What people refer to as training collars are generally called “choke chains”. A choke chain is metal-made with a sliding ring attached to the dog’s leash. You may wonder why it was called as such. The reason behind is the fact that there is no limit on the tightness these training collars can pull against a dog’s neck. Therefore, there is a possibility to have him choked. Furthermore, it can cause some serious injuries like severely sprained necks, tracheal and esophageal damage, hind leg ataxia, etc.
If you doubt, there are documents to support them from hundreds of veterinary practices related to choke chain-injuries. So choke chains must really be used appropriately. Experienced trainers would have proper handling of the tool. But for the most part, an average person won’t. Therefore it is important that in the very start, you choose the right leash and collar for your dog.
The one called flat buckle collar could either be nylon or leather. It can be used for training and everyday use. It should fit stably, but make sure to allow looseness enough for you to insert at least two fingers. Any looser than that may cause sliding off but tighter might cause the dog’s discomfort.
Nylon which comes in various bright colors is good for dogs that spend most time in water or mud. Meanwhile leather is durable and absorbs oils from your dog’s coat. Thus it is more flexible over time. So choice of material mainly depends on personal preference. Also, the width of the collar must be appropriate for your dog’s size. For instance, a Chihuahua, which is a small breed, doesn’t require a wide or heavy collar.
Another ideal device to prevent choking is a harness that goes around the neck and rib cage. This is a great way to get rid of that choking “tug of war” whenever you want to pull your dog on a certain direction. They can also protect small dogs which have small airways from serious collar pressings.
Now speaking of proper leash, the same as collars, there is a choice of material-leather or nylon (braided leather is also available). Most dog owners pick a retractable leash. These are nylon-made with plastic casing and are up to 25 feet or so in length. Its one-button “braking” system and spring mechanism are its best assets.