Jump to content
BC Boards

choke collars/ research


kaos
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi every one

I recall reading an article at some point about the extent of damage to the dogs trachea from a choke collar but I can't remember the name of the article.. can any one point me in the right direction? It is for my father, who won't listen to me, but will to an expert.

Sara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The usual "choke chain" does/can hurt the dogs' necks pretty bad. Not to mention that a lot of times they are not all that effective. With the choke collars all that is happening is a chain is tightening around the dog's neck, closing the airway even. Most places (training centers and the like) have stopped using them because of the damage they can cause with most dog. For ony the occasional light correction they are OK, but most dogs that are pulling a lot need something different.

 

The MUCH better (hardly EVER for a Border Collie though) is the Pinch Collar (or prong collar). What they do is they have little "prongs" that rest against the dog's neck, if the dog pulls they work much like the choke chains but they DO NOT harm the dog's neck at all if used right. The "prongs" are not sharp or anything like that, just a way to only put pressure on the dog's neck without constricting them, also it better imitates an Alpha biting the dog's neck as a correction (which is the whole idea behind the collars). They work great, and are safer for the dog - even though they "LOOK" meaner, they are actually much much kinder.

 

Also, don't forget that a choke, or prong collar should NEVER stay on the dog all the time. They are for TRAINING, not a replacement to their collar. Unless the dog is on a walk (or similar) take them off. And when using them, try to make progess to eventually eleminate them all together and have a nice, calm dog walking beside you.

 

I hope that helped a little.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

May I ask why?

 

From my experience (and just my experience only), harsh corrects, not enough praise, or stronger corrections (like training collars) are to much for many border collies and has caused them to shut down (when one was placed on Dazzle's neck for the first time, she tucked her tail, lowered her head, and just about rolled over - she wouldn't do anything for the rest of class, took some training to get her to recover). I have just known these dogs to be "soft" and would rather be safe (advise against using them) then sorry (causing a great dog to shut down on my behalf). Just erring on the side of caution with that comment - I way more collars used un-necessarily (or incorrectly) then I would like.

 

If you were talking about the "much better" part that is compared to the choke chain - not compared to a flat collar (or rolled leather or whatever else) Thats all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies, they are really interesting

 

However, not being a fan of prong collars and seeing them incorrectly and over-used I would hesitate to steer him in that direction...

 

So does any one recall an article about Haltis, gentle leaders, or something like that.. would a martingale be more favourable?

 

It is for an intact, somewhat pushy male airedale that needs to learn some leash manners etc.

 

Sara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sara,

For someone who has been out from dog training for some years this discussion is very interesting. 10 years ago the choke collars were really common and I have to admit that I never had any problem with them except for their name!! You NEVER, EVER use a choke collar when you train a dog that likes to pull. As a BC usually wants to go forward it is usually enough to stop and wait until they sit down as they are not getting anywhere. Then with a loose leach it is liver time. They usually get the idea very quick!

 

When your dog doesn't pull any more a loose "choke" collar is just hanging there. Easy to get on, easy to get off and no strain at all on the dogs neck. But tell your old man NEVER, EVER USE A CHOKE COLLAR IN TRAINING OR IF YOUR DOG HAS A TENDENCY TO PULL. Patience and treats are usually enough!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Lulu wears a "choke chain" along with her buckle collar whenever we're away from home, but not as a training tool. When I first got her she'd bolt in blind panic at the sight of a stranger, and she would have pulled/thrashed/twisted out of a buckle collar in no time. The chain collar served as back-up --- and it saved the day more than once.

 

Lu is much, much better with people now, but I think I'll always keep a slip collar on her when we're out and about, for my own peace of mind. I usually fasten the leash to both collars: to the D-ring on her buckle collar and the "live" ring on the chain collar.

 

If there's any chance an untrained dog might slip out of its primary collar, I'd recommend a slip collar of some sort for extra security. (I've never known a dog that couldn't squirm out of a Gentle Leader/Halti, and prong collars should always have back-up.)

 

And it goes without saying that no dog should wear a slip collar when not supervised: I've heard of dogs strangling in crates, strangling when caught on fences [this happened to a coworker's dog], all kinds of awful stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks MaggieDog

That article is quite helpful. My concern is that the dog is walking at a constant pull, inother words the collar is always constricted...it isn't "Training" anything. I was hoping to get him to use a gnetle leader or halti (even if he misuses these, and allows him to pull, I wonder if the damage would be less brutal)

Does any one have any statistics on these type of collars?

