Why We Should Never Use Choke Chains on Our Dogs
Choke collars are actually chains that are designed to prevent dogs from pulling on lead. The way they work is by tightening around the neck and eventually choking the dog whenever he pulls.
Let's find out some facts about those training tools.
High Risk of Damage
You may have heard that if a choke chain is being used correctly no damage can be done but this is actually a kind of ironic. Even if you use the choke collar in the right way, the result will be the same: Choking!
Many scientific studies have shown that these tools can cause serious neck injuries such as crushed trachea, damage to esophagus and larynx, asphyxiation and even brain or eye dysfunction.
It doesn't Fix the Problem
Almost all people who use choke chains to their dogs deal with lead pulling. The majority of them will claim that the choke chain worked well with their dog and they will be sure that the problem is solved.
To tell the truth, even though the lead pulling could look like it is solved, in fact it just covers up the actual problem. The dog stopped pulling on lead because of the pain subjected to his throat by the choke chain.
As a Positive Dog Trainer, I believe that it is most preferable to have a dog that stays beside me because he wants to and not because he is afraid of me and the tools I'm using.
Imagine a dog being on a choke chain approaching a person in order to greet him in a friendly way. It's then when he receives a hard choking in his neck. Now, the dog has started to associate that people walking next to him is something bad and in the near future he might react aggressively or become fearful towards these people. Dogs can easily create bad associations with any stimuli (kids, bicycles, other animals etc) if we use the wrong training tools and unfortunately this could lead to some very unpleasant results.
Not Enjoyable Walk
Dogs love walks and that is something that we need to provide to them every day. Now, imagine a dog feeling choked while he is trying to enjoy the walk that was waiting for the whole day. I bet this is one of the worst feelings. The walk is turned into a nightmare to a dog and he might associate even you that you are causing pain to him with something bad which can result to a broken relationship between you two.
For all these reasons that I already explained above, I highly recommend the use of positive training techniques. Positive Dog Training is going to teach your dog right manners in a very rewarding way with no aversive tools or methods.