Is a Choke Chain Bad For a Dog? What to Learn About Chains

I’m sure many of you have already heard of the choke chain, which is something owners use for training or discipline. However, is a choke chain bad for a dog? I’ve heard a lot of horror stories and bad reviews on it, that I decided to try looking for the good and bad in it. After all, I don’t want to be subjective and assume that something’s bad without doing the research.

With that being said, I weighed the pros and cons, asked experts, and did the research. So read on as I show you if the choke chain is a good or bad decision for your dog today.

Is a Choke Chain Bad For a Dog
Boston Terrier dog wearing choke chain against sand.

What Is a Choke Chain?

You’ve probably heard of the choke chain or collar, which is made of metal and sitting around the dog’s neck. This collar is designed to sit high up on your dog’s neck, right behind the ears. It would tighten as you pull or jerk the leash, hence the name “choke collar”.

These types of collars are designed to stop any bad behavior during walks or training. Many dog owners use these collars in training situation, keeping the dog’s composure outside the house. It’s also used on aggressive dogs or larger dog breeds.

When you think about it, it’s actually pretty scary having to wear or put it on your dog! Here are its pros and cons:

The Good

  • Choke chains are designed to help correct bad behaviors, with the tightening of the chain signifying what your dog’s doing is bad. When he feels it tighten, he will know what’s wrong and stop the behavior. This is why it’s always used in training.
  • Aggressive dogs can lessen their anger and tenseness while walking outside with the choke chain. You’re able to control them more in case they show aggression towards random people or animals. You have more control with your dog to prevent any injuries or accidents.

The Bad

  • Because you are pulling and jerking the leash to tighten the chains, the sudden movement can cause choking. You aren’t able to control the way the chain tightens, which may cause choking or strangling.
  • Take note that the choke chain suppresses any and behaviors, BUT it doesn’t teach them what’s proper.
  • Because they feel unpleasant to the dog, it may cause even more aggression, leading to him biting you.
  • Using the choke chain wrongly or too much can cause various health problems. It may cause injuries around the throat, the blood vessels in their eyes, neck sprains, nerve damage, fainting or paralysis, which are all serious and deadly.
  • Dogs will have negative associations with the choke chain and feel nervous around it. In fact, they might also be nervous around you knowing that you and the chain are what causes the choking feeling. This loses their trust and affection, showing more fear in the dog.
  • There are actually many other better alternatives to the choke chain, which can be used in training without health issues.

Is A Choke Chain Bad For A Dog?

Now that you’re familiar with what the choke chain offers, is it good to use it on your dog? As you can see, there are too many disadvantages than benefits to it that make it not suitable to use.

For me, many owners, as well as dog experts, it’s highly recommended NOT to use a choke chain. Because it has more disadvantages than benefits, the chain may affect your dog’s physical and mental health in the long run.

However, choke chains can still be used, but only for larger, more aggressive dogs to correct behavior. A choke chain is NOT made for small breeds with fragile necks, as it can cause choking.

Furthermore, if you are considering a choke collar for your dog, it’s best to consult the veterinarian or your dog’s trainer to see if this is the best choice. They may advise against it, or have you create a customized choke chain that tightens, but fits your dog’s neck appropriately to prevent pain and health issues.

While I don’t want to use a choke chain on my dog, it’s still safe to train with IF DONE PROPERLY. With that being said, here’s a helpful video on safe and effective choke chain dog training:

Wrapping It Up

While choke chains are said to be beneficial for training, they’re actually not as beneficial as people think it to be. In fact, I highly recommend it and would rather go for other forms of training equipment. That way, your dog won’t be in pain and will learn to enjoy and learn without the “punishing” feeling.

Hopefully, this article answers your question, “Is a choke chain bad for a dog?” Now that you know the answer, make sure that you only choose the right types of dog accessories your dog will love and learn from.

2 thoughts on “Is a Choke Chain Bad For a Dog? What to Learn About Chains”

  1. The same reason they’d be bad for people. Get your other half to take you for a walk down a busy street while you are wearing one and see how if feels if he tugs you this way and that. If it’s not something you’d do to a friend or family member don’t do it to your dog!


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