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Choke Collars

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EmilyGrace
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Choke Collars

Postby EmilyGrace » Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:35 pm

I often see dogs gasping and straining at the their choke collars. It looks like an awful thing to experience, and I don't like idea of negative reinforcement training at all. Do choke collars really accomplish anything a halter wouldn't?

I couldn't find any old posts related to this so I wanted to see what you guys think. Thanks!
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Choke Collars

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:07 pm

They are being used wrong.

A "Choke chain" is not named well as that is not the intended use.

You give it a quick snap/tug to get their attention as a training method.
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Ash
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Re: Choke Collars

Postby Ash » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:43 pm

Agreeing with TG. People don't know how to use them properly. Same with the inward pronged collars--can be good too when used right. And shock collars.
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Juska
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Re: Choke Collars

Postby Juska » Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:13 am

They're a training tool, only meant to be used for a limited amount of time, just like muzzles. But even the government doesn't seem to understand that one as they think you can just muzzle a "dangerous" dog and it's good to go out in public.

Yet people leash their dogs with "choke chains" and then wonder why the dog's trachea collapses and they hack and cough all the time when they take them out.

I guess they think the dog will learn "not to pull" if they choke themselves to death doing it. Which is not the case. Same with prong collars, only they hurt like hell and I don't know why someone would resort to using one.

Dogs pull because it makes the person holding the leash move faster. If you teach them that pulling doesn't make you go faster...they'll stop.
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EmilyGrace
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Re: Choke Collars

Postby EmilyGrace » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:02 am

But even when used correctly as a training tool, isn't the idea to still restrict the dogs airway (whether to get their attention or provide negative reinforcement)?
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Choke Collars

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:19 pm

No. I went through a training class that used them. You don't pull it hard EVER so there's no airway restriction. It's just a short quick snap but snap might even make it sound to strong. It's to give a quick and painless correction that will get their attention more than just yelling at them.

Also if you give a quick tug and it doesn't loosen back up right away then you put it on wrong.
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BlueBaby1023
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Re: Choke Collars

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:19 pm

I think that they can be useful if used correctly, but the problem is that I know so many people who just walk their dogs on them, not use them as a training method. Just in another building in my apartment complex, a college age girl has a very muscular, heavy boxer. He seems very sweet, but she seems tiny (5' and 100lbs soaking wet or so) and doesn't have very good control over him. He pulls, jumps, barks, growls, etc. despite the fact that she always walks him on a choke chain collar. It drives me a bit nuts, but I just smile and walk away. :wall:

It doesn't help that there are now these "designer" choke collars that appear to be meant to leave on you dog or be stylish when you walk them instead of just a training tool. I can understand the collar hiders for the prong collars, because that makes it seem to everyone else that it's just a normal collar so you can avoid judgment for using them. These new designer kind of choke collars don't do that, they just glamorize using them as a regular collar.

To be honest though, I'm not a fan of walking dogs on their necks to start with. A sharp pull, even if it's mean to be gentle, can leave lasting damage to the cervical vertebrae. I prefer to walk my dog on a harness, which if she pulls a bit and I give her a sharp jerk on the leash will pull her entire chest, not just her neck. The neck is a sensitive area for any animal, and damage to it can lead to pain not just in the neck, but through the back and body as the animal ages.

In an ideal world, people would use them correctly. But, this world is far from ideal, and a lot of trainers have shown that you can use other training methods just as effectively. I trained my dog not to pull with just a harness and persistence. She does slip up sometimes when they're a bird or something else intriguing on the trails I walk her on, but for the most part, she walks calmly by my side when on a leash.
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Re: Choke Collars

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:12 pm

I like harnesses better to. Beaker has a leather collar though. It's a Harley Davidson collar with spikes, lol. I got it as a joke to take photos of Pua in but he got excited and wanted me to put it on him. Where as with the harness, when I called him to put it on he'd crawl prone a cross the floor(if he came) like I was planning to beat him. So he gets walked in that collar now.

I know a lady via FB who has choke chains as their only collars. She even has tags on them. And she went to classes and became a trainer now but still does that. Drives me nuts but I've hidden her from my feed now.
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BlueBaby1023
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Re: Choke Collars

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:06 pm

Some dogs do refuse to walk on harnesses. I would think that a small dog would produce less damage to their own body than a heavily muscled large dog would. They just don't have the weight behind them to cause the same kind of damage from pulling. Corrections, though, could be more damaging if not done correctly.

My cat does the same time when I try to walk him on a harness. But he's got more of the "mom, why did you put this thing on me? I wanted outside to chase birds, not to be humiliated." :lol:
4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
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Juska
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Re: Choke Collars

Postby Juska » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:30 am

A friend of mine has a Dachshund that actually severely injured her neck wearing a plain collar (quite out of nowhere, actually). I don't remember the details of how it happened, but I know that it wasn't any fault of the owner as she was a coworker at PetSmart with me and she knows how to walk a dog properly.

She needed spinal surgery, and this was just with a plain collar made for a dog her size. She's very, VERY peppy and wants to run wherever she goes. She now has to wear a harness to prevent damage to her neck again. Just because a dog is small doesn't mean they don't have strength.
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BlueBaby1023
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Re: Choke Collars

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:45 pm

Juska: Small dogs definitely can hurt their backs, especially breeds that are prone to back problems like dachshunds, corgis, and basset hounds. I just meant it's probably less likely for a sturdy little dog like a beagle or a spaniel to strain and damage their vertebrae than say, a lab or boxer. They just don't have the weight behind them that larger dogs do.

The not so funny thing about dachshunds is that they can literally sit down wrong an hurt their backs. And if they jump onto couches or beds, they're at risk for breaking their backs. Sad, really.
4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
~100 chickens, ducks, and turkeys
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Ash
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Re: Choke Collars

Postby Ash » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:11 am

I like harnesses better, because then if the dog pulls, falls, etc., it can't really hurt itself. My elderly, mentally-disabled aunt had a chihuahua that practically hung itself on its collar/leash when it lunged to attack another dog. But if you have one that walks well and good on a collar that won't dash, then that's great and fine too.

All the training collars have their uses, but I agree with Bluebaby that many people do misuse them. I think education is key.
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