by Judy
(Nanaimo, BC, Canada)

Angel at the dog park

Angel at the dog park

Angel at the dog park

My Angel at 18 months

The damage to my finger!

Hi name is Judy and I own Angel an 18 month old rottie..

Some of you may know us from Beban Dog Park..I would like to share my experience I had today at the park which almost cost me my girls life.. I am not exaggerating and hope this gets around to all dog owners & lovers in Nanaimo and everywhere.

Angel was wearing her chain collar and as we were about to leave her friend,a Pyrenees came and wanted her to stay and play.. I always tend to remove her collar and at this point it was on..They ran off to play and I did think about removing it but figured since we will be leaving in a few big deal.. Well that decision almost cost me her life.

Within minutes there was what sounded like a dog fight and as I and others were running over I knew immediately that the Pyrenees’ mouth was caught in her chain.. Of course as he tried to free himself the bouncing and twisting of it was choking her out!! The more they tried to separate the tighter the chain was getting.. I tried ‘flicking’ it off his teeth and well we all know what injuries that can lead to. As my Angel was laying on the ground with her eyes starting to look confused and empty I envisioned her dying right then and there and somehow I found the strength to bear hug the Pyrenees and wrap my arms and legs around him while on my back and some ‘hero’ came out of nowhere and I can’t honestly tell you how he managed to free his jaw from the chain.

The whole incident was less then 2 minutes. Angel did exhibit some signs of shock when I got her home but is fine.. The Pyrenees to my knowledge did not lose his canine or any other teeth that I am aware of but will inquire more when I can get back to the park. Of course that won’t be until my injuries heal…. My right middle finger was almost amputated at the first knuckle and my index finger was torn. Both required stitches and at this point the extent of the damage is not known. My left hand has several puncture wounds and not much could be done for that. I can only say that the injuries I sustained were, to me, a small sacrifice in saving my dogs life and her friends teeth.

I would love to thank the gentleman who helped us, I’m not sure where he came from, and all the others in the park today…. from the person who held Angel while I tried washing away the blood, to the lady holding the tap on for me, to the one who called my husband for help and the one who locked up my car for me and gave me her roll of paper towel…. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. It is because of all of you that I got through this situation and have my baby here with me still.

I will be getting in touch with animal control to report this and find out what I can do toward having these type of collars preferable banned from being worn at dog parks. This type of situation possibly happening was discussed on many occasions by many at the park which is why I always remove her collar when we visit. However this is a perfect example of how it can only take a minute for the worst to happen..

I PROMISE you will never see Angel wearing this type of collar/chain again ever!!!

Judy & Angel…

UPDATE: I received a call from the dogs (Deuce) owner and I am so glad to say that he did not lose any teeth and has also recovered fine..Now my turn…

Thanks for sharing this frightening story Judy. It’s definitely one that every dog owner should hear!

I do want to point out here that chain or prong collars (although I’d recommend prong collars for big dogs) have a useful function and are safe to use for walking or training your Rottweiler. I always use prong collars in both of these situations.

BUT the risk factor for accidental injury or even death is there if you allow your dog to wear this type of collar at any other time.

From Judy’s story it’s easy to see how even a couple of minute playing with a friend could easily have had tragic consequences. Your pup or dog doesn’t even have to be with another dog to be in danger though….. if a collar like this gets caught on something he could choke to death within minutes.

Please NEVER allow your dog to wear a chain collar (of any type) when playing with other dogs, or even when he’s at home, in his crate etc. Save them for walking and training only, when you’re right there to supervise.

If you’ve never considered the dangers before, I hope Judy’s experience will give you reason to think about them now.

Thank God that Angel survived her terrifying experience, and I hope that Judy’s fingers heal 100% If by sharing her story even one pet can be saved from injury or death caused by a chain collar then the experience won’t be for nothing.

~ Sue from

Update…. Update…. Update….

Judy has been successful in her campaign to get ‘correctional collars’ banned at two off-leash dog parks in Nanaimo! Hear all about it here… Yay!! We won….

Congratulations Judy, a great job. I’m sure it will be a blessing to all the dogs who love those parks!


