Choke Collar: Is It The Right Choice For You?

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Puppy in Park on Leash

If you have an aggressive dog or one that does not walk well on a leash, you might have researched certain types of collars or harnesses that are supposed to help. These specialized collars require education before using them to properly correct a dog’s unwanted behavior. If you use them incorrectly, you can end up doing more damage than good. But are choke collars good for training dogs? Should you use them?

What Is A Dog Choke Collar?

A choke collar is made of silver chain links, rope, or a combination of chain and a traditional collar. Some may consider martingale collars and metal prong collars (aka pinch collars) to be forms of dog choking collars as well.

Do Choke Collars Work?

Martingale Collar

The choke collar acts very much like the pinch collar in that it works in direct relation to the amount of tension on the leash. But, 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 dog’s neck causing it to choke itself (hence the name), asking the dog to relax back into stride to loosen the tension on the leash and collar.

When To Use A Choke Collar?

Choke collars are used in many of the same training situations as pinch collars, primarily to maintain composure outside the home and with aggressive dogs. Choke collars can prove especially helpful with larger dogs or those with aggressive tendencies.

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 it does exactly what its name describes – it chokes a dog that is not obedient. The choke collar is, in fact, one of the most critiqued training collars used with dogs.

This is not a collar to use if you are an inexperienced dog owner. Even when fitted correctly, the collar can damage your dog’s neck and cause choking. If you are considering training your dog with a choke collar you should consult your vet or trainer to determine whether it’s the right choice for you. There is very specific choker collar training you should use and understand to ensure you are using the choke chain properly.

Alternatives To Choke Collars

Learn more about other types of dog collars and dog training collars that offer alternatives to choke collars when leash training your dog. We highly recommend working with a trainer if you decide to proceed with a choke collar to ensure you fit it correctly and are using it properly. There are online dog training courses you can take that help with unwanted dog behaviors including positive reinforcement conditioning which is a more humane and perhaps more effective training method.

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