How To Use The Choker Chain
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
How to use a choke
A choke chain must be jerked quickly and
released immediately. It is meant to grab the dog’s 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 dog’s 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 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.
A 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 rum around unsupervised wearing a choke chain either.
Dangers of a choke
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.
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
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 dog’s 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
Remove your dog’s
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.
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 dog’s 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
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