Imagine that energetic young dog that just wants to play so much, and slips out of his collar when you try to leave the park. Or think of the leash reactive dog who is nearly too powerful to control, lunging or biting at any animal, grass, or human you pass. A dog chain collar is a great solution.
What could you do?
List of dog chain collars for your dog
Here’s a list of dog chain collars you can select from if you already know what you need. Or you can read about the products with their pros and cons and make your decision based on that.
- W/W Lifetime 19MM 14K Gold Plated Slip Chain Dog Collar
- GUXL Dog Martingale Pinch Choke Collar
- Mogoko Personalized Stainless Steel Dog Choke Chain Collar
- SGODA Chain Dog Training Choke Collar
- Ladashop Dog Chain Collar
- Darkyazi Durable Pinch Collar
- StarMark Training Collar
- Supet Dog Prong Collar
- Metal Plates Martingale Dog Collar
- OneTigris Large Tactical Dog Harness
- Country Brook Petz – Martingale Dog Collar
- Wintchuk Dog Head Collar with Padded Leather
What is a Dog Chain Called?
Imagine a metal chain link collar around your dog’s neck, one end fitting loosely through a metal loop. The idea is simple! The metal chain is tightening when a dog offers too much resistance (pulling) and loosening immediately when that resistance is no longer there if worn properly.
Most dog owners call this a ‘choke chain’, including most owners that use them. The nickname is simple and describes the collars well- a chain collar that chokes when tightened. On the other hand, they aren’t exactly meant to ‘choke’ a dog, but rather apply a form of simple aversion training the dog (not the owner) controls.
The better, correct name for these collars is ‘slip collar’.
Are Chain Collars Bad for Dogs?
Not at all!
A chain or slip collar isn’t recommended for smaller breeds or developing puppies. Slip collars can either be fantastic training tools in the right hands or a very bad, even dangerous tool to use if the handler is inexperienced.
The dog himself will eventually realize excessive pulling causes him discomfort in a perfect situation. Eventually, he will stop pulling altogether in order to avoid that discomfort. If he doesn’t stop, he will at least slow down.
Unfortunately, that is the perfect world of experienced dog training and not always the case. Slip collars become true to their nicknames, ‘Choke Chains’ when an owner jerks on the collar out of frustration. Perhaps that handler learned poor training technique.
Pinch collars (another kind of dog chain) look painful but are merely meant to tighten and ‘pinch’ the loose skin around the dog’s neck when he pulls. They aren’t supposed to stick in or dig into the dog’s neck. Prong collars are also useful training tools but can become dangerous and even potentially lethal if worn incorrectly.
Note: Brachycephalic dogs (short-skull, Pugs, English Bulldogs, Boxers, certain Mastiff breeds, Chow Chows, etc. are already more susceptible to breathing difficulties. Take care when using any training method that could hinder breathing.
What Kind of Collar is Best for a Dog?
There are literally countless different shapes or training collars made out of any kind of material you can think of these days! Some even look more like horse halters than dog collars. So, which is best?
The answer is there is no answer. The best collar you can use depends on your situation and what you are trying to accomplish. Consider some of the collars below, and what situations they might be best for.
This is your standard, everyday dog collar most people use. There usually isn’t anything special about it, other than the design material (Nylon, leather, etc). There should be a metal loop for your leash/lead to connect to and another for tags.
There is no real training benefit to this type of dog collar. It is traditional, easy to use, and will offer you a place to put those dog tags.
These dog chain collars will sort of ‘self-correct’, not requiring much action on the handler’s part. If the handler stops in a stationary position while the dog ignores the ‘halt’ command and continues to pull, the prongs will begin to tighten and pinch the skin.
These collars will need to be fitted properly for each individual dog to ensure safe use. If used correctly, they can actually prevent injury. Your dog could become injured with incorrect use.
While useful tools, these prong collars need constant supervision and a dog shouldn’t wear one while unobserved. They are best used by an experienced dog handler for larger, powerful, or difficult to control breeds. These would be useful dog chains for Pitbulls or Great Danes, for example.
These are fantastic leash training tools for the average medium to large breed dog owner, as long as care is taken with directions. As long as these dog chains are used correctly, they will work very well!
Metal is more durable than any kind of fabric slip collar, and usually stainless steel for water resistance.
These aren’t always recommended for severely reactive dogs that would simply choke themselves during an attempt to get at other animals.
A Cuban link dog chain offers a thicker interlocking pattern more attractive and durable than your regular chain link slip collar. These would be especially useful with extremely powerful dogs.
Cuban link dog chains are usually available in a form of gold.
You might consider this a kind of ‘harness’ worn on the face. Though it might seem inhumane at first, the head halter is actually the complete opposite!
You don’t get any kind of discomfort or more aversive techniques here, as you might with a prong collar. The idea is very simple; the dog is forced to turn in a certain direction if he pulls at all on the lead. The handler never has to pull or tug on the lead at all.
