Choke Chains

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Jeff&Peks
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Choke Chains

Postby Jeff&Peks » Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:01 pm

I just cut up my hand on a Choke chain, how can anyone put those things on a dog. I was just walking Pekoe in the park and thinking to myself, how am I going to out do Chris's last picture of Steelo and this lady's Dog broke out of it's leash then came running over to me and Pekoe (very Friendly dog) so I grabbed the dog by the choke chain to hold him until the lady got there, by the time she got to me my hand was bleeding from trying to hold him and trying to keep Pekoe away from him, Mean while she is yelling to me be careful the chain it will cut your hands. Those things are dangerous.

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Postby PurpleKisses » Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:11 pm

Correctly used, they do not hurt the dog but the dog will soon respond to the sound rather then the correction. Incorrectly used and they are dangerous.

Also, there are different kinds of choke chains. We have one, but it is more of a backup, I hardl ever use it. He doesn't pull or misbehave too bad, so he rarely gets a correction with it, but I also learned the CORRECT way to use it. So many people do NOT know how to use the at all.

Sorry about your hand, sounds like the lady should have hurried her butt up to get to you.

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Postby kingalls » Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:19 pm

What was it? One of those prong choke chains?
Egads...I just don't know why anyone thinks that a frickin choke chain - properly or improperly used is a training tool. Neither one of mine have been trained but I'll be the last one to put them into any class that required a choke chain to train.
There's something not right about having to walk your dog on a choke chain! Choke chains should never have been invented.
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Postby IliamnasQuest » Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:27 pm

Choke chains are usually smooth and wouldn't cut your hands - I wonder what the heck she was using??

I am completely against the use of choke chains. The entire philosophy is flawed - choking a dog is not a good way to get a response. Many dogs go into panic mode when they can't breathe and that's not conducive to training at all.

People who train with them say to use a short "pop" of the leash and that it doesn't hurt the dog. That's also flawed information. If the chain doesn't hurt, why would it work any better than a flat collar? The entire premise of a corrective collar is that it causes pain and the dog wants to avoid the pain.

Not only that, but the choke chain has been known to cause trachea damage.

I originally was taught to use the chain and use it "correctly" - but it just isn't a collar I will ever use on a dog again. I'm not against the use of a corrective collar in certain cases, but the choke is an awful collar and the few I still have around are used to fasten the gates closed .. *L*

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Postby Rogansmommy » Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:19 am

I agree with Melanie. I have NEVER used a choke chain. Even when I showed Rogan and Nina, they was shown on a pretty leather collar - never metal. There are many studies about the dangers of choke chains and the trachea damage is very well recorded.

I'm very curious as to the type of collar it was. Even a prong wouldn't cut the dog up. I've used prongs alot and they aren't sharp and aren't meant to cause damage to either the dog or human. That dog must have been very excited to cause/sustain that much injury.

Glad to hear Pekoe was a lady and that you were able to keep her safe. Stupid owner -- she must have been a real winner to deal with.
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Postby redangie24 » Sat Jul 22, 2006 5:19 am

I cannot understand how using a choke chain is a good tool for training. If I was going to teach you something new and use choking as a tool if you got it wrong you would not respect me you would fear me. You may get it right, but there would be some resentment/fear in there that could come out as agression later on. Like beaten spouse that later attacks her spouse. We learned a long time ago beating your children was wrong why do some ppl have a hard time seeing that it is the same for a dog (or any animal).
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Postby chris » Sat Jul 22, 2006 5:57 am

OOO, ouch... r u ok Jeff? how bad is your hand?
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Postby Auddymay » Sat Jul 22, 2006 9:02 am

What was Pekoe doing as you held back the other dog?

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Postby TiVo's Mom » Sat Jul 22, 2006 1:53 pm

In the obedience class we started today they went over the advantages and disadvantages of a regular collar, choke collar and prong collar. They suggested using what was appropriate for your dog. When I went through the class with my shepherd the first couple of classes using a regular collar were misery because he pulled so much. I switched to a prong collar and the difference was amazing. I used a prong collar when I took my mal but with his long, thick hair it wasn't as effective. I have a regular collar for TiVo and he really pulls a lot on the leash when I'm walking him. I may switch to a prong collar before my next class but I'm going to work with him a bit more first. I think if properly fitted and used they are not bad to use and neither of my other dogs minded wearing them. I think in a lot of cases the issue is more improper use of whatever type of collar by the trainer. OK, that's my 2 cents worth.

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Postby IliamnasQuest » Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:02 pm

I'm glad they're discussing the different types of collars and not just pushing a corrective collar. I hope that they're not still recommending the choke chain though.

