Sept 13, 2011
Friends of Premier:
We appreciate your partnership as a valued contributor to the success of the Premier brand over the years. As we continue to work diligently to meet the needs of our consumers and their owners, we have some bittersweet news to share with you.
1. Moving forward, we intend to put many more resources in marketing and marketing spend to reach our consumers with our innovative products. Spending against one brand is immensely more efficient than two.
2. Many of our large retail partners have pushed us in this direction to reduce the total number of brands within their stores.
3. Historically we have built brand names at what we consider the category level. In the quantitative research we recently completed, this was confirmed as the Premier name did not resonate from an awareness level with the consumer, veterinarian or trainer, however the Gentle Leader and Busy Buddy brands did.
As we move forward and start marketing more aggressively against one “umbrella brand” with the trusted category brands, all products will benefit from an awareness boost.
This does not change our commitment to growing the reward based positive training product line. As a matter of fact, it is a pillar to our strategy over the next five years. While the Premier name will go away, the business unit will remain and will continue to develop reward based positive training and solution products. We have taken a number of steps to utilize both internal and external animal behavior knowledge throughout all aspects of our business to ensure products and protocols are safe and effective.
Although we do not have a firm timeline around the launch, our plan is to target October of 2012. This will not change our commitment to sponsor worthwhile events and causes. The name of the sponsor will simply transition in October, 2012.
Should you have any concerns or questions or need clarification please don’t hesitate to contact me or any member of our team. I can be reached at email@example.com and my phone number is 865-824-5530. Thank you, we look forward to our continued partnership in developing and marketing products that truly make a difference in the lives of pets and their owners.
Director of Marketing – Companion Pet
Premier was purchased by RadioFence last year. PetSafe is the brand of shock collars RadioFence sells.
KORRECT KRITTERS WON’T SUPPORT SHOCK COLLARS and will no longer be purchasing or recommending Premier products.
I cried this morning when the sweet rottie I have been walking for a year and have been help with training wouldn’t play with me because of the toys in my hand. Her parents put in an electric fence and when her ball and tug toy got too close she was shocked. This beautiful, fun-loving, silly pup was terrified by the things she loves the most. I cried and I cried when I saw the terror and confusion in the dog when I would ask her to “go find,” or “go get.” She sat in confusion as if asking me, “Why are you doing that? That’s mean, and it hurts.” I am going back to the house soon to play/walk the dog. I want the family to see what they did. They broke this dog’s spirit. They broke my heart. Shock/electric collars are inhumane, revolting devises. I hate them. I hate what they did to this dog who is afraid to play. I hate the trainer who installed the fence and then trained the dog to stay away by zapping her. Bastards. I even told the family about coyote rollers, but they didn’t listen.
I was unable to talk to the parents today, they were out. The rottie did play with some toys while I was away, but when it came to playing she was avoiding it. We went for a walk and I brought some new toys for her that were exposed without the collar on so she could enjoy something. It did help, but she is wary. It’s as if I did the shock, the last person she could trust and I failed her. To take away a dog’s joy is something no one should ever have to endure. Sadly, the parents just don’t really know what they got themselves into. Many dog owners just don’t really get it. And when you try to show them, and they don’t listen, it’s hard to continue. But this story can save the soul of future dogs.
From Brae Peel Raphael of Urbane Mutt in Portland, OR.
Dr. Yin’s blog on the study in the post below.
By Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
Trainers often debate about the use of electronic shock collars. Some trainers find these collars unethical and unsafe. The pro-collar camp takes a different stance. Some say it just distracts the dog, calling it “tap technology” and others say it may be painful at the instant but then the dog learns to behave and there are no lasting negative effects.
The short version of this study is that dogs show fear and pain when shocked.
Behavioural effects of the use of a shock collar during guard dog training of German shepherd dogs were studied. Direct reactions of 32 dogs to 107 shocks showed reactions (lowering of body posture, high pitched yelps, barks and squeals, avoidance, redirection aggression, tongue flicking) that suggest stress or fear and pain. Most of these immediate reactions lasted only a fraction of a second. The behaviour of 16 dogs that had received shocks in the recent past (S-dogs) was compared with the behaviour of 15 control dogs that had received similar training but never had received shocks (C-dogs) in order to investigate possible effects of a longer duration. Only training sessions were used in which no shocks were delivered and the behaviour of the dogs (position of body, tail and ears, and stress-, pain- and aggression-related behaviours) was recorded in a way that enabled comparison between the groups. During free walking on the training grounds S-dogs showed a lower ear posture and more stress-related behaviours than C-dogs. During obedience training and during manwork (i.e. excercises with a would-be criminal) the same differences were found. Even a comparison between the behaviour of C-dogs with that of S-dogs during free walking and obedience exercises in a park showed similar differences. Differences between the two groups of dogs existed in spite of the fact that C-dogs also were trained in a fairly harsh way. A comparison between the behaviour during free walking with that during obedience exercises and manwork, showed that during training more stress signals were shown and ear positions were lower. The conclusions, therefore are, that being trained is stressful, that receiving shocks is a painful experience to dogs, and that the S-dogs evidently have learned that the presence of their owner (or his commands) announces reception of shocks, even outside of the normal training context. This suggests that the welfare of these shocked dogs is at stake, at least in the presence of their owner.
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