Collars yet again.
I'm going back to collars again this morning. It is a major issue I have and one that is constantly on my mind. I often wonder how people can put choke chains or slip collars on their dog and not flinch when their dog is pulling them down the street near choking to death.
The other day when I had to take Tilley to the vet; there was just such a scenario there. We were sitting nice and quiet; of course we were it was Tilley. When a man came in with his yellow lab; nice dog but pulling like crazy. The kind of pulling where only the dogs feet are moving forward while he is choking and coughing.
The dog had on a chain choke collar; weird how the name describes the collar and yet people never stop to think about this. Some of the more sly trainers these days have changed the name of the collar to a "training collar." I've used choke collars; way back when I was young and didn't know any better and yep they choked.
What caused me to do a complete 360 was Tilley; she came to me with a very sensitive esophagus. Any pressure on it at all and she coughs; obviously bothered by the collar pressure on her throat. I had stopped using choke collars long before Tilley but collar width now became an issue; I switched to body harnesses.
The worst yet is when people use choke collars and extension leashes. The pressure never goes away; it is a constant that many dogs become accustom to. Overtime this can cause a great amount of damage to a dogs neck and throat. There is alot of information out there about the dangers of choke collars; just search the web and you will find a plethora to read.
I do not think that collars are a wonderful thing; but if you take great care not to yank on them they do what they were meant to do, keep out dogs attached to us. I have looked for year and years for nice wide collars; they type the sight hound folks use for when I do put a collar on my dogs. I finally found a lady to makes wonderful collars in 2" width and in a large array of styles.
If you put the smallest amount of pressure on the front of your neck you will see what a delicate area it is. Great care should be taken when choosing and using a collar and yanking is something that should never be done. But as humans we tend to just do and think later. How many times have you seen people yanking their dog down the street? Don't like what the dog is doing? Yank!!
Although dogs have very muscular necks, some resembling The Hulk they are still just necks. They are prone to all sorts of injuries from whiplash to esophogus damage. Take care of their neck like you would yours.