Correct Use of a Chain or Slip Collar - Drs. Foster and Smith

If you insist on using one, consult an experienced trainer to learn how to properly size, fit, and use it. And never leave a choke chain on your dog as their regular collar; the chain could catch on something and choke your dog!

I have, at various times with various dogs, used a choke chain, a prong collar, a pinch collar and a wonder lead. They all will work.

You may have heard of choke chains and prong collars. These tools are commonly used to give owners maximum control over their dogs quickly. You snap the choke collar to gain your dog's attention, and release it quickly to stop discomfort. Prong collars apply pressure where the prongs push into the dog's neck. And although prong collars look more torturous, they may actually be safer for your dog's trachea and spine than regular choke collars. Used and fitted properly, choke chains and prong collars may help you gain control over an unruly dog with little danger of physical harm. But this training is not meant for the long term, as control is forced more than good behavior is encouraged. You’ll have to consider how choke chains or prong collars fit in with your overall training strategy before using them.

How To Put on a Choke Chain | Outdoor Life

Dog choke chain collars can be an effective training aide when used properly The pinch collar is almost as old as the choke chain in terms of dog training correction tools. It’s commonly referred to by traditional trainers, as power steering because you don’t have to use as much physical strength to get an effective jerk as you do with a choke chain. Although this product looks to some like a torture device, it may actually be safer in some respect than the choke chain. The pointy parts are spaced out so that the force is spread out across all of them. Overall, pinch collars produce less pressure on the neck when jerked hard compared to the choke chain because the surface area of the pinch collar is greater. If you’re not sure about this, try it on yourself and compare it to the choke chain. You can try it on your arm or your leg. You don’t have to try it on your neck. Although they may cause less pressure around the neck than a choke chain they do still increase pressure so they can still lead to all of the same issues that a flat collar and even a choke chain causes.

Jul 10, 2007 - Use a choke chain on your pet sparingly

So why do I avoid the choke chain? Besides the fact that my philosophy of training is to focus on rewarding the dog’s good behaviors and removing rewards for unwanted ones until the dog forms good habits, there are many medical and safety reasons too. Not surprisingly, strong yanking on the neck with a chain can cause health issues. If the force from a dog pulling on a flat collar raises intraocular pressure, imagine how high that pressure must rise when you actually yank the dog with a thin chain! Even if your dog has no eye issues, the choke chain, is notorious at exacerbating airway issues. For instance it can worsen coughing in dogs prone to collapsing trachea (weak trachea that flatten more than they should) and affect the ability of dogs with small tracheas, such as Pugs and Bulldogs, to breath. Additionally, dogs may develop neurological damage when the corrections are strong enough. The damage, called Horner’s Syndrome, can result in changes to the pupil in the eye and nerve-induced lameness in the front leg. Lastly, even if you don’t use a choke chain in the manner described above, choke chains should never be left on an unsupervised pet. They can get caught on something and tighten to the point where they strangle the panicked dog.

This is the most important part of using a choke chain properly