Choke Chain vs. Pinch Collar

April 1, 2020 10:48 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Choke chains and pinch collars are both types of collars that are used as corrective tools to stop unwanted behavior in pets. In both cases, these collars are attached to a leash and, when pulled on, will cause your dog discomfort and get it to stop whatever it’s doing. 

Regardless of whether you choose a choke chain or a pinch collar, you need to be cautious when using it on your dog. In both cases, choke chains and pinch collars can cause serious injury to a dog if they’re used incorrectly or excessively.

Choke Chain vs. Pinch Collar At a Glance

Choke ChainPinch Collar
Corrective toolCorrective tool
Tightens when pulled onPinches dogs neck when pulled on
Can temporarily choke dogMay chafe dog or cause bruising
Can cause injury if misused or overusedCan puncture dog’s skin if pulled too hard
Common alternative to standard collarUnpopular due to perceived cruelty
Good first optionPotential option after other tools fail

While both of these tools can be effective, pet owners who need a corrective collar should typically try a choke chain first. If that doesn’t work, then you may need to resort to a pinch collar.

What is a Choke Chain

A choke chain is a type of dog collar that’s designed to tighten around a dog’s neck when it’s pulled. To work, the chain is attached to a leash, then the chain is pulled through the hoop at the end. This creates a loop of chain, which is hung around the dog’s neck.

Choke chains are intended to be used to correct unwanted behavior in a dog. When the dog gets aggressive or exhibits other unwanted behavior, you can simply tug (not too hard and not too long) on the dog’s leash. The choke chain will tighten around the dog’s neck, causing momentary discomfort and, hopefully, surprising them. This will pull their attention from whatever they’re doing and, over time, correct their behavior so they stop doing things you want to avoid.

When to Use a Choke Chain

Choke chains aren’t necessary for all pets and, at the same time, they aren’t always enough to fix a dog’s unwanted behavior. But, if your dog regularly acts out, a choke chain is a good first option. 

Some cases when a choke chain can work better than a pinch collar include:

  • Your dog only acts out occasionally
  • Your dog’s behavior improves quickly with just small corrections
  • You’re able to administer small corrections to your dog without any risk of injury to yourself
  • Your dog isn’t aggressive with other people or animals and only needs corrections for more minor behavioral issues 

That said, a choke chain isn’t always enough. Sometimes a dog needs a different type of correction or something slightly more forceful in order to get it to stop unwanted behavior.

What is a Pinch Collar

A pinch collar, also called a prong collar, is very different from a choke chain. Unlike a choke chain, which tightens around a dog’s neck when pulled, a pinch collar is constructed more like a conventional collar. A pinch collar is made of a series of links that each have prongs pointed inward toward the dog’s neck. When someone pulls on a leash, the collar strains against the dog’s neck and, when pulled tight, the prongs pinch the dog’s skin.

Like a choke chain, a pinch collar is used as a tool by pet owners to correct a dog’s bad behavior. However, these collars are avoided by many pet owners because of how cruel they look. While these collars may not be as cruel as they look, like choke chains, they can definitely cause serious injury to your dog if used incorrectly or excessively.

When to Use a Pinch Collar

When you’re looking for a tool to correct your dog’s behavior, a pinch collar shouldn’t be a first choice. However, if choke chains and other tools have proven ineffective, a pinch collar may be the right tool to help you improve your dog’s behavior. 

Some times when a pinch collar may be a better choice include:

  • If a choke chain doesn’t work
  • If your dog is large and capable of overpowering you
  • If your dog is extremely aggressive with other dogs or people and requires serious behavioral corrections

Even in these extreme cases, you should only use a pinch collar if you’re experienced with this and other corrective tools. If you haven’t used tools like this before, you run the real risk of causing serious injury to your dog from using it incorrectly.

Key Takeaways

Both choke chains and pinch collars are types of collars used to correct unwanted behavior in dogs. In both cases, these tools are used to surprise a dog that is engaged in bad behavior and get it to stop what it’s doing. Pinch collars look much more aggressive than choke chains, but both can cause injury to your pet if they’re used too much or incorrectly. 

If you need a corrective collar to help train your dog to be on its best behavior, it’s usually a good idea to start with a choke chain. However, if this fails to get your dog to abandon bad habits, you may need to consider a pinch collar.

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