As some of you may know I take part in a sport called Canicross. This is where I run with my dogs but they are attached to me via bungee lines and a special running harness. Yesterday I decided to go for a run on the Chevin to get away from all the mud that seems to be everywhere! On my way back I saw a lady with a pointer on a flexi lead attached to a choke chain.
I am not a fan of choke chains. In this day and age there are better ways to train a dog to walk nicely than to strangle them but that alone wasn’t what made me think poor dog. It was when this handsome pointer stopped to sniff something. The flexi lead extended for a while before the owner pushed the button to stop it extending, the choke chain tightened and the dog was yanked forward.
Do you see why I thought that!
This dog was strangled for something that comes naturally.
First thing I am going to tackle is why choke chains are a no, no. I am not here to shame anybody, I want to educate people and show them a different way. Our dogs are our buddies. I want to make dogs and owners happy and choke chains don’t make dogs happy!!!
I don’t think I need to point out why it doesn’t make dogs happy. The clue is in the name….choke chain.
They also do not work.
Ever seen a dog dragging their owner down the street while strangling themselves?? I’m sure we all have. That horrible noise, it’s the dog’s trachea being crushed and it’s air flow being restricted………horrible! You can also see this with dogs wearing slip leads and normal flat collars.
Choke chains have been scientifically proven to cause injury to the blood vessels in the eyes, damage to the trachea and oesophagus, sprained necks, fainting, asphyxiation and paralysis.
I don’t need to go on…..That is the end of the discussion as far as I am concerned and I hope I say the same for you.
So what is our alternative…….
For me, without a shadow of a doubt it is a harness. Flat collars can be used and I don’t insist every dog I work with is on a harness but personally I wouldn’t walk around with someone leading me by a collar and lead attached to my neck so I wouldn’t expect my dog to.
A well fitting harness is a fantastic tool and dog is only ever walked in her harness.
One day my dog Hope fell in the river. She hates swimming despite going to hydrotherapy! She managed to clamber out between two large boulders but it was far too steep for her to get out. Because she had her harness on, I could grab hold of her and lift her out with her body being fully supported.
If she had a collar on I would have had two options.
Strangle my dog to get her out or go for a swim!!!
I will chat a more about the pointer tomorrow but if you would like any tips or advice on what equipment to use with your dogs then contact me today.