Why are choke collars dangerous to dogs?

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Choke collars are frowned on by many, but they can be excellent training tools for long-haired breeds, as it helps get their attention, which can be challenging without the right tools.

There are some potential problems of which you must be aware:

• Choke collars should never be used on short haired breeds, because the neck and throat is exposed; for these dogs, other types of collars or harnesses are best.

• Never leave your dog unattended when she’s wearing a choke collar, because strangulation can occur in a very short period of time.

• Some breeds, like terriers, constantly pull on the leash when walking. A choke collar probably won’t stop this behavior because the dog will just get used to it and it becomes the human version of nagging. The collar might do a lot of harm, though, because all of the pulling can damage the trachea.

IF YOU STILL MUST USE A CHOKE COLLAR, FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES:
• It must fit properly. It’s best to take the dog with you to be fitted for a choke collar, but if it isn’t possible, measure around the dog’s neck with a fabric tape measure. A choke collar should never fit snugly or hang more than three to four inches from the dog’s neck.
• Slide the chain of the collar through one ring at the end of the chain, forming a P when held. Place the choke collar over the dog’s head and check for proper fit.
• Attach the leash to the hanging end of the choke collar around the dog’s neck.
• Always use quick tugs. A quick tug when the dog starts to pull will bring the dog closer and give it more breathing room. Most dogs and puppies will notice the difference in comfort when they are not pulling and will slow down. Do not allow the dog to choke itself; some dogs will continue to pull on the choke chain until they cause severe harm to themselves.

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