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My Deanie boy starts his training Monday and his trainer said that I need a choke-slip type collar. The problem is I had a very bad experience with choke collars when I was a kid (a family member was watching my cocker spaniel and put her out on a tie out with her choker, she ended up choking herself to death chasing a rabbit:() so I'm really nervous about using one. Are they bad for dogs? Should I use a choker (do they have cloth ones) or would his harness work well enough for training?
 

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I would talk to the trainer and express your concerns. If he/she is adamant that they must use a choke collar, that would be a turn off to me, because I think trainers should be flexible to work with each individual dog/handler.

Slip collars do come in nylon. I generally prefer a prong collar to a slip if given a choice.
 

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Kate
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My Deanie boy starts his training Monday and his trainer said that I need a choke-slip type collar. The problem is I had a very bad experience with choke collars when I was a kid (a family member was watching my cocker spaniel and put her out on a tie out with her choker, she ended up choking herself to death chasing a rabbit:() so I'm really nervous about using one. Are they bad for dogs? Should I use a choker (do they have cloth ones) or would his harness work well enough for training?
They are very bad if used inappropriately.... any type of collar which tightens up when the dog pulls should not be put on the dog while on a tie-out. These type of stories were what my old teacher lectured and lectured about in puppy class, demonstrating with people's wrists what happens when you put the collar on backwards and so on. When you put the chain on correctly, it releases when you let up pressure. When you put it on backwards, it stays tight even when you let up pressure.

I'm going to guess if the dog choked herself to death that the chain did not release - which probably means it was put on backwards as well as being used inappropriately (never put a training collar on a dog if you are not going to be right there watching them).

I'm not saying you should use one, but I wanted to point out what happened wrong with the collar that it made so dangerous.

I use choke chains on my guys. There's one regular thicker chain I use on both for obedience, and I use a finer chain for conformation. I've used choke chains for a very long time. Only for training and the chains themselves are only on the live-ring when we are in fact working. You don't want your dogs pulling on the live ring. You want it hanging loose and not felt at all unless the dog is being corrected.

All that said, I would not put a choke chain on a young dog unless you yourself are very experienced and are going to receive hands on training as far as using the collar correctly. Same thing with prongs. My old teacher only put these collars on dogs when they were starting competition classes and the trainers had been through over a year's worth of training before hand and knew how to correct the dogs and keep the leash loose.

I think the huge reason why there is such a blow up about prongs and chokes causing injuries is because these collars are handed out like candy to puppy trainers who will only attend one session of training before the rest of the dog's life.
 

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If you are not comfortable using a 'choke/slip collar' on your dog, don't use one, a harness or flat collar will do just fine.
 

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Any collar used incorrectly can harm a dog. Putting a dog on a tie out with slip collar is very dangerous. (I don't think dogs should be on tie outs anyway)

I like to use martingales for puppies.
 

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KCGold
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I personally do not use choke collars, as my trainers have always taught us to use a pinch collar. But as most have mentioned these collars can be a great training tool, IF YOU ARE TAUGHT HOW TO PROPERLY USE THEM!

But as some have said, if you do not like the collar, find another trainer...
 

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I've been training dogs for almost 4 years now and I'm going to say find yourself a new trainer. Any trainer that tells you you need choke collars is clearly not a positive trainer And I don't care what anyone says, you don't need punishment and dominance, ESPECIALLY NOT WITH GOLDENS! It honestly amazes and shocks me that so many people, especially on a Golden site, would suggest a choke or even worse a a prong or shock collar even if you do use it properly. You will ruin the relationship between you and your dog and cause potentially serious and dangerous side effects later in life. Get yourself a clicker and google search Zak George.
 

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Kate
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even if you do use it properly. You will ruin the relationship between you and your dog and cause potentially serious and dangerous side effects later in life. .
This is a fallacy.

And it's important to explain since this is a public forum and you have a lot of people who don't have much exposure to good trainers.

Majority of dog trainers who use corrections - also clicker train. Or use a form of clicker training.

