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Thoughts on using choke chains to discipline dogs?

  1. Jeanne Louise profile image59
    Jeanne Louiseposted 4 years ago

    I'm in the process of training my four-month-old puppy. He is quite unruly and hyperactive, especially when I take him out on walks. I've watched and read numerous videos and books, and a lot of them suggest the use of choke chains or pinch chains. I find it a tad cruel, though.

    Is using choke chains effective? Does it border on animal cruelty, or am I just being too soft?

    1. Zelkiiro profile image82
      Zelkiiroposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Choke chains are a good teacher for puppies, and they're only as painful as the dog is rebellious. As with any other form of discipline, you have to be a little rough to establish both dominance and rules.

      Besides, if choke chains actually did pose any threat to your dog's life when used as directed, they would never have been approved to be sold.

      1. Jeanne Louise profile image59
        Jeanne Louiseposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Great point. Thank you!

    2. profile image0
      Sarra Garrettposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      First what kind of puppy. 
      Second a 4 month old puppy is too young for a choke chain
      Third.  You need to be the 'pack leader' and teach your puppy you are the boss
      Fourth.  Once you establish to your puppy you are the 'pack leader' you won't need a choke chain
      Fifth.  Be firm and consistent.  Know the breed of dog you have and read up on his/her temperament
      sixth. Do not hit your puppy! This will only reward his bad behavior
      Seventh. Be firm and consistent - use words like "no" "bad" and make him/her sit down by pushing on the bottom
      eight: Be firm and consistent
      nine: reward when good with "good dog"
      ten: repeat steps above

      1. profile image0
        Sarra Garrettposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Pinch collars and choke chains are used too frequently on dogs when it's the owners fault that the dog is misbehaving.  Try a pinch collar on yourself - it hurts and you'll act out.  Dogs are smarter than most people.  If you know how to train a dog properly you should never have to use either of these collars.  Take obedience lessons.  Be patient, puppies have a short attention span.  Be consistent all of the time and reward for good behavior.  Plenty of exercise and learn the breed of dog you have.  Never hit your dog as this will enforce bad behavior.   Make sure you socialize your puppy when they are young.  There are some really good articles here on HP on training your dog.  Look for DrMark's articles.  Please spay/neuter.  Unless you have a police dog you don't need a pinch or choke collar.  Your dog will be the best friend you'll ever have.  Your confidant and protector.  Yes, you will become soul mates if you truely love your dog.

    3. profile image60
      radialposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Sometimes it is necessary to use a choke chain to restrain (never discipline) a dog. Even young dogs can easily slip a conventional collar and run a muck being a nuisance or worse being run over by a car or the like. It is better to use a choke chain and have a live animal at the end of the day, but never use it to discipline the dog, the dog will not learn anything that way. Remember that the dog is your friend and you are not using the collar to hurt the dog, you are using it to keep the dog from being hurt or annoying others.

  2. Theophanes profile image94
    Theophanesposted 4 years ago

    Choke chains are not meant to choke an animal, although they will if you put them on backwards. When used correctly all you need is a half-second tug just  to get the dog's attention. I've used them on a number of dogs, all really hyper and distractable, and they do help. Once the dog knows the rules he won't need anymore corrections. I don't know anything about pinch collars, although they do look pretty fierce and easy to abuse. If your intend is to stop him pulling on a leash during the walk you may also want to try a harness. Some dogs respect them more.

    1. Theophanes profile image94
      Theophanesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I have no idea why this posted three times... but it's not letting me delete the two extras. Sorry about that.

      1. Jeanne Louise profile image59
        Jeanne Louiseposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        No worries. Thanks for the great advice! Your answer is very helpful.

  3. Theophanes profile image94
    Theophanesposted 4 years ago

    Choke chains are not meant to choke an animal, although they will if you put them on backwards. When used correctly all you need is a half-second tug just  to get the dog's attention. I've used them on a number of dogs, all really hyper and distractable, and they do help. Once the dog knows the rules he won't need anymore corrections. I don't know anything about pinch collars, although they do look pretty fierce and easy to abuse. If your intend is to stop him pulling on a leash during the walk you may also want to try a harness. Some dogs respect them more.

  4. Theophanes profile image94
    Theophanesposted 4 years ago

    Choke chains are not meant to choke an animal, although they will if you put them on backwards. When used correctly all you need is a half-second tug just  to get the dog's attention. I've used them on a number of dogs, all really hyper and distractable, and they do help. Once the dog knows the rules he won't need anymore corrections. I don't know anything about pinch collars, although they do look pretty fierce and easy to abuse. If your intend is to stop him pulling on a leash during the walk you may also want to try a harness. Some dogs respect them more.

  5. Sugahware profile image92
    Sugahwareposted 4 years ago

    I have a 5 1/2 month old puppy! I'm in the process of leash training too. I mainly used a choke when I trained my older, very energetic, male dog Zonix. As Theo said, I understand the point of the choke is to pull it quickly so you're not actually choking the dog. But when Zonix was a puppy he would pull ahead and keep choking himself to the point where he would begin coughing and choking. He was so determined to pull it didn't matter that he was choking himself. Eventually I began using a Gentle Leader. He hated it and would try to roll and get it off, but eventually got used to it. Now at 4 years old he heels perfectly at my side, but it did take some time! With Bella, my new puppy, I'm training her on the Gentle Leader immediately. So far, it doesn't seem to bother her and she doesn't pull with it. The Gentle Leader looks like a muzzle, but it is nothing of the sort. A thin band does cross over the dogs nose but the point is to direct the dog from its chin and not its neck. The neck is the strongest part of the dog, but wherever the chin goes the body will follow. I hope to write a hub about the Gentle Leader soon. Good luck! What kind of puppy do you have?

  6. SomewayOuttaHere profile image60
    SomewayOuttaHereposted 4 years ago

    i'm using an item that attaches to the collar and slips around my pup's nose...if she pulls...she ends up pulling her head down and around...it's all up to her....i don't have to do anything but keep walking...she figured it out in moments....however, she's pretty good on a leash if she's had time to run and release some of her energy before we go for a walk...........................otherwise if we start out on a walk without some rigorous exercise beforehand, she figures it's playtime first....and i'm the toy!

    1. Allkingss profile image60
      Allkingssposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      you better decide  yourself and then chose your one

  7. peeples profile image89
    peeplesposted 4 years ago

    Just google the phrase Choke chains kill dogs. It is enough for me to never use them. It is much more effective to put a dog in a basic training class that teaches how to walk on a leash than choke them into being good.

  8. Jenn-Anne profile image91
    Jenn-Anneposted 4 years ago

    We have an 8 month old beagle mix and a 17 month old shepherd mix. The older dog is doing well on the leash. The younger one is not - he just pulls and pulls. We sometimes use a choke chain, however I'm trying to focus on getting him into a calm frame of mind and establishing myself as the leader when we walk. Hopefully he'll get the hang of it soon but he's a stubborn little guy.

    1. profile image0
      Sarra Garrettposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      If you have a dog that is constantly pulling and taking you for a walk you are not spending enough time with your dog training him/her.  Dogs are very trainable and need consistency, time patience and lots of love - just like children.  There are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners. Sorry.

  9. Reality Bytes profile image93
    Reality Bytesposted 4 years ago

    I have leash trained all my dogs in the same way.  When they pull, I turn my back, tell them follow me, and head in the opposite direction.  Eventually, they realize that they need to pay attention to you. 

    All my dogs walk through hand signals, I point, they go.  I show them the palm they stop.   They need to be taught that you are the leader, you decide where your going to go.  It is just simple respect.  Take over the pack leader position.  Dogs are more than willing to obey once taught.  I do not even like collars, I prefer a harness.

  10. Jeanne Louise profile image59
    Jeanne Louiseposted 4 years ago

    Thanks for all the great advice, everyone.

    To answer your questions: My dog is a dachshund-pinscher mix. He is really well behaved. He responds to all the basic commands, like sit, stay, come, and lie down. He gets a lot of exercise and play time. We have a garden where he can run around, and we play with him multiple times a day. We've only ever had any trouble with him when we take him out for walks.

    Since I posted my inquiry, I have tried using a prong collar while walking him. I only had to use it for under five minutes, and he immediately stopped pulling on the leash. We have now gone back to using his regular collar, and he no longer pulls or runs ahead when being walked. We only had to use the prong collar once.

    I agree that prolonged and/or incorrect use of prong collars may cause harm to your dogs, but in our case, it definitely helped.

  11. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago

    I would suggest a cloth martingale.  It has a similar effect but will not constrict to the point of doing damage.

  12. Hollie Thomas profile image61
    Hollie Thomasposted 4 years ago

    In my experience, you train a dog with your voice and other signals. You need to teach them who's the alpha male/female and that can be done with the tone of your voice and rewards for good behaviour.  I've never used a choke chain and I never would, I think they're cruel and unnecessary. My dogs have always worn a body harness and can be easily controlled with this aid, whatever your size or theirs. I'm between 5ft 1 and 2" but have raised and trained dogs as big as Bull Mastifs. (my last one was above ten stone, I was seven)

    Work out what your dog responds to; treats, exercise, discipline, your approval. Then work the training around your dogs needs. Honestly, it works.

 
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