check chain – training aid
assorted gauges and lengths
A Reputation Unwarranted
The reputation of this training aid – and that is all it ever should be – belies it’s functional effect. Used correctly, all you want to hear is the slight noise of the chain elements clicking past each other as you apply the correction. It would be wrong to have a choking effect, and that must never occur.
Using The Chain Correctly
For the correction of the check chain to work at it’s best, the handler should vocalised a sound, to let the dog know something s/he does is not what the handler wants. The dog has a chance to stop doing what the handler does not want, for example pulling.
Only if the dog continues, a light tug on the lead should effect the chain links to sound a light rattling noise. Assuming your dog is not deaf, that noise is the marker sound the dog will be trained to listen for and respond to. The tug must occur well before the lead becomes tight by the pull of the dog. The handler’s timing is critical to the success of the correction and determines how gentle the experience will be for the dog.
A check chain is a training aid only and must never be left on a dog while unsupervised, not even for the shortest period of time.
Breed Related Issues
Dogs with short snouts may have a shorter (than average) and more importantly a bent trachea (windpipe), which can collapse or choke. Breeds such as boxers, staffies, AMStaffs are better off using a different training aid.
The thick and firm hair of Huskies, Malamutes and German Shepherds could snag the check chain. Use the coarsest gauge available and a slightly longer chain to give the dog a fair chance.
Sizing – Gauge & Length
Check chains come in different gauges (thicknesses of a chain link). Thicker gauges suit larger dogs: 3mm and 3.5mm. Small dogs require a thinner gauge at 2mm, while medium sized dogs might use 2.5mm and 3mm gauges.
The length of the check chain is of critical importance. Too short a chain will result in choking, while a long chain will result in late timing and can lead to a yanking effect. Neither is conducive to a gentle correction.
Note: chains with prongs are harsh and in some jurisdictions prohibited.