This page is a component of the Glossary of the Dog Science, CBC
Dog Training Workshop, and an element of the Dog Science Network

The Slip Collar, also known as a Choker, Choke Collar, or Slip Chain

The slip collar is known by several different names, but no matter what you call it, the choker was the original collar used in dog training.

Unlike a standard buckle collar whose tightness you preset, a slip chain slides as it comes under tension, and slides again when said tension is released. As a result, the more you pull back on the lead or the more your dog pulls away from you, the tighter the chain will be drawn around the animal's neck. However, because a slip chain slides readily, the tension will be instantly released as soon as your dog stops pulling and falls back.

Slip chains work well with compliant dogs who just need to be reminded now and then what they are supposed to be doing. Really, that's the best way to think of a slip collar. It is a reminder and a way to communicate with your dog. It is a way to tell him to stop moving forward and to a limited degree, it is a way to restrain him.

However, a choker is not a good choice for a dog that is chronically oppositional. Nor is it a good choice for a dog that frequently pulls against the lead, because wrestling your dog about by way of chain pulled tight around his neck can injure the animal, if you're too rough, and you keep it up over the course of many walks that continue over time. That is especially true if you are jerking on the lead, as opposed to pulling it tight with a steady pressure. All it takes is a single violent jerk in just exactly the wrong spot to do damage terrible damage to your dog's trachea.

Therefore, if you are dealing with a belligerent dog who requires restraint while being walked, especially if he is powerfully built, you should probably consider going to a dominant dog collar, and perhaps, rethink the wisdom of taking the animal out in public at all.

If you are dealing with an animal that pulls against the lead, then, you should go to a prong collar, unless there is some reason why that would be contraindicated with your dog.

Also, slip collars may not work well with strong, thick-necked dogs or animals with long coats that can keep get caught in the device and keep it from sliding properly.

It is best to have someone who knows what they are doing help you select your slip chain and have them show you where it is supposed to be fitted, up high, just below your dog's ears. Also, have them show you how to put it on your dog properly since there is a right way in which the mechanism will slide nicely, and a backwards, wrong way in which it will not.

Go to the page that lists all the different types of dog collars

This page is a component of the Glossary of the Dog Science, CBC
Dog Training Workshop, and an element of the Dog Science Network