Thank you in advance. Now's not too early. But there is no reason to use a choke chain to train a puppy (or any dog).
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.
Although you now know how to properly set up and affix a choke collar to a dog, you must take into consideration the fact that there are other more humane and less harsh options available when it comes to training collars. The choke chain works to train a dog because it allows the trainer to administer corrections when the animal performs incorrect behaviors. However, choke chains are too often overused and the corrections applied are unnecessarily heavy-handed. Strong, jerking corrections can frighten an animal, or worse cause them pain and even injury.
Can check (choke) chains still be used to successfully train dogs?
choke chains in dog training are a bad idea - YouTube
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. Most of the trainers I contacted do not use chains but 2 recommended their use, with one recommending their use on untrained dogs. One trainer advised that they should be banned altogether after nearly losing one of his own dogs through strangulation when a choke chain locked. Only one agreed they should only be used by experienced handlers, which I personally found disturbing. Seven thought it might be a good idea to add a warning label to each chain at the point of sale.During a recently completed Instructors Course earlier this year, I elected, as a special study, to carry out a small survey into the Misuse of Choke Chains. The preferred name of these chains in the dog-training world is Check Chains, but as they check the dog initially by choking it, I decided that for my special study I would use Choke Chain as a more apt description. My survey extended to 51 pages on completion so the following is a shortened version containing most of the important points discovered.Sometimes it is necessary to use a choke chain to restrain (never discipline) a dog. Even young dogs can easily slip a conventional collar and run a muck being a nuisance or worse being run over by a car or the like. It is better to use a choke chain and have a live animal at the end of the day, but never use it to discipline the dog, the dog will not learn anything that way. Remember that the dog is your friend and you are not using the collar to hurt the dog, you are using it to keep the dog from being hurt or annoying others.