The prong collar has its uses, but the problem I see is that so many people go to a corrective collar instead of training properly. I would say most of those who use a prong collar to walk their dogs end up using that prong collar most of the time from that point on. They don't use it in a limited way in order to be able to reinforce the "good" behaviors (like walking on a loose leash). They find that the prong collar goes on, the dog doesn't like the pain when it pulls and so it doesn't pull - but it doesn't TEACH the dog not to pull, it just teaches the dog not to pull *while the prong collar is on*. They aren't able to control the dog in a flat collar any better than before because they never taught the dog the proper behaviors.

My philosophy is that I want my dogs to mind regardless of what kind of collar they have on. So I tend to use corrective collars very sparingly and do almost all of my training off-leash (at home) or on a flat collar. I depend on my ability to become more interesting and rewarding than the world around my dog (sometimes a difficult endeavor! *L*). And in the process the dogs become more focused on me because that's where all the good stuff is. The collar is simply a means to keep the dog connected to me.

I really like the gentle leader harness that has the ring at the chest. It's an effective alternative to the prong collar and it can be used in order to get those "non-pulling" behaviors so that you have something to reward. I used it on Khana for a bit and it really helped.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska

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Postby chowfrnd88 » Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:02 pm

Yikes Jeff! I hope you're up to date on your tetanus shot! That's scary... I hate choke collars too. I have never seen one that could cut though, the ones I've seen are like a small chain link, am I thinking of a different thing? Anyhow, hope you're hand is okay!

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Postby Jeff&Peks » Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:39 pm

Auddymay, Pekoe didn't really do anything she just stood there with her lip raised in attack mode looking at the dog like who dares enter my path uninvited, Pekoe never does anything unless they get right in her face she usually just stands there doing her Elvis impersonation with the side of her lip raised, so when the other dog gets to close they think oh my god its Elvis then they run off. I've seen German Shepard's rushing at Pekoe with teeth showing as soon as Pekoe turns and gives the Elvis look they stop so fast they slide right by her then run off.

My hand is fine, two little cuts and a small puncture.

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Postby TiVo's Mom » Sun Jul 23, 2006 5:19 am

They definitely were not recommending the choke collar in the obedience class, they felt the prong collar was safer (even distribution of correction) and more like a "natural" correction, i.e. dogs nipping at each others necks. However, they said you should use what is best for your dogs personality just like giving a correction. Some dogs are very sensitive and shouldn't receive strong correction, etc. I will have to say that a good half of the class had dogs that had not been receiving proper training at home up to this point and they were out of control. From some of the questions that came up during Q&A at the end I was surprised at the lack of knowledge of even basic dog ownership skills. Some people there looked like they had dogs that were not especially suited for them but it should be fun to see how we all progress. I'm really going to need to work on my training skills because I get really frustrated with myself and then I think TiVo can tell.

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Postby PurpleKisses » Sun Jul 23, 2006 12:12 pm

I did want to clarify that I do not actively use the choke chain but I do have one. I prefer the prong collar for a corrective collar. We are getting one of the gentle leader harnesses though, I am anxious to see how that works on him. He doesn't usually pull but I need something so that the kids can walk him. More of a precautionary thing really. They don't ever walk him alone but they like to hold the leash.

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Postby TiVo's Mom » Sun Jul 23, 2006 6:56 pm

Just thought I'd mention that in the obedience class the gentle leader harness was the least recommended. I can't remember the specifics because I'm not familiar with it and it wasn't always easy to hear the trainer through the barking but I believe he said that in studies in both Europe and the US they were found to be the least safe. Sorry, don't remember why. Remember I was sitting in the midst of 13 barking dogs and my little angel.

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Postby Sandie » Mon Jul 24, 2006 5:26 am

we have chock chains and I do not like them at all. My husband had them and used them before we got together. I went out and bought harness which I love. I have found it easier to use too. I can reach right dowm and grab it if I feel it's necessary. and it's just so pretty! :D I feel like I have more control with the harness too.
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Postby Judy Fox » Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:21 am

Yes I agree - I like the harnesses and I bend down and hold the harness when necessary.
Perfect example today in the vets waiting room - a little terrier came in and he was really nasty - baring his teeth at Milly and Mabel and it was so easy just to put a hand down and hold them firm with their harnesses. :)
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Postby IliamnasQuest » Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:53 pm

TiVo's Mom wrote:Just thought I'd mention that in the obedience class the gentle leader harness was the least recommended. I can't remember the specifics because I'm not familiar with it and it wasn't always easy to hear the trainer through the barking but I believe he said that in studies in both Europe and the US they were found to be the least safe. Sorry, don't remember why. Remember I was sitting in the midst of 13 barking dogs and my little angel.


I'd be willing to bet that they were talking about the gentle leader halter, not the harness. There is nothing unsafe about the gentle leader harness - it's a very effective and humane way to deal with pulling.

