If choke chains didnt cause pain and damage, then it would be fine to use them on small dogs.
The world of science-based training has left the world of pain-based traditional training techniques in the dust. The majority of people who use choke chains, prong collars, and e-collars use these tools to fix a problem that could have been solved with training. If a dog pulls on leash you must teach the dog to walk beside you. Using an aversive tool to merely mitigate the pulling is inhumane because the dog has never been taught what to do and you risk causing extensive damage to the dog’s throat and general health. While I do not condone the use of these uneducated-archaic methods, my primary concern is with owners who are punishing their dogs when they have never taken the time to teach the desired behavior.
When both types of conditioning are put together, these forms of learning can lead to downward spiraling behavior problems, especially when choke chains and prong collars are used on already fearful or fear-aggressive dogs. Let’s take for example a dog who barks at and runs towards other dogs, whether out of excitement, fear, or leash frustration. When he reaches the end of the leash, the choke chain or pinch collar inflicts pain and distress, possibly exacerbated by the handler jerking the leash. More often than not, the dog will not learn that good behavior (stopping the barking and lunging) will make the pain go away. Instead, the pain and distress will be associated with the other dog, making the barking and lunging even worse the next time another dog shows up. It would be more effective to teach the dog how to behave right and reward the correct behavior. Rewards make for positive associations and therefore a positive mindset, making future dog encounters more likely to be peaceful.
Choke Chains and Collars – Swole Dogs
Thoughts on using choke chains to discipline dogs? - HubPages
While many people think that the prong collar is a trendy new gadget for the modern dog owner, the fact is that it predates the much more commonly used choke chain. Prong type collars appear in photographs and sketches in European training literature from the turn of the century. Presumably invented by people who relied on their dogs' obedience, responsiveness and good attitude in a time when most dogs had actual "jobs", the prong collar still has a prominent place in the "toolbox" of the modern, balanced dog trainer. Choke chains are a good teacher for puppies, and they're only as painful as the dog is rebellious. As with any other form of discipline, you have to be a little rough to establish both dominance and rules.
Besides, if choke chains actually did pose any threat to your dog's life when used as directed, they would never have been approved to be sold. The prong collar works on the concept that evenly applied pressure is gentler and more effective on a dog's neck than the quick jerk and impact of a choke chain or the steady, relentless pressure of a flat collar. While a professional trainer can make a choke chain correction look fast and flawless, it is very difficult for most pet dog owners to master the timing and the release of the correction. Also, even a perfectly executed choke chain correction is a repeated impact on a single spot on a dog's neck. The current trend of the "head halter" system is equally flawed. In an earlier edition of this article, I referred to it as a good choice for dogs with structural problems. In the past few years I have spoken with veterinarians, trainers and owners who took issue with that recommendation based on the potential insult to the soft tissue of the dog's upper neck and the often careless way in which the headcollar is used by people who are assured that it is "humane" and cannot harm their dog. Like every other training tool, it also has its place. However, for a breed already beset with potential spinal and structural problems such as the Doberman, I find myself recommending it less and less. The self-limiting tightening action of the prong collar also makes it a safer bet for strong-pulling dogs. A prong collar can only be pulled so tight, unlike the choke or slip collar, which has unlimited closing capacity and in careless or abusive hands, can cut a dog's air entirely. My interest in this survey stemmed from my original use of Choke Chains on my own Golden Retrievers, which I soon stopped once I realized that the chain was removing hair from my dogs necks. At the same time, I had taken up agility and soon realized that I had to maintain control over my dogs by voice and encouragement alone. I was further puzzled by seeing handlers who had good verbal control over their dogs during competition and yet slipping a choke chain over their dogs necks at the end of the run.