When it comes to choke chain collars, there several different styles to choose from. The top picks for most people are either prong collars, slip collars, or martingale collars. There are a few others, but these are the most used. There are also different names for the same collar. For example, a pinch collar may be used to describe a slip collar or vice versa.
If you are unsure about which one is right for you, consider trying all of them. They are fairly inexpensive, and your dog may show a preference towards one style over the other. This can ultimately come down to what they’re comfortable in.
Each dog is unique, and yours respond to one style of the collar over the rest. With our own dogs, we have gone back and forth between different styles simply because of the mood of our dogs. Use the table of contents to help you figure out which collar is right for your dog!
(Products recommended on this page are affiliate links and we get a commission for recommending purchases.)
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Choke Collars
How to safely use a Prong Collar: Safety Tips
There has always been some debate about the use of a choke chain. Prong collars exist for a reason, and many people(even dog lovers) will swear by them. Using a choke chain with your dog has its pros and cons. We will go over a few safety tips. Using a choke chain collar for your dog has its benefits, but some would disagree. It is important to understand why some people prefer using them.
- Dog owners can quickly see improvements in leash training when using a prong collar.
- Allows your dog to control just how much he is pulling by letting him decide how much of a punch to administer.
- Because dogs respond so well to these types of collars, it makes it harder for owners to stop using them.
- Having to explain your choice of collar to un-educated dog owners.
How To Put A Choke Collar On A Dog
The position of your dog’s choke collar is important. Be sure to keep the collar’s position higher up on the neck, just under their ears. If your dog’s choke collar is sitting down by their shoulders, it loses its purpose. A choke chain works by using your dog’s own weight to improve the grip of the collar around their neck. When your dog is walking calmly or loosely, the collar rests along their neck without tension. As soon as they begin to pull in a direction, it makes a slight pinch.
The collar can't be too low.
When you have the collar down too low on their neck, the collar stops working as it should. It might seem like it’s working at first, but that’s just because your dog is getting used to the new feeling of the prongs.
You’ll soon find that your dog can still pull quit a bit even with the collar on. This is because they are using their neck and shoulder muscles. Having the collar so low the neck gives your dog a lot of control over you(pulling for example).
Tuck the collar up just below your dog's ears
You can easily reclaim the control by moving the collar up just a few inches. It makes a world of difference. Here is how:
Your dog, and pretty much every other animal, has weaker neck muscles than they do shoulder and back muscles. When a dog pulls, it’s using all of it’s weight and muscles to lean into it. By moving the collar up higher on the neck, they would need to rely more on their neck muscles to pull.
Comfortable and Safe
The collar doesn’t have to be tight, it just needs to be able to comfortable and safely slide up and down your dog’s neck. Most dogs will actually shaken and loosen the collar to sit lower on their neck. This is totally fine. When your dog is walking loosely and your leash isn’t tight, you can both enjoy your walk.
Ultimate New Dog Owner’s Guide
Join others and subscribe to our wonderful newsletter. Upon joining, you will get instant access to our FREE e-Book: The Ultimate Guide For Getting A New Dog ($17 value!)
Bottom view of the tucked up collar.
Make sure chain part of the collar is below your dog’s chin. This is actually a huge part that most people forget about. It’s the missing crucial step that makes the pulling part of the prong collar work properly and safely. The prongs shouldn’t ever be in a constant state of “being tight”. This small trick fixes that.
This isn’t meant to be a punishment for the dog, but rather a tool for you to get better control of the situation. Ideally, your dog’s collar should sit just below their chin and ears. This gives you complete control of your dog’s movement. Collars will naturally slide down their neck, which gives them a lot of control in terms of pulling you in any given direction. It is important to know how to properly use a choke collar.
What Does Proper Prong Collar Placement Look Like?
It takes a little bit of setting up to get a prong collar just right. For every dog, it can take some trial and error. Using the right amount of links and knowing how to take the collar on and off can help you and your dog immensely. See our how should you place a prong collar on a dog. and where should you attach a leash to a choke chain style collar?
Can I Hurt My Dog With A Choker Chain?
The short answer is yes. A choke chain is a training tool that requires a bit of education in order to use it properly. If you have never used a choke chain with your dog, you should educate yourself before putting it on your dog. This can be done by watching choke chain training videos on YouTube or asking other dog owners in your neighborhood.
