Choke chain collars are for training only!
We had a scary, scary incident at the dog park yesterday that reinforced the title of this post. Another great dane and golden retriever (I say "another" because neither one was mine) were wrassling together. They'd been playing for quite a while and were quite well matched.
I saw it first, but it really didn't take long for others to realize something was wrong. The golden's preferred method of play was on his back, kicking up his feet. One of his back feet got twisted in the dane's choke collar. Of course the dane kept trying to back out/away from the golden, who was subsequently dragged by his caught foot. Both dogs were getting more and more traumatized and hysterical: the poor dane was getting choked and dragged down, and the poor golden was getting dragged on his back with his foot caught.
It took at least three of us to extract the two kids. I'm not sure if there were more people or not, but I was holding the golden down so he didn't keep struggling and moving away, his owner was trying to get them untangled, and the dane's owner was holding her so she wouldn't keep trying to back away. Because I was at the end with the hysterical teeth, I didn't see the actual extraction process.
The good news is that everyone was fine. Nothing was damaged on the golden's foot, and he seemed to forget about the incident within the next 10 minutes. The dane was a little more traumatized; this breed is fairly sensitive, and can get their feelings injured quite easily. She really had no idea what had just happened, and really seemed afraid that something might go wrong again. I came out with several puncture wounds on my left hand because the poor golden was so hysterical. (I'm not calling them bites because that's not really what they were; just fear and pain and confusion reactions that are entirely acceptable for a puppy in his situation.) Honestly, of the three of us, I think I'm the most damaged, and my wounds are small. (Of course, my hand with a minimum of 6 bandaids plus the places I didn't cover does cause a small amount of attention and concern, but really, we're all fine.)
Being a golden, Remy handled the situation pretty well. She stayed out of it, and kind of just observed. Payton was a little traumatized afterwards, too, though. I don't know if it was the noise, the distress, seeing me in the middle, or any combination of the above, but he stayed pretty close to me while I recovered (some teeth hit some of those really sensitve nerves and bones on the wrist and I felt like I was going to pass out for a minute or two....). He improved once we got up and started walking again.
But it was just one of those awful, unexpected events that no one wants to see happen, especially to their own dogs. Please keep a flat or other type of break-away collar on your dog when you're not training. Almost ANY other collar would have been better; even a prong collar allows for a quicker release that could have gotten it off the dane much quicker.