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Choke Chain or Slip Collars

Choke Chain or Slip Collars
The most commonly used training collars, called a “slip” or “choke” collar, consists of a length of leather, nylon or chain link with rings on each end. Choke chains are metal chain links with a ring on each and should only be used while training or walking your dog. This collar is sold by length – so ask for assistance when purchasing a slip collar. When used correctly, the slip collar enables the handler to give the dog a correction by tightening and then quickly releasing on the dog’s neck.

Never attach tags to this type of collar, tie a dog up with this collar, or leave the collar on when the dog is unsupervised. He can be choked to death if the collar becomes caught. Usually these collars are made from chain, but in recent years, they have come out in rolled and flat nylon webbing.

Choke collars are somewhat controversial. The concept is to “correct” the dog, but choke collars work on the principle of punishment, and many trainers are now moving toward a purely “reward-based” training. They are not to be used as everyday collars. In addition, choke collars should never be used on toy dogs or dogs less than 20 pounds because these little ones are often prone to collapsing trachea. Putting pressure on that area can precipitate the problem.

To properly put a choke collar on any dog, first you drop the chain through one end loop. With the dog facing you, the chain and loop will form the letter “P”. Place it in this position over the dog’s head. With the dog on your left side, the chain will come over the dog’s neck, with the sliding ring in proximity to the dog’s right ear, or right neck side. In this position, when you “pop” the leash (this is only a short jerk of the leash) the chain will come up under his throat, and immediately will release when you do; however, if the chain is not correctly positioned, the collar will not release, and will choke the dog.

The collar should tighten when pressure is applied and loosen immediately once the pressure has stopped. The collar should not “stick” in the tight position after pressure is released.

Note: When measuring your dog for a choke collar, measure the size of his neck and add three inches. Pinch collars should also be three inches larger than the circumference
of the dog’s neck. Choke and pinch collars can seriously injure a dog when improperly used, therefore, unless you are a trained expert, you should seek another collar
type for your dog. For many people who have difficulty controlling a strong dog, the head collar is an effective way to gain control, while not causing injury to the dog.

The “choke” collar must be used wisely. The only time it chokes the dog is when it is placed on the dog’s neck incorrectly. The idea behind the choke collar is to give immediate correction and release. Practice pulling on the choke collar wrapped about your wrist, that way you know how it feels and how much pressure you’re willing to apply.

While the majority of training collars are humane and effective training aids, some can be dangerous if used incorrectly. To ensure that you are using the best training aid for your dog, you should seek the advice of a professional dog trainer.

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