"The Choker Collar"

How To Use The Choker Chain  by Dog-Training Academy

     A choke chain is an excellent training tool. It does not harm the dog in any way when used properly. 

     The difference between a choke chain and a collar

     There are people who consider that a choke chain is rather inhumane. They prefer using the regular flat collar  
     instead. However this is a rather mistaken point of view.  A choke chain works on a jerk release motion and
     distributes pressure equally around the neck region. On the other hand a collar concentrates pressure only on
     one part of the neck on the side opposite the leash.

     So if a flat collar is jerked from above, the entire pressure is focused on the windpipe, which causes a
     strangulating sensation for the dog. Thus the choke chain is a better alternative.

     How to use a choke chain

     A choke chain must be jerked quickly and released immediately. It is meant to grab the dogs attention and  
     surprise it too. It must not be held too tightly. It could cause slow strangulation if the dog is held for too long
     and dragged around by it. This is really cruel!


     Just watch a misinformed person walking down a street dragging a wayward dog behind him on a choke  
     chain. Every muscle of the dogs body will be tense. Its eyes will be bulging from the pressure on its neck.
     This rather awful scene is typical of causing unnecessary physical and emotional pain. It also causes harmful
     dents in an otherwise pristine canine-human relationship.


     When you use a choke chain correctly, it feels like someone pulling you up short by your suspenders and then

     letting go. The choke chain gives the owner a high degree of control. It allows you to communicate quickly and
     clearly with your dog. He will know what is correct and what is not.

choke chain must be used to only correct your dog. It is not a method of punishment or an instrument of
     torture. It should not be used as a method of retraining your dog either. It must be removed after a training
     session is over. Never allow your dog to run around unsupervised wearing a choke chain either

     Dangers of a choke chain

     Never leave the choke chain on the dog at all times. If the chain gets entangled, the dog could get strangled.
     The choke chain must be used only for training sessions and that too when you are there to control the chain.
     Never leave a choke chain on a dog that is unsupervised or running around loose.

     A few tips about choke chains
     Never use a choke chain till your pup is at least 6 months old. His neck is just not strong enough to tolerate the
     rigors of a choke chain until then.

     A correct fit is an absolute must.  Choose a chain that is about half inch wide and slips easily through the metal
     ring. Make sure that the links lie flat so that they slide smoothly without catching on the ring. The chain must
     have about 3 to 4 inches of slack when it is pulled snug around the dogs neck. Please note that a short chain
     will fit rather too tightly and a long one will make it difficult to deliver the quick snap that is required for an 
     effective choke chain correction.

     Do not use thin linked jewelry type of choke chains. They cut into the neck rather painfully. 

     Remove your dogs regular flat collar when you use a choke chain. The flat collar might dissipate the quick
     snap of the choke chain making it an ineffective training tool.

     How to use a choke chain

     To put the chain on your dog, first hold it out horizontally, and then drop a loop through one of the end rings.
     The chain will form the letter P. Now make your dog stand to your left side. Then place the chain over his  
     head so that the long portion of the chain, which is the straight part of the P, lies across the top of the neck.
     When you want to train your dog on the right side, just reverse the chain.

                                              pictures from Veterinary Services
Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.


     Putting the chain on is simple. What requires some amount of practice is learning how to use it effectively.
     When you use it your dog must get the clear message of what is correct.  

     People normally tend to apply pressure on the chain and hold it. This causes the dogs neck muscles to tighten.
     So he pulls away from the pressure. He does not surrender to it. So instead of correcting your dog, you just
     promote resistance in him. The secret is to apply pressure and release immediately. Do not hold even briefly. It
     is very painful for your dog.


     It might take a little practice to get the correct and quick snap and release action of the choke chain. So first 
     practice it yourself without putting it on the dog. Put it around your forearm. With your free hand, take the chin
     by the end ring and snap it tight. So pay attention to the feeling of pressure on your arm.


     Make it sharp and quick. Do take note of the fact that the pressure catches you by surprise and goes even before
     you arm muscles have time to get tense. When you reach this stage, you are ready to use the choke chain on
     your dog. That is the perfect correction.


     The amount of force used is also important when using a choke chain. The fact is either you correct your dog or
     you do not. There is no go between. So if you jerk and there is not enough force applied your dog will not get
     the message and he will continue with whatever he was doing. This will defeat your very purpose of using a
     choke chain. The force was too little.


     So you must correct as hard as you can and get the message across. You will know that he has got the message
     when he stops whatever he was doing and looks at you. So praise him when he stops his incorrect behavior
     and looks towards you. When he stops his wrong behavior and looks at you, he has accepted your leadership.
     That is good communication and the whole point of correction

              "more on the use of a choker in training"    The Choker Tab (Link)