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Mar 03, 2017

Irresponsibility Harmed the responsible owner’s NEW
by: Anonymous

It was your own fault. You have to 24/7 pay attention. My dog uses,both, Pincher and E-Collar
Get educated by a true and Professional Trainer. My dog. Is strong and loving. Plenty of strength and energetic. I prefer not to be around other people who are prejudiced nor there dogs. I am knowledgeable about the Pincher Collar and Trained in the E-Collar. I’ll make sure that: “We don’t ever travel to any ruthless positive training,and the Banned Pincher Collar and E-Collar. Something happens to my dog. Your dog will be put down. Etc.
You have given “responsible” owners the Scarlett Letter on there foreheads. For your irresponsibility of an Dogs Owners.

Jun 27, 2015

Chain/Prong Collars NEW
by: Karl Madsen

Sad to hear of this incident.
The collars you mentioned are a prohibited import in Australia and New Zealand. They are deemed to be dangerous and cruel.
Different countries, different strokes, but I have never seen the need for such a potentially harmful restraint.
I well trained dog (any breed) that know that it’s owner is the Boss/Alpha does not need such a collar.

Same goes for stun collars – also illegal.

Jun 25, 2015

you are your dog’s advocate NEW
by: Anonymous

You should have been watching your dgo at all time in a dog park; not only going to check on your dog when you hear some noises which you suspected indicated that your dog may be fighting or hurt or whatever.
Moreover, it is possible to get a dog’s tooth trapped in any collar, not just choke collar. Key is you really need to pay close attention to your own dog.
I do not do dog parks, as I simply do not like to allow other unknown dog to interact with my dog without knowing anything about them. I think it is the responsible thing to do as my dog’s advocate that I protect my dog from negative experience that my dog may experience due to exposure to other dogs with behavior problems.
You kept talking about physical damage and you do not seem to even know that this type of incident can affect the emotional and psychological well being of your dog. You need to protect your dog from this kind of incidents because it will change your dog’s behavior and how she views other dog–and you who was supposed to be her leader and protector.
banning chain collar does not get tot he root of the problem, which is you and how you take care of your dog in a dog park.

Nov 21, 2014

Glad to hear.. NEW
by: Judy

So glad to hear a tragedy was averted.Is the trachea damage permanent?

Nov 21, 2014

Glad to hear.. NEW
by: Judy

So glad to hear a tragedy was averted.Is the trachea damage permanent?

Nov 18, 2014

Collars NEW
by: SC

When my moms dobie, Dhraevyn, was a baby and we had another small mixed terrier, Sadie, as his playmate we had a similar incident with a regular collar. Sadie liked to pull him by his collar and one morning managed to twist it around her jaw. He was snarling and she was yelping/crying. We popped the collar, but the damage had been done already to his trachea and his corneas were all red from burst blood vessels. to this day he goes naked unless its for a walk. They were a lil cautious around each other for a couple of days, but then went back to normal. It is a very upsetting experience and definitely leaves some scars.

Feb 20, 2013

Chain collars NEW
by: Sherry

I am glad I went out too.

But just like my human kids, always had to investigate when it is too quiet.

I have to yet get them new tags for their collars as they lost them.

Live and learn, that was the first time we got 2 pups together, but won’t be the last.

Feb 20, 2013

All colloars.. NEW
by: Judy

I feel your terror..Any collar has the potential to be dangerous.I am so glad you went out there when you did.I am not saying chain collars should not be used as many dogs are way more powerful than us and they are a great training tool when used properly.I also only ever use a collar when we leave the property as really there is no need for one unless of course you have an escape artist..Then it’s nice to have ID attached to them.If your dog is a puller while being walked please make sure the collar is on properly as I didn’t realize that there was a right and wrong way to feed it through the hoop.It should release when slack is released and will choke if fed through the hoop backwards.Another thing to consider is a harness as if you research the side effects of chain collars over long term use they can be quit sad.Herniated discs and damage the trachea are just a few of them that show up later in life and are sometimes related to the use of these training collars at a younger age..Thanks for you comment as sharing your story also lets others know the importance of the dangers of really any collar while the ‘kids’ are unsupervised..Glad things turned out the way they did for you 🙂

Feb 19, 2013

Chain collars NEW
by: Sherry

My girls have always wore chain collars, ever since the incident with the regular collars.

They were outside and when I went to check one had her teeth caught in the others collar, choking her.

Worst day of my life, I ran to get my husband and knife. They are both fine now.

