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Why do people use choke chains on dogs?

Where Should You Attach a Leash to a Choke Chain Style Collar?

Without the necessary training, dogs tend to misbehave. So, what is the best way to train your dog? The best method you can use to ensure your dog behaves well is by using a choke chain-style type of collar.

Below, we’ll expound more on where you should attach a leash to a choke chain-style collar.

Where Should You Attach a Leash to a Choke Chain-Style Collar?

The position where you place the choke chain-style collar on your dog will determine the outcomes of the training. So, where is the best place to attach the leash to a choke chain-style collar?

The outermost ring is ideal for attaching a leash to a choke chain-style collar. It will ensure that a loose fit occurs. Attaching the leash to the outermost ring will give you maximum control over the amount of pressure you will exert on the dog.

It will help you facilitate enough pressure for your dog to obey. Basically, when you say heel and pull the leash, your dog should be able to respond to your command,

Your main objective should be to ensure that the collar lies comfortably on the dog’s neck. Some of the top things you should avoid when attaching the leash to the collar include the following:

  • Establishing a tight fit
  • Attaching the leash to both the outer and inner rings.

Your dog’s safety should be among your top considerations. Here is a simple list of choke-style collars you can consider using:

  • Slip Collars: They provide an excellent choice for attaching a leash if you own a delicate dog or a new puppy.
  • Martingale collars: The collars are ideal for dogs with large and wide necks compared to the head.
  • Prong collars: The prong collars are best for dogs with excessive neck fat or large dogs.

Ultimately, despite the choke collar type, the outermost ring is the ideal place to attach a leash to the choke chain collar. Aim to ensure you create a light and loose feeling that only tightens when you apply corrective measures.

Overview of Choke Collar

Is a choke collar cruel to animals? That is often the first question that most dog owners ask. Many individuals have a misconception that the collars ensure the mistreatment of their dogs. However, that is further from the truth.

If you use the choke collar well, you can quickly train and discipline your dog efficiently. Producers make the choke chain collar using metal links. The main reason for the design is to enable you to control your dog well.

One essential point to note is that improper use of the choke chain-style collar can seriously damage your pet’s overall health. Like the human neck, a dog’s neck is also sensitive. Below is a simple guide to help you determine where to attach a leash to a choke chain-style collar.

How do Choke Collars work?

The main objective of using a choke collar is to train your dog to behave well. For the collar to work effectively, you must first attach the leash to the dog’s collar. Then pull the leash when the dog misbehaves.

The choke chain will tighten on the dog’s neck when you pull the leash and loosen as you let go. Tugging the leash provides an efficient way to communicate with your dog. It will help the dog identify behaviors that it should stop, thus, allowing a fast response to your commands.

Some of the things to keep in mind while using the choke chain style collar include:

  • Use of correct choke chain size
  • Watch out for any discomfort that your dog may display
  • Remove the collar after training
  • Praise your dog if it demonstrates good behavior.

Why Is It Necessary to Put on a Choke Collar Properly?

The choke collar works by tightening your dog’s neck to indicate behaviors your pet should avoid. One vital point to note is that the collar is ideal for training only, not a regular one. If you use it incorrectly, you stand a high chance of doing the following:

  • Choking the dog
  • Causing injuries to the esophagus and trachea
  • Causing neck sprains, transient paralysis, fainting, nerve damage
  • Causing blood vessels injuries
  • Death

The main goal of using the choke collar should not be for punishment, but as a source of communication. Thus, given the dangers of incorrect use of choke collars, you should learn how to use them effectively. The section below provides simple steps that you can use to put the choke collar on your dog.

How to Put a Choke Collar on Your Dog Correctly?

The correct method of putting a choke collar on your dog goes along with facilitating training and discipline. One essential thing to note is that your dog should wear the collar only during training sessions. Here is a guide you should use to put a choke collar on your dog:

Thread One End of the Chain Through a Ring

Most choke collars, such as prong collars, will have two rings joined by a chain. The first step will require you to create a circle by taking one ring and dropping the chain. This step ensures the chain can move freely through the ring. Also, avoid an entangled chain.

Get Your Dog Excited

If you are planning to use the choke collar for the first time, there is a high chance that the dog will not be as receptive as you would hope. Thus, keep your dog excited about using the choke chain.

The training sessions should not be one of the most dreaded times but a welcoming one. You can consider using treats to encourage the use of the choke collar.

Show the Dog the Collar

You can help your dog be more accepting of the choke collar by first making sure you familiarize your pet with the collar. Let the dog explore the collar by looking at it, playing with it, or sniffing it. The more your dogs are comfortable with the notion and sight of the collar, the higher the acceptance rate.

Make a P Shape

You will need to make a P shape using the choke chain in this step. The P shape should allow your dog’s neck to fit.

First, you should note that the choke chain has two rings; a live ring and a dead ring. The live ring is the one you can move, while the dead ring is the one you will use to loop the chain. Take the end of the chain and lower it through one ring till you have the P shape.

