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Choke Chain Kills Dog

Choke Chain Kills Dog

This is how the Humane Society of the United States describes a choke collar:

“As the name implies, this collar is made of metal links and is designed to control your dog by tightening around your dog’s neck. It is supposed to sit high up on the dog’s neck just behind her ears. Unlike the martingale collar, there is no way to control how much the choke chain tightens, so it’s possible to choke or strangle your dog. It can also cause other problems too, such as injuries to the trachea and esophagus, injuries to blood vessels in the eyes, neck sprains, nerve damage, fainting, transient paralysis, and even death.”

I’ve written many posts about dog training. (Refer to “Is Dog Training an Animal Welfare Issue?” for a detailed description of the differences between positive reinforcement vs. dominance based training.) Choke collars are never found on a dog trained with positive reinforcement and frequently found on dogs who are trained in the antiquated dominance-based style of dog training.

In the short term, choke collars can work to get a dog to stop his undesired behavior. Long term, they can kill. Unfortunately, Del and Carolyn Bryant found this out the hard way.

According to the NY Times, the Bryants left their two dogs, Peanut and Sweetie, at one of the Biscuits and Bath franchises in New York. But only one dog was returned to them alive.

While Biscuits and Bath’s tag line is “You’ll wish you were your dog” and their website describes their transportation system as “Safe & Sound - Door To Door,” neither of those statements could be further from the truth.

The NY Times article stated, “All the dogs there are in double choke collars, a security precaution, the company says on its web site, intended to give their owners ‘peace of mind.’ Ms. Bryant said she did not know about it and called it ‘terrible, barbaric.’

“Sweetie and Peanut were being brought back to TriBeCa from the Biscuits and Bath place on West 13th Street, where they had spent the night. The dogs were leashed by ‘slip collars,’ also known as choke collars, which tighten when the dog pulls. Then their leashes were hooked onto the walls of the van. Other dogs were picked up. Some of the other dogs were anxious and active in the back, and managed to get tangled with the patient, according to a report from Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists. When the driver turned around, he saw the patient hanging by his choke collar.”

Peanut died on October 12. At this writing on October 21, the Biscuits and Bath website still describes their transportation system as “two slip collars placed on each dog plus durable, double layer, double stitch nylon leashes clipped into a screw-lock carabiner on a waist belt.” So far, my calls to inquire about changes they will be making haven’t been returned. It astounds me that they aren’t using crates to safely transport animals.

I am mourning the loss of a dog I never met. What will it take for pet professionals to educate themselves before they put one more dog at risk for their life?

To tell Biscuits and Bath to stop using choke chains, sign this Care2 petition.

Have you seen the new Adoptable Pets page on Care2? Please also share with your friends. We’d love your help in finding homes for these adorable animals!

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Read more: Animal Rights, Behavior & Communication, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Pets, , , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.

310 comments

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8:40AM PDT on Oct 25, 2014

Choke chains should be banned from manufacture, and they should be pulled off the shelves. This is a horrible way for an animal to die, and whoever did this needs to be arrested and prosecuted. This is nothing but plain murder, and whoever did this is a criminal and a murderer, and should be punished appropriately. I'd really like to see the SOB with a choke collar around his/her neck hanging from a tree. ALL "BISCUITS AND BATH" DOGGIE DAYCARE FACILITIES SHOULD BE CLOSED DOWN. Obviously, there staff is not capable of taking care of an animal, so close them down for good and prosecute the person(s) responsible for the death of this dog.

8:45AM PDT on Oct 24, 2014

choke chains should be outlawed.....the person that did this to a defenseless animal needs a choke chain around THEIR NECK!!!!!

9:06AM PDT on Oct 21, 2014

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Choke chains don't kill dogs, people kill dogs.
I'm a veterinarian of 30yrs and I've always used choke chains on our dogs.Our dogs all went through obedience/agility/companion training; they're very happy well-adjusted dogs, have never been injured and are welcome whever we go..
Choke chains are a safe and very effective aid to training ~ if YOU have been properly trained in their use.

11:55AM PDT on Oct 20, 2014

Signed Thank you for this tragic story. Whether to use or not? How to use correctly? Sorry guys but you seem to have got sidetracked somewhat by your own opinions don't you think???? It was a tragic horrible accident which should never have happened and the risks of this type of collar need to be brought into the light!!! Long durges about horses and whips don't make much sense here, Surely our thoughts should be with the owners on their loss...I know mine are!

4:50AM PDT on Jun 20, 2014

signed, thanks for sharing :)

12:08AM PDT on Apr 6, 2014

Alan, exactly! They are a "tool", an extension of a handler's arm/hand/voice. I also have horses and sometimes use a crop or wear spurs when I ride. Both are merely "tools". I used to think spurs were cruel and abusive, and in the wrong "hands" (feet), indeed they can be! The smooth ones can be more cruel than the big ones with sharp points (rowels) on them. A skilled rider uses them merely to touch very lightly on the horse's side (barrel) to signal him/her to move away from that leg. They are NOT meant to JAB, or to put constant pressure on the horse. A crop or whip is not meant to punish but to apply a light tap to again, signal the horse to move that side, shoulder or hip away from it. That is how 2-tracking, sidepassing, shoulder-ins, shoulder-outs and the other finer movements of "high school" dressage are taught. A choke collar is a training "tool", never meant to punish or restrain.

4:12AM PDT on Apr 5, 2014

Disgusting, but when used in competent hands it can be an effective tool...

4:00AM PDT on Apr 5, 2014

Well, Amanda, thank you but you probably aren't "my type", ROFLMAO! What I was trying to explain, and again, this is a very old discussion but one worth keeping current, since we all have dogs or know of those who have them, no one "training device" works for every dog, or is appropriate for even the same dogs in the same breed. My current dog is a Golden Retriever who is only 7 months old, but he's already almost 70 lbs. He learns very quickly, walks calmly on a LOOSE leash and his collar is an appropriately fitted 1/2" nylon web with his rabies, I.D. and micro-chip tags. However, when he goes outside to play with my daughter's 3 Siberian Huskies, he becomes DEAF. I usually do get him to "come" after I've called him several times, but he's so intent on playing, he tends to "tune me out". She keeps two of her dogs on runners (on my property) when they're outside and not being kept under physical control and the 3rd is my youngest grandson's, and he stays in my grandson's room most of the time. However if he is outside for exercise and my dog is out, they become obsessed with taking off to explore & twice have gotten out of sight within a minute or two. If alone, my grandson's dog comes home after a few minutes. My dog never goes off the property unless his dog is out and LOOSE. It's those situations that I have to address. My thought was possibly the "E-collar" that my GSD used, but then if he's more than 200' away, it's not effective. I bought a cheap whist

8:55AM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

Happy Friday, friend.

8:54AM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

Oh, Diane....I believe I love you

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