To the Members and Supporters of the NSCC,
I was deeply saddened by the recent announcement by Premier Pet Products (http://www.premier.com/) regarding their acquisition by Radio Systems Corp (RSC). As you are probably aware, RSC is one of the leading manufacturers of shock collars and electronic containment systems. Of course, you're familiar with Premier as the leading manufacturer and distributor of dog training equipment primarily directed to positive reinforcement trainers.
If you haven't heard about this, or read the announcement, the full text is available on Premier's web site: http://www.premier.com/View.aspx?page=about/premier/rsc/letter/
Sharon Madere, founder and President of Premier, has made some interesting assertions in her announcement letter, which you can read and interpret for yourself. I believe it is notable that Premier originally 'partnered' with RSC, because their superior engineering and manufacturing capabilities lent themselves to helping Premier enhance their electronic "spray" products category. These include the "Spray Sense" product line, which are air or citronella delivery devices used for "bark control" or "behavior modification". In my view, these devices are simply another remote aversive-delivery system, and very well may have more inhumane impacts on a dog's behavior than even the shock collar.
For Premier to assert that the partnership with RSC will realize enhancements for the positive training world is, to me, disingenuous at best, particularly since this alliance was created so that Premier could 'enhance' their own aversive-delivery systems.
When we started this movement in 2006, my personal vow was to never knowingly contribute to the bottom line of any company, organization or publication whose livelihood was in any way enriched by the sale or promotion of shock collars and electronic containment systems. Since Premier is now owned by RSC, I am sadly forced to discontinue selling. promoting or recommending any of their products, which include the Gentle Leader, Mannersminder and many other useful items.
Each of us has to determine where we fall as individuals in this situation. While I remain open to the (however far-fetched) possibility that the alliance between RSC and Premier will result in Premier's positive orientation influencing the reduction of the development and distribution of electronic shock collars and containment devices by RSC, I will no longer be able to promote the sale of any product manufactured and distributed by Premier as long as shock devices are on RSC's menu.
In the coming weeks, we'll be looking to devote pages on this site to helping trainers, behavior consultants and dog lovers in general find alternative manufacturers and distributers of similar devices to those we've come to rely on from Premier.
Barbara Davis, CPDT-KA, CDBCBAD
DogsInc Family Dog Training & Behavior