How to Use a Choker Collar Correctly
Both of the chain choker style collars mentioned in Lesson 16 are meant to be used during training sessions only and in a way that is similar to a bit in a horses mouth.
This training equipment works by tightening and then immediately releasing to give the animal only a moment’s correction in a quick and humane way that distracts the animal with a slight pressure.
These types of collars should not be pulled on but slightly and gently pulled then released by movement from your hand and the leash.
This instant pressure on the neck is usually done while the dog is moving and the dog learns to turn and stop similar to a horse. Once you master the way to use the choke chain collar you will do so with a light flick of the lease correct your dog.
All you should do is pull the leash until the collar is closed on your dog’s neck then you should loosen the leash immediately so that the collar slides open. The collar will slide open if you have the collar on correctly as outlined in the Collar lesson.
When used correctly your dog will walk on a loose leash at all times. If you look at AKC obedience dogs in the show ring you will notice the dogs leash is not tight when the handler has the dog sitting at heel.
Only in the confirmation show ring is the leash held tightly when the dog is lead around the ring and that is to keep the dog’s head up and for looks while pacing around. Show dogs are taught to walk like this with the leash tight while obedience dogs are not.
Obedience dogs should always have a loose leash and choke collar.
Practice pulling the leash up and then release the leash by lowering your hand until you have this action mastered. You dog will appreciate you not pulling on the collar all the time which teaches the dog nothing but to pull on the leash.
A tight collar or leash actually encourages the dog to pull and if a dog is pulling the best thing to do is to loosen the leash or collar then pull up and loosen again to give your dog a signal that you want to slow down.
The hardest thing to learn is loosening the leash which loosens the collar. Most people need a few days of practice with their dog to master using a choke chain correctly.
Do not get discouraged if you do not seem to get the hang of it, keep practicing until you automatically release the tension on the collar every time you pull the leash. This takes practice.
Every time you notice the leash and collar are tight, loosen the leash some so your dog is comfortable. This prevents injury to the dog’s neck plus your dog will respond to a slight squeeze and release much better then you tugging on the leash. They do love to play tug a war if you do.
The prong training collar is made to work the same way, tighten then release without hurting your dog. The prong type of collar is made to pinch the dog slightly not stab the dog in pain to get them to behave.
The collars are made to tighten and release for a reason and the reason is they are training equipment not meant to be worn at all times. These collars can seriously hurt your dog if left on without a leash or if used when the leash is tied or held hard.
Both collars should be 3 inches bigger then your dog’s neck so the collar has room to release and tighten.
Never leave these collars on your dog without supervision. If the choker collar is all you have then use a snap to hook the rings together so the collar will not tighten if you turn your dog loose.
How to use a leash
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Dog Retrieves First Aid Kit
Dog Retrieves Items as Directed
Dog Takes Item to Indicated Person
“Go Get Help” Sending your dog for help
Sending Dog to a Person
Rescue Dig on Command
Dog Alerts Others to your Whereabouts