Training a dog to walk is very simple with a head halter. On the other hand, a handler will need to train the dog to accept the halter (which requires patience).
These are usually flat dog collars, but available with an added electronic feature. Smart collars for dogs are able to accomplish things not possible just a decade ago.
GPS collars are able to track a dog from miles away, allowing certain high-energy dogs safe freedom to roam. GPS collars also make it easy to find a lost pet, which can be extremely important depending on where in the world you live.
Other smart collars can monitor behavioral changes, keep track of your pet’s vitals, track a dog’s general health, etc.
Martingale Dog Chain Collars
These are sort of like slip collars but not quite as aversive. They are mainly meant to prevent dogs with larger necks from slipping out of their collars while on a lead.
Have you ever had your dog slip out of his collar when at the dog park, for example? With a martingale collar, this would never happen.
Martingale collars will tighten only to a point when pulled, avoiding the potential choking hazard offered by thinner chain-link slip collars. There is no risk of constriction to your pet’s trachea.
Dog Show Collars
Dog show collars are slip collars, usually made from a braided material like nylon or leather, sometimes metal. These are slightly different than regular slip collars.
Often used with toy breeds in a show ring, Martingale Leads are all-in-one collar-leads, like the martingale collar above. They are designed to stop short of shocking or constricting on your dog’s neck.
The dog harness is best for road safety, offering a potentially brightly colored alternative to a reflective traffic vest for a human. When hiking, the harness won’t catch and pull at a dog’s neck, and many offer Velcro areas for various identification tags. If your dog happens to become lost, no human is going to mistake a dog wearing a harness for a stray.
A service or military dog would wear a harness, for example, to let onlookers know this is a working dog immediately. It’s best the dog is already leash trained before using this.
Electronic E-Collar (Shock Collar)
It’s an option, but we advise against using shock collars at any time.
Shock collars for dogs can be very useful training tools and sometimes the best tools you can find for a given situation! They can also be very bad training tools if misused. Unfortunately, the majority of dog owners that invest in these tend to misuse them.
An electronic collar is meant to administer a painless but startling ‘jolt’ to the dog’s neck as a form of correction. Imagine a scenario, for example, in which an owner wants to teach a dog to fear a road and oncoming traffic, so they administer a shack whenever the dog approaches the road.
Eventually, that dog will learn the road means they get a shock and will avoid the road altogether. This could save a dog’s life, and is the exact principle ‘underground fences’ are built on.
Electronic ‘shock’ collars aren’t meant to simply get a dog’s attention every time your recall doesn’t work. They shouldn’t replace training methods because a handler wants to take shortcuts, and can result in a timid, overly anxious, or aggressive animal if misused.
Shock collars shouldn’t be used with puppies under a year of age.
Should I Use a Choke Chain for my Puppy?
There are very few circumstances where you should ever use any kind of slip collar or ‘choke chain’ on a young puppy. You can begin using choke chains ideally at around 18 months, as most dogs will be done developing physically.
When it comes to training, unless your puppy is a powerful giant breed difficult to control, you shouldn’t need it. Aversive training techniques are discouraged with puppies (younger especially), but that isn’t the most important reason.
Puppies are still developing, and tend to have delicate tranches easily injured. Injuring a puppy’s trachea (a.k.a. windpipe) can be extremely dangerous for the dog.
“With severe tracheal wounds that are accompanied by swelling in the surrounding tissues or bleeding into the windpipe, dramatic breathing problems may develop immediately (Saint Frances Veterinary Center).”
Consider the head halter option described above for your (1 year+) puppy. If used correctly, head halters are extremely effective yet don’t apply any kind of potentially dangerous pressure that could frighten or injure the pup.
You can also consider a Martingale collar. Both options are listed below!
What Age Can You Leash Train a Puppy?
Some say you can begin leash training a puppy as young as eight weeks, but you might want to wait until about 3-4 months. Understand the brain is still developing even at eight weeks, and training anything at this stage will be very difficult. The puppy is also very small and as yet uncoordinated.
You absolutely want to avoid any kind of training that might discourage young puppies, so slip chain collars or prong collars should be avoided.
Dog Chain Product Reviews
This gold plated Cuban link dog chain is perfect for those owners looking for the control a slip collar offers with the style of a Cuban link dog chain and strong durability of metal! These dog chain collars are absolutely perfect for stronger, powerful animals.
- 18K plated gold
- Over 400 ratings
- Never tarnish or rust
- Never irritate dog’s skin
- Replacement offered for any damage
- Offered in 5 sizes
- Not recommended for smaller breeds or puppies
Do you like the idea of a martingale collar that doesn’t choke your dog when pulled, but want something stronger than the material they are normally made from? This is one of the few fantastic chain-link martingale collars available!
You’ll never need to look for a new dog collar with this
- Made of plated stainless steel
- Tightens but shouldn’t choke
- Over 100 ratings
- Clear instructions on use
- Only available in 3 sizes
- Must measure neck before ordering
Do you want all of the benefits a great chain link dog collar and slip collar have to offer but are sick of losing those pesky dog tags? Why not simply have your pet’s information engraved into a plate that lasts the life of the collar?
