How to Use a Choke Collar Chain on a Dog? Beginner’s Guide

Last Updated on July, 2024

Choke chains are simple to use, yet; they can be quite confusing to a first-time user.

By the end of this article, you will know to properly use a choke chain to correct your dog’s behavior.

(Note that this post is solely to provide information. We do not endorse the use of choke collars on pets).

First things first, what exactly is a choke collar? And how does it work?

Quick Summary

Choke chains are simple to use but can be confusing for first-time users.

These collars are designed to control a dog during walks by applying pressure when the dog pulls on the leash.

When using a choke collar, it is important to correctly assemble and fit it on your dog and to use it with caution and care.

What is a Choke Collar?

A choke collar or a choke chain is a tool used to control a dog, especially during walks.

A choke collar is a metal chain with a ring on each end.

The chain is made of metal links and is made to tighten around your dog’s neck to control him.

After correctly setting it up, you can slide the chain over your dog’s head and fasten it to a leash. 

A choke collar is sometimes used by trainers to do ‘corrections’, basically causing pain to the dog every time he misbehaves or tugs on the leash.

Choke collar

How Does a Choke Collar Work?

The purpose of a choke chain is to prevent unwanted behavior during walks.

Choke chains constrict around the dog’s neck when pulled too hard on the leash. When your dog strains on the leash chain or gets over-excited during a walk, the chain will apply pressure.


This pressure will cause serious discomfort (it will basically choke your dog), and he will stop pulling at once. 

What You’ll Need to Get Started?

  • Choke collar
Choke collar

There are many different types of choke chains. You can choose a choke chain depending on the size, link type, material, and chain type. You are free to choose what fits your needs.

The main things to consider are the collar size and the link type.

Collar size: Measure the circumference of your dog’s neck. The chain must be about 2 inches longer than your dog’s neck.

Link-type: Chains with longer links are great for dog breeds with long fur. They prevent your dog’s fur from getting all tangled and messy. Short link chains are for dogs with short fur.

  • Leash

You need to attach a leash to one end of the choke chain. 

Yes, that’s all you need. Now let’s get started.

Related: How to leash train a dog that pulls?

How to Use a Choke Collar? (Step-By-Step)

A dobarman dog wearing a Choke collar

Step 1: Assembling the Collar (Making a “P”)

Hold one end ring in your hand and lower the chain through the ring. The end rings will meet and fasten to form a collar. The ring you looped the chain through is the dead ring, and the ring that you can move back and forth is the live ring.

All you have to do now is pull on one end ring and drag out the chain to make the letter “P.” 

That’s it, you have assembled the choke chain!

Do check out this video:

Step 2: Fitting the Choke Collar on Your Dog

Pick a side

You must first decide which side your dog will be walking on, your right side or your left.

The letter “P” loop section should always be over the dog’s head, with the straight part on top of its neck. 

If orienting the chain still seems confusing, try slipping the choke chain over your fist. Give a small jerk and release the chain. The chain should momentarily tighten and then slack. The orientation is wrong if the chain doesn’t slack when you release it. 


Unlike traditional collars, choke chains do not sit at a dog’s neck. It must fit just behind the dog’s ears. This position is more sensitive, and your dog will respond quickly to mild pressure. If the chain slides to your dog’s chest, it is too big.

Step 3: Attaching the Leash

Now you can attach the leash to the live ring. 

If this is the first time your dog is wearing a choke chain, do not attach the leash soon after putting on the chain. Give your dog a few minutes to get used to the feel of the choke chain. 

Step 4: Walk time

Leash connected to choke collar and a wearing it

Congratulations! You managed to assemble and fit the choke collar correctly. Now comes the best part. Walking your dog!


Make sure that the orientation and position of the chain is correct. 

Never apply too much pressure.


Do remember to keep your dog on the same side when walking. If you fitted the choke chain for walking your dog on the left side, always keep your dog on the left and vice versa.

The leash must stay slack during walking. A slack leash will allow you to correct your dog when needed. If the leash is always tight, your dog will soon get desensitized to the pressure. 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Choke Collars 

Now that you know how to use a choke collar properly let’s look at some Do’s and Don’ts.


Ensure that the choke chain is the correct size for your dog’s neck.
Double and triple-check the orientation of the choke chain.
Keep an eye out for any discomfort in your dog. Especially if this is your dog’s first time walking with a choke chain.
Immediately release the choke chain after a correction.
Always praise your dog for good behavior. The aim is to have your dog behave on walks without needing a choke collar. Train your dog to obey commands like “heel” and “stop” while giving corrections.


Never leave your dog unattended with a choke collar. 
Don’t tug on the leash with too much pressure. A quick jerk and release is all you need to get your dog’s attention.
Don’t use the chain as a form of punishment. Use a choke chain ONLY WHEN WALKING AND TRAINING!


To Conclude 

Chain dog collars are one of the most controversial dog training tools, and not everyone will consider using them.

Yes, we know it’s hard to walk a pulling, stubborn dog, but a choke chain is not the answer. It will hurt your dog and your dog’s behavior won’t improve in the long run. 

There are many alternative reward-based training methods to fix behavior problems. You can even train your dog with the help of a professional trainer. Proper training with positive reinforcement can do wonders and you wouldn’t need to use a choke chain after all.

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Thomas Villalpando
Thomas Villalpando is the main author of Dogs Academy. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. He has been featured in MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Sun, Entrepreneur & More. You can find more about him here.

1 thought on “How to Use a Choke Collar Chain on a Dog? Beginner’s Guide”

  1. I read this article and found information regarding choke chain dog collar is well brief with pros and cons. I really happy to read to this article. Thanks for sharing this kind of information.


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