Oklahoma, I definitely respect that you have a separate opinion, but the outcry is not against the word choke itself. That would suggest that we're mindlessly fearing something based off of it's name. The thoughts and opinions for or against it have been mindfully thought out.
You could name it the laughing fluffy pink elephant collar, and people who believe in positively training a dog still wouldn't use it.
I agree with Catherine that all tools have pros, and cons, and associated risks with proper or in-proper use, but there really isn't a reason to use a choke on a puppy.
There is actually a lot of physical harm that can come from using choke chains, from minor things like hair entanglement/ripping, to major thing like paralysis of the dog.
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We'll have to agree to disagree. I've had a choke chain on my neck and had it jerked pretty hard. It's not painful and it doesn't really choke; there's just pressure. As I said, I watched a 70-year-old woman demonstrate it.
I've also used it effectively to get a boisterous large dog into a place where he could be handled by anyone.
All of the things you mentioned can also be caused by collars, prong collars, etc. The choke chain isn't a dangerous device when used properly, anymore than a nylon collar is, so it's unfair to single it out as being especially dangerous. I've seen prong collars open up skin which, to me, is much more of a concern when it comes to the dog's comfort.
As I said way back there has to be an agreement to disagree, however I will add that I "demo'd" a pinch collar on myself (on my arm) and I pulled hard. It doesn't hurt, but is annoying. The important thing about using a pinch is not to jerk it. You let the DOG CORRECT ITSELF, so they decide what is the limit of comfort. Both my dogs self correct on pinch collars, but will pull unendingly against an unlimited slip collar (no matter what it is made of). I have never seen a dog hurt when a pinch collar was used properly. But then again the operative point here is "used properly" as it applies to any tool a well informed trainer chooses. Proper use for pinch and slip collars to me means never on a puppy or a grown dog for which a flat buckle collar or martingale gives appropriate control.
Lily AKC: CGC CD HIT CDX, RN RA RE RAE RAE2 RAE3 RAE4 RAE5 Multiple Rally High Combined, NA NAJ; APDT: RL-1; CPE: CL1-R, CL1-H, CL1-F, CL1-S, CL1
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Cutting off the brain's supply of air is never a good thing for no matter how long you do it, a second or a minute or otherwise.
If a choke collar is the only way you could manage your foster dog then that's not really speaking well of your abilities or the trainer's. Really, if that's the best they could do then you could have saved your money and come up with the choke collar idea yourself. Maybe you need easier dogs? What if this dog had a collapsible trachea? Would it never have been able to walk on leash??
Dogs don't "correct" themselves. Dogs do what they do and the equipment we put on them has an effect. They are trying to avoid the aversive stimuli unless they're so over stimulated that they don't feel it, or unless they don't understand and keep coming up against it, not knowing how to avoid it. Not really a great way to be training dogs. Using pain and discomfort. And for the record, something doesn't have to cause pain for it to be highly aversive. An example. I have an iron infusion. Jabbing the needle into my vein hurt but didn't bother me so much. What didn't hurt but really did bother me was the rooting around in my vein, trying to find the blood flow. It made me feel sick. I would have rather been stuck over and over in new places than having the needle moving around in the vein.
And you putting a choke or prong collar on your arm (useless since that's not where dogs wear it and the arm is less sensitive than the neck) or even on your neck or another person's neck and jerking is great but how do you know that's what it's like for a dog? A dog is lower to the ground than you are, you're pulling from a sharp upwards angle, and they don't control the power with which you pull it, and pain and discomfort is subjective. What hurts or bothers one person may not hurt or bother the next. And yet again, it's punishing the dog for communicating that they're uncomfortable with a situation (reactive dog on leash), or punishing them for your not training well (not complying when you ask for a cue).
The least intrusive method and tool is always the best. Studies show this to be the case. Force is base. Use your intellect.
I was walking my two girls, (a total of 135 lbs of spoo,) when a cat decided to join the party. Shandy had on a choke because the trainers we went through couldn't help with her pulling and chase drive and it was a last resort. Shasta had on a regular flat collar. They whipped me off my feet and drug me a ways. I broke my elbow and my wrist. Shandy was still choking herself when the neighbor came to my aide.
I had to board both dogs during my initial recovery and then had to hire a dog walker for a couple of months after. But when I boarded them, a wonderful thing happened. The halti (or gentle leader) came into our lives.
Anytime the dogs would start to pull, the halti would lower their heads taking away the reward of smell, sight, or dominance that they were pulling for to begin with. They both hated the halti at first and would roll on the ground trying to get it off. After taking off a few time to chase another dog or squirrel and ending up yanking themselves around in the process they started to get the idea. After a while I begin to put the halti on without slipping it over their nose unless they started to pull or if we were in a high stimulus environment. After a few months it was funny to watch Shandy react to things use to trigger her chase instinct. She would still bark and get excited, but she would jump straight up and down to avoid her eyes being diverted from her folly. Eventually the haltis were retired due to stellar behavior. The halti saved my sanity and my bones.
As for public reaction - When using the choke on her I would get bunches of "kind souls" telling me how inhuman they were. When using the halti, people at times assumed it was a muzzle and gave me frowns and grief. My calm response was to give the brief story of how many dogs I saw put down for behavior problems when working with a kill shelter. There are a few people out there who throw a choke chain on a dog as a first stab at training, but most have tried, and failed, conventional training first.
I see both sides of the arguments for and against the use of chokes posted above. And I certainly do not posses any knowledge to argue with either. However, I do believe without a shadow of a doubt that every opinion stated comes from the heart. Only those totally smitten with their babies are going to join a forum like this to share that love. And on that note - I close and go belly rub my favorite ball of fluff.
A poo a day keeps the doctor away.
I have seen a head collar used on a Bernese Mountain Dog in my puppy class. The dog is huge and the owner had no control. She tried prong and choke collars at home (they were not allowed in class) to no avail. I am sure she did not use them correctly as she had great difficulty training her dog. Within a relatively short time the dog was walking on a loose lead. I think it is great that someone who does not have good technique is able to use this collar effectively and be able to walk safely with their dog.
The point is, if you (incorrectly) chalk everything up to dominance or submission, you're selling yourself and your dog short and making things difficult on yourself. People get blinded by thinking that their dog is trying to take over and they don't see the real cause of the problem behavior in order to address it. It becomes like throwing a bandaid over a festering wound.