Not many dog chain collars offer this type of thick dog chain jewelry, making the Mogoko one of a kind! The edges of these chain link dog collars are also smooth and rounded for extra comfort.
- High-quality stainless steel
- Chrome plated
- Personalized pet’s name/phone number/address can be engraved
- Smooth, rounded edges
- Only three sizes available
- No replace
This metal dog chain is very simple and exactly what a chain link slip collar should be! Recommended for professional or experienced trainers and made of heavy-duty stainless steel, the SGODA dog chain offers the essentials any dog owner would need when leash training.
If you’re looking for durable, thick chain dog collars that last, give this one a try!
- Offers measurement instructions
- Visual instructions for use
- Simple design
- Made of 304 stainless steel
- Excellent for gentle control
- No easy to follow directions
Available with an enhanced training tightening function and made from a tough 316 stainless steel, this heavy-duty dog chain won’t let you down! If you’re looking for a chain link slip collar built for powerful breeds, look no further.
- Tightening function available
- 316 stainless steel
- Gold and black plating
- 12/15mm wide and 12-26 inches long
- Suggested breeds listed
- Available in 8 sizes
- Lacking explicit directions
Pinch collars may look intimidating, but they are just as useful as any other chain collar. If worn correctly, the metal prongs will only tighten and cause a pinching effect, not ‘poke’ into the dog’s throat.
The handler doesn’t need to pull or jerk at all! The dog himself is in control of the pinch collar, his pulling force causing the pinch. If used correctly, these are no less humane than a nylon slip collar.
- Good for powerful breeds
- Prongs are smooth and rounded
- Same training principle as a slip collar
- Durable metal
- Around 800 positive ratings
- Can be dangerous if worn incorrectly
- Shouldn’t use with puppies
Are you looking for a new, friendly, and creative take on the pinch collar design? Do you want to avoid the potential hazards a metal prong collar can present? Try out this rubber dog chain-link collar!
With this new, innovative idea, you’ll get the training benefits of a pinch collar without the potential risks of metal prongs.
- Over 5,000 ratings
- Less invasive than metal
- Removable links
- 20-inch diameter for larger dogs
- Not as durable as metal
The prongs on this pinch chain collar are covered in soft rubber to prevent any poking, but that isn’t the best feature of this dog chain collar. A quick, easy release plastic buckle makes removal a breeze!
Even training is a breeze with explicit instructions, clear photos of what to do and not to do, and a video to boot!
- Rubber coating for prongs
- Quick-release buckle
- Over 2,500 ratings
- Amazon bestseller
- Easy to follow instructions
- Not suitable for small breeds
If you’re looking for a creative new take on the martingale dog chain collar, try this one out! A wider circumference will prevent constriction damage while enhancing comfort. As with all metal collars, this is very durable and won’t rip, tear or break.
- Limited closure ensures the dog’s safety
- 3mm link chain
- Available in 6 sizes
- High-quality chrome-plated steel
- FREE Shipping on orders over $25.00
- Under 200 ratings
We couldn’t forget to include our dog harness top pick! When it comes to harnesses, this does it all. The vest itself buckles together for easy application, and it will never constrict on the neck.
Whereas it is only available in black or brown, there are plenty of patched areas to add reflective strips of velcro. If road safety is your concern, all you’ll have to do is find reflective patches (like these).
As far as room for patches or name tags, you can have anything printed and attached to the powerful velcro you want. From your dog’s name, address, and phone number to veterinary information, medical conditions, the popular ‘Do Not Pet’, and even military patches; they’re all game!
- 2 Leash Clips
- 3 Durable Handles
- 2 Stainless Steel D-Rings
- 2 quick-release metal buckles
- 2 UTX buckles
- Dog should already be leash trained
- Only available in two sizes
Martingale collars help provide the handler more control over his or her dog without the choking’ effect of a slip collar, or pinching of a prong collar. A martingale collar, if properly worn, won’t choke or apply any pressure to the dog’s trachea.
If you are worried about the potential harm of a dog chain, meet somewhere in the middle with the control you want without the risk you don’t!
- 100% Polyester
- Made in the USA
- Adjustable thickness
- Available in 8 sizes
- Customer support available
- Not recommended for toy breeds or young puppies
Head halters for dogs look a little like a horse halter, fitting over the dog’s face. These might look strange at first, but they are fantastic tools! The idea is very simple; the halter will force the dog’s head to turn in a certain direction when pulling, stopping the walk. The only way to keep walking is not to pull.
- Training instructions included
- Multiple sizes available
- Safe for all sized
- Over 300 positive ratings
- Avoid ‘positive punishment’ aversive training
- Not a chain
- Susceptible to chew damage
Find the Chain Collar Right for your Dog
With all the options available today, finding the right dog chain for your situation couldn’t be easier! Not only have we listed ten different types, but 12 easily linked options for you to look at above!