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Am I right to abandon the choke chain?

(35 Posts)
allhailtheaubergine Tue 27-Sep-11 12:02:39

We are adopting a dog this afternoon. The family who she has been living with can't keep her any more.

I went to meet the dog earlier, and noticed that she wore one of those metal link chain collars - a 'choke chain' that strangles the dog if she pulls. The woman said that as the dog is so young and excitable she has found it necessary to use one for fear of losing her when out walking.

I have never used one but they seem dreadful to me. I have picked up a harness and plan to put her in that when I pick her up later.

Is this the right thing to do, do you think?

malinois Tue 27-Sep-11 12:07:52

It's certainly the right thing to abandon the choke chain - horrible things. However a harness will just let the dog pull harder - that's why sled huskies wear them!

Get a Gentle Leader halter instead, and work on training.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 27-Sep-11 12:15:31

Yes, you're right.

What size of dog is she? What type- - I'm just being nosy, not helpful here grin

Glad she's finding a good new home - good luck! smile

allhailtheaubergine Tue 27-Sep-11 12:20:42

Unfortunately I won't be able to get a Gentle Leader halter - that sort of thing isn't available here (we are not in UK). I will see if I can get one brought out from UK. In the mean time I'll have to see how the halter goes - I don't think she's terribly strong, it's more a fear of her dancing and wriggling and slipping her collar.

allhailtheaubergine Tue 27-Sep-11 12:23:48

She's a complete mix. I'd say there was a fair bit of Saluki in her, but who knows what else! She is rather beautiful smile She is 9 months old, and a whirl of flying limbs and clumsy puppy in a grown dog's body! She is also very mouthy.

<wondering what I have let myself in for>

I had planned to get an older, smaller, calmer dog. But well... she needs a home, and we can give her a home...

malinois Tue 27-Sep-11 12:25:07

allhail where are you? You can get a Gentle Leader on Amazon and they deliver worldwide.

For a sight hound you really need a martingale, see here. This is just the first site I found, as am in a rush.

I shudder at the thought of a choke chain being used on a long slender neck like that.

SouthernandCross Tue 27-Sep-11 12:27:44

Oh god, don't use a choke chain on a saluki cross ( or any other dog!). I have a saluki/ greyhound cross and she's lovely on a lead now she's two. But when younger it was a bit like walking a Kangaroo. She is beautiful but a bit thick and a terrible thief. Good luck!

Hard to say as I haven't seen her, but if she does look very saluki/sighthound ish, then I wouldn't use a head collar of any sort, though a correctly fitted harness might be useful.

allhailtheaubergine Tue 27-Sep-11 12:32:21

Amazon may deliver, but I still won't get the package! I'm in Oman and everything mysteriously goes missing in the "postal service" here hmm. I have some friends visiting from UK in a few weeks time. I will Amazon some things to them and they can bring them out.

allhailtheaubergine Tue 27-Sep-11 12:35:04

I've always used treat training in the past to learn polite walking both on and off lead, but then I've always had Labradors so it's easily done!

I do wonder though that as she is so mouthy it might well work for her too. Earlier today she was skittering along next to me mouthing my hand as I walked out to my car.

We'll just have to see how we go I guess.

allhailtheaubergine Tue 27-Sep-11 12:36:54

She looks a lot like this though smaller, shorter and slighter. VERY butterfly ears!

GrimmaTheNome Tue 27-Sep-11 12:44:12

Oh, if she's like that she's gorgeous!

I'm not an expert but I'd have thought a harness would be useful to start with for that sort of dog, and then the 'martingale' (I didn't know that's what they were called) when she's more trained.

EggyAllenPoe Tue 27-Sep-11 12:47:23

i would try and deal with the pulling through training e.g. stopping completely when dog pulls, rather than a different lead, holding treats slightly behind you as you walk, etc etc..

i don't like halty/ harnesses after having a dog (admittedly a much stronger dog than a saluki) pull so hard and so continuously they developed sores under the harness straps. No doubt it works for some people though.

Salukis are very mental, I cannot recommend enough joining a sighthound or Saluki forum when you will be able to get loads of breed specific advice.

She will not train anything like a lab.

After owning lots of different breed and training them all relatively easily, I got a whippet last year and initially nearly had a nervous breakdown tring to teach him anythinggrin

The main difference is she will have no desire to please you whatsoever, all sighthounds are highly independent and self serving, you just need to get creative in your thinking, but you are right about using poitive rewards it is still the correct way to go.

I you have someone visiting you from the UK, maybe get them to get you a collar from here which is what you really need.

Good luck with her, I hope she brings you many years of joy.

allhailtheaubergine Tue 27-Sep-11 12:51:49

I will be sure to keep a careful eye on any rubbing from the harness. Good point.

Forgot to add if you wanted to go down the harness route, which are idea for sighthounds, then this site is excellent.

allhailtheaubergine Tue 27-Sep-11 12:55:11

Oh blimey WTWTA. What have I let myself in for?

Lots and lots of fun and gamesgringringrin

They are also deeply affectionate, loyal and hilarious.

You'll be finegrin

SouthernandCross Tue 27-Sep-11 13:06:08

They aren't entirely dumb. Here's mine on her iPad.
grin

allhailtheaubergine Tue 27-Sep-11 13:33:20

I have a hard enough time wrestling my 3 and 5yo for the ipad. Don't tell me the dog's going to be taking turns too!

I have just been reading Hyperbole and a half. I like how she writes about her dogs. At least it won't be that bad.

allhailtheaubergine Tue 27-Sep-11 13:37:00

Your dog is beautiful btw S&C smile

CurlyCasper Tue 27-Sep-11 13:43:00

I feel for you allhail. I went from a lifetime of Lab ownership and training to a rescued lurcher. It's a completely different experience. The only thing that motivates my girl is fast moving small furries! So I wish you luck. Ours wears a greyhound collar (provided when we got her from Dogs Trust) and a slip lead for walks - that's one thing I kept the same from my Lab days. We had a harness at first and even the softer ones irritated under her "armpits" and made them raw. I would never use a choke chain.

You're going to have some adventures and laughs - and some lovely cuddles.

SouthernandCross Tue 27-Sep-11 13:53:27

CC I've never had a hound either. Always had collie/ GSD/doberman X's so it's been a steep curve for me too. Mine is highly motivated by small running things too but she has a favourite fluffy squeaky toy that she'll come for. She also comes when I click the catch on the lead as she knows this means 'walkies', even if we are already out walking.... Her recall isn't bad, maybe 90%? The first thing other lurcher owners ask me after 'is she saluki?' is 'Does she come back?'

CurlyCasper Tue 27-Sep-11 14:08:54

we have about an 80% recall. Unfortunately the other 20 per cent often involves her running off for miles after hare (we are in a very rural area). But I've only had to alert Pet Log once grin. She came to us with mental health issues and after 3 years she is much more like a proper dog (in the beginning she didn't even know how to play with a ball). And I just love the affection you can get from sighthounds. And the fact that once they have had a good run, they will happily chill out for hours on end.

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