Friday, September 4, 2009

Choke Chain Reality

The practice of slamming the dog sideways with a jerk that brought the foreparts clear of the ground and 2-3 feet towards the handler, became popular in the 1970s and resulted in a painful condition known as 'Woodhouse neck' (see below) in his practice. He reports that some of these cases exhibited misalignment of cervical vertebrae on radiographs and that his ophthalmology colleagues had decided views on the relation between compression of the neck caused by the use choke chains, intra-ocular pressure disturbances and damage to the cervical sympathetic nerve chain resulting in Horner's syndrome. He also reports having personally seen a case of 'swollen eyes with petechial scleral haemorrhage and a number of temporarily voiceless dogs caused by the use of choke chains in the training of dogs'. It is never appropriate to recommend to an owner to hang a dog from a choke collar to subdue aggression. If the owner cannot back the dog down, and this may take a fight to the death, they are at risk of being injured (Grobbelaar 2006).