What are the dangers of using choke and prong collars?
Choke and prong collars are designed to punish dogs for pulling by inflicting pain and discomfort. They can cause serious physical and emotional damage to dogs and should never be used.
The use of choke collars has been associated with whiplash, fainting, spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis, crushing of the trachea with partial or complete asphyxiation, crushing and/or fracture of the bones in the larynx, dislocated neck bones, bruising of the esophagus, bruising and damage to the skin and tissues in the neck, brain damage and prolapsed eyes caused by sharp increases in pressure in the head, and other injuries.
The metal spikes of prong collars pinch the skin around dogs’ necks when they pull and can scratch or puncture them. Over time, this can cause dogs to develop scar tissue (which has no feeling) and/or build up a tolerance to the painful pinching sensation and thus continue to pull, making walks even more difficult. Dogs may interpret the tightening of a choke or prong collar around their neck as a stranglehold (which it is, after all!) and become fearful or even aggressive.
The most humane and safest option for walking a dog who tends to want to pull is a front-leash attachment harness, such as the Sense-ation. When dogs lunge or pull while wearing the Sense-ation harness, the front leash attachment redirects them back toward the dogwalker. With patience and positive reinforcement, walks can be a pleasant experience for both human and dog.