Sara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Careful with haltis and the like. without using them properly - it is surprisingly easy to snap a dogs neck. Once again, they are a training tool, and constant pulling can (and will) hurt the dog over time. Haltis are actually (IMO) way more complicated to use properly (lots of things to check AND it takes awhile to train a dog to like them). They are OK if you know how to use them, and are willing to do all the safety checks EVERY TIME - or it will hurt the dog pretty bad too.

 

What about a simple harness (it won't stop the pulling in any way, but much nicer on the dog, and they can't really be misused :rolleyes: ). May not be considered a "training tool" but if the dog is going to be pulling, and nothing really done to stop it - a flat collar can even cause damage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Especially for Kat's dogs: That's why I really like a prong collar. You can control a dog (even a BC) without doing damage to the dog's throat or neck. And I do use prong collars on my BCs; I'm 60 years old and don't like being pulled and I also worry about falling and breaking something important, like my hip. Maybe I should just send my BCs to rescue and hope they're adopted by someone younger.

Barb S

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Careful with haltis and the like. without using them properly - it is surprisingly easy to snap a dogs neck.

 

You know, people claim this all the time but I have never ever seen (a) a documented case where this has actually happened nor (:rolleyes: any hard data. Having used a Gentle Leader on Solo, I cannot see how there is any real risk that this will happen unless the owner is such a dumbass that s/he is doing something like using the headcollar with a long line, and adjusting it really, really wrong. (These are situations in which a prong collar would be equally dangerous, by the way.) The Gentle Leader fastens under the dog's throatlatch, not under his chin. It does not "whip" the dog's head around. If the dog pulls he should go straight into the headcollar and if anything his head will be bent toward his chest (kind of like a draw rein on a harness horse) but that's it.

 

I actually see zero reason for a dog to wear a training collar of any kind unless that dog has specific issues that require specific control of the head (aggression, eating rocks, sticks, feces) in which case I would use a Gentle Leader because it can be used specifically to control the dog's mouth.

 

For dogs that pull and don't need their heads controlled I really like the no-pull harnesses by Sense-ation or Gentle Leader ("Easywalk"). They work like a charm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, a Gentle Leader is well-nigh impossible for a dog to escape if adjusted properly. The neck strap should be tight; the muzzle loop should be loose enough to slide down to the nose leather but not off the nose. Even if the muzzle loop is lost the dog is still left on the neck strap, which is basically a collar worn high, right behind the ears, and no more prone to failure than a normal collar. The Halti is a different story -- not as adjustable, does not fit all head shapes well, and requires a separate connection to a flat collar in order for the dog to be secure.

 

I don't walk either dog on any training collars, for the record, unless I have to take them through a very crowded area. Then I will put a Gentle Leader on Solo for insurance, and one on Fly so that people will leave both of them alone. For us, the benefit is that some people think they are muzzles, and are unlikely to approach dogs wearing them, which works for us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe I should just send my BCs to rescue and hope they're adopted by someone younger.
Oh come on. I already explained why I said that. I don't have ANYTHING WRONG WITH ANYONE USING PRONG COLLARS ON BORDER COLLIES. Ok? I was after all suggesting their use for this person.

 

I was JUST SAYING that they CAN BE hard on some BCs (like my Dazzle) so I didn't want someone to use that handy-dandy search tool and say "OK, a prong collar is the best thing in the world for a BC. I am going to use one all the time now". And then end up scaring their dog with the correction. But it is FINE FOR SOME BORDER COLLIES. I was just being cautious okay. I said nothing that said "don't use prong collars on your BCs!"

 

In terms of the halis. I have seen people play fetch with their dogs, while the dog is on a long line, attached to a gentle leader or halti. Very bad idea. Like any training tool I still believe that they could injure a dog if put in the wrong, unknowing hands. And like any other training tool, you do have to make sure you use it correctly or you will have problems. By "snapping their necks" I didn't mean breaking the dog's neck, just twisting their necks back suddenly causing some stress. But as a training tool they do work really well. But to the OP, any kind of traning tool could probobly in some way be misused - so looking for something that is fool-proof, a halti isn't the best choice either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About prong collars on border collies: I used one on my then 7 months old male pup, and it did wonders. After about 1.5 months we stopped using it. I used it with the prongs on the outside 90% of the time and it still did the trick.