Face Your Dog from the Front

If your dog has the regular collar on, remove it, then make it sit. Afterward, you must ensure that you place the collar in a perfect position to avoid it facing the wrong way. The best way is often by facing the dog’s front or having it face you.

Put It on Quickly

At this step, you must ensure that the dog is receptive to the collar chain and retains the P shape. Make sure you put on the collar quickly to avoid the chance of resistance. In addition, if you note signs of resistance, encourage your dog to accept the collar by providing it with its favorite treats.

Check the Collar

Checking the collar can help prevent any accidents from happening. Make sure you allow a loose fit that offers enough room for the collar to tighten without strangling your dog. A tight fit is not suitable, as the more the collar tightens, the riskier it is for your dog.

Putting It in the Right Position

Like a human’s, a dog’s neck is very sensitive. Thus, ensure you avoid placing the choke chains on your dog’s neck to protect against strangling or trachea damage. The best position is either below or behind the ears.

Walk on the Right-hand Side

After your dog wears the choke collar, leave it on for a few minutes to ensure adaptability. Then attach a leash before you begin walking the dog. When walking the dog, consider the P shape of the collar. It means that you should use the left side to walk the dog.

However, keep the dog on the right side of the choke chain is on the right side. Also, ensure that the leash is slack to ensure you can correct your dog in case of misbehavior. If the leash is tight, your dog will get used to the pressure.

Bottom Line

A choke chain-style collar is a vital tool that you can use to train your dog. The only trick is learning how to use it correctly. A lack of proper use can put your dog at risk of strangulation or neck injuries. Thus, your ultimate goal should be to ensure you train your dog well while facilitating the utmost care.

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Choke and Prong Dog Training Collars & Their Effects on Behavior

These dog training collars provide a painful physical consequence if your dog pulls or lunges on the leash.


Many dog trainers, aren’t fond of choke and prong dog training collars because there are less risky, pain-free tools available. Yet, for the sake of objectivity, they can work on certain dogs. Some dogs respond instantly to a physical consequence and when a timely, physical correction is provided, the behavior exhibited at the time of correction stops immediately. If these collars are going to work, they will work within a day or two and then the collar should be removed. If your dog has not changed their behavior in this time frame, the collar is not working for your dog!


The dog doesn’t learn how to walk on a loose leash.
Choke and prong dog training collars do not teach your dog how to walk on a loose leash, they only keep your dog from pulling while he is actually wearing the collar. Why is this important? If you do not teach your dog the behavior of not pulling, you’ll have to use the choke or prong collar for the rest of the dog’s life.

Physical damage
Any collar that tightens or provides concentrated pressure points on the dog’s throat can cause physical injury. Serious and irreversible injury is common in dogs that wear these collars long-term and continuously strain on the leash. The throat and neck are quite sensitive, and scar tissue quickly develops from repeated bruising of the muscles and ligaments. Scar tissue deadens feeling in the area.

Dogs lose their sensitivity when this occurs and can literally choke or receive puncture wounds before they feel the pain of their actions. Aside from the choking risk, permanent damage is evidenced in labored or noisy breathing, a “goose-honk” cough, and frequent dry coughing. Many dogs will suffer a collapsed trachea from these collars.

It does not take a lot of pressure to sustain an injury of this magnitude. Allowing a device to physically punish your pet in the presence of children or other animals can quickly create fear resulting in child-aggressive and dog-aggressive animals. Once learned, both behaviors are enormously challenging to unlearn.

Emotional damage; creating fear or aggression.
Clinical studies have shown that the use of some dog training collars INCREASES the negative behaviors owners are trying to correct and CREATES new problems which are substantially worse then a dog pulling on leash. Dogs learn by association. If they’re wearing a choke or prong collar, which provides painful corrections, they can associate the object they see or the environment they’re in at the time of correction as the source of their pain. If your dog pulls or lunges when another dog approaches, their collar tightens up, providing a painful correction. In a short period of time, your dog can become conditioned to react negatively every time he sees another dog.

When you apply the psychology, it looks like this: see another dog = get excited = pain = fearful or aggressive response. Here’s the risk- the next time your dog sees another dog he’s going to become fearful and may likely offer an aggressive response designed to scare the other dog away before it causes him to get hurt again.

This formula applies to any other object or situation in which the dog is being corrected. The American Veterinary Board of Animal Behavior offers this valuable handout for dog owners on the use of punishment and its risks. AVSAB Punishment Statement

Safer Choices

Paws In Training collars

Teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash is easier than you may think and eliminates the need to use painful collars. While your dog is learning to walk on a leash, our dog trainers recommend using the Easy Walk or Freedom harness. These tools are pain-free for your pet, eliminate pulling, and allow you to change your pet’s problem behavior without the risk of increasing it. Like all dog training tools, these are intended for temporary use. The best choice is to train your dog to walk properly on a leash, and a professional dog trainer is your best tool for that.

©Paws in Training 2009

The goal of all dog training is to provide peaceable solutions to everyday problems so that pets and their owners live harmoniously. Paws in Training provides dog and cat training services in Raleigh, Apex, Holly Springs, Cary, Fuquay Varina and Garner, N.C.

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