Since then we only keep collars incase we leave the property. But they have been wearing chains.

I never had a problem with the chains but will be discussing with my husband about taking the off when at home.

Feb 04, 2013

Victory update!!! NEW
by: Judy & Angel

Apologies it took me so long to give an update..On Oct 27 2012 we were victorious in our goal.Collars with chain attachment must now be removed prior to entering the ENCLOSED off-leashed dog parks here in Nanaimo BC.That is choke,martingale and prong type collars.While we have met very little resistance to the new rule, contrary to the comment posted in the link,it is working out great.Few enter but with the community standing together raising awareness to the new rule and sharing education as to why it was implemented all understand and remove the collars.Many come from other areas and are not aware of the changes but are grateful as they are for the safety of our dogs.Animal Control does patrol the park regularly and speaks to people about the new rule if they see it being violated but at this point it is all about awareness,education of the dangers and sharing the changes implemented.Animal Control has stated very clearly that fines will be imposed if they encounter repeat offenders as it would be a blatant disregard for the dogs safety..I am so fortunate to have my girl,Angel,with me here today and am proud of the community standing together and giving me the strength and courage to fight for this change.I would like to thank the 300+ people who signed my petition and the training experts who contributed and helped me make the enclosed off-leash dog parks here in Nanaimo a safer place to meet,play and ultimately go home alive and uninjured due to the dangers of training collar in play areas..Hope other comunities will follow and we have set a precedent..Here is a link to the article after the decision..

Sep 27, 2012

update NEW
by: Judy & Angel

I have been in front of our Parks,Recreation, and Culture Commission here in Nanaimo BC on Sept 19th and am happy to say that it was passed for second reading.I am only saddened that the other owner did not stay on board and get this implemented with me.It would have been an honour to do it on behalf of both the dogs involved..It was the love for my girl and her furry friends that gave me the strength to keep the fight going.I will be hosting a ‘wagging’ party to celebrate in mid Oct when this gets passed as I am confident it will..weiner bobbing contest and wait to have a safe place for the canines to meet and go home uninjured and most important ALIVE!! Will update in Oct sometime..arf! arf!

Jul 17, 2012

Memory fails us.. NEW
by: Judy

Well I will be the 1st to say I do not recall the EXACT things that happened.When one is in survival mode to save their dogs life,memory does fail..I do remember clearly it was what sounded like a ‘vicious’ fight that got me to turn to the dogs..It sounded vicious as each dog was crying,yelping and obviously very scared and possibly in pain….I have since learned that the media does ‘creative’ editing and have since spoke with you regarding this,IF I have correct who the poster is..Minor facts as to whether I was re-entering or leaving to me is irrelevant..What is important is neither dog is traumatized by this tragic ordeal and that I can share my story and prevent this from happening to
others..I am only grateful that it was the dog it was as any other dog may have had a different out come and my girl Angel may not be here..My goal is to bring attention to these type of training tools and there proper use which clearly is NOT in a play area..The dogs have since met up and are fine..I have met my hero and have had a chance to thank him..FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART..for his kind act of getting involved..Again without him I do not know what the out come would have been..I am not going to defend my stupidy on this sight or any other for using a chain collar and being naive to the dangers.I will say that I will do anything to bring expose to the dangers of the collars and try my best to have them banned from ENCLOSED dog park play areas in my community.We currently only have (1) one and I don’t think that is to much to ask for..One safe place to play..If it only saves one dogs life and educates many my goal has been achieved..Thank-you for posting and hope the ‘kids’ get a chance to play again soon..

Jul 17, 2012

Choke Collars NEW
by: Anonymous

Yes, thank you for posting this story Judy…I know how terrifying it was. I was right there. I don’t agree with some of the things you said about this incident, but nevertheless, it’s just about these “choke chains.” The news paper told me they don’t fabricate anything, as they recorded everything you said. There was never any noise of a vicious fight, there was only a single yelp. My dog never dragged your dog an inch. You were bear hugging your own dog…And when you did this, is when your dog had no choice to to flop on top of you, with that twisting you mentioned. I watched the whole thing! Anyhow, lesson learned. I’m glad our dogs are ok, and your finger is healing good. Take care, have fun at that park. I hope your mission is accomplished! 🙂

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About The Rotty lover 2159 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone