Our local Obedience Club wants me to put a choke chain on our dog, I said no because I think they are cruel, they now want to have a meeting to discuss… What are your thoughts on this type of collar?


Posted by coastalkaryn, 30th September 2016


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  • If used correctly, they can be a good thing. I couldn’t cope with my dog choking while learning to use one, so I stopped. I use harnesses on my dogs


  • great answers – thanks Kelly1 – I hear you… My pup is a 7mth old Standard Poodle, so clever, knows all her toys by name, and is awesome. The training environment is just over stimulating her I think, LOTS of new friends and despite how much she loves and respects me, she wants to meet and greet. I will trust my gut, I make a clicking noise in my mouth – like when you gee up a horse, and she listens to that often. I will persevere, and NOT use choke chain, which despite all the lovely responses saying it is ok if used right, think it would destroy this breed of dog…. Thanks lovely mummies!!


  • The answer below mine is an interesting answer. We had a choke chain for my dog growing up and it was awful – wish we had bought him a harness. I guess if the school is going to teach you to use it properly, then…?


  • I’m a qualified dog trainer and behaviorist and my opinion is If used correctly they are an excellent training devise but if used wrongly they can cause damage to your dog they really aren’t needed for all dogs some dogs you can just use a plain flat collar or a halti. So if the obedience school is willing to teach you how to use it properly and you feel confident about this then you’ll be fine otherwise if you believe its not for you and your dog then maybe change obedience schools or ask them to change their protocols. Trust your gut on this one and go with what you are comfortable with. good luck


  • I have only ever used this type of chain & have no problems using it


  • My daughter with our Sheltie, Lettie.


  • I think you need to change your Obedience Club.
    I am an obedience instructor, and we allow any type of collar that is not detrimental to the dog.
    We prefer a fixed or martingale collar(3/4 material collar, 1/4 chain that does NOT choke, just chinks to ‘warn’ the dog’).
    The trouble with correction chains, is that many people use them as CHOKE chains. failing to correct the dog at all, and the dog continues to choke, rather than being corrected, when the chain then loosens, teaching the dog that being beside the handler does not choke him. if you are using a correction chain, you MUST correct every time the dog pulls, and reward him with praise the MOMENT he is in the correct position. This type of training is hard physical work for the handler of a big, strong dog, especially one that is particularly stubborn, and many dogs learn to HATE this type of training. It may promote a begrudging respect between dog and handler, but it does not promote an enjoyment of training, or a loving bond between dog and handler. That type of training is called ‘Negative reinforcement training’.
    We train with the modern method, with POSITIVE reinforcement(reward-based)training, with food treats.
    Training with food does NOT teach a dog only to respond only when you have food in your hand, or to only respond only to ‘bribery’, which is solely a human terminology. The dog thinks more basically than that. If you have the food, you must be ‘Alpha Dog’, and if he wants the food, he has to respond to what you want of him.
    When you start training with food and hand signals, as soon as the dog obeys a command, a small food treat is delivered IMMEDIATELY. Then, as the dog begins to understand the training, and responds faster, the treat is given every second, and then every third, time. Then, for commands that have been mastered, it is OCCASIONAL. The dog is always thinking, ‘Maybe this time?!’
    Most dogs LOVE this type of training. Who doesn’t like to be rewarded for effort?!
    If I asked you to climb a tall building, for no reward, you would tell me where to put the idea…! if I offered you $20, you would laugh… But if I raised the stakes, and offered you enough, you would give it a go, wouldn’t you? It is the same with the dog, the treat HAS to be worth it, so don’t train for kibble. Train with a bum-bag, with a sandwich bag inside, and use(tiny)roast chicken pieces, dried liver, or something else your dog LOVES.
    I have had 2 top-winning trial dogs who were trained with food. In the trial ring, you cannot reward your dog, until he finishes his turn in competition. My dogs would perform happily throughout, often awarded ‘Best in Trial’.
    If your Obedience Club insist on training with a correction chain, teach your dog without one at home, so he is efficient at heeling, before you take him to club. With my club, early on(in the 90’s), I insisted on using a shorter chain, and ‘fixing’ it around the dog’s neck, like a normal collar, by clipping the lead on both ends of the chain together, so that there was no ‘choking’ action going on. Perhaps your club would accept this as an alternative?
    Whatever they do, train at home for reward, preferably food. Some dogs will train for a game with a toy, such as a tug-toy, although this can promote more dominant behaviour, and over-excitement. Make training fast, and fun. Keep moving and your dog will respond with more enthusiasm. Train for ten minutes, have a break, maybe another ten minutes, then that’s it. End with a game. This type of training is definitely more fun for you… And for your dog.


  • There must be other ways to discipline your dogs really !!


  • We had a bark buster come out when our dog was a pup and he sold us a “bark buster” branded collar and it is 3/4 fabric and 1/4 choker/check chain that way it makes the noise of a check chain and its not able to choke the dog. We love love love this product.


  • In addition to my earlier comment, we used a choker collar only and used an ordinary lead, not a chain one. Used correctly if necessary as soon as the dog slows the collar we used loosened. As soon as the dog was safe for all of us to walk her, we used an ordinary good quality collar.


  • I did not use a choke chain when l had a dog,l find it cruel to the dog.


  • I personally dont know much about them but would suggest talking to your vet and seeing what advice they can offer.


  • My father used a choke chain on our dog growing up, I thought it was cruel as he literally coughed and choked when we took him for walks. I think you can discipline your dog by raising your voice, stopping what your doing and not rewarding your dog for bad behaviour- only good!


  • We reluctantly used one for a couple of weeks as a last resort to train our pup not to pull as hard as she was already so strong she was almost pulling all of us over. She also learnt it wasn’t smart to chase another dog, cat or bicycle. Please Be Aware that there is an Incorrect way to put a choke collar on. She was a very energetic pup which just wanted to run, not walk as we were being taught to teach her at obedience school.


  • I agree; another club may be a good idea?


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