Choke Chain Dog Collars : cruel or useful?


Choke chain training collars possess a mixed reaction by individuals. Many instructors hold up them as an excellent device for teaching your dog. Others look at them as being very cruel. They especially abhor how easy it is to injure your dog when you are not properly trained yourself on how to use them. It is true that injuries can occur with any type of collar. This includes more common collars such as nylon collars. It cannot be denied however, that more injuries have occurred with choke chains. The injuries can be very serious, including collapse o the trachea.


What a Choke Chain is Designed to Do

A choke collar is designed to be used in training exuberant and strong dogs to walk on a leash without pulling. It was made to pinch the dogs brachial nerve in much the same way a mother dog would nip her pup’s neck to stop undesirable behavior. If fitted properly and used by a professional trainer who has had experience in working with choke chains, they can indeed teach a dog not to pull on a leash as doing so causes the dog discomfort that he quickly learns can be avoided by walking correctly.


There are generally three types of choke collars: chain, nylon and prong. Purchasing an effective and safe collar is dependent upon getting the right size for your animal. To do this, take a piece of twine or something similar and place it around your pet’s neck about one inch behind its ears. Place two of your fingers underneath to provide a bit of breathing space, and add two and a half inches. If you can, take your pet to the store with you so that you can try out several types to get the correct size.

Why a choke chain is not a suitable tool for training your dog:

  • You are forcing your dog to do what you want; it is much better to get you dog to do what you want be positive means.
  • Mistakes can be made by putting the chain on the wrong way round and just choking your dog and never releasing the tension mean you dog is always uncomfortable.
  • It is very negative – you are trying to stop the dog doing something that is wrong but you are never telling the dog what is right and what it should be doing.
  • It is simply cruel and inhumane and should never be used.

So my recommendation is you should do all your training without choke chain. Using positive methods of training both you and your dog will develop a close bond based on mutual respect and therefore more will be achieved in your training. There may be some extreme and rare cases, where there are grounds for considering using a choke chain of some kind. You should never say never to anything but in my mind it is very close to never.

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