What is a 'Choke Chain'?
A Choke Chain is a very crude instrument used to introduce an element of pain onto a dog every time he does something wrong.
Trainers and people who advocate this type of behavior refer to it as “giving the dog a correction”, and follow outdated and misunderstood practices.
People who know how harmful it is refer to it as abuse, and use other methods of correction / redirection instead.
Through simple observation I've come to the conclusion that most people aren't even aware of how to fit the collar properly — and because of the very nature of its mechanical workings — a wrongly fitted choke chain often locks (or "hangs"), thus causing the dogs neck to be under constant pressure, inevitably leading to injury.
If a choke chain is placed on a dog the wrong way, and then tightend, it often will not release the pressure again, even if the leash becomes slack. This means that the dogs neck and throat is under constant pressure.
It's not that most owners want to harm their dogs, it's rather that they don't know any better, or have been misled by a Cesar Millan or tons of outdated books which don't adhere to current scientific standards and findings.
That's why I created this website, not to criticize you as a dog owner, but to make you aware of the dangers a choke chain poses to your dog. And to ask you one question:
"Why do humans think it's okay to treat dogs this way?"
We don't treat our our children this way, nor do we treat other animals such as chickens this way. So why, then, is it okay to treat dogs this way? It isn't, and it takes real courage to realize you've been wrong and admit it. It wasn't easy for me either.
It is my sincere hope that you can take some time out of your busy day to finish reading. On behalf of all dogs, I thank you!
Why is it Wrong?
There are numerous reasons. Here are a few good ones. And rest assured, I will back up everything I say with credible sources later on.
1) Many scientific studies have proven a wide range of very serious injuries resulting from both direct and indirect use of Choke Chains. Some of these injuries are listed above in red.
By direct use I am talking about "jerking" or "popping" the leash to "correct" a dog. By indirect I'm talking about dogs that pull on the leash on their own, thus causing themselves damage without the owner realizing it (again: this is scientifically proven many times). Couple this with a "locked" choke chain (a choke chain that is fitted the wrong way), and your dog is in serious trouble.
If you're concerned about not being able to control your dog without a choke chain, you should consult with a positive reinforcement trainer, and substitute with a gentle leader-collar (or anti-pull harness) instead. Click here for a video demonstrating this.
2) Choke Chains are usually associated with punishment and aversive training techniques. Science has proven through extensive study, that positive reinforcement is both safer and produces faster and better results when done correctly. This is simply a matter of education.
Click this link to watch world renowned dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell, tell you more about why it is so wrong.
Once again I thank you for staying with me this far, please continue reading.