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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318 comments

Teresa W.
Teresa W.10 months ago

very sad

Julia Cabrera-Woscek

Choke collars are not for all kinds of dogs.

Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege10 months ago

Choke chains should be banned, full stop.

marilyn byrne graziano
Marilyn Graziano10 months ago

This article infuriates me The author is just frightening people unnecessarily! I have been training dogs for nearly 30 years I have always used choke chains and NEVER NEVER have I choked any of my dogs PERIOD!!! A choke chain is made up of a chain made of links and two rings one at each end of the links! You feed the chain through one of the links so as to form the collar! Slip the collar over the dog's neck and DO NOT USE this collar as a choke! USE THE OTHER RING Not the one that pulls the other one! Or take the ring that pulls and attatch it to one of the links so the collare is loose around the dog's neck that way it will never harm your dogs! I think 30 years of using these collars without damage is enough! I have very often advised people that use choke chains to do as I do that way the dog doesn't get hurt! There is of course training a dog not to pull on the leash! This has to be explained by an expert dog trainer!

Amanda L.
Amanda L.10 months ago

We don't need regulations, licenses, more rules or a ban on these pinchers. We need a ban on stupid, ignorant, brainless people who do not possess any common sense. Yes, accidents can happen. That's life. Just like a car "accident", sending an email filled with typo's, buying the wrong brand of tomato sauce when your wife specifically asked you to get Del Monte, turning left when you should have turned right. Come on! The same people that use these pinchers incorrectly without consideration of the proper way to do things, are probably the same people who drink and drive, text and talk on the phone while driving, don't put their kids in car seats and don't wear seat belts. And another thing, we don't need bans and more rules on guns either. We need to implement the rules and regulations we have. More rules and bans on guns are not going to stop a deranged person from having and using one but it will certainly prevent you from saving yourself with one should you be face to face with a complete psycho. God forbid!

Billie Sue B.
Billie Sue B.10 months ago

Self regulation fails, rules have to be made and license issued, then oversight and liability and the cost of everything goes up.

All over one person's stupid act.

Fi T.
Fi T.10 months ago

No more unnecessary death

Dale B.
Dale B.10 months ago

I own a doggie daycare/boarding business and a lot of the dogs who come in are wearing choke collars. I try to explain to people the hazard involved, especially since I have a chain length fence that the choke collars could easily get caught on. The majority of people will insist it's best to leave the choke collar on all the time. To me it's a lack of common sense and a tragedy that is easy to avoid.

Kat K.
Kat K.1 years ago

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.

Ann Breuer
Ann B.1 years ago

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