Most of the people I've seen who say that the head halter is not safe are ones who just don't want to deal with teaching the dog to accept it properly. I hear a lot of anecdotal evidence about it causing neck injuries but have never seen a documented case of that (although it could very well have happened). Used properly, it's a very effective and safe tool. I've used the head halters on dozens of dogs without any problems.

But the gentle leader style harness (with the ring at the chest) is simple to use, easy on the dogs and effective. I highly recommend it.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska

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Postby chowfrnd88 » Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:24 pm

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the gentle leader harness. I've always remembered Jusy suggesting the harness and then when Auddymay tried the gentle leader harness and raved about it, I finally went out and got one. We've been using it for the about three days now and we LOVE it. I also feel like I have a lot more control over Special and he pulls 99% less than what he used to. The other 1% is when the squirrels are in sight! :wink:

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Postby TiVo's Mom » Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:25 pm

Melanie, you are absolutely correct, it was the gentle leader halter. I am not familiar with either of those products so did not realize there was a difference between the halter and the harness. Sorry. Is the harness just used for on leash walking or is it something that can be used in training? I'm still trying to decide what to use for TiVo. He is much better on the leash but he wants to go at his own pace, in his own direction and for a small guy he can really pull. I would really like walking to be fun for both of us and would like to do well in the obedience class because next they offer advanced obedience with CGC and I will love to do that as well.

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Postby IliamnasQuest » Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:57 pm

Tivo's Mom -

The harness can be used for training just like any collar can. They're all just tools. The ideal thing is to use what works with the minimum amount of negative impact on your dog, and then use that added control to teach the dog the proper behaviors.

I'm going to post a new topic on training to not pull so that others may see it who might be able to use it. It's always good to go over this stuff on occasion!

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Postby sweetpea » Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:12 pm

I use the gentle leader Harness for Gracie and love it. I have ONE problem though, if she gets spooked she has the ability to slip out of it. What she does is lifts her legs just right until one starts working its way out. Its hard to describe. If she manages to get a leg out I have to be quick before all of her is out of it. This only happens if she gets spooked bad enough. Like when we'd walk acrossed the bridge and a car went by, she could freak out bad enough that she squirms just right and she can slip a leg out of it. Thats the only thing I dont like about the Harness, but I've yet to see one that would be Gracie proof. She can turn in Houdini when she gets spooked bad enough.
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Postby Judy Fox » Tue Jul 25, 2006 12:58 am

Umm! Harnesses - I love the harnesses we have for Milly and Mabel and I would not use anything else.
However, we have had one instance where Milly got out of hers. We went to the nearby Delamere Forest for a picnic and we were sitting at one of the picnic benches provided. Our daughter and granddaughter were with us and suddenly our granddaughter gasped and said, "Look, Milly is out of her harness" and the little baggage was. :shock:
I really was frightening as we were quite near the forest road. :shock:
Fred bent over and grabbed a handful of Milly and I got her harness and put it back on. It had worked a bit loose so now I check their harnesses often because with use they do tend to work loose. You have to balance the adjusting it tight enough to stop them getting our of it and not too tight to hurt them. :lol:
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Postby kingalls » Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:40 am

Jeff - I can just see that Elvis look on Pekoe - your descriptions make me laugh all the time!

I just bought a collar for Mr. N. I haven't tried it yet. It is a collar with two smaller nylon straps that attach to the underside of the collar. The two straps go under the front legs and then fed through a ring at the top of the collar. The leash attaches to this ring.
I'm weary about trying out on him for his walk. If he manages to get out of it - well, he can run pretty fast.
If I try it on him in the backyard, he's going to think we're going for a walk...well, I'll figure it out.

I am trying something different because depsite me telling him to walk (when it's warm), he will still pull...I will stop him and say "Walk" - he gives me that over the shoulder "you gotta be kidding" look - he'll walk a few feet and then start pulling again. He's kinda funny to watch because I know he wants to break into a run - his back legs are shaking a little with the strain. If it's cooler weather, I let him run. I'm hoping that he will be more responsive to walking if this collar works.
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Leather Slip Lead

Postby Colorado » Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:23 pm

Hi everyone. Does anyone out there use a leather slip lead. This is a leather leash with a brass or bronze ring at the end which forms a loop to slip over the dog's neck. It works sort of like a choke chain but is made of leather and is quick and great to use if your dog is microchipped and doesn't wear a collar (as many chows do not because it causes matting in the fur). I've been thinking of getting this type of lead for my new puppy. Any comments? It seems MUCH more gentle than a typical chain choke collar. A lady makes them on Ebay and sells them for only $8.00 and they are absolutely beautiful leashes.


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