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Letter from Head Trainer Michael

Hey everyone!

I hope you all are achieving all your training goals. I wanted to reach out to all of you in regards to the by-law that was recently passed regarding choke collars, slip collars and prong collars by the city of Toronto. The by-law jurisdiction is within Toronto city limits, although it does not directly effect our clients in Brampton, Mississauga, Etc. it is something that we should all fight to have fixed as the copycat attitude of local law makers will follow. First and foremost, many of you know that at Grassroots K9 we believe every dog has their own individualized style of learning and it is important that we adhere to that. We are downright opposed to the amendment that was snuck in with the passing of these new by-laws as it places limitations on the amount of tools available. The original by-law was to make it a violation to have a dog tethered outside connected to its prong collar; which we had shown support for as that would be in the best interest of the dogs. Let's face some of the facts, for the unknowing eye prong collars can look pretty intimidating and we understand that; but to secretly pass by-laws making it a violation to utilize these tools in general is an injustice to the dogs we all care so much about. The amendment making it a violation of Toronto by-laws was made in a closed meeting February 2017, the effective date was March 2017. The by-law amendment has been made from an emotional and subjective position that has shown an outright disregard for scientific evidence and support and instead taken propaganda as fact. We have reached out to numerous city officials along with other accredited trainers, veterinarians, doggy daycares and dog owners but have yet to personally receive a response. - police exempt (Toronto) So I live in Toronto, my dog is reaping the benefits of one of these collars what do I do now? I thought you'd never ask! It is our job as your trainers to keep you and your dogs best interests at hand here's a few options: 1. There are many alternative types of collars that call be utilized similar to the way we utilize a prong collar, chain collar, or slip lead. As every dog is different we would need to give you specific recommendations on a case by case based. There is a large variation of martingale collars, neck tech collars, e-collars, . etc. We want to offer our advice and individualize your next training tool based on your dog and goals. Please email us or call us directly and we will take time to address your concerns, questions and further more accomplish your training goals. 2. We have an email template completed that you can email to city officials along with some of the details of how your dog has benefited from utilizing one of these collars. *if you're like me it will be sent daily until I get a response 😂 (template and list of official's emails will follow) 3. There will also be some protests and demonstrations being organized that you can participate in to get your voice heard. 4. If you are still adamant about using the tool that best suits your dog and it happens to be on the "banned" collar list. You can be a rebel like me! , for prong collars specifically there are quite a few companies that make beautiful prong collar covers 😉

For more information and studies check out this link!!

“Dear Council Member_________,

I am writing to you in opposition of a recent amendment to City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349 of Item LS15.1 regarding dangerous dogs.

Specifically, pertaining to the addition of section § 349-8.1 which prohibits the use of choke chains, choke collars, pronged collars or any similar devices at any time on a dog.

The above-mentioned collars have been a part of the professional trainer’s toolbox and have been used safely and humanely to appropriately modify dogs’ behaviour for decades. While I agree that these collars should not be used to tether a dog that is unattended, prohibiting their use in all contexts will only result in a higher prevalence of unruly and poorly behaved dogs in our community.

Dog professionals of all types, especially trainers, rely on the use of a wide variety of tools and equipment to successfully teach dogs and their owners to be safe responsible members of society. Enacting legislation such as this would restrict and negatively impact an entire field of professional service providers, impacting their ability to successfully operate their businesses. This small amendment constitutes a massive regulation to an entire industry.

I respectfully ask that the Council repeal this particular addition to the Municipal Code. Adding section § 349-8.1 will have a detrimental impact on the welfare of dogs, and may potential result in an increase of dangerous dog incidents due to insufficient training. Prior to enacting such legislation, it would be prudent to seek the counsel of a professional trade group such as the International Association of Canine Professionals, which sets standards for safe and humane conduct among dog trainers and other professionals in the industry worldwide.


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