Choke Collars: What Do You Think?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by Jean Cote, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Jean Cote Administrator

    What are your thoughts on Choke Collars ? I am talking about the chain type that squeezes if the dog pulls. Please vote or state your opinion below, of course many of us will have a different view of things so please stay respectful to other people's perspectives!!! :dogsmile: Oh, and stay happy!

    P.S. Your votes are confidential. :)

  2. shelly New Member


    my name is Shelly/. My opinion on choke collars or certain other collars should not be used without learning the correct method from dog trainers.
    Some students just might get too frustrated and choke and puke the dog.. Respectfully Shelly
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I will gladly admit that Rusty has worn a choke collar for years. However, it was only because he has a huge neck and knows how to remove collars...but for some reason, he didn't even try to get choke collars off. Nylon collars, leather collars, name it, he can get out of it. Choke collars, though, he didn't seem to care about removing. So that's what he wore for a long time. It wasn't until recently that his choke collar broke(I have no clue how), and I have yet to get him another one. Right now he's in another nylon collar, and surprisingly enough he hasn't tried to get it off. And yes, I've checked to see if the collars are causing him pain or discomfort. They weren't. He's just quirky, lol.
    Anyway...personally, I have used one. However, I didn't clip it to the ring. I clipped it to the chain itself. The danger with this is that it can easily slip over the head. I think clipping it to the chain is not as bad as clipping it to the ring. I don't use them as a form of training at all. Rusty's was/is simply just because he doesn't get it off, despite the fact that he could. I prefer other, gentler methods.
    I'm not a fan of prong collars either. Many puppy obedience classes strongly support prong collars, but I don't like them. Yes, I have put one on my arm and pulled it. No, it doesn't hurt. But try putting one on your neck, a much more sensitive area. Especially high on the neck, where many trainers suggest to put it because that area is the most sensitive. It's extremely uncomfortable, even painful.
    Neither the prong or choke collars are always successful. Many dogs will continue to pull, leaning into the collar, which only makes it worse. When used on young dogs, it can severely damage their tracheas if misused. Too many people buy these tools without having a clue how to use them.
  4. mtndogs Guest

    Choke Collars

    I believe in using choke collars when they are used right. I use them on both of mine when I take the both of them for a walk on the sidewalks. Masey, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, is a very muscular 70 lbs right now and GROWING. Even though I have trained her from puppy on not to pull, with positive training, her instinct to pull seems to kick in at times when she is excited. When I put the collar on, she pays closer attention and rarely even needs to be corrected. Camden is a muscular 40 lbs and the same thing goes for her. Although you would hope to have control over your dogs at ALL times while out on a walk, it gives me added security that I WILL have my dogs under control at all times.

    I never use them when going to the park and running free.
    I don't believe choke chains are the right answer for people not trained in the proper use. It could actually do a lot of harm.
  5. Jean Cote Administrator

    I agree with you! :) Dog training can be very frustrating (especially obedience training), and humans tend to be very emotional and do the wrong thing out of frustration. (I've been there)

    Thank you all for your comments! :) And I'm sure many are to follow. HeHeHe :dogbiggrin:
  6. l_l_a New Member

    choke collars don't just squeeze around the dog's neck when he pulls, but also when the handler deliberately applies a correction or a leash pop.

    I used choke collars until my present dog. They work if used properly, but even then when it works I always felt it still creates some amount of conflict between dog and handler.

    One of my "more difficult" dogs bit me during a class when I was applying a leash correction. The trainer said I was doing the right thing, just that the dog was "very headstrong and dominant" and it was to be expected and part of the process.

    I briefly tried and actually prefer electronic (shock) collars over choke collars because when used properly they remove the risk of such conflict because the dog doesn't know the remote correction is coming from you and also there's no risk of damage to the dog's trachea from too-hard corrections. But for other reasons I don't like shock collars either (and neither does my dog!).