I was very much against it, and it was my husband that bought it and put it on Ouzo, and for the first week I thought he's a criminal for doing that to our pup , until I took him for a walk with the prong collar on and I came home smiling and hugged my husband :rolleyes::D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Willy, my BC that passed on about a year and a half ago was about three when we got him from the shelter. He was a handful at 65 lbs and on our daily morning runs would pull my arm of. (No kidding, my right arm is now six inches longer because of nine years with Willy.) :rolleyes:

 

In his second obedience class, to work with the pulling and jumping 6 1/2 foot fences when he heard a lawnmower, the instructor suggested a prong coller. I really agonized over it but gave in after a particularly rough run one morning. Within a week he was workable on our runs and didn't act like he was trying to audition for the next sled dog movie. Before the prong I had tried a gentle leader but it just didn't work for us.

 

My pup Derry that I got after Willy I vowed to train from the get go without the prong. Her problems when we get out are the dogs next door, who she likes to run up and down the fence with, and cars during our predawn excursions.

 

I tried a gentle leader with her and she would do a face plow and refuse to stop. Finally I've had the best luck with a wide collar and lots of leash work, (reverses, a couple of short tugs.) Derry responds really well to working with her space, which, in spite of her being a headstrong teenager makes her pretty easy now to work with.

 

My advice... lots of time and practice. The prong as the final resort and only to act like a small bite or encrouchment on the neck from an Alpha dog. I can't emphasize that word "small" enough. Its funny though. Now that I run with Derry and our eight year old rescue Ellie I notice that whenever Derry gets to misbehaving Ellie moves over and gives Derry a little nip at the neck and Derry stops. Dog behavior...simply fascinating...

Good Luck!

-jay

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really dislike Choke Chains, and when I didn't I didn't know how to use them and had absolutely no Luck with them. I ended using a gentle leader and it worked wonders, and for that I am grateful that I didn't need to get a prong collar.

 

One warning with the gentle leaders is to make sure they are on correctly, I have seen dogs missing a line of fur on their nose because their person didn't put it on right.

 

And there is NEVER a need to jerk a dog?s leash, with a halti all was ever needed was a slight pull in the right direction and Missy would behave again, just needed to remind her.

Before the halti she could literally pull me around with no effort in her part. It was an INSTENT change, she became an Angel:)

 

So what it comes down to is that it:

 

REALLY just comes down to the dog, every dog is different.

 

Some respond to the halti's and gentle leaders

 

Some need harnesses

 

And sometimes the prong collars

 

And if none of the works some need the shock collar. (Which really aren't all that bad)

 

I have a friend who has a GSD and lives on a farm with horses. The GSD would not leave the horses alone and my friend really feared for her dogs? life. She tried everything and when nothing worked she got a shock collar. Always gave her pup a warning beep and when she didn't listen she got a little shock. Needless to say, Her dog no longer bothers the horses and no longer needs the collar

 

 

I don't know if any of this will help you convince your dad to use a different method, but I sure hope so... and if worse comes to worse, try to mention it to the vet and see if you can get your vet to talk to your father about it. or give you some helpful resources.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a note - it is not suggested to use a prong collar (or chokes) on puppies. They are still just being playful when they pull on the leash they just don't know any different, and adult is trying to get ahead (if unkowingly) of you (the alpha) which is bad, but on pups that really isn't saying much if they get ahead of you. When you have a pup (0 months - about 6 months) using treats/toys to leash train them not to pull is better - but by all means, you can get them used to the prong collar on them as pups, but not use it until they are a little older.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prong collars are rarely if ever used in the UK in my experience and are frowned upon probably more than choke chains.Shock collars will in all likelyhood be banned here soon.

Most people use a half check for obedience work, the correction coming as much from the sound of the chain as from any checking action.

For real pullers I like the Dogalter or Canny Collar, some dogs can still learn to pull like a train with the Canny Collar however.

I use a Dogalter linked to a half check for road work and a light half check for obedience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...