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The Choke Collar: The Right Choice For You?

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Puppy in Park on LeashSee our article on the dog training collar for an overview of all the different types of dog training collars available. A choke collar looks just like a thick silver chain, and unlike the pinch collar the choke collar does not have prongs that pinch in to your dogs skin. The choke collar works very much like the pinch collar in that it works in direct relation to the amount of tension in the leash. Unlike the pinch collar when the choke collar pulls tightly it chokes the dog by pulling tightly. A choke collar works much like a rope looped through itself, when the leash is pulled tightly the collar pulls tightly around the dogs neck causing it to choke itself (hence the name) and relax back in to stride to loosen the tension on the leash and the collar.

Choke collars are used in many of the same training situations as pinch collars, for the most part in maintaining composure outside the home and with aggressive dogs. Choke collars can be helpful with larger dogs or dogs with aggressive tendencies; again they should not be used on small or fragile necked breeds. Choke collars can also be detrimental when used on stubborn dogs who can continue pulling on their leash despite being choked; this can cause damage to the dog’s neck as well as the loss of circulation to the tongue which will turn blue.

Criticism of the Choke Collar

There are quite a few critics of the choke collar due to the fact that the collar does exactly what its name describes – it chokes a dog that is not being obedient. The choke collar is, in fact, one of the most critiqued training collars used to train dogs. The truth of the matter is that this is not a collar to use if you are an inexperienced dog owner. The trouble when using this collar is that even when fitted correctly the collar can damage your dog’s neck and cause choking. If you are considering using a choke collar you should consult your vet or trainer to determine whether this is the right collar choice for you.

The information contained in this article and website is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional safety advice; it is provided for educational purposes only.

Amy grew up in England and in the early 1990's moved to North Carolina where she completed a bachelors degree in Psychology in 2001. Amy's personal interest in writing was sparked by her love of reading fiction and her creative writing hobby. Amy is currently self employed as a freelance writer and web designer. When she is not working Amy can be found curled up with a good book and her black Labrador, Jet.

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5 Comments on "The Choke Collar: The Right Choice For You?"

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wandawoof
wandawoof

Why are we resorting to giving a dog pain in order to “CORRECT ” him – That is certainly not training – Modern scientific training methods use positive reinforcement. We humans have the big brains and opposable thumbs – so why can’t we open our minds to different ways of training? There is much blowback from compulsive/averive training and we are messing up a lot of dogs.
Wanda Woodworth MA, CPDT-KA
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

Anonymous
Anonymous
This is probably not the best thing to be used by the casual dog owner, mainly for the reasons already explained. Why put your dog through something which may actually cause them pain? It just does not seem like a good idea to me unless you really know exactly what you are doing. Also, I think that these should never ever be used on puppies of any type. They are very impressionable and this could be very traumatizing to them. They should really only be used on older dogs and even then only if they have problems with obedience or… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
Another modern solution is the electronic collar. The electronic version doesn't do much more than a normal choke collar could, but when properly calibrated it can be a very flexible device. Owners can use a remote control to activate the collar, which allows them to only use it when the dog starts acting improperly or investigating something off limits. In other words, it can be a very specific tool of instruction, and allows a dog a much greater degree of freedom, just in the right directions. It can also be used far more casually around the house than an option… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
Unfortunately, these more proper forms of treatment are often a challenge to the average dog owner. A choke collar has immediate benefits because it owners can buy it, slip it on their dogs, and consider their job done. There's no need to spend time and money getting an electric collar to work, or trying to force on a halti and gentle leader, or taking innumerable hours to play through reward or bad-boy scenarios. But even when properly adjusted the choke collar can be an easily misused tool of dominance. Dogs can easily hurt themselves by constantly pulling on the leash… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
The dog trainers that I know would probably say that if a dog has reached the point of needing a choke collar, then something has been very wrong for years before then. Of course, every dog and every situation is different. In some cases choke collars may also be necessary for certain types of naturally aggressive dogs or even for drastic rehabilitation, but it's still a sad thing to see a dog needing a choke collar to behave. I'm curious under what specific circumstances a vet would suggest a choke collar? Of course, there are other options available, but they… Read more »
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