A near playtime tragedy

Terrifying playtime encounter between 2 dogs nearly ends in tragedy

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This morning, a terrifying incident nearly resulted in tragedy for two dogs who were enjoying playtime in their yard. Those two dogs are my own.

The dogs were rough-housing, as they like to do, while I was watering the flowers on our deck – thankfully, I was right there when things turned ugly. Our youngest dog, a German shepherd named “Seager,” got his jaw stuck in the collar of our older shepherd, Chesney.

I immediately ran to them and somehow, they separated on their own before anyone was seriously hurt (but not before making one dog cry and me nearly having a heart attack!) but it could have ended poorly. Dogs have died while playing with their collars on – I know this can be a danger and normally, the dogs aren’t allowed to play with their collars on (but I’ll admit, if I hadn’t been writing about dog news for the past decade I wouldn’t know this). Unfortunately, I have actually written about several beloved dogs who didn’t have a good outcome – their playtime did turn deadly.


But right now, it’s a terrible Catch-22 situation…it’s the height of fireworks season and since I want my dogs to have identification  (yes they’re chipped, but the easiest way to get your dog home quickly is to have ID tags with their owner’s contact information), they both had their collars on. No, not choke collars…just regular collars – but it can turn into a dangerous situation if one dog’s jaw gets stuck in the other dog’s collar.

I was right there – I could have released a clasp if I needed to, but if I wasn’t there, and if they didn’t immediately separate on their own – it could have been bad, very very bad.

Please be aware of the potential danger – and let others know too. I cringe to think of what might have happened this morning.

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Read about the terrified dog that accidentally died while trying to escape fireworks. Please be careful with your pets this holiday weekend.

Read about some helpful hints to keep your dogs safe during fireworks! Click here.

14 replies
  1. (FlamingWolf)Beth C. says:

    I haven’t had collars on my pups due to a paw that got caught up under the collar while they were playing too.
    Like yourself thank goodness I was there could have been a bad outcome as well.
    Have told people about collars and what things could happen and nobody seems to listen, I will use yours as awareness.
    Thankfully as you said you were there, and
    thank you for sharing this with us in making us aware.????????

  2. dianaroby02 says:

    Penny, thankfully you were there. It sounds horrible. I hope that you and your family, no matter how many legs, have a wonderful and safe holiday.

  3. Barkley's Mom says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us, and reminding us that things like this can happen. I have struggled with collars and wanting them to have their tags on as well. It would seem your damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Wish I was smart enough to come up with a solution.

  4. Ivey says:

    This is only one reason of many, and the reason that I don’t use collars on my dogs. My dogs wear harnesses only.

  5. Carrie Ainsley says:

    I stopped having my dogs wear collars after one of my Danes got a large dresser drawer handle stuck in her collar. She pulled the drawer out of the dresser, but could not dislodge it from her neck. Had we not been home to become aware of the commotion, she could have been seriously injured by her panic if nothing else. It’s not something I would have ever considered until it happened.

  6. Dee says:

    I did it one time. My boxers were playing with choke chains on when ones front leg went from the back towards the chin of the other. It went bad fast with a screaming dog. So happy I was home. Never did that again. Never. I told everyone. No one listened. They think it cant happen to them

  7. Cynthia Como says:

    I am aware of the potential of this occurring but I’m sure there are many who are not! So happy these dogs were not harmed

  8. Linda says:

    As a long time volunteer and rescuer – and home checker for my adoption group – I never ever leave collars off of my dogs. These terrible tragedies mostly happen with choke chains … I had a horrific accident happen with a dog I placed years ago … mom had dog in the yard with the choke and dog got caught on a fence. But my dogs ALWAYS have collars on … are never left outside when I am gone … and I will still tell my adopters to always keep collars on their dogs at all times.


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