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Choker Chains

May 22nd 2016

Author: Sarah Butler

Choker Chains in dogs are pretty popular, but 9 out of 10 times used completely incorrectly.

In all honesty I can rarely see a need for a choker, or check chain. Although choker chain may be a more appropriate name for how they are used most of the time, the correct name is Check Chain as it is ideally used to correct behaviour in an ALREADY TRAINED dog by giving a short tug, or check.

Check chains are so often employed on dogs that pull heavily on the lead, and these dogs wheeze and cough their way through their walk paying no heed to the bruising and injuries to the tissues around their neck. This is a completely incorrect and ineffective use of the chain. Most dogs don't learn to walk correctly solely through the use of check chains, they just strangle their way onwards, with a tightening noose around their neck. Sounds nice, right?

Instead, dogs should be trained to walk calmly on lead, or to heel reliably BEFORE a check chain is employed.

Employing the right tool for the job is sensible, and makes it easier for everyone to succeed.

Check chains are NOT designed to hold an animal back, or to be used as a singular restraint collar. They are a correction tool, though I still see very little need for them.

If your dog is large, or excitable, a better management tool would be a Halti (though most dogs need some positive training to accept something bridling their face), or even a harness which gives MUCH more control over your dog without unintentionally injuring them. Combine these with some on-leash training and walks are far more enjoyable for everyone!