Majority of dog trainers who use corrections can truthfully say they are 99% positive trainers. This means that they train with rewards and positively motivate their dogs to "play" the training game. Corrections do have a role in training, as do training collars like prongs, but they do not break the dog nor injure the relationships which the owner trainers have with their dogs.

I do believe that if some people who are the heaviest critics of prongs actually saw these tools used correctly and were exposed to very good trainers, they would definitely tone down the negative perspectives of how other people train.

I have always trained with choke chains on my dogs. And my dogs love me more than anything else. They are my dogs through and through and both have a very close bond with me. A lot of that is related to training. I'm the one who trains with them. And I literally have to crate one or shut him in a room to keep him from rushing out to claim his place at my side and get his head into the choke chain while the other is working.

My relationship with my dogs is richer than some of the relationships that I've seen between some people and their dogs who have never had a correction in their life. I'm not going to say it's all about my magnetic personality. LOL.

Training your dogs and having fun with them builds that solid relationship.

The problem again as I said earlier is that you have dummies handing choke chains and prongs out like candy to people who have hard hands or don't understand how to correct or work with their dogs. And you wind up with owners putting the collars on backwards, putting the prongs on dogs and letting them PULL on these prongs, and putting these collars on dogs in non-training situations.

**** Thought I'd add this, because it's had me smiling all weekend. This was a video of a training team that went to the National obedience championship. I don't know this guy's training method or anything like that. What I do see is a solid relationship which this guy has with his dog. And this is not uncommon as far as people and their dogs who compete at high levels. That is the time spent on training and "playing the game" that goes into building that solid bond with your dog.

And it is a truth that abuse and unfair corrections... nagging... frustrating... and confusing your dog can harm that relationship you have with your dog. That isn't based on tools or methods, necessarily. It's based on how you are communicating with your dog and your ability to positively motivate your dog and make all this fun for the dog.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlkAaJvS8Lw
 

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No, bad results happen when a collar is left on a dog. There are hundreds of pictures showing pretty much the same thing done by a flat collar.
 

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Kate
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For a collar to cause that much damage, it has to be left on a growing dog and allow to become embedded. These are serious neglect cases. I've seen similar things (unfortunately) with the collars used for invisible fencing. The owners leave these collars on all the time and do not adjust for growth - which causes the IF prongs to dig into the scalp and cause similar wounds.
 

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Wyatt Earp
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I've been training dogs for almost 4 years now and I'm going to say find yourself a new trainer. Any trainer that tells you you need choke collars is clearly not a positive trainer And I don't care what anyone says, you don't need punishment and dominance, ESPECIALLY NOT WITH GOLDENS! It honestly amazes and shocks me that so many people, especially on a Golden site, would suggest a choke or even worse a a prong or shock collar even if you do use it properly. You will ruin the relationship between you and your dog and cause potentially serious and dangerous side effects later in life. Get yourself a clicker and google search Zak George.
This is not true! A choke, prong, and ecollar are terrific training tools when used correctly with no ill side effects. And yes on a golden.

OP I would suggest talking to the trainer. Perhaps she can ease some of your fears. Good luck!
 

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Thor's Momma
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What a sweet story up there ^^
All I can say is flat collars can be really dangerous as well. When Thor was younger he was pulling so hard he would cough and gag. This happened only a couple times before I ran out and got an easy walk harness. I didn't know how to use a prong or choke so I was not willing to take that route. Had I been instructed, I would have gotten one. The harness was the best for me as it was something I could use myself and it wouldn't hurt him if put on properly. Now that I have him trained to loose leash walk, I can use a flat collar or harness. All this said to make a point that flat collars can be dangerous as well. It really scared me to see Thor choke like that. All tools we use can cause harm if we aren't using them correctly. It's all about education on the tools we choose :)


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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The age old argument 'When used correctly training collars cause no 'damage'.' bears no weight in a situation where you have a new dog owner learning to train a dog. Nobody is born knowing how to train a dog nor how to use a 'training' collar 'correctly'. Used 'incorrectly' (one must learn to use it correctly and during the learning process mistakes are made to the detriment of the dog) there is a risk and potential for physical damage including soft tissue injuries, damage to trachea, neurological damage, not to mention inflicting unnecessary pain on the dog. Anyone who is considering putting a choke collar on their dog should be aware that there are risks of physical injury and permanent damage to their dog.
 

