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Choke collar hurting dog's ears?   Equipment, Supplies and Toys

Started Nov-9 by Pablooshka; 461 views.
Pablooshka

From: Pablooshka

Nov-9

Hi,

I recently started using a choke collar with my german shepherd. I put it on and take it off over my dog's head every time we go out, about 3 times a day.

Recently one of my dog's ears started drooping. I was wondering if putting on and taking off the collar over his ears was hurting the cartilage in his ears. I know german shepherd's ears are very sensitive!

If I did hurt his ear, is there anything I can do to help so it will stop drooping?

Thanks for your help!!

Remi (DerWolfram)

From: Remi (DerWolfram)

Nov-9

Hey! Welcome to the forum! How old is your dog? Ears don't usually fully stand until around 6-9 months old, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. But, it's good that you're concerned because young GSD ears are sensitive and different things can cause damage to them while they're trying to stand. Depending on the age of the dog, there are many things you can do to help ears.

Regarding choke collars, I do not personally like them and recommend a prong collar instead. Choke collars can cause damage to the dog's throat and trachea because of where they hit the dog on the neck. A properly fitted prong sits higher on the dog and fits snug, so it doesn't choke and instead applies pressure. GSDs usually react much better to a prong than a choke collar as their natural instinct is to get out ahead of their owner and pull, and many GSDs will simply pull against a choke collar and not let up. The only choke collar I use is a fursaver collar that I use during show work for my longcoat GSD, and I dead-lock it so that it doesn't actually choke. 

FriedFishie

From: FriedFishie

Nov-9

I agree that I wouldn't be using a choke collar. Prongs are, if used correctly, more humane and (in my admittedly limited experience) more effective. I know they look scary, and dogs don't always love them (I just got one for my pup, and he's conflicted. He wants to walk, but doesn't like the prong much), but I have a strong preference for prongs over choke collars.

Herm Sprenger has some that have a quick release or buckle, which eliminates the need to take prongs apart, which can be a bit of a pain. They're a bit more expensive, but imo it's worth it.

Pablooshka

From: Pablooshka

Nov-9

Thank you! My dog is almost a year old. His ears have been standing up for the last four months which is why I am concerned that one is now drooping. What do you recommend about his ear drooping? 

Thank you for the recommendation about the collar! It is true my dog doesnt seem to respond to the choke collar, he still pulls me very strongly, so I will take your advice! 

  • Edited November 9, 2017 12:08 pm  by  Pablooshka
DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-9

Hi. Welcome.  How old is your dog?  Creasing the ear leather can cause a bend, but I have never had an adult dogs ears go down after using a choke collar, although it could be posssible.  Is it very tight going on over your dog’s head?  I used to use them all the time. Then I switched to a prong.  I have old choke collars. I occasionally use one on my older dog at night just as a reminder we don’t chase wild things in the yard in the dark, but otherwise I don’t.  My goal with all my dogs is to get them out of training collars and into a flat buckle collar or off leash.  I used to think a training collar was permanent, but it isn’t.

It is more likely due to an ear infection, dirt in the ear or even a hematoma, all of which can cause an ear to fall.  I would probably take my dog to a vet if that happened, for an ear exam just in case.  Then after that is ruled out, I would look at other things.  

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-9

I just saw your last post.  Yes, by age 1, I would get his ears checked first, and then go from there.

Pablooshka

From: Pablooshka

Nov-9

Thank you! I just called the vet and we have an appointment on monday. I appreciate your help! 

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-9

Good!  It may not be anything serious, but it’s always a good idea to check out anything different.

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-9

I also sent you a private message. Check and see if you got it.

Remi (DerWolfram)

From: Remi (DerWolfram)

Nov-9

Definitely agree with DW, by age 1 the ears shouldn't be falling because of an outside issue unless the ear literally got bitten or caught in something. A common reason for adult ears to fall would be more along the lines of an ear infection. Glad you're going to see your vet. :)

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