How to Put a Choke Collar on a Dog? Training Tips and Techniques

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Author: Jacob Kay

You might have heard about choke collars as a controversial topic. Though the name ‘choke collar‘ seems to be quite cruel and harsh, it won’t hurt the dog and can be a useful tool. You might be curious how these collars can be “useful”.

dog wearing a collar

Choke collars are a type of collar specially designed for training purposes. It is a very effective tool if used properly.

Your dog needs to behave properly in public places, in the neighbourhood as well as in the house. Misbehaviour can cause trouble to people in the surrounding. Here is when the choke collars come into the picture.

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Choke Collar – an Overview

A choke collar is a type of metal chain that is worn around the dog’s neck. This collar tightens and chokes the neck when the owner pulls it. The main purpose of the collar is to provide pain and discomfort to the dog whenever he does not behave properly.

a choke collar chain

The choke collar isn’t an automatic tool. You need to combine a dog collar and a leash to get the full effect. The collar consists of two rings connected by a chain. The chain goes through one ring to form a circle that goes around your dog’s neck.

Choke collars are made for training purposes and are a type of training tool. Though some owners use the collar even after the training in their daily life. This has created quite a controversy regarding the collar.

Why Use a Choke Collar?

Every owner wants his dog to behave correctly and for that some basic training is essential. However, training with positive reinforcement is not sufficient for all dogs. Thus, owners use choke collars to correct misbehaving.

On a note, owners should never use choke collars as a means of punishment, it is just a way of effective training. When the choke chain is on properly, it will tighten when pulling on it and immediately loosen when you let go.

The main reason why many people may use choke collars is for negative enforcement purposes. They make it easy for you to pull back your dog when it is going contrary to what you are trying to get him to learn.

Right Way of Putting the Collar

One should always make sure that the choke collar is tied correctly around your dog’s neck. This is to ensure that the dog is not harmed or traumatized during training. A poorly fitting chain collar can cause pain, discomfort, and injury to your dog and can make training more difficult and less effective.

correct way to put on a choke collar

There are certain steps to follow to make the best use of choke collars.

Assembling the Collar

The choke collar consists of two rings linked by a chain. Firstly take the chain and loop it through one ring at the end of the chain. The ring you looped the chain through is the dead ring, and the ring that you can move back and forth is the live ring.

Pull the dead ring of the chain through the live ring until you have a ‘P shape‘, with the circular part big enough to fit over your dog’s head.

Putting It on Your Dog

Make your dog sit in front of you and make him wear the collar. Putting it from the back is a wrong practice and might not fit correctly.

Place the chain over the head, maintaining that letter P shape. The prior assumption in this case – your dog is on your left while walking. However, if you prefer walking on the left side then things will be quite the opposite. In this case, the target would be maintaining the letter q shape.

Attaching the Leash

Now, in the end, attach the leash to the live ring. The leash must stay slack during walking. A slack leash will allow you to correct your dog when needed. If the leash is always tight, your dog will soon get desensitized to the pressure.

Additional Tips

As an owner, you should always remember that choke collars are just for the sake of training and not a torturing device for your pet. Thus, it is advisable to take care when dealing with these collars.

correct placement of a choke collar
  • Never leave your dog alone with a choke collar. 
  • Don’t tug on the leash with too much pressure. A quick jerk and release is all you need to get your dog’s attention.
  • Make sure that the orientation and position of the chain is correct. Also, ensure that the choke chain is the correct size for your dog’s neck.
  • Keep an eye out for any discomfort in your dog. Especially if this is your dog’s first time walking with a choke chain.
  • The collar should be snug around the neck, but still loose enough to fit a few fingers beneath it – there needs to be room to pull it tight!
  • Ideally, you should position the collar just below the ears. Avoid putting it right on your dog’s neck because you don’t want their trachea to come under too much pressure.
  • Do remember to keep your dog on the same side when walking. If you fitted the choke chain for walking your dog on the left side, always keep your dog on the left and vice versa.
  • If you walk on the wrong side, then the chain doesn’t flow through the ring with as much ease, making it harder to release and increasing the chance of injury.


  1. What are the benefits of a choke collar?

    Choke collars are used in many of the same training situations as pinch collars, primarily to maintain composure outside the home and with aggressive dogs. Choke collars can prove especially helpful with larger dogs or those with aggressive tendencies.

  2. Is a choke collar bad for dogs?

    It can also cause other problems, such as injuries to the trachea and oesophagus, injuries to blood vessels in the eyes, neck sprains, nerve damage, fainting, transient paralysis and even death.

  3. How do you know if your choke collar is on right?

    The collars should be snug enough to fit 2 to 3 fingers under and the collar loop should make a “P” when facing the dog and placing it over his head.

  4. Are choke collars illegal?

    Many countries, including Austria and Switzerland, have made it illegal to use prong collars for canines.


Though people criticise and defame the choke collars due to their harsh function, they are still an effective way to train your dog. If used correctly, they can transform your dog’s behaviour. However, one should always start with positive reinforcement as such tools can also have a negative impact on your dog.

Always praise your dog for good behaviour. The aim is to have your dog behave on walks without needing a choke collar. Train your dog to obey commands like “no” or “stop” while giving corrections. With this, choke collars can be proved pet-friendly too.

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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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