Pugs are highly trainable, friendly dogs who also have a stubborn streak that can make them difficult to walk. Choke collars pose several dangers to these dogs, particularly because of their small size and vulnerability to breathing problems. There are several better, more effective training tools available.
Choke Collar Risks
Choke collars pose dangers to all dogs, but small dogs like pugs are particularly vulnerable. A pug's neck and throat are more likely to be injured by a choke chain. Choke collars are also ineffective. Many dogs continue to pull despite being choked, and simply learn to live with the sensation. This increases their risk of injury and also increases training difficulty.
Halters are modified collars that wrap around a dog's chest. Nylon halters use several strap-like portions that can be adjusted using clips or snaps. When the dog pulls, the halter exerts force on the chest that can discourage future pulling. Dogs are also easier to control in halters and less likely to slip out or choke. Ask a dog trainer or veterinarian to help you ensure that the halter is properly fitted to your pug. A variation of the halter wraps around the dog's nose. While this tool is highly effective with many dogs, it is unsafe for pugs because of their short snout.
Mesh halters work according to the same principles as nylon halters. However, these halters don't require that you correctly wrap the halter around your dog's chest and adjust the sizing. Mesh halters are one solid piece without clips. These halters do not exert pressure on your dog's neck and are less likely to slip up or down than nylon halters. If you use a mesh halter, ensure it is snug against your dog's skin, but is not pinching.
Martingale collars are fabric collars with a portion of the collar made from chains. These collars prevent dogs from slipping out of the collar without choking the dog. They can also help reduce pulling on walks. However, avoid putting your dog in a martingale collar when he's unattended, as there is a small chance the chain could catch on something and your dog could hang himself.
Brenna Davis is a professional writer who covers parenting, pets, health and legal topics. Her articles have appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as on websites. She is a court-appointed special advocate and is certified in crisis counseling and child and infant nutrition. She holds degrees in developmental psychology and philosophy from Georgia State University.