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Edie Ann
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I don't and won't use pinch or choke training aids on my Golden! I don't like yanking on a standard collar. I use a freedom sholder harness with a d ring under the breast plate and another on top by her shoulders. She loves it and I feel good about using it! It works without pain on either of us! Please, find another trainer and give him or her a chance first, while you learn and your puppy learn together. If it is not enough go to step two, informed!
 

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Wyatt Earp
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The age old argument 'When used correctly training collars cause no 'damage'.' bears no weight in a situation where you have a new dog owner learning to train a dog. Nobody is born knowing how to train a dog nor how to use a 'training' collar 'correctly'. Used 'incorrectly' (one must learn to use it correctly and during the learning process mistakes are made to the detriment of the dog) there is a risk and potential for physical damage including soft tissue injuries, damage to trachea, neurological damage, not to mention inflicting unnecessary pain on the dog. Anyone who is considering putting a choke collar on their dog should be aware that there are risks of physical injury and permanent damage to their dog.
It is not an argument, it is a fact. The op is going to "training class" which means they are suppose to "teach" them how to use the collar. There is "risk" to using "any" type of collar, including a flat collar as another poster mentioned.
 

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KCGold
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Bad results happen when the trainer has no clue on how to use training collars.
The age old argument 'When used correctly training collars cause no 'damage'.' bears no weight in a situation where you have a new dog owner learning to train a dog. Nobody is born knowing how to train a dog nor how to use a 'training' collar 'correctly'. Used 'incorrectly' (one must learn to use it correctly and during the learning process mistakes are made to the detriment of the dog) there is a risk and potential for physical damage including soft tissue injuries, damage to trachea, neurological damage, not to mention inflicting unnecessary pain on the dog. Anyone who is considering putting a choke collar on their dog should be aware that there are risks of physical injury and permanent damage to their dog.
You missed the part where this person's post said he was going to a trainer who used a choke collar. One must assume that the purpose it to train the trainer...
 

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Kate
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The age old argument 'When used correctly training collars cause no 'damage'.' bears no weight in a situation where you have a new dog owner learning to train a dog. Nobody is born knowing how to train a dog nor how to use a 'training' collar 'correctly'.
The answer to this age old question is obvious - encourage new dog owners to attend dog training classes with their dogs. Wait to put these tools on the dogs until after the owner has learned how to use them appropriately. And being shown the correct way to put these tools on... and use them correctly.

We were all "new dog owners" at one point. I was about 10-11 years old when I learned how to properly use these collars, and like I said in my first post - I had the instructor lecturing me and the other people about what could happen if the collars were used incorrectly.

And if a 10 year old can learn how to properly put these collars on a dog and train a dog, then adults will do fine with the same education. Well hopefully... assuming they are smarter than a 5th grader. :)
 

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6 month old Riley is my third golden. My previous goldens all trained, and only trained, with choke collars. And they were true velcro dogs as far as I was concerned...they were glued to me. And they were incredibly well trained. Well...now we have Riley. He has been to puppy school, had to stop short of finishing his first real group of classes due to a tummy upset and then being neutered. But, I have to say...I'm not a huge proponent of clicker training. Riley did just as well, even better, with a 'yes' from me vs a click. He is a very strong willed golden, and I'm considering changing him over to the choke collar. The teachers at this particular school hate choke collars...say they are inhumane and hugely negative. Not sure why. My goldens were never truly 'choked'...just the mere 'pop' of the collar was pretty much what got their attention. It worked for us...may have to go back to the tried and true that I know best. That and puppy daycare should help him get to where he needs to be.
 
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