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The Dangers of Using a Choke Chain as a Collar

Choke chains are used by many pet owners when training their dog. For safety sake it is best to remove it along with their leash and use a buckle on style if you have a collar on your pet all of the time. This is a page about the dangers of using a choke chain as a collar.


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Warning! For those who use a choke chain as a collar on their dogs, please don't. Take them off! Only use choke chains during training sessions, or if necessary, when walking on a leash.

We used to have a friend who used a choke chain as a regular collar on her Chihuahua mix. She used to bring her dog over to play with my Tibetan Spaniel. One day the dogs were in the yard playing and all of a sudden we heard the worst yelping from both dogs we had ever heard before. We ran out and the two dogs were caught up together and tumbling all over the place trying to get free. My dog's lower jaw was caught in the other dog's choke chain and the more they tumbled the tighter it got. It almost ripped her jaw right off her face, along with almost choking the other dog to death.

If it wasn't for another neighbor hearing our screams for help and coming with a strong set of chain cutters, we'd have both lost our dogs that day.

Choke chains are fine, but they have their place. And using them for every day collars is extremely dangerous.

By Cricket from Parkton, NC

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June 18, 20090 found this helpful
Top Comment

We use a choke chain on our Chow Chow's leash but we take it off after every walk, it just stays attached to the leash. She would have to wear a harness otherwise. We did have another type of collar that would tighten slightly but she always got mats around her neck from it.


She has a regular leather collar that she always wears with her dog tags but her neck is as broad as the rest of her head (maybe like the pug!) and she would just slip right out if we tried to restrain her with it.

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June 18, 20090 found this helpful

This is so correct! Really, I believe that dogs can be trained without choke chains, instead, using positive reincorcement training. It just takes the patience of Job and lots of consistency.
But you're right, they can be ridiculously dangerous.

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June 18, 20090 found this helpful

We used a choke chain on our Chinese Pug all the time and had no problems. That was the only kind of collar he couldn't get out of. I think he must have been related to Houdini.lo.

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June 19, 20090 found this helpful

Redhatterb, If you need the choke chain on your pug for walking or training, there's nothing wrong with that. I was talking about keeping it on the dog 24/7. My dogs never have a collar on. Like Jess, I keep their collars attached to their leashes and if we are going to go someplace then they get them on. Otherwise they go without.


Jess, I know what you mean about the Chow's hair. I had a friend who had several Chow's and I remember how thick their hair was.
And Fab-tmom I agree totally that training can be done without choke chains. Thru the years I've learned beter ways. But there are still people out there who insist on using them. I just hope these people and others don't leave the choke chains on their dogs.

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