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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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choke chain?

I have recently adopted a 6 month old golden and we have been going to puppy classes. I don't think his old owners walked him much and when they did he was on a choke chain. I have had him on a longer lead so he can explore and run about and enjoy himself, but on path and roadway pulling him in tighter and controlling him. I have been taking him to puppy classes, and the trainer said he should be on a full choke chain to control him, he is quite a big boy and strong but gradually over the last few weeks i feel he has improved on the lead. I was quite happy with his behaviour in class today, feeling he is slowly getting better

The trainer demonstrated the use of a choke chain on him, i could tell he was confused and distressed, growling and whining, he was being pulled in all directions and even when he was standing still he was being tugged to move he stopped growling and yelped like he was in pain. He generally tries to please and I could tell he didnt understand what was expected of him. I couldn't look it was horrible, and when she let go of him he ran and hid behind my legs.

The trainer informed me i would have to walk him on a choke chain otherwise he would become aggressive. I was very upset when i left the class I feel he is such a good little lad who hasn't had the best start in life and i dont want him to be frightened.

I know i have to be firm and be in control but I don't know what to do, he is easy to train inside the house and never has shown any aggression towards anyone.

Just need some advice really,
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 04:27 PM
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I would try a no pull harness or gentle leader. I trained Molly to walk on a leash by using a clicker.

I am not sure how not using a choke collar would make your dog aggressive. I don't think the instructor knows what he/she is talking about..
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 04:30 PM
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I would get a second opinion from a different, unaffiliated trainer. I've seen people express concerns over how their trainer is treating or advocating to treat dogs, and the majority of the responses echo "find a different trainer".

I've seen great things happen with gentle leaders (which is a harness on the head). I personally use a halter, and stop whenever he pulls b/c we're working on walking nicely and coming about when I stop.

Having said that.... when I was a child, my family's golden was sent to a foster home (when we were homeless) and the foster family trained him with a choke chain. They and we never had any other problems with him walking on the leash. But I don't feel comfortable with them, myself.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the reply, she may have meant if I don't control him, he will become aggressive, I'm not sure I was a bit upset we have a clicker so will give that a go when walking, thanks
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 05:02 PM
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Choke chains were used more in the past than they are now. 14 years ago when I took Zeke for training, the instructor took a look at him and said you need a choke chain on him. 4 years ago with Zoe the trainers and vet said use a gentle leader. I've found that it's very effective. But the best solution is to teach the dog not to pull. It takes patience and involves not moving forward if the dog starts to pull. Stop and change direction. You have to be very consistent about it. There should be you-tube videos demonstrating it.

It doesn't make sense to me that your dog would become aggressive if you didn't use a choke chain. I'd second the idea of looking for another trainer.


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 05:07 PM
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get a different trainer...

i remember our trainer was STRONGLY against any use of pinch or choke collars....
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 05:12 PM
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Different trainer.

I use a choke chain and think it's fine in the right situations (only training) and right hands (soft hands that understand how to correct and train positively).

Not using a choke chain = aggression? BALONEY.

Use the collar you are comfortable with - and honestly, I think training collars like prongs and chokes do not belong on the dog's neck if you are just casually walking and not actively training.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mich4242 View Post
I have recently adopted a 6 month old golden and we have been going to puppy classes. I don't think his old owners walked him much and when they did he was on a choke chain. I have had him on a longer lead so he can explore and run about and enjoy himself, but on path and roadway pulling him in tighter and controlling him. I have been taking him to puppy classes, and the trainer said he should be on a full choke chain to control him, he is quite a big boy and strong but gradually over the last few weeks i feel he has improved on the lead. I was quite happy with his behaviour in class today, feeling he is slowly getting better

The trainer demonstrated the use of a choke chain on him, i could tell he was confused and distressed, growling and whining, he was being pulled in all directions and even when he was standing still he was being tugged to move he stopped growling and yelped like he was in pain. He generally tries to please and I could tell he didnt understand what was expected of him. I couldn't look it was horrible, and when she let go of him he ran and hid behind my legs.

The trainer informed me i would have to walk him on a choke chain otherwise he would become aggressive. I was very upset when i left the class I feel he is such a good little lad who hasn't had the best start in life and i dont want him to be frightened.

I know i have to be firm and be in control but I don't know what to do, he is easy to train inside the house and never has shown any aggression towards anyone.

Just need some advice really,
I'd be looking for a different trainer.

We use a Sporn non-pull mesh harness for Hank. It's so comfortable for him that we still use.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 09:17 PM
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I'm of the opinion you need a different trainer.

I personally don't like gentle leaders or haltis - I'd rather use a choke chain. BUT judging from your description of your dog's behaviour, the chain is either too strong for your dog or being misused (probably both). Try a chain martingale for training. They're softer than choke chains, can still give a mild correction when needed but when NOT needed, are in 'neutral', i.e. not putting pressure on your dog. A halti/gentle leader is ALWAYS putting pressure on a dog's sensitive facial nerves, whether they're pulling or not, which is why I would recommend a martingale.

Look for a trainer who advocates using martingales.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 10:02 PM
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New trainer..is needed...

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