can increase their excitement and arousal level. In other words it can cause them to bark and lunge more!