Should I use a choke chain on my dog?
Q: My dog is always pulling on her lead and a dog trainer I’ve consulted says I should use a choke chain and jerk her back. I’m not at all keen to do this, but do you think it’s a case of me being too soft?
A: No, you are being very sensible. Choke chains are a very old-fashioned method of training dogs. They can cause pain and even damage the dog’s neck.
I suggest that you find a trainer who uses reward-based techniques. Go along to watch a class and make sure you’re happy with the methods used.
You should also take note of whether the dogs and their owners are enjoying the class, because training should be fun and pleasurable for both dog and owner. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers is a voluntary organisation that advocates kind methods, and lists its members on its website (www.apdt.co.uk).