    I admit that when we got our german shepherd as a puppy, the memory of getting bitten during training didn't sound like something I wanted to risk with him since I knew he was going to grow to 95-100 lb judging from his parents. And I'm only 115 lb.... So I really wanted to avoid physical corrections with him. So far he is almost 3 years old and has never seen a choke or prong collar and I haven't felt that I need to use physical corrections even though he's more powerful and high drive than my previous dogs.

    So I voted that I don't think they are needed.
  7. storm22 Experienced Member

    ive used choke collars before, but like with tx_cowgirl, my timex would take collars off but she would leave chains alone, she hated having having something round her neck but i think she liked her chain as it sat down on her shoulders and that dog loves bling (if any other dog has a coller on she takes it off them if she doesnt have one)

    also ive used one on storm but it wasnt a chain one it was a web one, you could get them from my dog trainers and i got him one for agility, so i could just slip it on and slip it off

    the web ones are much nicer i think just cause there soft and not hard chain
  8. l_l_a New Member

    your dog was taking the collars off other dogs? how cute is that! :)
  9. daisy Well-Known Member

    I have used (and still do) both choke and shock collars...I feel somewhat criminal in admitting that...HOWEVER, I do feel it is very important to understand completely the hows and whys of using them and they can be abused. In the wrong hands, they can do more harm than good...ultimately you have to decide what you are comfortable with and what gets the best results.
  10. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol, no, he can take his own off. ^^ He's even managed to get himself out of harnesses as well...didn't catch that one, so I have no clue how. o-o He's a canine Houdini, both in yards and in collars. He's currently in a dog run now until we finish rebuilding our fences in an attempt to "Rusty-proof" them. Lol. He's just an escape artist...never really goes anywhere, but still. Not safe, to work, lol.
    Ha...just read Storm's post, so my apologies if that question was aimed at her. xD Oops. :dogbiggrin:
  11. leema New Member

    I voted "I don't think they are needed to train a dog."

    I don't think they're really that cruel if used correctly, and I've seen people get pretty nasty with flat collars too. I can't stand seeing a dog putting its weight into any collar, and I do see a lot of dogs do that!

    Check collars are really only meant to deliver positive punishment to the dog for training. I try to avoid positive punishment so I wouldn't use them myself. Some people don't have a problem with these kind of methods so, though I disagree with them, I don't control their choices. :)

    For those who have dogs take collars off - have you tried martingale collars?
  12. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    To be honest I haven't even heard of martingale collars. Wonder if they're anything like horse martingales, lol!
    I didn't really worry after I discovered that he was okay with choke collars. But now he seems to be okay with his current collar, which is not a choke collar... I don't know, lol. He varies from day to day. xD Once I bought him a pretty expensive leather collar with the Indianapolis Colts horseshoe and "Colts" on it, and happily put it on(loosely, just to make sure it didn't bother him). Apparently he isn't a Colts fan like me...he took it off and tore it into three pieces. :dogdry: Perhaps I should've tried my other team of choice, the I won't put collars on so tight that he can't get them off---they'd have to be tight enough to hurt, and I will not put him in pain just to keep a collar on.
    Might have to check on those martingale collars. Thanks for letting me know about them! :)
  13. leema New Member

    Martingales are also called "limited choke", if that helps your search. :)

    I know someone who has check chains on her dogs, but strings them together so they're 'dead' (don't restrict). She prefers this because she finds that other collars damage their coat.
  14. josiebell New Member

    I had a spinger spaniel once who was more comfortable when he had his choke chain on! He never liked normal collars either.

    However, I truely belive that dogs, just as people, are individuals. If the handler knows how to use the choke collar correctly it should be ok.

    Having said all that, my GSD has never had a choke collar on as far as I know. Not with me anyway. But I always use and infin8 headcollar when walking him. He is so strong that I feel I need that control. I definately dont like walking him on his normal collar as he pulls like a steam train and the stop start or turn round methods to stop him get us no where!
  15. CollieMan Experienced Member

    There are a great many cases where part of the problem is that the handler is worried about the dog slipping its collar if it gets excited and starts lunging at other dogs, or if it pulls backwards and the handler keeps moving forward, or other similar events. With some breeds, they are easily able to slip almost all other collars, and that is where the choke-collar becomes an invaluable aid.

