APDT Policy On Half Check Collars
Half check collars can of course be used in a similar way to a full choke chain. It is most definitely against the UK APDT policy to use ANY collar to jerk, pull or choke a dog.
Half check collars are also known as martingale or combination/combi collars. They are preferred by some owners of heavy coated dogs because it is felt that this collar does not break up and mark the neck coat as much as a standard flat collar. These collars are also sometimes preferred for safety by the owners of narrow headed dogs such as sight hounds or rough collies, especially those who may panic, put on the brakes, quickly back out of their flat collar, leaving a distraught owner holding collar and lead while their dog in full flight becomes a speck in the distance. Owners may also for one reason or another find it difficult to manage buckled or clip on collars so find it more practical to slip this style of collar on and off over their dog’s head.
The APDT,UK has no issue with members using half check collars for these reasons, provided they are fitted correctly and not used to jerk and copy the action of a full choke chain in any way. They should be fitted so that when tightened the two rings actually meet around the dog’s neck, with sufficient space for two fingers to be slipped against the neck, under the collar in exactly the same way as a flat collar would be fitted. This ensures that the Half Check collar cannot be used as a choke collar when the lead tightens.
However, if fitted so that the two rings do not meet Half check collars can of course be used to copy the unpleasant and painful action of a full choke chain. Unfortunately some unenlightened trainers and owners still use the collar with the intention to jerk, choke and intimidate dogs. To make matters worse it has recently become fashionable again to fit collars which slip, tight up behind the dog’s ears. This disgusting practice seen by some as a ‘miracle’ which stops dogs from pulling, does so because when the lead tightens the collar causes extreme pain to the TMJ’s (hinges of the jaws) and the pressure points at the base of the skull. The UK APDT does not endorse methods of training which cause pain and discomfort so would take seriously a complaint against a member using this collar contrary to our Code of Practice and ethic of Kind, Fair, Effective training.
APDT,UK Policy on Slip Leads
Unless used correctly, and at the correct times, slip-leads are essentially the same as choke-chains, and carry similar risks and dangers.
It should be borne in mind that slip-leads are for emergency purposes only, (and dog sports such as Gundog and Agility) but it is essential that they should always be loose, and used only by dogs which can sit or walk beside their handler correctly.
A slip lead should never be used to train a dog to walk correctly on a lead.