Animal Resource Library » Behavior & Training » Choke Chains, Prong & Shock Collars

Choke Chains, Prong & Shock Collars

All of these collars are meant to inflict pain on your dog. Remember, the simplest solution for training your dog is to teach him what you want, not to harm him everytime he does something you do not like!

While prong collars, choke chains and shock collars were used with some regularity in the 1970s and 1980s, research studies have since linked their use to increased aggression and other unwanted behavioral and medical issues. If used as planned, you would only correct your dog with one of these collars a once or twice, but the vast majority of people do not use them as intended. Instead, they are seen as long-term solutions, creating behavioral and medical issues, including aggression and death.

The Root of the Problem
Used as intended, these collars inflict a short burst of pain to your dog to stop an outward behavior. However, the use of these collars does not stop the root of the behavior. Think about it like this: your refrigerator is making an odd noise, so you solve the problem by unplugging it. Your problem is solved (no more noise), but now you have many more problems. If you’d solved the root of the problem. you probably would have been able to fix the noise without spoiling all of your food.

Choke Chains
Basic choke collars are made either from metal or nylon and tighten around your dogs neck and tracheae when you pull on them.

Prong Collars
Prong collars are basically a choke chain with prongs, that pinch your dog, on the inside. Those who employ the use of prong collars note that the prongs are meant to imitate the bite of a mother dog on her puppy, but when was the last time you met a dog whose bite could wrap the circumference of another dog’s neck?

Shock Collars
Shock collars deliver an electric current to your dog.

Medical and Behavioral Repercussions
As noted previously, the use (and misuse) of these types of collars is linked to aggression in dogs. Their use can also cause injury to the trachea and esophagus, blood vessels in the eyes, neck sprains and nerve damage. These collars should never be left on dogs unattended. In fact, many dogs have strangled themselves to death when their choke chain or prong collar caught on something and they pulled with all their might to get free.

Please note, articles in the Animal Resource Library are for reference only, and are not meant to diagnose or treat any medical or behavioral issues your pet may be experiencing.