Chain Dog Collars – A How To

Chain collars are an effective way to prevent your dog from pulling on its leash. They are known by a variety of names, including the choke chain.

The online market, along with just about all pet supply shops, are where a bewildering array of dog collars can be found; this includes the chain collar. Your choice really depends on preference but there are very few other collars that have the same effect on a pulling dog.

A pulling dog is a dog that lacks training. Regardless of the size or the breed, they can all be taught and trained not to pull. If you don’t want to put in the effort and a pulling dog doesn’t bother you, then by no means should you purchase a chain collar.

Training a dog takes patience, constant repetition and some knowledge. The knowledge can come from any number of sources: your vet, a dog trainer, the Internet, books, just to name a few. While most dog collars slip easily over a dog’s head, chain collars takes some getting used to. The key is in how you loop one end of the chain into the other (with the use of the closed loops at either end) – if done incorrectly, your dog will be in constant choke chain mode instead of the choke and release the collar was designed for. If you have a dog that will stand the fiddling to get it right, you can practice on him/her. If this method is not feasible, you can always practice on yourself by wrapping the chain around your arm or wrist. As long as one part of the chain hangs loosely at one end and tightens and loosens easily, you have put it on correctly.

Once you have mastered how to put the chain collar on your dog, you are ready to begin the all important training and practice [with your dog] to prevent him/her from pulling while on a leash. As both you and your dog become accustomed to how the chain collar works, you will be pleased to see the pulling diminish and/or stop altogether.

The Health and Safety Risks of Chain Dog Collars

Chain dog collars may be ideal for keeping control of that unruly dog, but abusing the advantages of a chain collar or inappropriate usage could affect the well being of your dog over the long term. This article explains how.

Firstly, be sure to know that you have been instructed fully by a professional on how to apply the chain with your dog. When you are getting the chain collar, you should try to ensure that the dog collar is two to three inches bigger than the dog’s neck so as it doesn’t cause too much pain to the animal.

They may be ideal to use when you are out and about in public areas, but putting your dog in a crate whilst he or she has a dog collar like this on can be incredibly risky for the dog. Ensuring that you take off any canine collars that you may have in advance of putting your dog away for the night or for a fixed period of time can put your mind at rest.

Many dog breeds can wear a chain without much incident; however, there are some dogs that are unsuitable candidates for wearing a chain collar. One such breed of dog is a Yorkshire Terrier – a breed which has a very delicate area in the neck called the trachea.

All in all, chain collars are relatively harmless dog accessories that can be used with your canine harmoniously. Ensuring that you take some precautionary measures beforehand though can ensure that you do not need to make that dreaded visit to the vet.

Choosing Your Dog’s Collar and Lead

Pet shops can stock many types of collars and leads. Generally, your choice will depend on what you prefer, but there are a few points to take into consideration.

Leads (leashes), collars and harnesses are usually made from rope, leather, chain or nylon webbing.

Choosing Your Lead

Leather and Chain Leads: If you dog is one of the large breeds, you would be advised to select a strong lead made of leather or chain with a leather handle. Dogs that chew their leads will also benefit a chain lead.

Nylon leads: These are lightweight leads and usually washable, so they are useful to put in your pocket on a long walk or in case of an emergency.

Rope Leads: Slip leads (with a loop that goes around the dog’s neck) and showing leads are often made from soft rope.

Retractable leads: Some dogs need to be kept on their lead at all times e.g young or untrained dogs, deaf, blind or elderly dogs. Retractable leads are usually made from thin nylon rope or webbing on a spool that can extend 4 to 6 metres. This allows the dog to explore when out walking and allows you to keep control.

Choosing Your Collar

Leather collars: These are strong and durable and most dogs find them comfortable as they do not chafe the neck when fitted correctly. They are available in several styles – rolled, flat, studded etc. A leather collar 12mm wide is adequate for most dogs (larger breeds, bull terriers, greyhounds etc may need a wider collar – 2.5 to 4cm is usually suitable)

Nylon Collars: Smaller breeds are more suited to nylon collars as they are less durable than leather. They can also cause rubbing on the neck, especially if the dog pulls on the lead.

Chain Collars: These are made from several rows of chain with a buckle and leather strap. Care should be taken to use the correct size as they may pinch the skin of the dog’s neck if too narrow.

Check Chains (Choke Chain): I advise against using a check chain unless absolutely necessary as very few people know how to fit and use them correctly. Half-check collars (a nylon band with a chain attached) are minimally better. They are a training aid only and should only be used when walking or training.

Puppy’s First Collar and Lead Arrived at that momentous time when you buy your puppy’s first collar and lead? Here are some safety points to remember:-

  • Do not fasten the collar too tightly – make sure you can fit three fingers under it.
  • Never use a check chain on a young puppy – they can damage the pup’s neck.
  • Keep an eye on your puppy especially at first as sometimes they try and rub the collar off and can get it caught on anything projecting.
  • Even when the puppy is very young, its a good idea to attach the lead to the collar and make it into a game – the puppy will get used to the feel of the lead and it will be easier for you when the time comes to start training.

Finally, remember to check your dog’s collar and lead regularly for damaged stitching or wear and replace it before it breaks.