Puppy Leader Pro Tip
Some tools used for training dogs can be dangerous to their health. When used properly, they can be extremely beneficial for making sure they receive proper training. A dog will be happy to wear his choke chain if it isn’t being used to abuse him.
Is A Choke Chain Good To Stop Pulling?
One of the biggest reasons a dog owner looks towards using a choke chain is because of pulling. This creates many problems for the dog and it’s the owner. If you want to get your dog to stop pulling, a choke chain is a good tool to use. You may also want to consider reading a book on loose leash training. Here are some reasons why pulling is bad.
Who is the alpha in your pack?
Your dog will learn that it calls the shots. If you take your dog on a walk, and he/she is pulling you around everywhere, it learns that you can be manipulated. Going on walks will become increasingly difficult, as you are the one being walked, not your dog.
The pulling gets worse
The more your dog gets used to pulling, the harder it will be to gain control if your dog becomes reactive. If your dog sees a squirrel or an angry dog, you won’t be able to keep them by your side.
It becomes a choking hazard
Some dogs have a hard time showing restraint. This is especially true if they become suddenly over-interested in something during your walk. They might pull so hard that they don’t even know they are choking themselves. How does a choke chain fix choking? It makes your dog conscious of the fact that they can choke themselves. They instinctively pull less because it is more obvious to them.
When Is It Time To Try A Choke Chain?
You can start using a choke chain at an early age. When used properly, your dog will respond positively to its use. You should make sure that you are using the appropriate size choke chain for your dog, and to be more cautious when starting out with using one. There are some signs that point towards considering using a choke chain.
Too Much Pulling
As mentioned earlier, pulling can cause many issues for a dog. If you find that your dog is always pulling during your walks, considering trying a choke chain to train calmer walking behavior.
Aggression or Reactive
Some dogs can be set off. This means they will bark and lunge towards something that makes them feel this way. During a walk, this can be very startling. Without the proper equipment, you may lose control of your dog’s lead and they can go running after whatever set them off.
Puppy Leader Pro Tip
Some dogs go through a condition called leash reactive. This means they will only behave this way because they feel like they don’t have control of the situation. This is most common in a situation where one dog is running freely, while the other dog is leashed.
Can You Leave A Choke Chain On A Dog?
The short answer is yes. Most choke chains are designed to sit loosely on a dog’s neck. The “choking” part of a choke chain is only implemented when they are pulling away from you. If your dog isn’t leashed, you shouldn’t have to worry about them wearing their choke chain.
Depending on the style of the choke chain, you may want to reconsider. One style of a choke chain, the prong collar, is not as comfortable for your dog to wear. Although it works on the same principle as a regular choke chain, you should remove this collar when you’re not using it. It is important to remember that these are training tools, and should be treated as a temporary solution.
What Size Choke Chain For My Dog?
Most choke chains come in a few different sizes, but the one you choose will come down to the size of your dog’s neck. It’s hard to get the size wrong since most collars are made to adjust based on the dog’s neck size.
The best way to measure your dog is to use a measuring tape and wrap it around the top part of their neck. On the under-side of their head, it should go around the bottom of their chin. On the upper-side, it should go around the bottom of where their ears start. This is the width of their neck. Add an extra 1-2 inches to give some wiggle room.
Do I Need A Choke Chain With Spikes?
The infamous prong collar choke chains are earned a reputation for looking cruel. The premise behind this style of choke chain is to dig spikes into your dog’s neck if they pull too hard. For any human being who reads that, they would cringe at the idea of putting something like that around anything’s neck.
The fact is, dogs have very thick neck skin. Even when your dog is trying to pull, the prongs don’t cause them any harm. People who have adopted the use of a prong collar see an instant change in a dog’s behavior. Most dogs who are introduced to a prong collar stop pulling immediately.
The prong collar variant is recommended to be used with dogs that make be choking themselves on a regular collar. The prongs teach them self control and will prevent them from choking. It is also a good option for dogs that tend to be aggressive or reaction. You will be able to control the situation much more effectively.
After some extended use, your dogs can be slowly moved to using a regular collar once they learn how to walk without pulling.