    If the handler doesn't have to worry about the dog slipping the collar then he/she is more confident and this can only help in training. I've never once, and will never cast judgement on anyone who decides that such a collar is the best solution for their dog, and their situation. It's easy to be judgemental when you don't have to walk in their shoes day in and day out.

    That said, what I don't like to see is when a choke-collar turns a pulling dog into a pulling dog that is struggling to breathe and has bulging red eyes because the collar is being used incorrectly. When that is the case, then it's just being used incorrectly, or it is the incorrect solution to that particular dog's particular problem.

    On the subject, I was a little miffed the other night when our trainer told us that our leash was "inappropriate". It's a simple slip leash. We chose this type of leash because it's incredibly versatile when you spend as much time heel training as we do. We can just slip it on and off over the head in a second, without even bending, and it makes our training much more fluid. If Ellie was a leash-puller or if she didn't do as much daily training, then, of course, it wouldn't be an appropriate leash. As it is, it is the perfect leash for our lifestyle and our training routine, and so I was more than a little prickled at being told it's "inappropriate".

    I think we can be a little too politically correct with dogs.
  16. Jean Cote Administrator

    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned this before - but a choke collar can really choke your dog if it is used the wrong way. If you loop it the wrong way then it tightens and then it does not release, hence the name choke collar. :)
  17. yoyopoodle Well-Known Member

    I voted not *needed* to train a dog - but like many others I have no problem with a choke collar being used correctly in appropriate scenarios.

    When I started training for the obedience ring (before I got Charlie), I was in a 4-H group that received free weekly lessons from an obedience judge. This lady usually gets $2-300 for a 6 week course, so 1 hr/week indefinitely was amazing, lol!
    My dog, Max, was a very soft Standard Poodle who would have responded so much better if I had done away with the choke chain completely... fortunately I realized that I could use the sound alone as the correction so he rarely felt anything, and I used my voice almost entirely.
    When I got Charlie I was growing a show-coat, so he rarely wore a collar or leash - all training was positive reinforcement. In the ring he wore a thin slip chain (similar to choke, but not meant for giving corrections). When he wore a collar it was rolled leather, nothing else. I tried Max's choke chain once when I took Charlie to class and it was awful - I gave a very mild correction and he shut-down completely, refusing to acknoweledge my existence until I removed the collar.
    Charlie doesn't mind a martingale, but I generally just stick with the rolled leather or nothing.

    It wasn't until I went to college and trained service dogs full-time that I learned that it is entirely possible to never give a correction when dealing with a relatively soft dog. Max passed away to cancer before I finished school, so I never got to try it out for him :(

    I think that any tool is dangerous and bad in the wrong hands, but that any tool is safe and effective in the right hands. For myself, I prefer to only use buckle or martingale collars, regular leads (no retractables), a pinch/prong if a dog pulls too much, and a head halter for fearful/aggressive/or obsessive dogs. Citrinella collars work nicely on most dogs too, but I prefer them for barking etc when a person shouldn't be involved in the correction.
  18. storm22 Experienced Member

    not when you have to replace them all the time lolz its much easier to give her one aswell, usually if i go round to my dads (where she lives a more comfortable life) i just take storms collar off and put it on her, at the moment (as my dad also has a young pup) timex is rocking a peice of string as a collar so she wont take britneys off, so far so good only one hassle as the string broke but brit was growing out of that collar (yep the pups named after britney spears, shes so like her lolz)

    tx_cowgirl i love your pics of rusty i hope koda looks like him (but with a tail) when she grows up he's cute:dogbiggrin:
  19. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol thanks. ^-^ Koda looks to be the same variation of brindle that he is. He's a big goof. Loves to show off the star on his chest. :dognowink: What is she?
    Sorry this is off topic guys. :dogblush:
  20. storm22 Experienced Member

    she a rotti x pit bull she has white on her chest and on the bottom of her chin too

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