In December 2016, the city of Toronto conducted a review on dog behaviour and responsible dog ownership. Per the city of Toronto’s website on the 13th December 2016 .

The City Council adopted a series of amendments to the Toronto Municipal Code chapter dealing with dangerous dogs – specifically the prevention of dog bites, the risks associated with dangerous dogs and the responsibilities of dog owners. Responsibilities now include muzzling the dog and displaying warning signs on the property, among others. The amendments also address matters of animal welfare.

With effect from March 1st 2017, the City of Toronto Municipal code Chapter 349 by law 102-2017 have made amendments to provide new regulations for the care and control of dangerous dogs to protect the public. As part of the update the city banned the use of prong collars, choke collars and choke chains.

E. By adding as a new section § 349-8.1, the following: § 349-8.1. Choke collar, choke chain, pronged collar. A. No person shall use a choke collar, choke chain, pronged collar or any similar device at any time on a dog. B. Subsection A does not apply to the use of a martingale collar on a dog

We published a post on our Facebook Page on Friday 3rd March informing the people of Toronto that the prong collar has now being banned and it’s illegal for owners to use on their dogs – both by tether and for walking; use of the collar is forbidden. The post went viral and peoples responses were at polar ends from eachother. Either people where ecstatic at the news and couldn’t be happier that the use of the prong collars have been banned as it inflicts pain on a dog while others thought it was ridiculous and no such ban should be enforced as the prong only causes pressure and mirrors the “mother’s correction bite”.

Here are a few examples of comments left from those who are for and against the changes.

“There are ways of teaching dogs to walk politely on a loose leash that don’t involve squeezing their neck with metal. The most successful dog training schools in the world don’t allow them and haven’t for years. You don’t need them, there are better ways.”

 

“So many of the responses from people who are against prong collars are based on personal emotions and not facts or even experience. People who have serious behaviour problems in their dogs need to know the facts about training tools such as prong collars and even e collars. Emotional abusing people for making educated choses that are actually best for both dog anabolic owner is bullying plain and simple. If they don’t work for you don’t use them. If you see a dog actually being abused report it, but leave the rest of us, who are making responsible, and loving decisions, alone.”

 

“I used one of these on my dog. Only way I can walk him and have him listen to me was training with this collar. It isn’t pain, its pressure.”

 

“I reluctantly had to start using a prong collar on our dog because he started to literally yank so hard when he saw a squirrel that he dislocated my shoulder twice. I tried 5 different types of leads with him and I finally caved and tried the prong collar. Now he walks loose leash right beside me and doesn’t pull. I take him for walks several times a day as he comes with me every single time I walk my daughter to and from school plus we also go for about an hr long walk every evening depending on weather so he gets plenty of exercise. What am I supposed to use now to walk him?”

 

“It is just for those lazy human to use it! Not for smart human who understand the nature of animal then they can coach them to do what human want them to do.”

 

“How the hell was something like that ever even invented and then manufactured! Shame for letting it go on this long! But better late then never!”

We reached out to the City of Toronto to find out more information on how the ban will be governed and what the set fines are. The ban does not forbid the sale of prong, choke or chain collars with the city limits. When the details of fines have been published we will update our post.

I have been informed by Toronto Animal Services staff that the By-law does not ban the sale of choke collars, choke chains, or pronged collars but their use.  In addition, we are currently finalizing the set fines and fine amounts with the Ministry of the Attorney General’s office as per procedure. 

Some of the other updates to the by law include:

  • No person shall allow an animal to remain outdoors in extreme weather conditions without adequate protection from the elements. Extreme weather defined when weather warnings such as cold, heat or other weather warnings issued by either Environment Canada or The City of Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health for the city of Toronto.
  • No animal is allowed to be tethered unsupervised for a period longer than one hour.
  • Animals that are tethered are not allowed to be tethered using any of the following: choke collar, choke chain, pronged collar or any similar device.
  • Changes to definitions of ATTACK, DANGEROUS DOG, DANGEROURS ACT & EXTREME WEATHER. A copy of the changes can be found here or copy and paste the following URLs -> http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=25247be19d30f410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD AND http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/bylaws/2017/law0102.pdf

 

The initial Facebook post can be found here or copy and past this link -> https://www.facebook.com/TorontoDW/posts/1333057346733081:0

How do you feel about the ban? Join in the conversation on our Facebook page!

 

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