Two powerful reasons why, I do not use choking leads.
- They are not necessary.
- They are impractical.
Firstly, they hurt. Don’t believe me? Have someone put one around your neck and have it used with the accepted force that is usually used in ring handling. It hurts. Dogs have similar nerve endings to us humans, not the same but similar, thus the same impact you would experience so do they. I love dogs and do not by any medium wish to hurt them.
Many have responded to my earlier blog re choker chains justifying their use with a typical response, stating, “I do not use the choking action of the choker chain (choking slip lead) – my dogs never feel it (the choking action) – my response is “then why do you use them”?
Who ever invented (back in the dark ages) the use of choking as a method of having dogs submit to humans control by the use of force could never have exhibited pure breed dogs. They have foisted their principle of dog control down through the ages to the degree that most modern dog handlers use the device without questioning the logic.
People have been lead to believe this is the only method to handle dogs not realizing there is another way. A far better way, a kinder way, a way which uses signals to impart directions, without any need for force.
This way utilizes the touch signal (the lead) as the least important of the signaling aids. This way uses no more impact than what you would feel if you tap the back of your hand as lightly as you can with your right index finger.
So if signaling your dog requires no more contact as that, then a choking effect has no need or place in directing our charges to complete actions we command in the show ring.
Secondly, choking collar leads are impractical.
Every time the lead tension is surrendered the configuration of the lead allows it to slip down around the throat and thus not be in a suitable position for the next signal.
Also when the lead is in this negative position and a force is applied the dog will be able to drive down over the collar.
Ah I hear the choking collar exponents saying but we keep the lead tight so it doesn’t fall down the neck and most do show their dogs this way. But you cannot beat the law of physics, that being “for an object to remain the same when a force is applied, an equal and opposite force must be applied” (Isaac Newton’s third law of Physics). So instead of allowing our dog to gait freely under their own balance, this technique of choker collar handling forces our dog to apply pressure to balance against the contact. The result is a restricted reach with the front legs and extra drive from the rear.
Just for gaiting, stacking with these choking collar/leads become a nuisance because as above they slip down and therefor have to be manipulated into position (up the throat) and again, tension must be maintained to keep it there.
Now question must be asked, “ Why use such devises with such negative outcomes when there is a better way”?
What leads are the best for exhibiting pure breed dogs?
Leads that are light communicate contact signals without force required and maintain their position on the throat above the Adam’s apple.
I use parachute cord leads, with a loop at each end, one end for our hand and the other larger to go over the head of the dog and a small rubber or plastic that slips up the collar end to form a collar. These leads are very strong but extremely light and ideal to make light contact signals.
Others of a similar vein are leads made of cotton in various thicknesses with a brass clasp to slide up to form a collar. Some trade names of this type of lead are, Resco and Simplicity both made in U.S.A..
Dog showing is about the dogs, their performance and presentation, NOT a dog-lead fashion parade.
This type of lead is not only cumbersome, but far too weighted to give light feather contact touch aid, but also falls into the impractical category because of the choker chain collar attachment.
Please do not misinterpret me, dog handlers can use any lead configuration they wish, BUT to achieve the ultimate handler/dog response to signals the lightest transfer of contact is best.