Dogs Don’t Understand Choke Chains : The Dogs Mind

Choke collars or choke chains are one of the most ineffective and on rare occasions dangerous, training collars ever invented. A dog does not understand the principle of getting choked, that’s why so many dogs will choke themselves while they are on their daily walks. Whether the collar the dog is wearing is a choke chain or a regular flat collar.

The way a dogs mind interprets pressure, is to pull harder in the opposite direction of that pressure. This is a dog, this is how they think. It’s kind of like people pushing on a door that says “Pull” on it, we may find that a little amusing until the person realizes the ‘Pull’ sign on the door and ruins our entertainment by actually pulling it.

Most dogs however will never realize that if they just stopped pulling, they would stop choking themselves. This is the reason why choke chains really shouldn’t be used, especially on an animal that constantly pulls. And if you have read some of my stuff before you already know that a dog that pulls or walks out in front of you, is not trying to show his dominance over you. We just walk way too slow for dogs and dogs get very excited when they finally get out of the house.

And if you think that your dog should understand what you are saying to him, without you spending a ton of time teaching him what all of those words mean, have a look at this.

And yes I know, in the hands of an experienced (good) dog trainer a choke chain can be a very effective training device. My problem with this is, a good trainer should be able to accomplish the same thing with whatever collar the dog happens to be wearing at the time.

The Spirit Dog

copyright  © 2009 a.s.papszycki


7 Responses

  1. Hi Patty,

    The problem is many people don’t realize how potentially dangerous choke chains or collars can be for their dog. At least the good thing is more and more dogs owners are learning to use different dog collars.

    You know, I think I remember seeing your name on some Pit Bull forums awhile ago, if that was you this may be of some interest to you.


  2. I don’t recommend choke chains for training purposes and instead recommend Gentle Leaders or Haltis when needed, but it is also very important to note that many people leave choke chain collars on their dogs even when they are not in training and their dogs end up choking to death. I know of someone who came home from work to find his dog hanging dead on the fence. I heard of someone else whose Lab’s choke chain got caught on the back deck and they also came home to a dead dog. Toss the suckers!

  3. Well, that’s my point. What DOES the “good trainer” actually do? That’s what I want to learn.

    This particular dog is a GSD Beagle mix. He’s neutered.


  4. Mmmm, prong collars are illegal in Australia for humane reasons. choke collars have been out since the 70’s, basically having this on you dog says ‘I really dont know what Im doing and havnt bothered to learn to train my dog’

    there is also the danger of having your dog caught up in fences, sticks and trees or verandah floors…

    for Robert, not knowing your dog, breed or training, I would say 1. desex a male dog and 2. a Halti collar, but again they are not being trained. 3 take any dog (of any age) to a good trainer, one who works for you and your dog and has good references…

    Great post Spirit

  5. What IS the best way to stop a dog from pulling. Especially if it wants to try getting to another dog. As in the case of dog-dog agression.



  6. Great post!

    The same goes for Prong collars. I hate those things!
    Just recently had a friend in a class in Grand Rapids, MN and the trainer required everyone to use a prong collar on their puppies. What an idiot. Not a trainer at all in my opinion. Just some hack who pretends to be one. Thank god she quit the class and told the trainer why she was quitting.

  7. Great post – when I first got my pit bull mix the shelter manager where I adopted him told me the only way I would be able to walk him would be on a choke chain. I spent the first year basically choking him whenever he would pull towards another dog and I couldn’t figure out why he was suddenly reactive to approaching dogs – DUH! Thankfully when I took him to his first flyball class the instructor politely informed me that chokes were not allowed in class and opened my eyes to positive training methods!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: